With the Tet New Year festival (more about that in our next post) fast approaching (nähern) and this time being their only holiday in the whole year, a lot of Vietnamese travel cross-country to visit their families. And their preferred method of travelling is the same as ours: buses. You have probably already guessed (erraten/vermuten) what that means: overfilled buses, higher prices and less comfort (not that it’s any more comfortable at any other time during the year).

The receptionist at our hostel in Nha Trang had booked us onto a bus to go to Quy Nhon and as we arrived at the bus station, we found ourselves in a public bus running all the way to Da Nang. Plus, this bus had less legroom than we have ever had before. Get ready Tom, cause you’re in for 4 hours of knee pain! This bus being a public bus, it stopped a lot during our journey, but the bus driver’s companion (Gefährte) seemed to take his job very seriously. He’d stick his head out (Kopf herausstrecken) of the open window, screaming at anybody standing on the side of the road. At 21 people on 13 seats he finally accepted that the bus was full! In addition (zusätzlich) to people, anything that needed transportation, was packed onto the bus, which lead to boxes being strapped on top and under our seats, further decreasing (verkleinern) our leg room. Ouch!

Five hours later, when we finally made it to Quy Nhon, we could barely straighten (geradebiegen) our legs. We were therefore quite happy for the ten minute walk to our accommodation for the following two nights: John and Paul Inn (Tom: “The ground floor of the hostel is a rock-and-roll themed bar which opens out onto the street and features plenty of memorabilia (Erinnerungsstücke) from AC/DC, Guns ’n’ Roses and, of course, The Beatles. In addition to the great music played, every evening they give each guest a free beer! This was great!”).

Quy Nhon lies about half way between Nha Trang and Hoi An and even though it is known for its beautiful beaches and surroundings (Umgebung), Quy Nhon is mostly missed out by many backpackers, leaving the beautiful sights relatively undiscovered (unentdeckt).

Unfortunately, although we were 5 hours further up the coast, the weather didn’t look much better. The sky featured low hanging dark clouds and it looked like they could empty at any minute. This sadly left us with not a lot to do – again.

After checking in we went for a walk up the street to the beach, where we had lunch and then were stopped (like so many times before) by squealing (quietschend) girls wanting to take pictures with us. After several minutes spent smiling into several cameras (I had to kneel down (in die Knie gehen) quite a few times, as they didn’t have my head in the picture – but I’m guessing it’s not so much about having a picture of me, but me being in the picture), we made our way back to the hostel, as the clouds looked increasingly (steigend) threatening. We’ve definitely had our share of being drenched through a downpour before!

The bad weather had one advantage (Vorteil) though, it was a good opportunity for Tom to catch up on his work without feeling bad about not being out and exploring, and for me to re-watch Gilmore Girls (Tom: “decide for yourself who wins with that one!”).

On the morning of our second day, John gave us some advice on places to go and see. He showed us many pictures of impressive nearby sights, so we decided, despite the weather, to rent a motorbike and check them out. And it was definitely worth it.

We took the beach track he suggested and passed by many beautiful rock formations and picturesque shorelines (Küste). These sights being nearly unknown to any backpacker, don’t have English translations so you’ll just have to look for yourself:

Our last stop was the peninsula (Halbinsel) to the north of the city, where we went to Eo Gio, which features yet another impressive rocky scene, which made you feel like being in Ireland.

After a short but very pleasant visit of Quy Nhon, we moved on to Hoi An the next morning, where we would settle in for the Tet festival.