Oh my! The heat which had slowly been getting hotter the further north we went in Vietnam, was pretty unbearable by the time we hit Nha Trang.
Nha Trang is a fairly built up seaside town but you have long white sandy beaches with well maintained park areas offering some shade, big city malls with delicious air conditioning, skyscraper resorts and expensive beach bars rubbing shoulders with grubby street food shacks, karaoke bars and a lot of building work. We were staying at a place called Funny House and had booked an apartment with balcony for 5 nights, which was perfect as we got the luxury of a fridge and freezer in the room. The owners also run the café downstairs which is where breakfast is served, and you can always get a warm ginger tea or cold beer. The breakfast choice was good with options of eggs any way with the baguette style rolls, French toast, fresh fruit and the drip coffee with condensed milk was lovely, which you could have hot or iced.
As I mentioned the heat and humidity was intense, this was definitely the hottest we have been this trip, with daily temps of mid 30’s but a real feel of mid 40’s. (it was 32 degrees before 9am) Most afternoons you could count on a short but very welcome torrential rain shower. These might only last 10 mins or a few hours and the humidity was no better after they left but they were very welcome none the less.
Most of Nha Trang comes alive at night when the temps are cooler and all the restaurants and bars are open, it’s got a bit of a party city rep but to be honest I’m not sure how it got that as we didn’t see much partying, just lots of Russian restaurants and massage palours. We decided that due to Paul still feeling sore with chest / rib pains and because we’d seen such amazing reefs and sea life in Indonesia, that we wouldn’t throw money at the over priced diving and snorkelling here. This meant we had a chilled out 4 days with lots of reading/ movie hours during the heat of the day, lazy walks to the beach and shopping malls.
We took a taxi to visit Po Nagar Cham towers, which is an 7th-11 century Hindu temple complex just north of the main city centre. It’s a small and compact set of temples set on a small knoll within nice gardens overlooking the river but gets very busy with selfie stick waving tourists setting up the perfect shot. The manicured gardens and repaired temples are a nice way to waste a couple of hours though
The Buddhist pagoda Long Son is a short distance off to the East of the town and is much calmer place to potter around. When we arrived, the main hall was shut off and all the monks were congregating for a prayer session which we declined to watch and headed up the steps to a huge white seated Buddha. Although it was hot we made the climb up and from there could see right across town. Inside is a small shrine with beautifully ornate walls and outside hundreds of dragonflies flit around the trees, it’s quite relaxing to sit in the shade of the Buddha and watch.
There are no shortage of decent restaurants in Nha Trang, we ate everything from pizza to traditional fish claypot and even saved money with a supermarket picnic on our balcony one night. Finding cheap beer was more difficult as the beach bars wanted to charge 70k for a bottle, but you could find it for 15-25k in most places off the tourist strip.
Our final day was abit of a strange one as we had to check out at mid-day but didn’t catch our night bus til 6:30pm. The hotel looked after our bags and with no aircon room to hide in we did the next best thing and went to the cinema. 2 tickets, popcorn and drinks cost us under a fiver, so it was a cheap way to kill some time plus I wouldn’t have wanted to spend any more money on seeing Mission Impossible Fallout, it was that bad.
Time duely wasted we grabbed our bags and got a quick dinner at a Greek restaurant headed out to the Sinh Tourist office for the night bus.
Link to Nha Trang Photos
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