Inflatable Doom

Day 37. Tues 6/14

Nha Trang

Sailing Club, Beach, Kids Play Zone, Mojzo Inn

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up still thinking about how good my chicken sandwich from the Sailing Club was last night. Kaija and Max had booked a diving trip this morning so they were gone, but the rest of us four wanted to spend a day at the beach so we thought the Sailing Club lunch was a good place to start. I tried buffalo (loved it) and Josh ordered two entrees (what else is new).


We were still at the Sailing Club when Kaija and Max returned so we got to hear about how awesome their dives were. The rest of us had decided not to go because the dive master mentioned a low visibility and potential bad weather – which had taken away from our diving in Koh Tao earlier. So of course the weather was gorgeous and they had a great time. I’m happy for them, but dang it! They got to see an inflated blow fish!

Hillary’s little caravan left for Ho Chi Minh City just after noon but the rest of us had declined the ride so that we could spend more time on the beach and avoid paying for a hostel by taking a night train. However, we realized that an early morning 1 hour flight was only $17 (the night train was $35+) and we ended up booking beds at Mojzo Inn just a five minute walk away. They had a free beer hour at 5pm so we figured we would just hang out at the beach until then to check in.

We soaked up the sun for a while and then got antsy. I had a noticed an area down the beach with inflatable structures and a trampoline. Josh, Mike, and I went to check it out and decided it was worth the $3 for something to do.

There were children playing on the trampoline so we made our way to the bigger structures in the deeper water. Mike and Josh pretty quickly scaled two of the floaties while I struggled to find a path up mine that didn’t have crucial hand/foot pieces torn or completely missing. Josh jumped off his first (pretty tall) inflatable into extremely shallow water and that should have been our first warning that nothing good would come from this adults playing on children’s toys. But we didn’t take the hint (20/20 hindsight) and continued to scale the structures and then slide down them – not fun – until the coveted trampoline opened up.

The tramp was connected by 2 ropes to an inflated rectangle landing strip, and we assumed that one person would sit on the end of the strip and the other would jump from the tramp onto the end of the strip, sending the other one flying (i.e. Jackass 3?). The hard part was getting to the strip. Josh held the rope to bring the strip closer (there was a small space between the two floaties) and Mike jumped from the trampoline and slid down the side of the strip into the water. The forward force sliced Josh’s fingernail as the rope slid through his grip 😫 I think that counted as strike 2. I decided to jump on to the landing strip much slower by sliding gently from the trampoline. A little too gently actually – I didn’t get on to the strip completely and then started sliding backward, about to fall through the space between the tramp and the strip. I panicked and tried to fall sideways but my feet had already gone in between while my top half went off the side. So I ended up draped over the rope and got a gnarly rope burn while trying to wiggle my way out. It all happened so fast and when I finally fell in the water the salt stung my fresh burn. We finally took the hint and evacuated with a burnt hip, ripped fingernail and torn dignity, heading back down the beach past all the parents and children who continued to play on the inflatables. Child endangerment much? I now understand my mother’s concern and refusal to let me or Kellen play on similar playgrounds when we were younger. I guess I had to learn my lesson the hard way at age 23. I wonder when Kellen will learn his…

The Mojzo Hostel turned out to be pretty awesome. We got our own room because they weren’t fully booked, the air con worked, the ladies at the front were extremely helpful with our travel arrangements for early in the morning and other recommendations, and we made it in time for free beer.

I took some time to run a few errands before dinner (read: buy shampoo and get pedicure) and then we took a cab to a street market the front desk ladies recommended. We got dropped off in an area that was completely dark and mostly deserted, with people cleaning up and creating big piles of stinky trash. We decided to take a detour to KFC. Which was out of chicken (???) so then we detoured to Baskin Robbins. Which had a buy one get one free. We win.

Food log:

  • Buffalo steak with a carrot puree, grilled shallots, beets, and potatoes. V yummy
  • Baskin Robbins – chocolate love potion and Belgian waffle – because ice cream for dinner is allowed on vacation, right?
  • Chicken strips and French fries for fourth (technically third) meal #cultured


Mud & The ‘Pearl

Day 36. Mon 6/13 

Nha Trang

Mud & Hot Spring Spa, Vinpearl Island, Sailing Club

Took a bath today in a pool of mud with 7 other people. I wouldn’t say it was the most fun thing ever (ya just kinda sit there) and it was kind of expensive (over $50), but my skin felt amazingg afterward. That’s not something I’ve been able to say for about 5 weeks 😊

After the mud bath, we went through a series of other baths, this time alternating between regular water, mineral water and then regular water again. All of the baths felt like hot tubs, and it didn’t help that it was also extremely warm and humid (as usual here) outside too. But we made it through the different levels of the baths, ran through a shower, and then proceeded to the swimming pool and waterfalls. The water pressure as it fell from the rocks felt so good, like a massage on my head and back. The pool was just as hot as the other water, which was weird but made it feel even better once you got out because then you got to cool off more. Even the “cool pool” was probably over 85 degrees! And then there were a bunch of Russians chilling (lol) in the jacuzzi hot tub… I really don’t know how they weren’t all melted into little human puddles 🤔

After a couple hours at the mud baths we were totally starving. Last night, Thanh had given us a recommendation to try nen nuong, a pork sausage dish and Trang found an amazing restaurant that served just that (and only that!). To eat it the way it was intended, you have to take rice paper and roll up a sausage, a crunchy fried thing (v technical, I know), greens, and some mango and cucumber slices. The pork was also delicious by itself with a little sweet chili sauce. Yummm.

We went back to the hotel and split up into a two groups. Max, Kaija and Josh headed to the beach while the rest of us decided to check out Vinpearl Island off the coast of Phong Nha with Trang and Po. We went late in the day when the waterpark section was closed because tickets were cheaper and got to take a cable car across the water as the sun set over the hills. The lift is over 3000 meters long and almost completely over the water of Nha Trang Bay. It was really pretty and the island didn’t seem too busy as we got closer. I would say the rides there were like a teenage version of Adventureland (so not too thrilling) but what we really wanted to try was the alpine coaster down the mountain. We had to hike a little away from the entrance and we realized once we got in line that the rest of the park seemed empty because everyone was in line for the coaster! It took almost two hours to reach the front, so we opted for individual cars to make sure we all went the speeds we were comfortable with. That and we’re huge compared to a lot of the population, so I’m not sure we could have comfortably fit two people in that little car anyway. Cue fat guy in a little car 🎶

The view from the top was cool, and you could see the cable cars lit up across the water, but the car in front of me wanted to go kind of slow, which was annoying. Instead of racing down the track I took in the views (and the nice breeze) and Hillary only rammed into me once 🤕😜

After the alpine coaster we rode a couple more rides with Po – Trang was not a huge fan – and then saw that the cable car line was growing fast. We hopped in and got pushed around by some older Vietnamese women (no sense of personal space here, I swear) and eventually got loaded onto a car after about 30 minutes.

We hadn’t had too eventful of an afternoon but by the time we got back to the mainland we were starving and settled for lunch at the Sailing Club just down the street from our hotel. I got a chicken sandwich, Hillary got curry, and Mike got a wrap; all were so delicious that I knew we’d be back for more before leaving Nha Trang.

Food log:

  • Questionable “English breakfast”. I stopped eating after I found ants in my banh mi 😷
  • French fries while in line for the alpine coaster. Desperate times
  • Delicious Cajun chicken burger at the Sailing Club. Oh, and more fries 🍟


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