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Vietnam - Nha Trang

VIETNAM | Friday, 19 September 2014 | Views [409]

On Sunday afternoon after our chicken taxi ride back to HCMC from the Mekong Delta, we headed for a tourist centre. It is called Sinh Tourist, and if you are ever in Vietnam, I highly recommend them. They do tours, but they also do buses, like the public sleeper ones, except much cleaner, they make announcements in English, and the cost is only a little bit more expensive. We decided to take a night bus through them, from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang, basically because of our nightmare experience to the Mekong Delta. At least with the tour company, they will probably send another bus if the one we are on breaks down.

So, we booked our bus, and spent a really pleasant evening  watching rugby. That's where the last story stopped... Now for the best part so far... In a little while, at least. First, I have to mention the sleeper buses. They are amazing. For all the Harry Potter fans out there, think of the Knight Bus. There are 3 rows of double decker sleeper bunks. If we were about 5cm shorter, they would be SUPER comfortable, Although as I type this we are on one, in the back, with ample leg room. If you are tall, ask for a back seat! Also, while learning from experience, DON"T drink a few beers before the bus ride. They won't, as we had hoped, knock you out, but instead make you REALLLLLLY need to pee! The buses don't stop that often and at one point I found myself wondering how I could fashion a funnel + bottle contraption from the 2 empty water bottles we had. Haha! (I laugh, but it was serious - I almost wet myself and at one point Rob actually went to an empty seat at the back of the bus and filled a spare water bottle!)

We arrived in Nha Trang at 7am on Sunday morning, after a bumpy, jerky, 12 hour bus ride. It was really weird, because we were almost jet-lagged. Our bodies had no idea what day or time it was. We got breakfast  and booked into our hotel and had showers. Our location was AMAZING. We were a block away from the beach, right in the centre of all the action, with a few awesome restaurants on our doorstep.  We then headed down to the beach. From everything I read, people are disappointed by the beaches in Nha Trang. We  certainly weren't! There is a huge stretch of sand, and warm waters. It is no Phillipines or Thailand, but it is still really pretty. We swam, and relaxed, and did what we do almost every time we have gone to the beach [made impressions of sea creatures, and splashed around , making sea horse noises (they neigh and blow bubbles simultaneously, just FYI)]. Then something weird happened. I went to do a handstand, and when I came up, my ear was really sore, and I couldn't hear anything. It was really frustrating, because it had never happened before, and we had planned to start a PADI scuba diving course the next day. It put a spanner in the works, because I didn't wanna dive and find out that I couldn't equalise underwater. So, we waited a day, chilling out, beaching it up, and putting eardrops in, until I felt better, and we booked our scuba for Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, we headed out and went to the pool for our first dive, practicing a whole lot of techniques. I have to admit, I almost gave up by the end of it, because I couldn't do the mask clear. You have to take your mask off underwater and then put it back on, and blow air through your nose to force the water out. It sounds easy, but every time I did it, water went up my nose and I started choking. The instructor made me do it over and over again, until I was almost crying. Luckily, I finally got it. Although I still felt anxious and had nightmares about it! The rest of the afternoon we spent studying our theory test, and lazing on the beach.

On Wednesday we headed out for our first open water dives. It was amazing! We really, really enjoyed it (even though the instructor made me do the mask clearing again!!)

On Thursday, we went for our final two dives. It is so amazing that there is a whole other world in the ocean. There were so many amazing fish and coral and eels, and giant bright blue starfish. I have decided that my next purchase is going to be a macro lens and a waterproof case for my camera, because it is REALLY too amazing for words!  After we got back, we had showers, and did a bit more studying, and took our final exam. We got 100%. Our instructor was so happy and shook our hands over and over. He told us he had only had a handful of students get 100%, and the last one was 4 years ago. To say that we were beaming, is an understatement (Okay, boast over). After we had finished fist pumping and high fiving, we went and got our bags, booked our bus tickets, and grabbed some dinner, before getting on the overnight bus for the 11 hour journey to Hoi An.

 

Nha Trang was our favourite place so far. It is a really weird city, because 90% of the people there are Russian tourists. The menus are in Vietnamese and Russian and you have to ask for an English one. Being tall, fair and blue eyed meant that we got spoken to in Russian, A LOT! We met a Danish girl on the overnight bus who said that she really didn't enjoy Nha Trang, because there were too many Russians and she thought they were rude. We LOVED it though,  although that may have a lot to do with being out on a boat all day and relaxing and diving. Even our beach days were great!

If we returned anywhere in Vietnam, Nha Trang would be hard to beat!

Tags: beach, nha trang, scuba diving, vietnam

 

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