My bus from Mui Ne to Nha Trang was surprisingly good and included wifi and a hilarious comedy show on TV. By the time I arrived in Nha Trang over two hours late I was in desperate need of a beer. Too late to join Aimee, Lisa and Nicola for dinner I grabbed two cans of beer from the shop and found my way to our hostel on foot. After a sweaty and slightly longer than anticipated walk, I was met with the most friendly welcome from the staff at Mojzo Inn who gave me a cold flannel and a bottle of water – I must have looked like I needed it!
I jumped into a cold shower and met the girls at Why Not Bar (where else!) for some cocktails. Dinner that night ended up being a surprisingly delicious doner kebab after a few too many buckets of vodka red bull. A free and incredibly good breakfast at Mojzo Inn went down well and that morning we were joined by Californian Kevin and Manchester Kevin who I had met the night before and Pheobe and Jamie from Mui Ne. Now a group of eight, we headed to Vinpearl a luxury resort with it’s own water park, theme park and aquarium situated on a private island a short cable car away from the mainland.
I was devastated to find the cable car temporarily out of order when we arrived due to a big ship coming into the harbour. Both the theme park and water park were great fun with my favourite ride being the luge.
We enjoyed ourselves so much (apart from the gruesome greasy burger and chips we had there) we forgot to catch the last cable car home so had to get a boat much to my annoyance as a trip on the cable car was the main reason I wanted to visit the island!
That evening a big group of us went for dinner at a restaurant called Lanterns which was recommended to us and also a favourite in the Lonely Planet guide. My pork and caramelised onion clay pot was truly something special and although a little pricey, totally worth it. Aimee, Lisa, Nicola and I decide to extend our stay by one night as we wanted an extra day to organise our Easy Rider motorbike tour through the central highlands to Dalat.
We were also enjoying spending time in our newly formed group and with the ever-so-friendly staff at the Mojzo Inn. Sadly the hostel were fully booked but they kindly moved us into a modern apartment called Jennie Jenna up the road and continued to offer us water, breakfast, fruit and advice. I was blown away by their kindness when they presented Pheobe with a huge personalised cake for her birthday and wrote their best wishes on the wall of the hostel common room. It was like they were family.
A walk around the town allowed me to see the beach which is a lot nicer than Mui Ne but has twice as many Russians. Since 2005 Russians have continued to flock to Nha Trang with two flights from Russia now landing every day. It’s such a shame this once small fishing village has been overtaken by rude abrupt Russians (not all but most) and transformed into a high rise strip of luxury hotels and restaurants. I can see why the local people get so annoyed.
Even though I had to get up early for my Easy Rider tour I just had to go out. After all, it was Paddy’s day (aka international piss up) and Phoebe was turning 22 at midnight. Where better place to dance the night away than Why Not Bar – for those who travel Asia will see that there is a Why Not bar in every stop along the backpacker route – with cheap drinks and plenty of people. I was semi sensible and headed to bed at 2am after another tasty kebab with Nicola and Lisa.
Nha Trang is a great place to go for some sun and a crazy night out but it isn’t at all cultural and not the type of place I enjoy. However, thanks to my new found friends and the fantastic staff at Mojzo Inn I didn’t want to leave. It was time to hop on a motorbike with a new companion, a 50 year old Vietnamese guy called Dung for two days exploring the Central Highlands and officially join the Easy Rider club.
Living life, loving cake,