International Wanderings: Vietnam – Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City

Hi all,

Second part of Vietnam coming your way.

From Hoi An, we kept traveling south to Nha Trang. This city was good for Shawn and I because a big thing we wanted to do was get our dive tickets, and Nha Trang offers many many dive schools that are comparable prices to Koh Tao in Thailand, they may even be slightly cheaper but also your classes are going to be more one on one. Shawn and I had an instructor just to ourselves. There were about 4 or 5 other guides on our boat and about 10 other divers, the guides work together to be able to afford the boat costs. It was such a fun and cool experience! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the course initially because I tend to get claustrophobic and was worried my anxiety would act up under water. I was incredibly wrong! I recommend this to anyone, it’s an amazing experience unlike any other!! However, if you don’t plan on doing a dive course, I don’t recommend Nha Trang. It was a strange city, almost Vegas-y? There’s an amusement park, Vinpearl Land, that you can get to either by boat or by cable car, I was pretty excited about the cable car but unfortunately they were doing some kind of maintenance on it so we were unable to ride it. We got to Vinpearl and were so excited to ride the first roller coaster! It seemed like such a cool place, but once we were passed the roller coaster entrance, we realized this place was pretty deserted. The water park did have some life but after about an hour we were pretty bored so we caught the boat back and called it a day. Nha Trang has some upscale beach bars that looked pretty cool, unfortunately they also had a pretty high (relatively) cover charge that did not fit into our backpacking budget so had to forego those. The rest of the bars were mediocre.  On our last day, Sue and I had been wandering the city and decided to duck in to a big hotel to use their washroom, and then realized we could use their pool facilities as long as we bought a drink or two. We loved this and although the pool was a bit shady and windy, the lounge chairs on the side were glorious. If it wasn’t for our dive course, I think we would have skipped over Nha Trang and headed for Mui Ne instead. Mui Ne is said to be a similar type of place centered around a beach but with more fun activities and a smaller less ritzy vibe. We found out that Nha Trang was a big Vacation destination for rich Russian families, which explains it’s Vegas-y ritzy vibe.

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VinPearl Land!

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The roller coaster really was heaps of fun!

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Like so deserted!

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We look so profesh!

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Shawn lounging in the sun with some friends we made that were also out for a dive!

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See, the pool was extremely shady but sometimes it was nice to escape the heat!

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Our day of luxury!

Mike and Lauren separated from us while we were in Nha Trang so that they could pack in everything they had wanted to see in their trip, and Shawn and I could sense the tension between Sue and Dustin as we forced them to hang out. So we decided we would split up for a little while, Sue and I would go on ahead, while Shawn and Dustin stayed and explored more of Vietnam.

So after about four days in Nha Trang, Sue and I headed south for Ho Chi Minh city. Ho Chi Minh is a pretty cool, vibrant city. Our first day there, we wanted to check out the War Remnants museum. Part of traveling though this area of the world comes with the desire to understand the culture and the hardships of the people that live there. The War Remnants museum was not a happy place, it was fairly hard to look at some of the exhibits. In particular, the Agent Orange room was very difficult. The exhibit did a good job of portraying how this chemical affected those that were around during the war as well as future generations. We ended up just spending the rest of the day wandering around and exploring the city. The next day we went on a cruise along the Mekong Delta that included a stop at a river market. After we got back to the city, we went out in the city with some friends we had made from the cruise, which ended up at the sky bar, Vietnam’s version of the famous Bangkok one.

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Fresh Spring Rolls were sooo amazing! Loved these!

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We didn’t take many photos inside the War Remnants museum for obvious reasons, but outside they had many of these recovered air crafts that were so cool to look at!

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Vietnam’s version of Notre Dame Cathedral

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The Mekong Delta was so beautiful!

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These two were making puffed rice

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Making rice paper! Such a delicate process!

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Just doing our tourist duty!

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We went out for dinner and drinks at a Mexican restaurant with our new friends from the cruise, we were all craving something a little different this night. Mmmm Margs!

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Views from the Sky Bar rooftop patio

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Vietnam’s version of the Sky Bar

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The night life in Ho Chi Minh – The Crazy Buffalo, although we didn’t go in there, we heard it’s a rowdy place to be!

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The absolute worst bus ride we had been on, we rode like this from Ho Chi Minh all the way to Phnom Penh! Oh and the air conditioning was broken so we were all covered in sweat!

I hope you guys have been enjoying reading these as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! Let me know in the comments where your favourite places to travel have been!

xoxo Alice Rose

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