Dalat, no. Nha Trang, yes.
After leaving Mui Ne, we headed for Dalat: the mountain city. It’s a couple hours inland from the coast, but supposedly a cool city to check out. We stuck to our coastal driving route until the turn off, but missed it somehow, so we just kept going. Looks like the new ‘next stop’ is Nha Trang.
A few hours later, we arrived. It’s a big city with some decent bars and quite a few tourists. The first night we went to the main tourist bar: Why Not? It was happy hour so we got a free mojito (which we graciously accepted) and then got buckets. Ryker ran into his sister’s friend here too. We all hung out together at the bar, and once it started getting late, I called it quits and headed home. I grabbed a nice bowl of pho on the way, and made friends with some locals.
Meanwhile back at the bar…
Ryker got a random motorcycle ride around the block from a local, thinking it was all fun and games. He didn’t go anywhere (nor did he want to) so when the guy started asking him for money, he said ‘No way’. Well the driver’s friendly demeanor changed instantly after that and he got really pissed off at Ryker. So naturally he got all his friends to gather around, ready to beat him up. Ryker is now pretty worried cause there were eight guys waiting for him outside the bar and the rest of us weren’t around any more to help him out. Luckily Ryker was able to pay the guy before things got out of hand, and the situation was diffused. But it was a jerk move on behalf of the motorcyclist, and things could’ve gotten pretty ugly.
Vinpearl Theme Park
When we woke up the next day we decided that today was a perfect day to go to this super cool looking theme park from the pamphlet we found in our room. It’s called Vinpearl and it’s on an island right off the coast of Nha Trang. The theme park is, in fact, the ONLY thing on the island. It was a super sweet concept, we needed to check it out.
We get in a cab and go to the hospital first for a fatty dose of Amoxicillan (I burnt the hell out of my foot in Mui Ne and things be getting infected). The language barrier was a bit tricky at the pharmacy here, but we scored a huge box full of pills. Then we went to Vinpearl. It was about $20 for an all-day pass. So we get on the gondola that takes us over the ocean to the island that is Vinpearl theme park. We were so very excited. We ate lunch first, then hit the rollercoasters. We made our way to the giant aquarium after that, then to the water park. In all honesty, it was pretty basic, but tubing in the half pipe and flying down the straight drop waterslide definitely satisfied my needs. Ryker and Max went off on their own and Russia passed out on a lawn chair. We regrouped later, grabbed lunch #2 and headed to the arcade.
As soon as we stepped in, it was like a Vietnamese Playdium: this place was huge! I played lots of F-Zero, Street Fighter type fighting games, air hockey with Rush and bumper cars. I got the high score for the hammer smash game and the basketball free-throw game. It was all very enjoyable.
The animal show was supposed to be closed today (according to the sign) but we saw one near the arcade and ran over just in time to see a monkey do some blindfolded tightrope walking. It was so awesome! Then four more monkeys come out, all riding little monkey bikes. It was funny as hell. One of them crashed and bailed a little bit but he was clearly tied to the bike so the trainer dude gave him the evil eye and the monkey resumed. Unfortunately for us, we had already missed the canine performance. I would have loved to see that. (Sadly we were too captivated by the performance to take any pics/vids)
They had different shows at different times. Max and I really wanted to see the skateboarding one but we got the deep sea diving one instead. It was cool and interesting, but not nearly long enough. The “4D” aspect of the movie was tilting chairs, wind and water spraying at us in our seats.
Then we did some more rollercoasters. I must say, the swinging chairs was more of a battle than a ride. The three guys were pushing and shoving and whipping chairs at each other the whole time. The staff were getting pretty pissed off so I tried to keep myself uninvolved. I like a swinging chair battle just as much as the next guy, but I have this sense of respect that the other guys just don’t seem to have. After the chairs, we took off and went home.
That night, umm, we probably went out to the bars again or something. I really don’t know. Either way, I’m pretty sure we left the next day. Northward bound! Our destination was the massive city of Da Nang.
En Route to Da Nang
This drive sucked. I got four frigging flat tires, three in one day. And I crashed into a stack of beer cases: Tiger. Allow me to explain.
So we were cruising down the highway, on the outskirts of a little town, and I made a risky pass attempt around a local on his bike. Well he didn’t realize that I was approaching and he veered right a little. This was a very narrow opening and I was forced to squeeze really hard toward the side of the road to avoid hitting buddy. There happened to be a five foot high stack of beer cases on the side of the road, and my handlebars just clipped it. I did a number on the beer, which exploded everywhere and I crashed my bike. Somehow I went from fourth gear to zero and miraculously managed to stay on my feet. No real damage to me, no real damage to my bike either. Fucked up some beer though… And within minutes, a hundred locals gather (that’s what they do) and thank god for us, one of the locals was an English speaking tour guide. He spoke with us about what happened and worked out a fair deal with the shop lady whose beer I just slayed. Instead of paying a bajillion dollars and getting jumped by a thousand Vietnamese, we payed for the 50 beers or so that were damaged and even got a bag full of the dented ones that were still full. So let’s say 20 beers exploded and we kept 30 dented ones. That tour guide saved us a LOT of money that day.
We got lunch later and the lady tried to overcharge us for pho. We’ve been traveling through Vietnam for over a week now and we know how much street pho
costs. We didn’t give her the satisfaction. We underpaid and left. Not before enjoying a couple of Tigers I should mention.
At one of our stops to fix my flat tire today, Ryker rolled backwards into a ditch and got stuck. He was really concerned but we couldn’t help but laugh and grab the camera. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far this day. By night fall we pulled into a cheap, little guesthouse and got some sleep.