Today we opted to spend a full day in Nha Trang and go on one of the popular boat trips. They’ve been $6 for years and this hasn’t changed, though it seems they’re adding other little charges now which weren’t levied before.
We moto’d to the pier area and parked up then selected “Number 4 Boat Trip” hosted by Monkey Boy and Lady Boy. These two Vietnamese guys were a right giggle and great hosts. The trip encompasses three islands, two of which you walk on and the other you just moor off for a while.
First stop was an aquarium built to look like a huge ship. The entrance was through the mouth of an enormous lion fish and the decor just kept getting better. As an aquarium it’s a little lacking, to be fair. The tanks seem a bit crowded which is a shame as the actual building is very impressive – they’ve just blown the money on the wrong thing.
We them pitched up in a snorkelling zone where the first of the new charges was levied – 40,000d to be allowed into the water. Some official-looking tickets were passed out (I didn’t swim due to my eye op) but there were grumbles from Thao and others as this did sound somewhat dodgy. It seems all the boats are doing it now, though.
I chilled and read my book in the sun while most of the rest of the boat tried not to drown after half a dozen beers on empty stomachs. After everyone came up, we moved the boat elsewhere and moored up for lunch which was quite plentiful – and crap if you didn’t like seafood. I think I had three bananas and all the tomato I could pick out of the salad.
As lunch was tidied up, jet-skis appeared and we were told it was “only” 400,000d for 15 minutes. This is really expensive compared to the likes of Phuket. Not surprisingly, nobody was interested. What did perk them up was a few songs from the Boys and the crew followed by a “free bar” in the water. Mulled wine was free if you swam up to the “bar”, though beer was still 20,000d a can.
It was fun, though, and I weakened. Despite not having trunks, I just wore my trousers, emptied the pockets and jumped in from the roof. Three times. The heat was such that once I go out, my trousers were dry within an hour. And my skin was red. And ouchy. Whoops.
Our last stop was at a resort island which cost us 20,000d to set foot on. And 10,000d more for “sports” which we didn’t use as there seemed to be further charges once we reached the beach. This was a relaxing stop with a nice beach being cleaned up by staff as we sat there. Thao wandered off to take some photos and I did the same once she collapsed in her deck chair (another 10,000d per person…).
After reading, listening to music, chatting and staring at tourists in small bikinis for a couple of hours (that last was me – Thao slept) we were ferried back to the mainland where we grabbed a shower then located a restaurant for dinner. Tonight was Vietnamese night and we biked around for a while looking for a place that Thao had been recommended.
It took us a while, and we’re still not sure we got the right place. As ever, there were several restaurants with the same name. However, I’ve got no complaints with the one we chose. It was “roll your own” spring rolls with fresh, crispy ingredients and at a bargain price. We even had a cute little baby to wave at while we ate.
Our day off was almost over. A quick internet check and a couple of cold beers at a bar down the road rounded it off nicely.