After 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh, it was time to wonder, where do I go next?
I found the answer in a train timetable. Vietnam have a train system called the ‘reunification express’ that runs all the way from Ho Chi Minh in the south, up to Hanoi in the north.
I chose to book a train ticket online the night before from baolau.vn to a seaside town called Nha Trang, about 9 hours away by train. The cost was 464,000 Dong (~£15) for a ‘hard bed’.
I was a little confused however when I got on the train and in fact there was no bed waiting for me…
I wondered if I was in the right carriage or train even but upon showing my ticket to people onboard, they all gestured to sit down where I was.
And then to add to the mystery, not long after we set off, maybe an hour in, the train stopped somewhere and everyone onboard started to get off. So I had little choice but just to go with the flow and follow the crowd.
Well the crowd led to a bus? So I went with it, got on the bus and saw some foreigners towards the back of the bus. My first question of course was…
So where is this bus going?
They explained, along with a nice Vietnamese girl next to me that because of a broken bridge along the tracks, we had to get an initial train, then a replacement bus service, and then board a different train once the bus took us to the next station. Ah a replacement bus service…how British 🙂
Unfortunately the people I had just befriended were in different carriages, so I said my goodbyes -though I did bump into one of the foreigners later in Nha Trang briefly.
Finally, my bed awaited!
The ‘hard bed’ option I had, was a cabin with 6 bunk beds. I shared with a Vietnamese family that left me alone and I wrote some of this blog and read my lonely planet to see out my journey to Nha Trang station. The most eventful thing to happen in the journey was to see a rat scurry across the floor.
I arrived at Nha Trang station at about 8pm, and had the usual taxi troubles of then getting to my hostel. I was staying at a place called Mozjo Dorm and showed him my booking with the address. Unfortunately, he tried to take me to ‘Mozjo Inn’ nearby instead before I insisted he take me to the correct place. He even tried to charge me the extra fare for his mistake! GRRR
Eventually, many many hours after leaving Ho Chi Minh, I arrived at the hostel!!
And what a weird welcome I had…
Whilst the ladies on reception were checking me in, I chatted to an English guy that had been in Nha Trang for about 2 weeks! Unfortunately he’d had his passport and wallet stolen whilst swimming at the beach and was waiting to get a replacement travel document. Nice guy but who takes their passport and their wallet to the beach?
The hostel had a small luggage lift where you could place your bag in and it would take it to your floor to prevent you having to carry it. However, upon going up the stairs to my dorm, a rather drunk Australian guy got out the baggage lift?! Must have been having a good time I suppose!
A French guy checked in at the same time also, and as we were hungry we went next door to get food and then I settled down for bed.
I spent my next couple of daytimes at the beach…
It was fairly pleasant and an opportunity to relax for a couple of days. I hired a sunlounger and chilled.
Oh and if you like Greek food, well there’s a nice place called Mix Restaurant.
My evenings were spent by drinking of course.
One of the nights I spent with the English guy I met when I checked in, we went to a bar and watched the football.
However, what was really cool about the hostel I stayed at, is they gave you unlimited free beer between 5pm-6pm at the rooftop bar!
So things escalated quickly! It was a great place to meet all the other travellers and soon everyone was super drunk. There was a large contingent of Australians, a few Dutch and some English all having a great time.
And yeah, that was basically my short stop in Nha Trang 🙂