Who are we?
A lot of things!
...but, to keep it simple, we're two eager travelers with roots in the US.
Having explored quite a bit of our home country together, we set our sights abroad and kickstarted our foreign travels in Southeast Asia. With everything we owned in our backpacks, we set off on our five-month trip.
Having traveled Japan for the past 35 days, we're well on our way to our new home for the following two weeks, Vietnam.
There are countless ways to explore this developing nation, and everyone has their own take on the subject matter. From the busy city life with endless markets and awesome street food to the pristine beaches and breathtaking mountain views, Vietnam has a little something for every kind of traveler.
The options can be overwhelming when considering your trip to Vietnam, so to help narrow down the possibilities, we'll highlight some of our experiences to give you some inspiration and personal know-how!
Without further ado..
Where in the world did we end up today?
Today is Sunday, the 25th of November, 2018. We are now in Nha Trang, Vietnam!
Where did we stay the night in Nha Trang?
We booked a night at the Vitamin Sea Hostel - a relatively new establishment that is spacious, clean, and super affordable.
We had some of our best sleep here, with comfy beds and quiet rooms - except for one couple that turned on the lights after midnight... why do people do that?
What did we explore today in Nha Trang?
We began our day with an early transit from Da Lat to Nha Trang. Booking a bus through our hostel, we ended up with a sweet van instead. It was a lot more comfortable than the cramped buses for sure! Yet, the music selection consisting of the same ten pop songs on repeat did get old really quick...
Driving in a torrential downpour through twisting and winding mountain roads isn't the simplest of tasks, but we've got to say our driver handled it flawlessly. Just over four hours commuting, we reached our final stop for the day in Nha Trang. After leaving the car, our first prerogative was to ditch our backpacks and see some of the city before sundown. The staff at Vitamin Sea Hostel accommodated us no problem, and we were in and out in a hurry.
We ate bananas at church
The rain had subsided just a bit as we walked toward the Nha Trang Cathedral. There wasn't much to see at the church, minus a small statue. The real sight was the vendors selling fruits for cheap! We got a whole bushel of a dozen bananas for a buck, and scarfed them down in under five minutes. All banana'd up, we got to stepping.
Long Sơn Pagoda
Arriving to the pagoda, the slight drizzle turned into a healthy downpour. Attempting to stay dry by remaining near the awnings, we found ourselves toward the back of the courtyard, not sure if we'd entered a memorial or burial site. Either way, it was secluded and contained rows of photos of people. Unable to decipher the Vietnamese script on the pictures, we left the precinct largely unaware, hailing a cab bound toward our next destination.
Po Nagar Cham Towers
Squeezing through the droves of tourists, we showed our ticket (purchased for 22k VND) to the ticket-checker-guy and climbed up the stairs to witness the spectacle. Beyond the endless selfies and tour groups lied the remaining four of ten Po Nagar Temple Towers.
Built to worship various dieties of the Cham people in 781 AD, these towers, after several robberies and reconstructions, remain a popular attraction for visitors of Nha Trang.
The largest tower was built to worship Po Nagar (also known as Leiou Ye), a goddess of agricultural significance, believed to have been the founder of the Cham people. Not much information exists online about the other towers, but they are said to have been erected to worship Siva, the supreme being in Shaivism who is believed to have created, protected, and transformed the universe; Sanhaka, a wood cutter and foster father of Lady Po Nagar; and Ganeca, daughter of Po Nagar.
We felt the after effects of the typhoon
The clouds finally buckled and unleashed a rampant downpour upon the city of Nha Trang. Graced by a chill breeze and only scarce rainfall our first few hours, it seemed appropriate that they finally let loose their baggage; only, it didn't stop. It was pouring the rest of the evening. Still void of umbrellas or ponchos, we embraced the rain as we walked to our next destination.
Soaked and hungry, we wandered along the flooded sidewalks in search of some tasty eats. Not huge proponents of seafood, our selection was severely limited to the few fishy eateries that did have their doors open. Eventually we found ourselves in a shopping complex, taking the elevator to the food court on the third floor.
There wasn't a soul in sight there minus the cashiers at the Western-style venues. We kept it simple with some chicken and rice, overlooking the beach strip and the murky waves of the sea crashing along shore. Realizing the rain wasn't going to subside any time soon, we found a store selling expensive umbrellas and grabbed one.
Better prepared, we tackled the fifteen minute walk back to the hostel amidst the perilous precipitation. Arriving only half-soaked, we were eager to get some dry clothes on and relax for the evening.
How much did we spend traveling in Nha Trang?
Food: ₫60,000 / $2.56
Transport: ₫206,000 / $8.81
Lodging: ₫85,000 / $3.63
Sightseeing: ₫22,000 / $0.94
Other: ₫229,000 / $9.80
Total: ₫676,291 / $29.16