A Fun Journey to Nha Trang via The Bus from Hell

Vietnam may be one of my least favorite countries, but what I love most about Vietnam is that its transport system is good and convenient. 

If you’re exploring Vietnam, you have the options to fly, take the train or buses. Take note that Vietnam is a huge, long country and can take a while to get from one city to another and that will involve overnight journeys. If you’re looking for the best value for money and you have at least two weeks to explore Vietnam, my recommendation is buying an open bus ticket. With an open bus, you can choose how many stops you’d like to visit or if you want a sleeper or seater bus. I bought my ticket at the backpackers hostel in Hanoi and it cost me $50 for a 5 stop sleeper bus.

The stops include the following: Hanoi- Hue: 14 hours; Hue- Hoi An: 4 hours; Hoi An- Nha Trang: 12 hours; Nha Trang- Mui Ne: 6 hours; and Mui Ne- Saigon: 4 hours.


The only thing that is true here is that this bus is unforgettable

Since there’s just one route to explore Vietnam, you would probably end up traveling with the same group of people wherever your starting point may be. I started in Hanoi and I ended up traveling with the same group until we separated in Saigon.


This is how we roll Vietnam bus style

This sleeper bus was actually one of the nicest buses in Vietnam.  Other travelers’ bus stories were scarier. There was one where the Vietnamese drivers put their backpacks in the toilet to accommodate packages of fish sauce. They use these overnight buses to transport goods too which explains why sometimes the buses smell like fish sauce. Welcome to Vietnam luxury bus edition.

Another thing to note is that these buses are not designed for westerner size which might lead to a sleepless night. If you’re petite or Asian size, you won’t have any problems fitting in. And If you’re new to backpacking, the road trip in Vietnam via buses will be uncomfortable due to bumpy roads.

I personally love buses especially buses from hell. It might be the most uncomfortable ride but it does make up for funny stories. Like when I encountered the only person who was unshakeable during a stop over and who of course has to be sleeping on the floor on my side which lead me to do some bed hopping tricks to go down my bed.


Featuring the man on the floor

As my Vietnam crew and I continued with our journey to Southern Vietnam, the next stop from Hoi An is a famous seaside resort town called Nha Trang. Nha Trang is popular for its beach, though it is not that impressive if you’ve been to Southern Thailand or the beaches in the Philippines. Nonetheless, it is a good stop over point or if you are scuba diving, this is the place you want to go to.

We left Hoi An at 6 pm and arrived in Nha Trang at 6 am. Take note that a lot of motorcycle and cab drivers will try to convince you to ride with them. There’s no need for this as you can just walk from the bus stop in Nha Trang to downtown Nha Trang hostels.

If you’re traveling with some people or a group or maybe just by yourself, the only place I recommend staying is Nha Trang Backpackers House.


The entrance to the backpackers house female dorm

I recommend the backpackers house not only because it is very social, but it’s also amazing value for money. For $8 a night, you’ll get a bed on an air-conditioned female/ mixed dorm. It also includes your choice of breakfast and a free drink coupon upon arrival which you can use at the Backpackers house bar. This place is clean, accessible and a great place to hang out at night.

4 Things that you can do in Nha Trang:

1. Sightsee in Po Nagar Temple

If you take the bus, you will more than likely arrive at the same time we did and will have to wait until you can check in which is at 12 noon. Then you’ll have a few hours to kill even after breakfast. You can then just relax on the beach which is walking distance from the hostel, or go visit temples and pagodas such as Po Nagar Temple towers.


Po Nagar Towers

The Po Nagar towers are situated on top of a hill where you get a magnificent view of Nha Trang city and its beach.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang view from the temple

2. Chill on the beach

Since I went here during the peak of summer in May, Nha Trang is very humid and after my 12 hour bus journey, it surely is stickiness at its finest. Going to the beach is an excellent option.


Nha Trang Beach

3. Have Fun in Vinpearl Land

Some travelers don’t even recommend stopping in Nha Trang because it’s touristy. I certainly think it’s worth a visit. There is one place you will want to experience here. And to get there you would have to ride Vietnam’s longest gondola. It’s quite an experience.

cable car

Gondola Ride to Vinpearl

When I got to Vietnam, I have never heard of Vinpearl Land. I tell you, Vinpearl is the coolest place on earth next to Disneyland! It is a waterpark filled with thrilling water slides, deadly lazy river and fun rides. Also, inside Vinpearl land is an amusement park and an aquarium worth visiting. For $25 you get to ride the gondola and unlimited access to all the rides in the park. You may want to allot a whole day to truly enjoy this place. At first I didn’t want to join the crew because I was so tired with the bus journey but I’m so glad I joined. This has become one of the highlights of my trip in Vietnam. It is super fun!


Vinpearl Waterpark with my Vietnam Crew


Amusement Park in Vinpearl

4. Dine at Lanterns Restaurant

My choice of food in Asia are street foods but once in awhile when I‘m traveling with a group of short-term vacationers, I don’t mind spending for a great meal at a restaurant. There is a restaurant called Lanterns, that serves ahhh-mazing Vietnamese dishes. They claim that they are #1 choice in Vietnam in Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet guides and I couldn’t agree more. I spent more than my budget to eat here but it was so worth it. Definitely the most delicious place to eat in Vietnam. I gave it my two thumbs up!


Tofu Yellow Curry is the bomb

Overall, my long journey and short stay in Nha Trang has been a fun and delicious one. If you’re considering, I’d say go! You won’t regret it.

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