Nha Trang, Vietnam

The bus arrived next morning and was a sleeper bus with little beds. We all jumped into the back and had the equivalent of a large king size bed between the four of us. The journey to Nha Trang was very scenic as we snaked around the mountains over the course of a morning. Stacey was suffering from a bout of travel sickness and was looking quite green behind the gills by the time we arrived in Nha Trang around lunchtime. We were all feeling quite sorry for Stacey, but she was actually fine, and cured herself with a pint of Saigon Green. It’s all part of the training – I felt so proud.

The bus had stopped outside a hotel, and the sceptic in me thought this was a ploy, as quite possibly this was a hotel of the driver’s family or something. Straight away people got off to collect their backpacks and it was quite comical as all the Lonely Planet guide books came out. Does every one of these travellers just stay at Lonely Planet recommended crash pads? Not such a good idea we have found over here in Vietnam. A Lonely Planet recommendation means a wholly justified price rise and deals are hard to be had. The bus pulled away and we were the last standing there. I tried to get our bearings and realised we were quite close to all the action, so negotiated a deal with the hotel owner who seemed desperate for our business, and thus we dumped the bags in our nice clean air conditioned rooms and headed out into the thick of the action.

Nha Trang is really a beach type thing, but we were here at the wrong time to take advantage of the weather, and it was really quite gusty and blowy. Nice enough place, and there were plenty of bars and restaurants, and holy smoley …. an Indian café !! Yee haarrrr !!! The curry’s were quite expensive, but yes, it was well worth it, there was absolutely nothing left on our plates, and for the first time in a long time, we actually felt satisfyingly full. That night we continued on a pub crawl, as most of the bars were heavily competing for business with a free cocktail with every beer purchased. The beer was only about 10,000 VND, which meant a round for the four of us with cocktails for the girl’s amounted to about 70 pence. We had a really good night playing pool and just having fun.

That night we got lost trying to find our hotel. We were all tipsy and healthily debating about which way to go. Someone cleverly suggested a taxi which was a really great idea, until we realised we did not know the name of the street our hotel was on, let alone the name of the hotel. I am like a homing pigeon however, and after I sat down like a spoiled kid refusing to follow the group, the gang relented and followed me as I led the way home. I was seemingly the most inebriated, and the gang were just incredulous that I had managed to find our wee hotel. I don’t know how I manage this in all honesty, although I think I subconsciously make a mental note as we walk away from our hotels in any new town – or maybe it was just a lucky guess. I will keep the gang guessing though – they were mighty impressed.

Obviously we were all a bit hungover next morning, but Michelle, Stace and Mark still wanted to eat breakfast. They discovered a café doing a full monty English breakfast. Stacey’s breakfast seemed to have been overlooked, and on enquiring with the waitress, there seemed to be a mild panic. The result was that Stacey’s breakfast arrived half cooked, with slimy bacon and runny eggs – just the way Mike and Mary like it ha ha! To top of the disappointment, Stacey then discovered that the bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup she had been drooling over for the past 30 minutes or so had actually been refilled with some inferior brand of tomato sauce. You can’t kid this connoisseur of the old red stuff, and we had to secure Stacey down from the wrists and ankles to prevent a serious altercation.

We seem to keep moving through Vietnam, but we never seem to find somewhere to truly fall in love with here. We booked a bus for Qui Nong.

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