After leaving Da Nang, we took a 10-hour train ride to the more touristy town of Nha Trang, and boy was it touristy… but mainly for Russians. Apparently, there is a direct flight from somewhere in Russia right to Nha Trang and the area sees a constant stream of tourism from there. Just about every sign we saw was in Vietnamese and Russian and then possibly English. Unfortunately, when we asked Google why there was such a large Russian draw to Nha Trang, we found a lot of info on how poorly the Russian tourists treat the Vietnamese people.
But in our limited time… our first day we hit the beach and jumped some waves until it started raining and the kids got stung by jellyfish. More minor irritation than anything else. Then we found a little place for lunch where we had to barbecue our own meat in a clay pot on the table… fun and delicious! And, yes, we did barbecue meat. We have actually had a bit of a hard time being vegetarian in Vietnam. Most every dish has meat.
Day 2 started with a visit to the Po Nagar Cham Towers. The towers themselves were impressive, but none of the signs were in English (or Russian), so it was hard to get any background information. It was also pouring rain, which made pictures difficult. On the plus side, it was interesting to see buildings that were home to the sculptures that we had seen at the Cham Museum in Da Nang. There were a couple tourists that made the visit unusual too. One Vietnamese man kept trying to scare Ray by sneaking up on him. A Chinese woman also kept following us around asking all about where we were from.
After the Cham Towers, we walked 2.6 kilometers to the Thap Ba Spa for mud baths. With intermittent pouring rain showers, we were soaked by the time we arrived so we were a little chilled after getting in our suits, but the warm mud bath soon changed that. The mud bath was followed by a rinse and then a warm mineral bath. Then we swam in the hot spring pools for quite a while accompanied by predominantly Russian families. It ended up being a great day to be in the mud and pools! We ended the day by wading through knee-deep water to get to our selected restaurant for a late lunch and then showering fully clothed to wash off whatever might have been lurking in the flooded street waters! I don’t even want to think any more about that.
We stopped at Nha Trang because we had heard the beaches were amazing, but we found that the beaches in Da Nang were far better… finer sand, more gradual incline, nice size waves. In the end, Nha Trang was a nice little stop on the way to Da Lat, but not terribly exciting, except for the amazing amount of rain that came down…