Thursday, July 24th, 2014
From Saigon, we spent 8 hours travelling north by train to get to the beach resort of Nha Trang. The train ride was definitely an experience. We paid for the most expensive option – soft seat with AC. The carriage was packed as it’s the start of holiday season and it also seemed that not having a reservation was no issue, you just slip some money to the guard and set up your plastic stool in the aisle.
The seats had some major recline potential meaning that if the person in front of you laid back, their head would basically be in your lap! Luckily the people in front of us managed to refrain from doing so. The journey was possibly even more bumpy than the bus ride in Cambodia and the age of the carriages meant they were pretty noisy too. Every now and then, train staff would pass through selling hot grilled corn on the cobs or bowls of rice soup. There were also what seemed like a few entrepreneurial passengers who came by with packs of dried fish.
Nha Trang itself is a well developed beach resort. It has a kind of European feel to it, possibly due to the wide tree lined pavement that lines the beach and the recognisable hotel names along the road. It’s apparently very popular with Russians and we noticed a few places with Russian signs and menus. Dean was in charge of booking accommodation here so needless to say we’re in a 5 star hotel, The Intercontinental, which was only opened in March this year and so is very nice and shiny! The roads here are no less crazy than elsewhere in Vietnam, and a busy road separates the hotel from the beach. Luckily the 5 star service includes a man who will cross the road with you to make sure you get to the beach in one piece! We had originally planned to stay 3 nights here, but Dean picked up a virus somewhere along the way and wasn’t feeling too great so we extended our time to 5 nights as it seemed we were in a pretty good spot for some chill time.
So that’s pretty much all we’ve been doing here, sitting and reading by the pool, on the beach and eating in beachside restaurants. I’ve discovered I like iced Vietnamese coffee, made by pouring coffee over ice and condensed milk.
We found a couple of cool waterside bar/restaurants – Lousienne Brewhouse and Sailing Club. Sailing Club was my favourite due to the swing seat at the beach bar and as we walked past on our last evening we found that it’s a pretty happening late night spot too!