I'm going lots of places in my new shoe laces.
The flight down to Nha Trang from Danang was really scenic. We didnât soar to any great height (we are over our luggage allowance already â I checked) and flew right down the coast into Nha Trang. So pretty.
When we were leaving Hoi An, we had some shoes made like I said. I had some copies made of my favourite pink sandals. Only I didnât think that I would have to leave them with the shoe maker (yes, derrr). Anyway, I was all in a quandary about what to do when the girl in the shop (sooooo nice) offered me to wear her thongs and just bring them back when I picked up the shoes.
So I walked around Hoi An in her thongs (very comfy) for a day and a half. Went to go and pick up mine again but they werenât ready. It was 10am and we had to leave for our flight at 12noon. She said she would deliver them to the hotel for me. Trusting sole (get it â thatâs a shoe joke...play on the word soul â ok, cut me some slack...have been around kids 24/7 for a week now) that I am, I paid for them in full and went back to the hotel. I figured that she was trusting me with her thongs so why not. At 11.30am, she came to the hotel as promised and we did the shoe exchange in the foyer. She was full of smiles and so was I â the shoes are awesome!!
Back to Nha Trang. Really touristy in, what a lot of people would describe as, a kinda tacky way but I think itâs ok.
There is a beautiful beach but the sand dips away suddenly and there are currents so I have to watch the kids constantly if Iâm not swimming with them. Itâs a little bit like the Gold Coast but way smaller â thereâs even a âGold Coast Casinoâ complete with âdiscothequeâ â yes, real names. Most of the town is spread along the strip of beach which runs like an esplanade down the beautiful palm tree lined street. There are heaps of restaurants, bars and shops. It is probably the most Australian place Iâve seen so far. Everyone asks where you are from and when I say Australia, they ALL say â ah, kangaroo. No wonder itâs on our coat of arms...the old emu doesnât get a look in.
The beach here is nice and we spent a couple of hours on it this morning before a tour.
We saw all sorts of banana boats (not my thing) and water skiing and then some parasailing. Lauren said she wanted to do it. I think it was just an out loud thought she had. But I grabbed her hand and looked her in the eye and said â câmon, letâs do it then. Her face lit up. James look horrified but calmed down when he realised he didnât have to....his idea of torture really. Lauren was jumping around in excitement. We went over to the umbrella where about the guys snatched my cash, threw jackets and harnesses on us and put us in position on the sand. No prep talk at all. It all happened so quick Lauren didnât have time to worry about it or 2nd think her decision. We were ready to tandem parasail over Nha Trang.
Making sleep mats. They offered me a job - damn tempting!!!
Before we knew what was happening, the speedboat took off and so did we. Up so high. The view was simply stunning. Chrystal clear water below in shades of blues and greens. Laurenâs little hands gripped the cords above us like it was her lifeline. She was very quiet â a rarity! Then they slowed down the speed boat to dip our feet in the water. It was actually a little scary for me â the whole fear of putting my head in the water thing â yes, yes Iâm a sook. Anyway, up to the top of my legs in water and then off soaring through the sky again. By now, Lauren was having a ball and wanted to stay up longer. It was time to land though and these 10 Vietnamese men were circled below us on the sand â screaming instructions in Vietnamese. Thoughts of broken bones ran through my mind as we touched down but it was all ok and Lauren just wanted to do it again. Actually, so did I.
The round basket fishing boats. We went out in one of these.
There was no time though as we ran to a taxi back to the hotel to quickly change for the tour we had arranged in the afternoon. Not one with the whole group but an optional one that our tour guide had recommended. We joined the NZ family of 3 on a 5 hour motorcycling tour out of Nha Trang into some country villages and towns. It was fantastic and probably the best tour-thing we have done to date. Kids loved it â 1 motorcycle each (not doubling up) for 5 hours. I loved it because they had helmets for all of us! We went to see how sleep mats are weaved, straw hats are made and brass vases are kilned. Normally on these things you go off to factories and it is all a bit touristy and rehearsed but these were all in houses down back alleys of little villages with kids playing and waving at us and dogs and chickens roaming everywhere. The best thing is that it was about 45 minutes out of Nha Trang and the scenery was brilliant green rice paddies scattered with hard working farmers against rolling hills of jungle. If you conjure up a picture of what you imagined Vietnam to look like in a movie â this is it. We all sat back on our bikes and let our drivers dodge the pot holes as we soaked up the scenes and waved back at all the âhelloâsâ we got. I feel like we actually got out of the touristy cities for a moment and saw a glimpse of how the average Vietnamese live. There was a touch of the âdodgy brothers tourâ about it though â our 6 drivers kept getting lost which was actually quite funny and really good because we got to see some remote areas which weâd probably have missed. Also, some of the houses we went past â the people seemed surprised to see us...like they didnât know about these guys running a tour or anything. That all added to the sense of adventure and authenticity with it though. We all loved it and @ $10 AUD per person for a 5 hour tour, you couldnât go wrong.
All in all, we loved Nha Trang. The weather was much more kind â mid 30âs most days and the beach was really pretty. 2 nights in Saigon to finish off Vietnam with and then itâs offer to Bangerâs for us.