From Doc Let we wanted to travel to Qui Nhon as we had heard good things about it and it sounded nice to mix with some more locals again, however neither are particularly popular so you can’t just buy a straight bus ticket. First we needed to walk back to the bus station in Doc Let and catch the public number three bus (the only one, runs every 20 minutes) back to the main highway (AH1) in Ninh Hoa(10,000 dong). From here you can flag down any minibus headed north and get dropped off at Qui Nhon or pretty much anywhere further north. Ignore the people who want to “help” you catch the bus, they just want a 50% commission for something you can easily accomplish yourself. It was 100,000 dong in a absolutely packed minibus.
We got dropped off at the bus station in town and walked down to Chuong Duong Street where there were a number of cheap hotels to stay at. The vast majority of hem are not listed online as this is not an area popular with western tourists, we didn’t even seem to see many Vietnamese tourists. During the day the huge beautiful beach was completely empty, crazy in a town this size. However about 5pm the locals come out to swim and drink nuc mia. The beach also has a beautiful 3km long promenade to walk along or hang out on. It’s quite nice to not have beaches blocked by huge resorts.
The food choices catered only to the local Vietnamese as would be expected which isn’t a problem usually but if you don’t get up in time, there is no chao or pho, you have to eat com(rice with assorted toppings, a lunch item). Don’t expect much English.
One day we decided to rent a motorbike and go check out the sights around town. We went and saw some Cham temples, an ancient civilization eventually wiped out by the Vietnamese. We then went and drove the Phuong Mai Peninsula and checked out a traditional fishing village and also drove past a 7 star resort being built(I didn’t know there was such a thing but judging by the size alone I’d give it 7 stars). After grabbing some lunch we went for a ride to check out the beaches to the south, some very secluded beautiful beaches. We drove past Bai Xep which is a popular backpacker hangout with $30 beach bungalows available. We then stopped and swam at the amazing beach Bai Bang which was nothing more than a picture perfect fishing village. Then a little down the road we went to Bai Bau where we had to pay 10k dong to get in but the had showers and refreshments available along with tables and chairs. It seemed real popular with the locals. The drive itself was stunning and would be worthwhile on its own.
Next up the historic town of Hoi An, where we’d be spending a few extra days since I left my debit card in an ATM in Nha Trang apparently and had to have a new one mailed out.