After a couple of days in Mui Ne, we caught the bus to DaLat. The scenery on the bus route was incredible- we seemed to spend the whole journey heading upwards and were surrounded by mountains. Vietnam had really surprised me with its beautiful landscape! The main reason we were in Da Lat was to do canyoneering- essentially just abseiling down waterfalls. I think they’ve stopped doing it now because it was too dangerous, but our experience of it was incredible. We stayed in a ‘family’ hostel ran by a lady called Crazy Annie and her Mama, where everyone sleeps and eats together in a family environment. We arrived during dinner and Crazy Annie stopped everyone eating so we as ‘new babies’ could introduce ourselves to everyone before we got to eat. We all got given a bowl each to refill, and it was pretty much an all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet for a ridiculously cheap price. It was so good! It was easy to make friends there, so later that night we went to some bars.
The next day we went canyoning! On arrival in the national park area, we were told to put on a harness and were taken to a wooded area and showed how to abseil using a tree on a hill. It was a very brief instruction and practice- classic Asian health and safety! Then we walked to a nearby 20 foot waterfall which was next to a huge wall we had to climb down. Such a surprisingly big one for our first go. Was so good though, the guys in charge just told you whether to walk or jump. The water was freezing at the bottom. On the next bit, we had to go head first and backwards down a natural slide aka some rocks. Then we did another waterfall where you could only wear socks. It was amazing! At the bottom you have to let go and jump like 10 metres to the pool below. Then we had an amazing lunch and then did an 11m cliff jump which was really scary. Then the last one was the washing machine- abseil until the cliff goes inwards and hang on the rope until it runs out as the water twists you and then jump.
The following day we had planned to hire mopeds with the group of people we were hanging out with. It was mine and Katie’s first time on a motorbike so one of the boys gave us a quick lesson in how to use it. A few minutes later, I barely understood how to drive the thing and we were out on a busy main road in convoy to find a petrol station! The first five minutes on the roads were absolutely terrifying- there were so many other bikes and so much traffic and crazy junctions/ roundabouts. Although once we left the busy town, and got onto a long stretch of road it was much better and I started to really enjoy it. Still struggled with tight corners but overall I improved! We drove to a pretty waterfall which actually took an hours, I couldn’t believe it, it had gone so quick. On the way back we stopped off at the the crazy house- a massive hotel built by a vietnamese lady to generate tourism. Was actually very cool- betyer than we expected.
The next day we caught the bus up to Nha Trang, which was another bus journey with yet more incredible scenery. Nha Trang is a beach town which is essentially a Russian holiday/ beach resort. All the restaurant menus and signs etc were in Vietnamese and Russian- an English translation as an occasional treat! We had really wanted to get a massage for a while now so we spent the evening searching for a cheap one. We finally found one but it was a very weird experience- it was a massage from a blind man but it definitely felt like he was feeling me up. Very odd. Afterwards we found a more respectable/ professionable place and I got a full body scrub which was amazing.
Our main reason for visiting Nha Trang was because we really wanted a few proper beach days and we were pleasantly surprised by how nice the beach was! It was huge, surrounded by skyscrapers covered in sunbeds. It was so nice to chill on a beach again! We spent a couple of days, napping, sunbathing, and swimming- living the dream. At like 4pm all the Vietnamese come down to the beach when the sun goes down and go in the sea with their clothes and play lots of games and have fun. On our second night there, we had a really fun night out, in a place called ‘why not’ bar.
The following day we arranged to go to a spa with the other girls and a guy we had been hanging out with. It was very posh, but still a reasonable price compared to European spas and had lush pools, fountains and sunbeds everywhere. In the afternoon we had a mud bath which was so lovely and warm. We wallowed for ages because it was so relaxing, and apparently it is really good for your skin. That evening, we visited the most amazing night market and bought loads of souvenir bits, like flip flips and jewellery to name a few. We had a last couple of beach days and then on our last night we looked for somewhere casual playing music, but it was either crazy club music or silence haha. Our overall impression of Nha Trang was that it was a bit strange but I really liked it- maybe not to stay a really long time but for the amount of time we were there it had everything! And on to the next stop…