To be honest, Derek and I weren’t the biggest fans of Nha Trang city, so we used it as a base to see the surrounding coastline. I would alike Nha Trang to a smaller version of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. There are lots of tourists, high rise hotels and expensive restaurants. Nha Trang is also a very popular destination for Russians, so much so that most of the Vietnamese signs are translated into Russian instead of English.
Our hostel, Mojzo Dorm, was amazing. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the free rooftop breakfast was café quality and the free beer from 5 till 6pm was a nice bonus. Our dorm room, however, was testing at times as some of our room mates weren’t the “freshest”. We got through it, though.
To escape the incredibly touristy city, we decided to hire a motorbike and head down south to explore the coastline and search for beaches that were less populated.
Our first beach attempt was a fail. We were welcomed by an unfriendly security guard basically telling us (we think) that we can’t swim at this beach and to go somewhere else. As we were leaving this random little village we thought it would be a good idea to top up our petrol. Whilst Derek was organising this I spotted the cutest piglet crossing the road. Blinded by its cuteness, I followed it to try and take a photo but then all of a sudden I heard a large OINK and found its big mamma eyeing me off! I ran back to the motorbike and made Derek ride past so I could get a picture.
The next beach we rode to was a blessing in disguise. There was another boom gate but this time we got a much friendlier greeting. The ladies manning the gate told us there was a fee to enter. By this time Derek and I were just dying for a swim so we paid the small fee and walked down to the beach. To our surprise the beach was stunning. The sand was white, the water was crystal clear and there was no one in the water, it was perfect!
After a swim and a bahn mi, we met a really nice family who invited us to join their picnic. We were so surprised at how friendly they were and how well they spoke English. It turns out that Kenny, the father of the family, moved to Texas 28 years ago but each year he comes back to visit his parents, extended family and friends with his three kids and wife. We were kicking ourselves for eating our lunch early because their lunch spread looked delicious! They fired up their portable charcoal BBQ and served fresh prawns, calamari and octopus with salad and rolls. One of Kenny’s friends was an engineer who worked for a beverage company that produced a drink known as Sanest which contains birds nest. According to traditional Chinese medicine, edible birds nest has a range of health benefits. It is also one of the most expensive foods on the planet! He gave us a can each but instead we shared one because we knew they were very expensive. The drink was delicious, it tasted like a Vietnamese creme caramel dessert called banh flan. We could not thank this family enough for their kindness and generosity, we had such a great time getting to know them all.
After a couple of beers and some BBQ, we said goodbye and continued our journey down the coast. I could see rain clouds ahead but Derek said not to worry and kept riding. Nek minnit, it started pouring! Luckily, I had my raincoat. Derek on the other hand – not so lucky.
We made it through the pelting rain and within minutes it subsided and the sun began to shine again. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Nha Trang as it was definitely a highlight for us.
This morning we checked out the nearby Xom Moi Market. I always love visiting the local market, even if they all start to look the same. I find them so facinating. I can tell Derek is getting over them though. Sorry, Dek.
Our time in Nha Trang is up and we are excited for the next adventure in Hoi An!