On any journey, especially one like this you are bound to see cities that are not as spectacular as the other cities you have seen. When we left Mui Ne, we had such an awesome time that we could have happily spent another few days there, we met awesome people, and had a really relaxing time.
Nha Trang is a booming tourist hotspot in Vietnam, since direct flights from Russia they have seen near exponential growth in tourism over the last 10 years. When Josh visited a decade ago, there were barely any hotels, on our trip we stayed in a near new western style hotel. While this was a nice place to stay, it was not what we were looking for when we came to Vietnam.
As a tourist city you can expect to pay much more for everything, indeed the idea of $2 beers was outrageous. So much so that we spent a good 30 minutes trying to find some of the cheap, traditional Vietnamese street food that we have grown to love.
We were all a little disappointed with the Vibe of the city, after such an amazing time in Mui Ne we were left wanting when we arrived here, the people were less friendly, and the vibe of the city was one that had almost been overrun by tourists.
The saving feature of this city was undoubtedly the bike tour that we took to the mountains and waterfall. Despite our tour guide giving me grief for being a “big man” (a real confidence booster) we had an amazing time. My second day on a motorbike saw speeds up to 80kn/h.
You have never truly ridden a bike though until you are overtaking trucks on the wrong side of the road, or cut off cars and then tooted the horn so they don’t merge into you. Also being a MUCH bigger city than Mui Ne the traffic was crazy and decisions like do I navigate the crowd of people who are about to take off, or run the red light become very real issues that need solving. Despite the handful of challenges it was amazing fun, helped by our guides Tino and ‘Happy Budda’.
They took us out of the main city through some of the more remote Vietnamese villages to see some of the things that they do for work, making sleeping mats, rice paper rolls – it is quite remarkable to see a culture that is not just different, but where the gap is considerable.
After a breathtaking ride through the scenery we arrived at the waterfalls in the mountains, a picturesque location where we could do some exploring and get a swim in a beautifully refreshing river. After a long day of riding (its more tiring than it looks) it was great to cool off.
We were treated to a bbq lunch or pork, chicken and rice paper rolls – I could happily live here, enjoying the food in Vietnam, it is absolutely delicious. If you come to Nha Trang, you absolutely must do a motorbike tour – even for the non-riders they provide guides to help ferry tourists, but it was an undisputed highlight.
In reflection our time in Nha Trang was not too bad, the motorbike tour certainly saved it, but as we learned on our last morning the beaches here are actually quite beautiful, and for anyone considering a holiday relaxing on the beaches Nha Trang should absolutely be a consideration.