Good morning Nha Trang.
Arrived at the bus stop in Nha Trang and just grabbed a local cab to our hotel. The cabbie started at $200,000VND ($12.50AUD) for the ride to the hotel we got him down to $100,000VND ($6.25AUD) and decided to take it as we were all sleep deprived. His cab was tiny and could not fit all of our luggage in it and so it was strapped to the roof. $100,000 was still too much as he did a block and then down the foreshore for the 5 minute drive to our hotel. There was no way we could have walked it though, so we just paid the fare and to our surprise was able to check into the hotel 0800, as the guests before had checked out early.
The hotel was right on the beach front, checked in and wanted to sleep but decided to get into our swimmers and head down to the beach. Checked out the beach and it was really weird full of Russian tourists letting it all hang out. I don’t mean the Russian tennis playing types like Maria Sharapova, I mean the types that could qualify for the shot-put or discuss at the Olympics. The beach was covered in Russian tourists and it was very bizarre to be in Vietnam full of Russians.
We had a lovely swim and then walked up the esplanade to the public swimming pool and let the kids have a long swim as it was really relaxing and nice in the shade. The kids started to dive off the diving block, this was really fun for them and I think we spent 2 hours here.
Then we walked further up the esplanade to a place called the Louisiane Brewery. Had a couple of their pilsner beers while the kids had another swim in the breweries private pool. We then decided to walk back to the hotel and get some lunch on the way. Grabbed some Vietnamese rolls between the 4 of us and they were absolutely delicious, no pate or sauce just the flavours from the meat and vegies.
Walked back to the hotel for the girls to do some homework. I crashed out and then woke up with the biggest head ache. I had fully dehydrated myself, no water during the night so I didn’t have to go to the toilet on the bus and then swam in the ocean and then in the pool with the kids in the sun then smashed 2 x 600ml beers.
We then went for dinner and I broke into the biggest sweat jugged as much water as I could waiting for us all to finish our dinner and then went back to the hotel.
How to sabotage yourself
This morning Summer woke up before me, this is quite unusual. I woke up, still had my headache, felt a lot better but still took a couple more Panadol and drunk plenty of water. Today we were all relaxed and chilled out so got the girls to do some schoolwork and realised Spring has nearly caught up and now in the right week. Autumn is also catching up and is getting excellent remarks from her teachers.
We then arranged with the hotel for a sleeper bus to Ho Chi Min City (or Saigon as the locals still call it) for tomorrow night. We then again decided to take the girls for a swim in the morning prior to the midday sun. Still coming to grips with how many Russian tourists are here near nude on the beach. Solid people is a good describing word. Both male and female have the same solid build and no shame in there speedo’s or bikini’s. Walked back to the hotel and showered up to go to the shopping area. Walked along the road side for the first time to the main area of Nha Trang and all we could see was Vietnamese and Russian signs in the restaurants and tourist shops and very little English.
Finally got to the shopping centre, it was a further walk than anticipated. Tried to pull some money out of the travel money card. The second ATM which was a building society said contact your bank unable to dispense funds. Panic set in and Summer raced to the free wifi to check the bank account. Checked over it and had a fee for $9,708,000VND at a restaurant and we both immediately thought the worse , that we had been robbed approx. $600Aust. Both of us tracked over the day’s events and then even went over the transaction history. Found that we did use the wifi at this restaurant while we waited for lunch. Thought for sure we had been skimmed here.
Got on the phone immediately and cancelled the second travel money card. So we are now 2 travel money cards down and only 5 weeks into the trip. We have back up but are unable to load Vietnamese Dong. We ended up using our normal bank card to get cash out and just have to put up with the extra fees’s. This all happened over a 2 hour period. It was now 1430 and we were starving and stunned at what had just happened.
While we were waiting for lunch a little shattered Spring just comes out with, ‘mum how did they know how much to take out?‘. It then clicked in Summers head and she rummaged through her hand bag. And then bang she had found the receipt for the hotel in Hoi An. This was the exact amount of the transaction. Pretty freaky set of events that we ate and used the wifi at this restaurant that also owns and manages the Hotel. Happy we hadn’t been skimmed and call the bank again to reverse the card cancellation but it was too late and a done deal. We are now down two cards and left with our back up cards and regular cards, all with heaps of fees. Returned to the hotel Summer was upset with herself and I was also upset at myself as we got tunnel vision and didn’t re-cap the whole day’s events. Had a pretty average feed up the road for dinner to top it off so Summer and I had a couple of beers to ease the pain away.