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21st October 2016

Nha Trang Business & Tourist Website

I have just registered a new domain name ( that I plan to turn into a business & tourist information site. It will be similar to the City Pages directories although nowhere near as comprehensive.


20th October 2016

Night in Town

My night in Nha Trang last night was good and I will probably make it a regular thing (maybe every second week). My room at the Sen Vang Guesthouse was exactly the same as on previous occasions (I had not stayed there for more than three years) and I believe is the best value in Nha Trang - some of the recent reviews of this hotel have been bad but I have no idea why. There is a hotel 20 metres (Adam Hotel) away that is rated much higher in Agoda but I have stayed at both and Sen Vang is twice as good for less!

I ate at a restaurant I had not been to before (despite the fact that it is on the corner of the laneway where Sen Vang Guesthouse is and Hung Vuong Street) it is called Hong Duc and is what I call a 50/50 restaurant, meaning that it is a "Locals Restaurant" that caters to tourists as well. The food is good and also the prices (Mr. Cheap). I also had a Kebab from a street vendor that was delicious (I will be back) that cost 30,000 Dong for large (ie. Less than $1.50USD).

I did notice that the restaurant menus are now mostly in Russian - when I first visited Nha Trang the menus were in Vietnamese and English - now it is Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and English (in that order).


19th October 2016

Nha Trang Tourist Area

Tonight I am staying in town, in the tourist area, I am booked in the Sen Vang Guesthouse ($7USD - A/C single room, ensuite bathroom, cable TV, WiFi and fridge) where I have stayed several times before. I was booked in last Wednesday but it poured with rain all day so I did not go. I will not be doing much other than going to the beach etc. but I plan to try a restaurant that I have not been to before.


30th September 2016
Mui Ne

Yesterday I rode down to Mui Ne (220 Kilomtetres south) to see if it had improved since my first visit three and a half years ago. It had not, in fact I believe it is worse. I do not understand why anyone would say it is a great place with a great beach - in my opinion it is an ordinary place with an ordinary beach. I had booked a hotel for two nights but only stayed one. The only two things I got from my trip to Mui Ne was a sore backside and a bad case of food poisoning.


27th September 2016

Street Food Tour

This afternoon I went on the Lanterns Restaurant street food tour and I learnt a lot about the local street food available. I am glad that I did not have lunch as there was so much food to try. I really liked the fact that it was a fairly fast paced tour covering many food outlets. The Lanterns Restaurant website said that the tour included seven dishes but it was actually more as there were some side dishes so all up I think there was ten.

I enjoyed most of the food and will be eating street more often from now on. My favourites were the Banh Trang Tron (Spicy stirred rice paper salad), the Banh Xeo (Seafood pancakes) and the Banh Canh (Rice noodle soup).

Banh Trang Tron    Banh Xeo    Banh Canh
Banh Tran Tron                                          Banh Xeo                                        Banh Canh


26th September 2016

Cooking Class

On Saturday I took a local cooking class run by Lanterns Restaurant - it was excellent and very well run. I have decided to also do their "Street Food Tour" and will be taking that tomorrow. I look forward to learning about the local street food and of course tasting it.

My only street food so far has been Banh Mi (a Subway like baguette), Banh Boa (a steamed bun) and Banh Trang Nuong (BBQ rice paper with topping - rice paper pizza) each costing less than $1.

Banh Mi          Banh Bao          Banh Trang Nuong
Banh Mi                                                               Banh Bao                                                            Banh Trang Nuong


22nd September 2016

Monsoon Season

I think the monsoon season is starting - over the past few days we have had late afternoon/evening thunderstorms and yesterday's was torrential. This is my first time in Nha Trang during the rainy season but I checked the annual rainfall and it is less than Cairns and less than half of Mission Beach and since I have been living in the tropics for more than seven years now tropical rain is not new to me.

I was planning to have a night in town once a fortnight staying at a hotel and so I booked a "Seaview Apartment" at the Tri Quan Hotel and Apartments and got a small room with no view (not even a window) when I asked at reception they told me there was construction going on in the apartments and they were only using the hotel rooms - I was told if I wanted a seaview I could go to the rooftop and have a coffee!

As far as I am concerned it is fraudulent to sell something you do not have (I booked with Agoda). I checked out about one hour after I checked in and came home. I may still stay in town once in a while but I think from now on I will stick with the hotels I know.


16th September 2016

Dalat Trip

I just got back from my quick trip to Dalat - it was a good trip although I found myself wishing I had my Honda CBR250R here as it would have been more comfortable and made the steep grades up the mountain so much easier to handle - although my new Honda Blade is better than the Honda Wave I had when I last lived here. Dalat is pretty much the same as it was although seemed quieter than my last visit but there is a large underground shopping centre "Dalat Big C Supercenter" that was not here last time.

I stayed at the Tulip Hotel which was fine if a bit expensive by local standards. I got a phone call from reception at 10.30 pm telling me my motorbike was "gone" (I immediately assumed it had been stolen) - luckily it was a language problem they simply wanted the key to the bike so they could move it to undercover storage somewhere.

Xuan Huong Lake    Another view of Xuan Huong Lake    Dalat's Big C Supercenter
         Xuan Huong Lake, Dalat                                    Another view of Xuan Huong Lake                 The Outside of Dalat's Big C Supercenter   

Dalat's Big C Supercenter Skylight    Dalat's Big C Supercenter Skylight    Dalat Greenhouses
Skylight For Dalat's Big C Supercenter                  Skylight For Dalat's Big C Supercenter                                   Dalat Greenhouses           

13th September 2016

Dam Market

This morning I went for a ride to Dam Market (Cho Dam), the largest market in Nha Trang, unfortunately they appear to be in the process of expanding or replacing the original market building. The result is a mess and I will not be visiting again until it is sorted. I have noticed since being back in Nha Trang that the traffic has increased considerably (probably 50%) and every ride is still an adventure.

I am planning to ride up to Dalat on Thursday, returning Friday (140 kilometres each way up the mountains to 5,000 feet) - first trip on my new bike.


9th September 2016

My New Honda Blade

I bought a new Honda Blade motorcycle yesterday to get around on. It cost 19.3 million Dong - which is only about $1140 Australian dollars including registration. To celebrate I had a beer at my favourite location on Nha Trang Beach - Louisiane Brewhouse (a brewery on the beach, genius).

I am just about sorted now and will start to relax a bit. "Life is a Holiday, Old Chum".

Honda Blade    Louisiane Brewhouse Pilsner
My New Honda Blade                                      Louisiane Brewhouse Pilsner

Louisiane Brewhouse - Nha Trang
Louisiane Brewhouse - Brewery on Nha Trang Beach


5th September 2016

Penthouse in Nha Trang, Vietnam

I arrived in Nha Trang yesterday and spent the night in town (at the Adam Hotel which is TERRIBLE - I will never visit again) to look around. The Beach/Tourist area has changed quite a bit in 3+ years - a lot of the restaurants have either gone or been renamed. There is even more high rise construction in progress and the number of Russian tourists has increased dramatically with the main beach area getting saturated with sun beds and umbrellas (it may be a seasonal thing as I have not been here this time of year before - but I don't think it is). Also there are now Chinese tourists coming to Nha Trang. This all started back in 2009 when Nha Trang airport became international and started to get Russian tourist charter flights. Passenger numbers increased by 32% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Luckily Nha Trang Beach is big (wide and long) so it does not get really crowed and there are also a couple of smaller beaches to the north of town.

Nha Trang Beach    Nha Trang Beach Looking North
Nha Trang Beach Looking South (left photo) and Looking North - Taken at 7 am

Today I moved into my apartment - I decided that the one I had booked was a bit small so I have rented the Penthouse ($300USD/Month including Internet and basic cable TV) and I am very happy with it.

Lounge and Kitchen of My Penthouse

Five Continets House Swimming Pool   
Looking Down on The Swimming Pool


2nd September 2016

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam

I am now in Saigon staying at the Diamond Suite Hotel Parkview - I got upgraded to a "Park View" room with a balcony that overlooks the "September 23 Park". The hotel is a fairly typical budget Vietnamese hotel - double air conditioned room, breakfast, mini bar, cable tv, wifi etc. but good value for Saigon at $25USD/night.

The flights to get here OK - Qantas (from Cairns to Darwin) charged me $60 for being 2kg overweight (my luggage not me - no wonder they are making record profits).

Saigon is pretty much the same as it was on my last visit 3 1/2 years ago - prices have risen slightly (seems like more than a little due to the falling Aussie dollar). Today is a public holiday "Independence Day" which celebrates independence from France in 1945.

September 23 Park, Saigon
September 23 Park From My Hotel Balcony


13th August 2016

Off to Vietnam

Yesterday I booked flights from Cairns to Ho Chi Minh City - I fly out on 31st August - I have booked a hotel in Ho Chi Minh for three nights and then will fly on to Nha Trang. I plan to stay at the same apartments (Five Continents House) I stayed at on my last visit three and half years ago.

Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang Beach


25th July 2016

Rented another car today and went up the mountains to Yungaburra and then down to Innisfail via Millaa Millaa. On the way back to Cairns I stopped in at Josephine Falls and was surprised to find there were several people in swimming.

Josephine Falls          Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls at The Base of Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland's Highest Mountain


16th July 2016

I have sold my bike and rented a car the other day to go for a drive up the mountains. I travelled from Cairns up to Mossman then up and over the mountains to Mareeba where I had my usual Skybury Coffee. I then continued on to Kuranda and down the range to Cairns.


9th June 2016

Today I took a day trip to Green Island, a small coral island about 27 kilometres off the coast of Cairns. The ferry trip takes about 45 minutes each way and is well organised. On the isalnd I went swimming, snorkelling (saw lots of tropical fish, giant clams and sea turtles), walking and just lazing on the beach. The weather was perfect which made for a great day out.

Green Island          Green Island Beach
Green Island                                                                 Green Island Beach


1st January 2016

Happy New Year!

I am in Sydney for the holiday period - I have been here since 23rd December and return to Cairns on 5th January. Had a good time over Christmas catching up with Sue (ex) and Jodie, Steven and David (kids).

I have been playing tourist whilst I am in Sydney - I went to Manly one day and took the train to Newcastle a couple of days later.

Sydney Opera House    Manly Beach    Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House                                                       Manly Beach                                              Sydney Harbour Bridge  

Newcastle Customs House    Newcastle Harbour    Pelican on a Light Pole
Newcastle Customs House                                        Newcastle Harbour                                                 Pelican on a Light Pole

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