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Mud Baths and Rollercoasters

Nha Trang

sunny 30 °C
View Doyle and Dan's Adventure on doyledan's travel map.

Day 1

Arriving in Nha Trang was a bit of a shock to the system after the quaintness of Hoi An as we were surrounded by loads of tall buildings and new resorts being built along the beach. Escaping the usual barrage of motorbike riders plying to take us to our hostel we opted to walk the short distance to Mozjo Inn and after a couple of wrong turns and bumping into a couple of Aussie girls we had met in Halong we found it. They told us that the night before the streets had been flooded due to a sudden downpour and where they had been sitting outside their hostel had been underwater and the hostel had to put barriers up to stop the water getting inside. Not that there was any evidence of it in the morning as all the water had gone and the sun was beaming.

As we weren't able to check into our room until 2pm we were initially at a bit of a loss as to what to do as we were shattered after another bad bus journey, this time with a screaming baby who needed a nappy change in the early hours of the morning on the bus! Not very pleasant but what else could the mother do. What made it worse was the other disgruntled passengers who angrily complained to each other about it, paying no heed to the fact their aggressive tones were probably making the baby cry more! Fortunately our hostel gave us free cold water and they have a water filter system on site for their guests to have free water and reuse their bottles doing their bit for the environment.


After a shower to freshen up and with a clearer head we decided that the only thing to do was to head to the Thap Ba Hot Springs for some relaxation in the mud baths.

It was exactly what we needed and within 15 minutes the hostel had organised a pick up and we were on our way. We opted to go in the communal mud baths rather than bothering with one for a couple which was more than double the price. Even though up to 8 people could supposedly go in one mud bath we were pleasantly surprised to only share with one other couple for a short time before having it to ourselves. Result! The mud bath was cool and soothing which was great particularly as I had burnt my arms a bit whilst cycling the day before. We had a buckets which we could pour the mud on ourselves with and it didn't take long before we were covered, although you had to keep pouring it on as the mud was surprisingly thin, I had expected it to be thick. Once we had wallowed for long enough it was time to stand in the sun for the mud to dry which it did in seconds before washing it off in the hard showers, as well as trying to scoop out the mud that had collected in our swimwear!


Next was a hot spring water bath but as we were walking there we were directed to go between two walls and suddenly water was sprayed out at us from both sides...just in case you hadn't done a good job in the shower yourself :). They weren't lying about the hot water, it was scorching and took a few tentative goes before we were in although I could not put my arms in due to the sunburn. You are only allowed in the hot water for 15 minutes and we didn't even manage that hopping out after about 10! We definitely felt relaxed though and the combination of the mud and hot water left our skin super soft. We then had free time to enjoy the pool and also the hot waterfalls around it.


The pool was over 30 degrees so again you could only be in it for 15 mins at a time and it was too hot to really swim in so we just floated about a bit before getting a cold drink. Not really wanting to be in the midday sun as it was a roasting day Dan opted to get a full body massage whilst I went to get a manicure and pedicure. My experience is the only part I would not recommend at the spa. After being directed to where the beauty therapist was I knocked on the door as I could not see anyone. It turns out she was taking a nap behind a screen and rudely shooed me away miming that she would be sleeping for another 5 minutes. After hanging around looking at some of the small stalls nearby she appeared in the doorway with a face like a dogs arse and grunted that I should come in. This was not going to be the relaxing pampering I had hoped for and even after giving her my best winning smile and trying to make conversation it was clear that she did not want to look at me, smile or talk, instead she just pulled me about making the odd grunt if my hand or foot wasn't in the right position and shoved the choices of nail varnishes in my direction to take a look. It was a bit of a relief when Dan appeared in the doorway as it eased the tension and I was glad when it was over. To be fair though what I can't really quibble with is the price as I got both the manicure and pedicure for 40,000 dong which is just over a quid!

Back at the hostel we had the pleasant surprise of being upgraded from our dorm room to a private double room with ensuite for our first night.

We had decided that we wanted to do an Easyrider tour after being told how much fun it was by John and Peter when we were in Sapa. We decided that even though we already had bus tickets booked to take us from Nha Trang to Dalat and then Moi Ne that we would rather go by motorbike. Easyrider touts are everywhere in Nha Trang and we wanted to make sure the company we chose was a good one so spent some time online and emailing a couple of companies until we found Mr Bin who's website was great and answered all our questions straight away and our 3 day trip was booked leaving the day after tomorrow. We celebrated with a glass or two of Dalat wine with dinner at The Verandah, the food was great, the wine not so much! We had planned to pop back to the hostel quickly before going back out but I ended up falling asleep so we would need to see Nha Trangs night life another night.

Day 2

The night before we had seen what looked like several Eiffel Towers lit up in the sea and realised that these were the towers for a cable car to an island and wanted to check it out. It turns out this was the cable car to get you to Vinpearl Waterpark and so we decided to spend the day there checking out the rides and waterslides. Our hostel pointed us in the direction of the bus stop and after hopping on the right bus and getting our ticket for only 11p we were on our way. Not far from the final stop as the bus turned the corner I noticed a crowd to the side of the road and thought there might be some street performer behind them but as the bus got closer through a gap in the crowd we saw it was the aftermath of a terrible accident with a truck and a motorbike. Everyone on the bus gasped and it was clear from the position of his limp body and the bad head wounds that there was no hope for the rider. We were passed it in seconds but I was really affected by it and it felt wrong that we were heading to a theme park when that had just happened. It was a quiet and reflective journey in the cable car and Dan tried his best to distract me, but it wasn't ideal considering we were heading on our own motorbike trip the following morning.

It turns out that the cable car is the longest over sea cable car in the world and as we approached you could see Vinpearl written on the hillside in the style of the Hollywood sign and we could see a ride sweeping all the way down the side of the hill and Dan was keen to have a go.


When we got off the cable car we were in a small theme park area and after riding on the pirate ship and carousel we headed to the entrance for the hill slalom and started the long ascent to the top in our little car. When you get to the top you are in control of the breaks and we raced down the turns which was fun, only problem was there were a group of girls on cars in front of us who were going slow so we soon caught up with them and had a slow finish but it was fun.


After some lunch overlooking Nha Trang Bay with the sound track of American rock in the background we checked out the underwater world aquarium which was really cool with a long tunnel section with a travlelator that took you through whilst sharks and rays swim all around you. It defiantly made us look forward to learning diving later in our trip. There is meant to be a mermaid show where a woman dressed as a mermaid swims in the tank to Little Mermaid sound track but I think to Dans relief (and my disappointment) we missed it!


Next was the water park itself with its wave machines and slides which was really fun. We joined some Russians to go down the family slide on a huge dingy. Only problem was our one was broken and one of the guys was really big so when we went down and hit the water at the bottom he sank right through the hole! There are a lot of Russians in Nha Trang and apparently this is because there is some kind of tax back agreement on flights here between Vietnam and Russia...I did here this in a bar later so not 100% sure this is true but would make sense.

We had heard from Sam and Alan who we had met in Sapa that they were also in Nha Trang. It was Alan's last night before heading home and Sam was keen to join us on the motorbike tour the next morning so we met up for dinner and a catch up. Food at the Red Lantern was great and Dan and I opted for the beef BBQ which is cooked at the table which was delicious. Alan had a guest at dinner of a baby gecko which appeared on his arm out of nowhere and seemed to like being on his shirt. We moved on to Why Not bar running the gauntlet of all the bar girls trying to get us in their bar instead? For some reason they thought I would be the one to sway the group and lots of shouts of "come on lady" and occasionally being physically pulled in the other direction (they are quite strong) we got to the bar we wanted and passed the evening drinking rubbish vodka to send Alan on his way!

Tomorrow I would become a biker chick eek!


Posted by doyledan 04:36 Archived in Vietnam

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