After almost two weeks of backpacking through Northern Vietnam, the multiple pairs of shorts I had packed had barely left by bag. That all changed when we arrived in Nha Trang, Vietnam’s premiere beach town. It was “cold” by local standards, but still hot enough to lay on the beach, sip fresh coconut juice, and get a nasty sunburn (at least in Emily’s case).
Our two days in Nha Trang were dedicated to rest and relaxation. We rented bikes and checked out the Cham Ruins of Po Nagar and the large market. Biking in Nha Trang was easy. Most of the streets had light traffic and the cars and motorbikes are good at giving cyclists a wide berth.
The Cham ruins were an interesting diversion. Compared to some of the other ruins in Vietnam, they’re in remarkably good shape and easy to get to.
We spent most of our second day at the Thap Ba Hot Spring Mudbaths. It was fun splashing the mud on ourselves, but it was surprisingly cold. The rest of the pools were hot, which was enjoyable in December but I can’t imagine they’d be that popular in July. I guess the cold mud would be more popular then.
Relaxing and enjoying the local beverages – coconut juice and beer.
For some reason Nha Trang is popular with Russians – there are direct flights from Russia, menus and signs in Russian, and even some Russian inspired architecture. The Russian money and tourists have also brought lots of mega hotels and resorts.
When we went to the market, we had a tough time finding a spot to lock up our bikes. We finally found a spot next to a bunch of motorcycles. We were worried, but when we came back the bikes were still there. As we were unlocking them, an old man, who had been sitting across the street at a cafe, came over to let us know (in broken English) that he had dutifully watched our bikes and it would only cost us $1. We bargained him down to 25 cents, and he went back to his friends and we could hear him laughing about how he had conned us out of 5000 dong. But before we left, he came back over, apolgized, and gave us our money back.