Adventures in Nha Trang & Dalat, Vietnam

We got to Nha Trang about 8am and had already booked Mojzo Inn as we’d heard good things from Henry and Nia who we met in Hanoi, and it’s also rated the best hostel in South East Asia on Trip Advisor, mainly due to the really friendly and helpful staff. We couldn’t check in until 2pm so we had breakfast at the rooftop restaurant then got changed and went to beach. The beach was ok but nothing to write home about. It was very busy and had quite a few giant jellyfish in the sea near the shore. One Russian man (there are lots of Russians in Nha Trang) actually tore a jellyfish in half with his bare hands. Not sure why he did it and it was very surreal to watch him ripping the poor thing apart. We hope he got stung doing so! We had lunch at a restaurant along the main road to the beach, Tran Quang Khai street, which was nice but small portions. Also had fruit and protein shakes which were really good. They also did really nice looking gelato but we resisted. We went back to the hostel to check in, had a shower and chilled for a bit, then went to NT Fitness gym about 4pm, which was only a 10 minute walk away. They did good day rates and we paid for three days as it was even cheaper. Had a good workout and the gym actually had air con and lots of fans – although still hot! Another shower back at the hostel then asked the staff where was a cheap and tasty place to eat. The staff recommended a street food restaurant where Jordan ate a squid Vietnamese pancake and enjoyed it! Natalie had stewed fish and rice which was tasty and Jordan had pork chop with rice. We then had a drink in Chill Out bar which was quiet with random Eastern European music playing, and then went back to hostel to chill and blog.

The next day we went to the gym about 10am then caught the world’s longest chairlift over seas to Vinpearl Island. It was 600,000 Dong each and included everything on there like the water park, aquarium, small theme park, alpine roller coaster, arcade, 4D cinema (do not bother, it was rubbish!) and festival parades at night.

We spent the whole afternoon in waterpark which was fun – Natalie faced her fear of water in her face, and Jordan faced his fear of heights. Once we dried we went on alpine roller coaster which was also really good. There’s two of you in a cart and you control how fast you go down the hill. Unfortunately there were some people in front of us who were going quite slowly so we couldn’t always go the speed we wanted but it was still good.

It was then onto the 4D cinema (as we mentioned, do not bother as it is pants – especially if you’ve been to one in Universal Studios or other major theme parks). We ended our day with one ride on a normal roller coaster just in time before it started to rain. It chucked it down which made the chair lift on the way back quite interesting. We then got a taxi into town to find somewhere cheap to eat and got absolutely soaked in the process. (No neither of us had our raincoats on us!).

Our last day in Nha Trang we got up early to go to gym so Natalie could do a quick hour of sunbathing on the beach before catching the bus to Dalat at 12:30pm. 

We arrived at 5pm to Wolfpack hostel in Dalat and immediately booked canyoning for the next day as that’s the main reason everyone goes there. Dinner that night was a home cooked meal by the staff and everyone in the hostel sits down together and eats. They lay massive plates of noodles, chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and Vietnamese soup out on mats on the floor and everyone sits down and tucks in. It was really tasty food and there was loads of it! It’s a great way to get to know the other backpackers too.

That night when we were going to bed we heard screaming outside our hostel. We looked outside and saw a woman being kidnapped by two men on a moped. One man was strangling her and hitting her head on the ground and against the moped to make her get back on the bike as she had thrown herself off to try and get away. She got back on the bike and just before they went round the corner out of sight a local man ran up to the bike and kicked the driver in the air, knocking them all off and damaging the bike quite badly. Then more locals came and one man bottled one of the guys and some of them were hitting the men with their moped helmets. Luckily the staff and some backpackers from our hostel managed to get the women away and bring her inside. She said she borrowed 30 million Dong from them (which is £1,000) and couldn’t pay it back so they were going to take her. The police came and took her away so she could report the incident. This was the first time in Vietnam, or the rest of South East Asia that we didn’t feel safe. 

The following day we left at 8am to do the canyoning with Banana and Tree from Highland Sport Travel. First we had a very quick and basic overview of abseiling, then we trekked through the jungle for about an hour which was very muddy and slippery. We then went down a small ‘water slide’ (a mini waterfall where you lie on your back and go down it like a slide) and then more trekking.

We eventually got to the 25 metre waterfall that we would be abseiling down. You abseil down 21 metres in your socks as it’s very slippery, and then free fall the last 4 metres as the rock curves in. You have to drop on your back as the water isn’t that deep so you might hurt yourself if you drop like a pin or cannon ball.

Natalie went first out if the two if us as she was more nervous and the waiting was killing her. She actually really enjoyed it once she had done it. After that it was cliff jumping from either 7 metres or 11 metres. Natalie bottled it and didn’t do either of them but Jordan did the 11 metre jump (twice!) straight away even though he is scared of heights! Lastly it was the 11 metre waterfall called the washing machine which was very narrow and you only abseiled down a small part and then went down with the rope in a pin position so you didn’t hit your head on the rock. Natalie bottled this one too as she is clumsy and would probably hit her head, but Jordan did really well and really enjoyed it.

After trekking up a big hill it was time to go back to the mini bus and get some lunch from an authentic restaurant in town. The afternoon was a lazy one as we were knackered from our morning of adventure so we slept and chilled out in the hostel until dinner, which was incredible once again. We also sorted out our transport to Ho Chi Minh the next day.