Destination: Nha Trang
Pho Consumed: 1
Today’s Author: Felix
Somehow missing our alarm, we still managed to be up by 8. In the interest of expediency, we had the rest of our emergency-ration faux-moon-pies for breakfast. Leaving the hotel at 9:55, we gassed up and did a quick maintenance check on the bikes before we hit the road. The road along this stretch was in pretty good condition, and we passed a few gigantic golden buddhas and temples as well as some very picturesque beaches. We covered about 130km before stopping for lunch at a small shop in a seaside town and grabbing a bowl of Pho.
Heading back onto the road, we passed more beaches and reached Nha Trang around 4:15 in the afternoon. On our way into the city, we passed through the non-touristy part of town, went past a gigantic temple of some sort and over a nice bridge surrounded by colorful fishing boats.
Nha Trang is much more developed than anywhere else we’ve been in Vietnam, with high-rise luxury hotels lining the pristine beach. The streets are crowded with Westerners frequenting the many hotels, bars, restaurants, and so forth that are all designed to cater to them. One thing we were surprised by was the prevalence of Russian signage – something we haven’t seen anywhere else in the country. We later learned that the city is a major vacation destination for Russian tourists, with as many as 10 direct flights from Moscow arriving daily.
We checked in at Angel Dive Center and Guest House and made arrangements for our scuba outing the following day. After cleaning ourselves up a bit, we headed down the block to a high end beach bar and restaurant for some birthday drinks for Zach. The prices were ludicrous, especially for Vietnam, but the setting was incredible and the drinks were delicious.
Heading inland a couple of blocks, we had dinner at a nice Vietnamese place called Lanterns which was very highly rated on Tripadvisor and consequently packed with tourists. To one side of us were a pair of very creepy Russian gentlemen (one older and one younger), and to the other was a large group of Korean sailors on shore leave. The food was pretty good, and we hit up an extremely legit gelato shop for dessert – doing the tourist thing certainly has its advantages!