It’s our second day in Nha Trang today, we leave for our final destination in Vietnam tomorrow which is Ho Chin Minh City. Nha Trang has a completely different feel to it than our previous stops in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An. This is the popular beach destination of the country so it is a lot more touristy than other areas, every street is filled with brightly lit shops with people trying to drag you in. The majority of the restaurants sell Western food, have all day long happy hours and are the kinds of places you can drink by the jug. It’s still a nice place but it does have a hint of Benidorm to it and we much preferred the quaint and traditional town of Hoi An. We was quite surprised at how may Russian people are here, many shop fronts are in Russian and most menus are translated into Russian rather than English. Apparently it’s a very popular holiday destination for them, even our taxi driver just assumed we were Russian!
So with i-resort and mud bathing ticked off yesterday, the other things we wanted to do in Nha Trang before we set off was to visit the Po Nagar and the beach. With this in mind, we got up at 8am this morning and after filling up on the buffet breakfast, we got a taxi straight to the temple. We used to walk on average 6 miles a day but this has fallen sharply in Vietnam! Taking a taxi on a 10 minute journey costs around £1.20 so it’s hard to resist. The temple, Po Nagar, is built on a hill overlooking the bustling streets of Nha Trang and really stands out next to all the modern buildings. Po Nagar is a Cham temple tower that is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of the country. The temple was built in 781AD and has had to have been rebuilt many times, however as the walls are two meters thick that is a surprise! There is really not a great deal to do here, the temples are very small with only a few relics and offerings inside. There are strict rules to enter, no shorts, no dresses, no shoes, no cameras. The list is very extensive because it is still an active place of worship and if you are brave enough to get here around 6AM you will see all the locals gathered here in worship.
Despite it apparently being the beginning of winter here, the sun in the middle of the day is almost unbearable (even for me) so we waited until mid afternoon to hit the beach. The main beach in Nha Trang is huge, I think it’s around 6km long. There’s also three islands all within a few minutes boat ride away that have nicer beaches, so I hear. One of the islands is home to Vinpearl theme park which is highly recommended but unfortunately we won’t have time to go there, it’s a shame as you get there via cable cart over the sea which would have been fun. The beach was nice but I think the sand will be whiter and the sea clearer in Thailand, this didn’t stop us going in though and surprisingly it was really warm. The waves were very strong and trying to stay upright when the sand beneath you is being pulled back with the receding waves is no easy task, I spent most my time coughing and spluttering under water. We had fun though, for all of about 10 minutes, then we decided we had enough sand in our ears and salty water in our eyes that it was, at our age, time to head back to the safer surroundings of our comfy sun loungers.
With an hour or so to kill before going out for dinner we headed to the roof terrace at our hotel. Cocktails were 3 for 2 which works out £1.20 each so we thought we’d treat ourselves, these are the first alcoholic drinks we’ve bought since we left!
For dinner we went back to the same spot on the beach to the Sailing Club restaurant, this place is highly rated online and I can see why, it was lovely inside. We had the option to sit on their tables set up on the beach so ended up eating by candle light a few meters from the lapping waves which was nice. The food lived up to the atmosphere, we heard the chef was Indian so asked for the ‘request only’ indian menu and I had what I think may have been the best Chicken Korma ever. It was a perfect end to our relaxing few days in Nha Trang 🙂