The voyage from Hoi An to Nha Trang was another fully occupied sleeper bus, as we traveled another 11 hours further south toward Ho Chi Minh City. Nha Trang was one of the spots that I enjoyed most, as we had a lot of activities to complete.
We arrived in the early morning, and some of us decided to get a few hours of extra sleep, while others opted to go for breakfast. At approximately noon, we headed off to Vin Pearl Land, the nicest amusement/water park in the country. The area was on an island that included a few upscale resorts and a multitude of different places to shop and eat. Because the area is separated from the rest of the city via water, one has to take the country’s longest over-water cable car in the world, measuring out to approximately a little more than two miles. The day was filled with many rides and slides, laughs and wipeouts, and arcade extravaganzas and bungee jump acrobatics. We got back to the hostel in the evening, most of us went out to a local bar for the evening, which usually ends in late night eats.
The next morning, we got up early again in order to head over to the spa. Unlike running around Vin Pearl Land for hours, the subsequent afternoon was a lot more relaxing. We started by entering a mud bath, pouring it on most of the body, except the eyes! We let the mud sink into pores by lying out in the sun on hot rocks after getting out of the tub. Next up was a mineral hot tub, which was very soothing, but it was hard to stay in there too long without getting wrinkly fingers. The ensuing station was hot water fall, and after this, was a bunch of pools, some hot, and some a little more chilly. This day taught me that when traveling, you don’t always have to feel like your hiking in national park or taking pictures at a world-renowned monument. It is important to take days off, where you can relax, let your body heal, and reflect on all the cool things that have already transpired throughout the trip.
After the spa, we headed back to shower-up before making our way back to the bar. I only stayed out for less than an hour, before getting a good night rest before our 4-hour bus to Da Lat.
Da Lat is a cool little town located in the mountains, unlike most of the recent places we visited, which are coastal. Having only one night to spend in Da Lat, the first afternoon was spent by most drinking wine near the water and taking paddleboats out into the water. Another calm afternoon led to an evening at the night markets, where we were able to have an authentic meal, where some ate barbecue chicken off the grill and a fresh pot of seafood stew, which also came out on a hot pad. After a quiet night, the next day was filled with action-packed abseiling, sliding down waterfalls, and cliff jumps.
The day was super-fun and entertaining, especially because I had never abseiled prior. For those who don’t know, the activity involves being attached to a rope, and walking or jumping down rocks, most commonly in a waterfall. The afternoon consisted of walking, jumping, falling, swimming, and putting trust in the workers of the tour company, which is key when making your way down a 25 meter waterfall.
That evening, we all ate a quick dinner together, before our approximately seven-hour bus ride (where I am now) to our endpoint, Ho Chi Minh City. It’s definitely a bittersweet moment, as this tour has flown by, but also, I’m only t-e-n days away from seeing my parents and brother for the first time since July. I’ll be spending the remaining time visiting Japan for the first time!
My ensuing blog post will highlight the time spent in Ho Chi Minh City, which will include a music festival, hosted by Tiesto and sponsored by Budweiser. I’m really hoping to cherish these last few days in a country I’ve come to appreciate and respect so much.
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