The bus ride to Nha Trang was supposed to take about 5 hours but our bus driver made it in 3.5. The roads were ridiculously windy and we were stuck on a bus full of local women with motion sickness. The poor ladies were vomiting nearly the entire time. I don’t blame them, we were shook around like rag dolls! Despite the speed and rough terrain, the views were stunning and we were glad to get to Nha Trang early. We had little interest in this bustling beach town, but we wanted to fit in a day of scuba diving. We contacted Mark Scott Scuba Diving and he was able to squeeze us in as part of a group going fun diving the following day. We spent our first evening wandering around the city. This place could easily be described as a Russian Disney Land. I would say 90% of the people we saw in the town were Russian and the streets and markets were packed with them. Practically every sign in town was translated into Russian as well as English. Some Vietnamese people even spoke to us in Russian because they assumed we were from there. It was refreshing to spend the following day with Mark Scott. He is an expat from Texas with a very successful business in Nha Trang. He was just a big, loud, American dude. In some weird way, we kind of missed that. He was also a great scuba instructor. He certifies divers and also does fun diving for certified divers. We went out on his boat with 4 other people planning to scuba and about 8 others who were going to snorkel. Mark’s assistant is a hilarious Russian guy who rambles about anything and everything and likes to talk about politics and make fun of Americans. We had a fun time chatting with him and listening to his opinions and stories. Since some people may not have been scuba diving in a while, Mark includes a free refresher diving instruction as part of the fun dive. It’s funny, but I think we learned more useful tips from Mark in the 30 minute refresher than we did in three days in Koh Tao. He was very professional and all about staying safe, but having a good time. Before we went out to dive, Mark told us that we would see lots of fish and coral, but no sharks or turtles because we were in the South China Sea and I quote, “they ate them all”. We did two awesome dives that day and saw a lion fish among other cool sea creatures. Mark even included a pretty tasty lunch on the boat.
We returned back to mainland Nha Trang where we set off to find a night bus ticket to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Now you may be saying, “but they already went to Saigon”. Yes, yes we did. Some of our medications that were stolen in Thailand could only be replaced in the states and shipped to us. The only way to really do this, which we found out after lots of research and headaches with Thailand customs, is to ship to Vietnam with a company called Vietlink. This company has an office in California and ships packages to Ho Chi Minh City daily for station pick up. It is super cheap and reliable, but we didn’t figure it out until we were in Mui Ne. As a result, we decided to take a night bus to Saigon (since we would just be sleeping anyway), pick up the package, and take a night train to Da Nang to get us back on track. It all went really smoothly except for one part: the night bus to Saigon.