We had arrived via another sleeper bus, however, this one was quiet pleasant. We both had our own beds and the ride was smooth and not too long (5 hours is quite short for us!). There was free wifi on the bus as well which was a big bonus but the content that the driver was watching on his little TV – WHILST DRIVING – was a bit worrying! The bus dropped us off a few minutes walk from our hotel which was a first for us, normally we’d have to fork out for a taxi.
We woke up the following day in our new hotel in Nha Trang, the Souvenir Nha Trang Hotel. It looked very small from the outside but the rooms were quite spacious. We had two double beds in ours so one of them automatically became the dumping ground for my clothes.
Nha Trang is a nice place. There are plenty of shops and it’s very close to the beach. It should, however, be called “Li’l Russia’. It’s full of Russians! They even have shops with Russian writing everywhere. Luckily though, everywhere spoke English so it wasn’t a problem. Our experiences with Russians haven’t been good ones. They always think they have right of way and if you don’t get out the way you get barged and they don’t bother holding a door open for you. There are loads of things I could say but I’m going to get off my soapbox… for now.
Today we chose to do an excursion to Yang Bay Park. It’s the first real excursion we’ve done since the jungle trek back in Chiang Mai! It takes all the worry about having to plan stuff – just pay the money and they pick you up and do all the work.
A small mini bus picked us up from our hotel and took us to another building just down the road – a couple of minutes walking would have been fine! We then had to change to a coach. The only other Westerners were a couple of fellas from the states. The rest of the coach was Asian apart from one Russian bloke. We had a tour guide for the day, a young local lad by the name of Tong. He spoke very good English and was very friendly. So friendly that when he was introducing himself, he said he was “free and single” and were there any other single people on the coach. The Russian put his hand up and it all went quiet from Tong.
We were on the coach for about an hour. The journey was very picturesque. Vietnam is a lot hillier than Cambodia and definitely greener. Our first stop was to the biggest tree in the forest. It was humongous. Next to it was a massive pond where you could feed the Koi Carp by bottle. There were a few statues around the area and Stef and I found a very interesting one. It was of two white horses with demon red eyes. They looked very elegant and one of them was on its hind legs with the front two in the air. This was the more interesting of the two as it had a massive erection! Not too sure what that was about but I got a cheeky feel and photo.
The next stop was at a small train station. I say train station, but the trains were just tractors and trailers made to look like trains. I saw right through their disguise – I’m clever me is! We all boarded the train and we headed off around the park.
The “train” pulled into the next stop where we went to see one of the weirdest things for that day. Pig racing! It was exactly how you could imagine it. There were 6 lanes and 6 pigs. They were released and bolted down the opposite end. Quick little buggers as well. There was food at the end so they probably didn’t get fed if they were slow. Nice little incentive.
After that, we looked at some lonely bears in their enclosure. You could feed them for a small amount. They put bits of melon on fishing rods and you lowered it down. People were teasing them with the melon. I just wanted to go over and slap them but I kept my cool.
Cock fighting was next. We had seen a cock fight back in Cambodia, however, that was just a few blokes in a front garden. Apparently, in Vietnam, this is a national sport. It was in a little arena. They had a referee. Human. Obviously. One of the cocks was in the arena and the ref had one in his arms. The one on the floor kept jumping up to the other one. He really wanted a piece. You could see he meant business. People were placing bets. It was getting very serious. The ref placed the cock on the floor and the bell rang. They both stared each other out for a few seconds before going at it. It wasn’t a fight to the death. That would be too barbaric. The Vietnamese respect their animals…the ones that don’t end up in clay cooking pot that is! It was like a match of sumo. There was an inner circle and when one got pushed out, the other got a point. It was best of three rounds. They were very quick rounds. We didn’t see any blood. I would have thought they would have put blades on their feet to make it more interesting.
After going crazy to watch two cocks bashing together, it was time we all had a rest. We headed to one of the many waterfalls they had in the park. We were advised to bring swimwear as you could take a dip if you wanted. We got there and the view of the fall was fantastic. There was one problem. Half of Russia was there. I don’t know what it is about Russian men and Speedos, but they need to sort themselves out and start wearing shorts like the rest of the world! We didn’t go swimming in the end, we just walked around and had a few drinks. There were two parts that were separated by the river. There were stepping stones to help you get across. Now they weren’t small stones but they weren’t big enough for two people. You had to wait until there was no one on it before you could get across. Stef and I started our stepping stone experience when a group of Russian women decided that they would come from the opposite way. Stef and I stood still in disbelief and when they got to us, they wondered why they couldn’t get past and looked at us as if it were our fault. I gave one of them a few selected words of the English language.
It was time for lunch so our party jumped back on the train and we headed to our own little restaurant on the lake. We sat with the American lads and the one Russian bloke. He told us how in his past life he used to be Vietnamese. He was definitely on one. He had a few tales to tell which entertained us for a while. The food was brought out and was very nice. There was Ostrich and also Crocodile. Both with their own unique taste which resembled chicken.
After lunch was a visit to the hot baths. Again, it was water and loads of Russians. And again, we didn’t go into the water. Instead, we sat in a bar, which overlooked the area, with the two Americans. One of them pointed out a green snake on one of the branches near us. We watched it eat a frog. Mother nature at work.
To get out of the area where the baths were, were two rope bridges. One with a maximum capacity of 5, the other 10. There were signs clearly displayed in all languages, however, it obviously didn’t apply to the Russians who would take as many as they could. I walked across with a few Asian girls. They were walking in front of me and you could tell that they did not like the swaying of the bridge. So naturally, I was jumping up and down making it go all over the place. It was hilarious. Well, for me anyway!
The final stop of the day was the crocodile park. It was the same as when we saw them in Thailand, however, this time, the crocs were a lot smaller. We got to feed them with meat on the end of fishing rods. For small crocs, they gave a pretty good fight. You could really feel their power. I definitely wouldn’t like to go up against one in a fight.
With the crocs fed, we got on the coach and made our way back to our hotel. It was a good day. We fed some crocs and both ate some crocs but most importantly, I got to hold a horse’s erect cock.