Goodbye HCMC for now...
The last time we were in Ho Chi Minh City we ran into someone from Xiamen, where we were living at the time. He was engaged to a Vietnamese lady from Da Lat and he raved about how beautiful it was. As we were leaving the next day clearly we weren’t going to get there on that trip but we decided that next time when we returned we would make it a point to visit. Notice I said when and not if?
We love Vietnam, the beauty, the history, the food, and oh yea, it’s quite inexpensive here.
As there is no train to Da Lat we had to stop in Nha Trang and then take a bus to Da Lat. It’s about a 7.5 hour train ride from HCMC to Nha Trang, and then about a 5 hour bus ride from there. We decided to overnight in Nha Trang as we hadn’t heard anything about it and figured it was another place for us to explore.
Well, we may not have heard of it, but I can tell you the Russians had. Upon arrival restaurants/bars/tours were all in Russian. The place which we figured would be nice and relaxing was anything but. The only Vietnamese we saw were those who worked, everyone was a tourist with the majority of those Russians.
As we arrived later in the afternoon, once we checked in we walked to the beach. Our hotel was quite close to the beach, restaurants, shops, etc. the beach was long, and quite nice with mountains in the background.
There was a small market which we wandered through and then continued meandering through our area of town. We found a nice enough rooftop bar which had a happy hour going on, so we opted for a drink there. Interesting with their Happy Hours, instead of buy one get one free, its typically buy 2 get one free and only for beer and certain cocktails, not wine. A bit of a bummer, but somehow we still managed.
After a brief rest, we continued on, and found a women who had a stall selling Banh Mi, so that was dinner. It was one of the best Banh Mi's we had, and she grilled it like a panini. To date it,s the best we have eaten, however I have high hopes for Hanoi. The cost was 50,000 Dong (USD 2.20) each, which is expensive as we typically pay about 15,000 Dong (USD 0.60).
Later we found that just two blocks further away from the beach the price of a Banh Mi dropped by 10,000 Dong to 40,000 each, location really is everything.
Some more meandering and then back to hotel for the night.