Nha Trang Vietnam: things to see and do with kids
In my recent blog KRABI, THAILAND: GREAT FAMILY DESTINATION I gave a brief prehistory of how we ended up visiting two countries instead of one. In a very short period.
After adding Thailand to the original Nha Trang Vietnam plan, we officially became the Hoppers. We hopped: two countries, thirteen planes, and nine islands. With three small backpacks. In twelve days. Whoa! While hopping four flights on the same day, I started to wonder what kind of crazy we really were.
Having been to Asia a few times, we wanted to explore a little deeper— South East in particular. The planning started with only one country in mind – Vietnam. With one specific place – Nha Trang. A friend of ours is a frequent visitor, so according to him, the place is the spitting image of Gold Coast where we resided at the time, with the Asian infusion. According to him, it was cheap, friendly and on the coast. What more could we want?
Undoubtedly, the trickiest part of the booking was to connect all the flights, leaving enough gaps for transitions, but at the same time not having to sacrifice the precious hours. Surely, it proved to be a tricky task. After the countless amounts of coffees and hours spent on the Internet, the idea looked more realistic and quite achievable. Thank you, Skyscanner, also Mr. Google and friends. Imagine if we had to make all those calls instead of processing our own itinerary online! Thankfully, I have a husband with a strategic brain. There is no way I’d be able to finish it without having a meltdown ( and who knows how bad could one be ).
When I do my own vacation arrangements, activities become a serious part regardless of the destination. It’s not a trip if there is nothing to explore, actively. We lived on a beach, therefore we were not seeking a sunbaking or pool cocktailing. In this case, Trip Advisor was my best friend. He knows EVERYTHING about Things to Do. It’s like Google on steroids for travelers. So I asked and got pretty awesome pieces of advice on what to see and do. By the end of my research, I was pretty wrapped up. Ready to go. Steaming!
For Thailand which we picked as the first stop ( it somehow worked out better on flights, I think ) we chose Krabi Island as a place to visit with two different cruises on two consequent days.
As for Vietnam, a visit to The Mud Mineral Baths was everything I have ever dreamed of. It was like a girl’s retreat. Except for the whole family. Oh, the boys so loved it!
What not to love?
The mineral swimming pool temperature is 37-39C. Heaven on Earth!
The natural mineral shower to warm up the body first
The outstanding Nui Spa experience
Instead of the public baths ( which could be crowded and you cannot be sure of others’ hygiene ), we chose the VIP experience. First, a cart picked us up to drive up the mountain to the private secluded area
We were shown around the lockers, provided with towels, bathers and bathrobes, tea and fruit platter
A lovely hostess took us to a private secluded outside ” room ” with two mud baths and a herbal pool where we spend the next two hours soaking in the mud and a mineral pool, given a full body massage and left to do whatever we wanted
After we spent the rest of the time in mineral pools and spa downstairs
The superb service was well-organized and efficient. Out of all four mud baths in the area, this was the only one in the natural mountain setting with the original underground mudflow
This was the best money spent I could ever remember. Plus they gifted every guest with a dry mud mask treatment.
The next point of interest was the historical Temple Ponagar Tower which was conveniently situated in the same area on the banks of the Cai River
Even though the entry price was a bit bitey ( I didn’t expect that ), the place seemed very popular. Again, situated in the hilly area of the mountains, with the amazing harbor view, the whole atmosphere I loved so much, it was hard to leave.
Imagine calming music ( something you’d hear in yoga classes, great for meditation ), the natural intense scents of burning candles, amazingly preserved towers of the temple, indoor praying rooms penetrated with Asian culture of statues and images… I could go on and on. I will leave it to my photos. A photo can speak a million words
Some interesting facts to note about Vietnam:
- Prices. Comparable across the SE, some things are cheaper, some are pricier. Generally, very affordable.
- Food. Although I admire Asian cuisine, I found it, in some way, repetitive. It’s always noodles or rice. I like both, this is a problem. Keeping up with the healthy routine, a daily carbs overload wasn’t on my list.
- Traffic. NO rules. Constant beeping and motorbike fumes start very early in the morning and go on all day.
- People and service. Visiting only one town I don’t think I can justify the whole country based on the limited experience. My observations were that they didn’t treat tourists any worse or better than in any other Asian country. Maybe not as attentive but we are talking about a very busy touristy area. It’s explanatory.
What I mostly loved about Vietnam
Apart from the two amazing experiences described above, Vietnamese COFFEE. This is far the best coffee I have EVER tried anywhere. To start with, they know how to brew a REAL COFFEE.
What we learned from our Hopping exercises:
ALWAYS check every single flight prior to departure. To avoid nasty surprises. Thankfully, it only happened once and it was only a domestic flight. The airline got it sorted efficiently for us, but we lost half a day, having to wait for the next available flight. Moving on. The view we arrived at the end of it was worth every single second
Of course, what I wrote above is a small fracture of the marvelous journey. The laughs that we shared, the hiccups that we encountered, the other million of photos that won’t fit on this page, left unspoken. If you have questions, please comment below or shoot me a line.
* Read more on great destinations around Vietnam as featured on Temples and Treehouses
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