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Nha Trang

3rd Oct to 5th Oct 2014

With two hours until we could check in the hotel, we took a stroll across the road and sat on the beach for a bit, deeply interested by the many little crabs scooping out sand of their hole. Then we went to a cafe next to our hotel the 'Luxury Nha Trang' and as you do, had garlic bread at 0830 for breakfast. We sat in the hotel lobby and a room was ready early for us. The hotel which cost us £59 for two nights was 3 star and looked a bit basic from outside, but the room was a good size and had two bigger than single beds joined together, we couldn't even touch fingers from either side of the bed. And it had a balcony which you could see the sea from. Even though we'd moved to the back of the bus and got a bit more leg room, we still didn't get much sleep last night, so I had a nap and Shan lazed. And then we got Shannon's beard trimmer and shaved all his lovely hair off. He had been umming and aahing for a while so now was the time. I think it suits him, he's not sure.

After enjoying Lonely Planets choice of restaurant in Hoi An (Shan now disagrees as he doesn't like the whole rat thing), I looked up our book to see where was good in Nha Trang. I found a few restaurants that we will try. So after a walk along the promenade and looking out at the surrounding islands, we headed to 'Lanterns' for dinner, it was a building like others we have seen here, that is outside and the walls are the building next door. There was unsurprisingly lanterns hanging up to make some cover above. The staff were lovely and wanted to chat and tell us their stories as well as ask us questions. Our dinner was lovely, and I read that they do cooking classes with proceeds helping orphans, but we ended up not doing it for one reason or another. Maybe I'll get my chance in Ho Chi Minh City.

On our way home, dodging an old lady capturing a rat in a cage, we were looking to book a boat tour the next day. We went in a few places and they didn't understand 'boat tour' 'excursion' so left, and felt disappointed that compared to how good the rest of Vietnams English has been, here was poor. Also we had seen tons of Russian shops and writing (Shan googled it and it's to do with the Russians helping in the war). We went in one tourist shop and in Russian they told us they only do tours for Russians! Found a shop and signed up for a £9 each tour of 4 islands including lunch, sounded great, we were hot we got tickets and left. On way home we read the flyer, it was a party boat! Now I know lots of people that would be thrilled of that idea, but it's not for us. So mild panic set in.

But when we got picked up at 0845 the next morning, we seen couples in our mini bus and then on boat people asleep and people that didn't look like they were up for a party. The Vietnamese man who was called Morgan, as he looked similar to Morgan Freeman was in the mic like yeaaah all ready to paaarty, and people were like no. So we enjoyed a leisurely sail to the first island where we went snorkelling and seen a few different type fishes but it wasn't the best place we have been and it was a pain getting in and out the water as the rocks were super slippy. We had a few hours there so afterwards we sunbathed on the dry rocks.

Then back on the boat and lunch was served, lots of options from spring rolls, noodles and seafood. Shan stayed away from the seafood incase he got ill again, he only fully recovered today, and he reckons it was food poisoning. After lunch we sailed to our second island where they joined another two boats together and set up the drums as there was 'the best boyband in Vietnam' playing. It was the guys running the boat, they were actually quite good and one even dressed as a lady boy completed with a coconut bra. Then we all had to say where we were from and then before we knew it me, Shan and a Welsh couple were up on the stage singing a song from the UK and that would be Wonderwall by Oasis. We were followed by people from Russia, China and Germany.

Then it was time for the free a bar, which was a floating bar. You had to jump in the water- Shannon dived from the top deck, I done a measly hop from the side of the boat. We then got a tyre to keep us afloat and went to the floating bar for a yucky concoction. We decided it could've been tequila with flat red bull. (Asian red bull is flat).

Then on to our third island- where you could jet ski or paraglide, however we didn't really think we'd need money for this trip and as we would be on and off boat we didn't want to bring lots of money with us. So Shan was a bit disappointed as he would've went on a jet ski if he'd known. Anyway we just relaxed on a bamboo deck chair and had a nice lolly. Our fourth island was only to first and aquarium and Morgan told us it wasn't a good one. We didn't want to go anyway- we had just swam with fish and also we are sooo over aquariums we have done too many in our life. So it was a unanimous decision that we'd skip it.

Back in the hotel and we realised we were so sunburnt. Especially on our backs, must've been whilst we were snorkelling.

Got ready for dinner and went to another place from Lonely Planet. The place is called 'Louisiane Brewhouse' and it as you might imagine, brews it's own beers. We had a tasting tray that had a dark ale, pilsner, a flowery tasting one and a reddish coloured one. There was a vast menu and so we went for western food- Shan had a Caesar salad and I had spaghetti bolognaise. Then along with a pint of Pilsner, I had a baileys ice cream dessert whilst we listened to the live band. We both felt like we were in Spain or somewhere normal whilst we were there.

We were about to walk home when a cyclo stopped, we both squeezed in the seat which was built for one and the old man peddled away, I felt sorry for him as I imagined we would be heavy however when we reached the hotel via a detour cause he didn't know our hotel he charged us 200,000 dong like £6. £4 more than the taxi cost to take us there. I felt sorry for him as he was sweating but Shan was like 'really, seriously' so the old man said 100,000. Which was probably still overpriced but we had enjoyed the ride and it was a laugh and an experience. Shan wasn't happy and told the old man so, but we gave him the 100,000.

We couldn't decide if we wanted to head to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow or the following day and we took so long to decide that we realised we couldn't book any travel so we looked online for another nights stay, the price had went up in this hotel so we booked for one night at 3 star Hanoi Golden Hotel costing £21 which was a two minute taxi ride down the promenade. Our room was on the 14th floor with views out to the sea. The room was nice with a big walk in shower although the water was temperamental. We had a lazy day which we are thoroughly enjoying. We booked our bus to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow.

At night we went to yet another restaurant recommended in Lonely Planet, called Omar's Tandoori. Which checking on trip advisor was like the 8th best restaurant in Nha Trang. It was so good to have a change of food, the Indian was lovely, we had onion bhaji's then madras and lovely garlic nann, washed down with beer of course. After we took a walk and were going to go back to Louisiane Brewhouse which is now located close to us but we spotted a bar I'd seen called Why Not? and we thought why not, it was happy hour and the beers were cheap and the footy was on tv for Shan. He soon realised that Arsenal would be playing later so afterwards we went back to our hotel and went to the rooftop bar and had more beer and watched the game. I then skyped home for a bit and after repacked our bags as they seem to be getting bigger, maybe the lovely coconut bowls I bought in Hoi An isn't helping the space.

Also Shannon's friends Shaun and Jodie are away travelling now too, and we had thought we might meet up with. Thailand was meant to be the place, but I'd always had my reservations about Thailand, apart from already seeing it last time we went travelling, when we were planning our trip in May, the military coup was happening and I thought it unsafe to go. Then we would be meeting Shaun and Jodie to go to the infamous Full Moon Party, but I in all honesty was being a wuss, I'd heard too many bad things about the party. And then the poor boy and girl that were found murdered on the next island shocked me a bit more. And I know that anything can happen anywhere but I was getting a bad vibe.

So... As we are off to Bali in a week or so, they have said they will join us there! So that's very exciting and will be good for all of us to see a familiar face an share our travelling stories!

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#hoian #nhatrang #Asia #traveldiaries #vietnam #southeastasia2014

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