We arrived to Nha Trang after a bit of a horrible train trip. I was travelling with Marielle, a swedish girl I met in Hanoi who I met again in Hoi An. We were going in the same direction and so we decided to have the same itinerary to make our trip more fun. We decided to take the train because it’s way more confortable than using the bus and we both had had pleasant rides on trains in Vietnam before. It turned out this train trip was going to be a bit different.
We had to go back up north to Danang as there is no train station in Hoi An, so we could catch the night train to Nha Trang. Air Conditioned cabin, upper berths. Sounded like a good plan. But when we jumped on the train we discovered that there wasn’t much of AC. Instead there was some air coming from the ceiling but that didn’t make things easier. Plus, the beds were not that clean, and there were some bugs crawling around. Yay!!! On the lower berth there was a woman with a little kid who was crying all the time and a woman who was totally wrapped up in winter clothes and covered by a blanket!!! And we were sweating the moment we got in. This was going to be fun.
So, we tried to sleep. I think I slept some. I don’t know, I only recall being like feeling like I was under the influence. Half asleep, half awake, feeling how sweat drops were all around. Not a nice ride at all, so when the first daylight rays got through the window, I got up and got out of the cabin. Don’t know how I survived there, really :-)
But, the train was going down south along the coast while the sun was rising and I was able to see an amazing sunrise, so I went to take some pictures:
Coming back to the cabin, we actually discovered that the kid downstairs was really cute and sweet :-)
This is the kid posing while I took the photo
So we arrived at 08:00 to Nha Trang. Nha Trang is a very touristy city in Vietnam, famous for its beaches. Reminded me of Benidorm in a way. Full with russians and having a not so good reputation towards tourists who come here. We read somewhere (I think it was on wikitravel) that it was full with kamikaze hookers. You know, girls/hookers who come harassing you after you exit a club and then they hug you while they empty your pockets of valuables!!! We didn’t see any of this, to be honest.
A note on wikitravel. Don’t believe everything that’s put in it. I have the impression that, being a collaborative effort, it’s kind of full of generalizations made by people who had a bad experience and they write it down to make it look as if that’s a common event. Also, I’d say the same thing about the lonely planet guides too. Some common sense thinking needs to applied here :-)
Anyway, as we arrived in Nha Trang so early, our hostel room were not ready. So we left our stuff at the hostel and went straight to the beach for a swim, just because we needed to remove all that night sweat from us! And it was warm. First place that we could call summer. And it was very very welcomed. Getting rid of all of our winter stuff was a relief!
There we met Brad, a cool dude from the USA who was travelling across South East Asia too. And was into photography as well (Check out his flickr stream)
Nha Trang is full of water sports. Diving, boat parasailing (
I don’t know how this is called in English, really), water skiing, etc. We just took it easy and enjoyed a tour on a boat that would take us to a few islands. I also did some diving which was really good as I hadn’t been diving for many years. The water wasn’t very clear but it was not the best time of the year to go diving anyway.
Now the funny anecdote in Nha Trang. This is possibly a good summary of Vietnam, in my opinion. So we went to this place to have dinner. Apparently good. It was like 10 of us, more or less. They had a variety of different dishes, european and Vietnamese cuisine, so, oriented for tourists. I ordered, if I recall correctly, chicken with lemongrass. There was a girl who ordered chicken with curry or something similar. Now, what happened is that this girl got served a dish which she didn’t know what it was. On asking they said it was the chicken curry so she started eating it. 5 minutes later, they arrived with another dish with chicken and they said chicken curry. Hang on a minute, chicken curry again? This can’t be, what am I eating here?
So, as it happens, she was given my chicken with lemongrass which she eat half of it when the proper chicken curry dish came. Argument for a while, trying to decide whose fault it was and trying to get another chicken with lemongrass for me (I needed to eat it anyway). Them saying that it was not their fault (despite saying at the beginning that was the curry dish). Anyway, this girl asked them to get another chicken with lemongrass for me and pay for it. Fair enough, we were not going to ruin the night for a few dollars.
Now, 5 minutes later these guys come to me and they bring me a dish and say: Here’s your chicken with lemongrass. Thanks!. I look at it and I don’t see any lemongrass in it, just chicken with pineapple. So I call the guy to take it back as they’ve given me the wrong dish. They apologize and they take it back. Ok then. 5 minutes later they come again and they put a dish in front of me. I look at it and it’s the same pineapple chicken dish. What the hell? Now I call them again, a bit angry, and look at the logic of the conversation:
Sorry, this is not the chicken with lemongrass I’m waiting for.
Yeah, but if I take it back then I will have to pay it with my money.
Well, that’s not my problem. I ordered chicken with lemongrass, no? so you guys have made a mistake.
No no, you pay for it.
Excuse me, I don’t want this, why would I have to pay for something I haven’t ordered? I want chicken with lemongrass.
But I can’t pay for it. It’s not my fault.
It’s not your fault? So whose fault it is?
I don’t like you, and I don’t like this restaurant.
So, I’ve seen this a bit too much. In the end it was all a good laugh, but I had to eat the frikking pineapple chicken. It just that they didn’t even bother to apologize. They kept dealing with the issue as if it was our fault and they were not doing anything wrong.
But anyway, it gave us a few moments to have good laughs! :-)
Update: Thanks to Rishi for letting me know about parasailing.