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Beach life: Nha Trang & Mui Ne

Leaving behind Da Lat, the city of eternal spring, I went to Nha Trang, a high-rise, high-energy beach resort. The city enjoys a stunning setting: it's ringed by a necklace of hills with a turquoise bay dotted by tropical islands.  

From Da Lat to Nha Trang I took a bus and it took me ~4h to get to my destination. Buses are the most convenient way of moving around. Most of the times they pick you up from your hotel and drop you off to the next one. 

The road from Da Lat to Nha Trang meanders through the hills. The scenery is quite spectacular. I'm happy I didn't have any breakfast before this ride. Beside the zigzag road, the Vietnamese drive like crazy, overtaking cars in forbidden spots.

On the minibus I met two women who were stopping in Nha Trang for a couple of hours on their way to Hoi An. We started chatting and spent the afternoon together. When travelling solo it's easy to meet other people, although I'm an introvert and for me it's not that easy as it sounds.

After lunch, we took a Grab and went to Po Nagar Cham Towers. The ticket entrance was 10000₫/adult. Built between the 7th and 12th centuries, these impressive Cham towers are still actively used for worship by Cham, Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists.  

After the visit to the Cham towers we walked a little along the beach and afterwards we went separate ways.
For dinner I went to Louisiane Brewhouse, a shorefront microbrewery. There I have tried one of the craft beers, a witbier with passion fruit extract. 
Sea food noodles
Whenever I was close to the sea I tried to get a room with sea view so I can enjoy it. Waves sound was soothing during the night time.

Room view
The second day in Nha Trang I've got again company. I've met Leroy on the boat cruise in Ha Long Bay and our paths have crossed again. 
We have started our day with a copious breakfast at Alpaca homestyle cafe.
The rest of the day we just walked on the beach and stopped here and there to have some drinks.

The most surprising moment of the day was the moon rise. The full moon was one day before and I didn't expected such a spectacle.

The third day in Nha Trang passed at the same pace as the one before. It started with breakfast at Cafe Culture.
Smoothie bowl with dragon fruit and the traditional Vietnamese coffee
From the city we walked around 30 minutes to visit a pagoda on the hill. 

Long Son Pagoda
On the hilltop above there's the white seated Buddha, with excellent city views. Before reaching the seated Buddha there's a reclining Buddha statue. 

The white Buddha is seated on a lotus blossom

City views from the hilltop
On our way back we came across another temple that was crammed between some buildings that could be easily missed.

For dinner we went to another shorefront restaurant, Sailing Club Nha Trang. Here I've tried again banh xeo, the savoury rice pancake. This time was without the rice paper rolls. To be honest I liked it more rolled in fresh rice paper. 
Banh xeo

Just cauliflower cooked western style 
I was doubting to take desert as well, but it was a good decision. One of the best cheesecakes I've ever had. The passion fruit sauce gave it an exotic taste.
I am so grateful for all the people I have met so far in my journey. Everyone taught me a lesson. And especially with the holidays being short term, I get to live more in the present and enjoy every moment I have!
From Nha Trang, Leroy and me took different directions. He went to Da Lat and I went to Mui Ne, once upon an isolated stretch of shoreline and a fishing village.
From Nha Trang I took another bus to get to Mui Ne. I've got to experience for the first time a sleeping bus, although I was travelling by day time. What was supposed to be a 5h ride, turned into 7h. The bus brakes broke and we had to wait for an hour or so until they've fixed them. 
Inside the sleeping bus
To be honest, this place was not what I was expecting. Without a motorbike (and I don't have a driving licence) it's difficult to move around. The sights are spread out along a 10km stretch of highway. Maybe this was a sign to slow down, lay back and enjoy doing nothing. The hotel I booked had everything I needed.
Tofu stir fried with lemongrass

Fisherman's boats

The beach close to my hotel is barely inexistent, full of garbage and stray dogs. Some locals were enjoying a swim though.

View from my room with the swimming pool

Sea view from my room
Sometimes is okay just to stay in and relax, especially after two weeks and a half of moving from one place to another. I spent the whole day by the pool, improving my strokes, reading and eating.

Breakfast was included

Lunch with a view - stir fried noodles with sea food

Dinner - red snapper fish with sweet spicy caramel sauce

The fishing boats start to flicker in the darkness. I guess that's just to signal others they are there.
Although Mui Ne wasn't the paradise I expected, I enjoyed the time I've had here. I will spend the last days of my journey in Ho Chi Minh City.


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