Days 60-63 Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang beach in Vietnam.

We made it to Nha Trang, the beach capital of Vietnam and extremely popular with Russian tourists!  At the airport we paid for a taxi voucher, 320,000 VND to get us to Nha Trang. The airport is 30 km out of town so we weren’t really sure whether it was better to get a voucher or go for a metered taxi but decided to go with a voucher.  The drive into Nha Trang takes you along cliffs that overlook the water and then Nha Trang city comes into view and from a distance is a bit like looking at the Gold Coast (although buildings not quite as tall). Our taxi driver was great and knew exactly where our guesthouse was hidden down a local alley.  We stayed at Vicky’s Guesthouse, another one of my finds on It cost us just $105 for 3 nights for a room that slept us all but was a little squeezy. It also included breakfast and Vicky’s staff bent over backwards to ensure that we walked away totally bursting with eggs, bacon, baguette, cereal, juice and fruit.

First stop in the evening … the beach.  The sand was gravely and the waves were breaking right at the shoreline so it wasn’t the nicest place to swim, but H and P went in anyway. As it got darker it wasn’t safe to continue swimming given the conditions so we walked along the beach checking out the sights. Headed back towards the guesthouse and found ‘The Spot’, an Australian owned restaurant right opposite the alley to our guesthouse. The food was pretty good and we enjoyed the Australian music playing in the background.

First full day in Nha Trang … Vinpearl Land, Vietnam’s answer to Disneyland, kind of.  We got ourselves a taxi to Vinpearl Resort reception on the mainland where you buy tickets to get across to the island amusement park and hotel.  Along the way the taxi driver stopped at the taxi company travel office so we could buy Vinpearl tickets at inflated prices and wasn’t so impressed that we refused!  Of course we successfully bought tickets at the Vinpearl office which set us back 1.2 million VND for all of us which included 120,000 VND worth of lunch tickets.  The best way to get to Vinpearl is to ride the cable car across the water. This was a great ride and got everyone excited about the day ahead.

Vinpearl has outdoor rides, a waterpark, underwater world, shopping village and best of all a huge indoor amusement park where all the arcade games are free to use.  We played some indoor games, saw the end of the performing monkey show and then headed to the waterpark.  We were to discover that not all the rides operate at once and there is a board that shows you a red or green flag to indicate which rides are open. Also, being low season a number of the rides etc were being maintained so we missed out; but we found we had enough to do anyway. Steve and Harris enjoyed the ‘Space Hole’ ride the best; I liked the ‘Tsunami’ ride after my initial trepidation and Patrick loved the ‘Multi-slide’.

New friend Jonah from Los Angeles with Harris and Patrick.

The best part of the day we all agreed was meeting new friends – Jonah, Jordan, Dana and Steven from Los Angeles and Luc, Caroline and Roger from HCMC via England. Jonah, Harris and Luke met up in the waterpark and become firm buddies hanging out in the wave pool and hitting the slides together, with the escort of 10 year old Jordan. Steve and I had the opportunity to chat with other adventurous parents about their travels and learn more about the experiences of other travelling families.  Thank you Goodman Family for spending so much of your last day in Nha Trang with us.

Jonah and his sister Jordan with H & P.

We were exhausted by the time we left Vinpearl Land and returned to the room briefly to dump wet swimmers before heading out for dinner. As we were contemplating where to eat, across the street from us was Luke and his parents doing the same. The boys colluded to convince us that we should all have dinner together so we headed to ‘Omar’s Indian Restaurant’ for a lovely meal. Thanks to the Linton Family for eating Indian (again) and sharing their time with us! We all slept extremely well that night.

Harris and his English/Ho Chi Minh City living friend Luc.

Second day in Nha Trang and Steve had his sights set on sailing, which was initially the main reason for adding Nha Trang to our list of places to go. We headed down to the ‘Louisane Brewhouse’ where ‘Waves Watersports’ was set up. We booked a hobi cat for 12 pm which meant we had 3 hours to fill in. I hired a poolside chair for 35,000 VND for the day and we swam, drank and went to the beach to fill in our time.  By 12pm we were all seated on a hobi cat in the ocean sailing along nicely thanks to Steve’s sailing competence and Harris’s assistance.  Patrick and I just held on and enjoyed the ride.

Steve and Harris - the brave parasailers.

Whilst we were sailing we saw a number of people parasailing so … when we returned to shore Steve and Harris went up for a tandem parasail for 600,000 VND ($30 for 2 people!) for about 2 minutes!! See Harris’s post.  What a great morning. We made it to lunch at 2 pm and then the boys returned to the room for a rest and I investigated our dinner options and got a manicure for 76,000 VND.

The other reason for coming to Nha Trang at this time was to meet up with Clive and Annette Arthur, the parents of Kerryn, an old university flatmate.  They were on a tour heading south and we were heading north so Nha Trang was a great place to meet. We walked to their beautiful 5 star resort hotel, so we could work up an appetite and then headed in a taxi back to our hotel/food district to go to ‘Lanterns Restaurant’. The restaurant rated well on and also in the Lonely Planet and I knew the prices were as good as anywhere.

The Baigries and the Arthurs enjoying hot pot and BBQ at Lantern's Restaurant in Nha Trang. Very good service, nice prices and yummy food.

On my recommendation we chose one BBQ and one hot pot to share between the adults, whilst kids had fried rice.  We had the red snapper fish to BBQ which was pretty good but next time I’d avoid something with so many bones. The hot pot with beef was the best and we finished the meal with pancakes, icecream in coffee and coffee shakes.  We split the bill and paid 400,000 VND for a great meal with great company.  Clive and Annette are very well travelled so it we enjoyed listening to their travel tales, plus they have been to the north of Vietnam where we are yet to go.  Thanks for taking the time to meet up with us, we really enjoyed catching up with some familiar faces on our long journey!

Goodbye to Nha Trang and hello to another bus ride, this time to Dalat. We ate breakfast as quick as we could to get to the bus depot at 7.30 am. Little did we know that the bus ride itself would be an adventure!


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