We were finally going to Nha Trang! This was a much anticipated stop on our journey, and something we’d been looking forward to for a very long time. This was due to a magical place called ‘Vinpearl Land’, that being the kids we are, was our whole reason for visiting Nha Trang. Vinpearl Land is place that is home to an amusement park, waterpark, zoo, gardens and an aquarium. We’d wanted to go purely for the waterpark, and then found out it had all the other stuff too! It seemed too good to be true. Nha Trang itself is a popular seaside tourist destination, as it has beautiful white sand beaches on one side of the main road, with the other being lined with restaurants, shops and bars. The drive into Nha Trang was beautiful, as you came in over the cliffs with a view of the city before heading down to it. It looked more like Miami Beach than somewhere in Vietnam!
We weren’t sure where we were headed as we hadn’t yet booked accommodation, so we went to Story Restaurant for some lunch first and to make a plan. As you drive into Nha Trang you can’t really miss Story – it runs along the front of the beach, separating it from the main road. It also has a beach club, with pristine looking pool and white, four-poster beds all around. I went for a mini falafel sliders, whilst James went for the chicken ones. I was so excited to eat falafel – I hadn’t had it since being back at home!
Our food was super yummy and just what we needed after our drive. It was a bit more expensive than what we’d been paying, but we’d expected that by how nice Story was and their incredible location! We booked to stay at the Cosmos Hotel, which was just a few hundred metres away on the other side of the road. This was £21 for two nights, which was one of the cheapest hotels in the area that we could find on booking.com for Nha Trang. We paid a tiny bit extra to have a superior room, which just meant it was a couple of floors up so had natural light – rather than just a window facing on to another building. Nha Trang is a tourist hot spot, so there were lots of bigger, more expensive hotels in the area. The Cosmos Hotel had everything we needed though – even the luxury of a hairdryer! After showering and washing my hair, we decided to head out and explore the area. I’d learnt in Cam Ranh that my waterproof plaster invention covering my burn didn’t really work in the sea, so there wouldn’t be much hope for it at the waterpark the next day. I set myself on a new mission, to get one of those tight tubigrip bandages (you know, the kind you put on sprained wrists/elbows) to put on my leg, over the plaster to keep it in place. Luckily, we found a shopping centre with a Medi-Care in it, and they had exactly what I needed! We’d gone to every pharmacy on the way to the shopping centre with no luck, and I was starting to get a bit worried. I never thought I’d be so relieved and happy to find a tubigrip! It may have been meant for an elbow, but it looked like it would fit over my calf and that was all that mattered. Success!
Happy that we’d finally completed our mission, we decided to reward ourselves with a drink. We weren’t hungry enough for dinner yet, so went to ‘Guru Sports Bar’ for a beer. We sat outside on the first floor, watching the chaos of the street below. Cars, coaches, bikes & tuk tuk’s all trying to weave their way around each other, with tourists milling around in the middle of the road seemingly unaware of all the beeping. I much prefer watching it, to being in it!
One drink turned to another, which turned to another and so on. We decided to go inside and play pool, as after Mui Ne we’d had so much fun playing! We decided we’d get a tower of beer, as it seemed more economically sensible… Add to this another couple of towers (a lot ended up on the table/floor), and we were more than ready to go home. On our way out, we were surprised to see that downstairs was absolutely packed! We’d spent all night upstairs just chilling outside and playing pool, and it was pretty empty. Downstairs, each table was full and people were stood dancing in any spare space. There was a DJ, lights – it was more of a club than anything! We got a little bicycle tuk-tuk home which was a hilarious experience, stopping by a little restaurant on the next road as we realised we still hadn’t actually had dinner. We’d planned not to drink too much as we were heading to Vinpearl Land tomorrow and didn’t want to be hungover, but whenever we plan not to drink, it always seems to happen! We both got pasta from the restaurant, as carbs seemed like a necessity… We got the food to take away as we weren’t really feeling up to sitting in a restaurant, so ate it in bed before trying to get a decent night sleep for our day out.
The next morning I woke up super excited at 7.30am, like a little kid at Christmas. I’d read that the cable car queues in the morning get really long, so we should be at the station for 8 ish. I tried to wake James up, who just told me I was being ridiculous and to go back to sleep for an hour. I did as I was told, but couldn’t really sleep. We finally left at about 8.45am, arriving at the station for 9am. We’d got a taxi from the main street outside our hotel, and he’d stopped via a tourist shop for us to buy our tickets. This is pretty normal – they all have friends who sell tickets but it isn’t a scam, just make sure you know the price you’re meant to be paying. They cost us 880,000 dong each (about £30). The queue when we got there was already huge (not so ridiculous waking up at 7.30am, am I?!), with the stewards saying that it would be at least an hour wait for a cable car. Luckily, we were given the alternative of getting a speedboat, which was a ten minute wait and also took 15 minutes. The cable car is the longest cable car in the world which travels over water, coming in at 3,320 meters long. I definitely wanted to go on it, but it could wait until the way back. I just wanted to get there at this point!
I could go into so much detail about our day at Vinpearl Land, so I’ve decided to write a separate blog post about it. Keep an eye on the blog, as it will be up soon!
But in a shortened version – we first went to the waterpark, which was great. We were feeling hungover so this was the perfect cure! It was really quiet in the morning, so we had most of the rides to ourselves. We then went down to the beach where they have a floating ‘water-park’- kind of like a total wipeout zone. This was honestly the highlight of our day! We had such a fun time and couldn’t stop laughing as we both fell off countless times. Luckily, my tubigrip bandage solution on my leg worked a treat!
After this we then headed up to the zoo, where there were so many different animals to see and learn about. There was also a big dome full of birds which you can walk through and look at the different species.
We then headed towards the amusement part of the park, where we went on some rides though this ended up in me feeling pretty sick. It was a really hot day and we were pretty dehydrated as well as hungover! This was home to the alpine coaster, which was incredible – you travel up to the top of the hill and then make your way down, twisting through the trees with an incredible view. You control your own brakes, so you can go as fast or slow as you like, with one or two people in each coaster.
Because we’d loved the waterpark so much, we decided to head back for a bit to cool down in the afternoon. This was a bad idea – it was so busy! We instead went back up toward the zoo but this time went to go see the gardens, as we’d missed them before. They were beautiful, from Japanese gardens to a dome full of orchids.
Next we went to the aquarium, as this was open later than the actual park bits. There were so many different types of fish, reptiles and other creatures here!
Finally we caught a bit of the light show before heading home. The queue for the cable car back was about 30 minutes, but it went quite quickly. We got a taxi from the station back to our hotel, which was terrifying. He tried to overtake a bus on a corner, only to meet another bus head on and have nowhere to pull in to. Luckily another taxi moved over and he kinda merged in, and I kept my eyes closed for the rest of the journey. I was glad we’d been driving ourselves around if the locals drive like this! We stopped and got food at the same place as the night before but ate in this time. By the time we finally got back to the hotel, we were absolutely knackered!
In the morning we checked out and took Bruce (our bike) down to the train station. We’d worked out that the next place we wanted to stop was Hoi An, but this would take a few days to get to and some stops in some smaller places. We felt like we were running out of time, and didn’t want to get further up and miss places we actually wanted to visit. We’d read online that you can actually send your bike on a train, then pick it up from the desired station a few days later. We decided against getting the train ourselves, as the bus was so much cheaper. The station took him, gave us a little ticket to pick him up with on the other end and that was that! Our bus wasn’t till that evening, so we decided to spend the afternoon on the beach. It was beautiful weather again, so we went for a swim and lay in the sun. The beach was like paradise, with white sands and turquoise waters. They started to pack the sunbeds away at 5pm, so we went to a nearby pizza place for dinner. We’d left our stuff in the hotel, so went to grab that and change into dry clothes before getting our bus. Luckily the hotel had a big toilet in reception so we could change. We headed down to the tourist shop where we’d bought our bus tickets and waited for the minibus transfer to the bus station. We’d be arriving in Hoi An at around 8am the next morning, which didn’t seem too bad!
Nha Trang, we had the BEST time visiting you! Maybe it’s because we’re both kids who love theme parks and water parks, but who doesn’t?! To any travellers, I’d recommend stopping off in Nha Trang. It may not be cultural or naturally beautiful like the rest of the places on a backpacking itinerary, but it’s a fun break from it all and really cheap for what it is. The beaches are also beautiful, even if it is one of the more touristy areas. We’d been looking forward to Nha Trang and it succeeded our expectations. We honestly had the best time. This will definitely be on my list of places to come back to in Vietnam! But now, for somewhere completely different – Hoi An!
Charlotte Rick x
*This post contains affiliate links*
I hope you enjoyed reading my post! If you did, Pin it!