Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang is my favorite Vietnamese city.
I always enjoy visiting sleepy little beach resorts much more than the large cities with their traffic and pollution and Nha Trang with its beautiful beaches and clear, clean water is one of my favorites. Last year on my yearly sabbatical to avoid the high tourist season in Thailand I spent two weeks in Nha Trang and I did the same thing this year and it was a very enjoyable experience. Nha Trang has beautiful beaches, clear clean water, some very good hotels and restaurants, and a lively P4P scene, most of the things that a guy needs for a great vacation. It was also blessed with excellent weather during the times I visited, eighty-degree afternoons and sixty-degree evenings and morning, almost perfect. In fact, the only time that I ran the air conditioning was if I was in the hotel room in the middle of the afternoon, the rest of the time it wasn't needed.
Lunch At The Beach
Yu looks on as one of the beach vendors grills some fresh jumbo shrimp for lunch.
It is fairly easy to find girls in Nha Trang, both regular girls who would like to meet a foreigner and working girls, the hard part is finding a hotel that will let you bring them back to your room. Last year I stayed in four different hotels after getting the run-around when I tried to bring a girls back to the room, this after the hotel saying that it was all right when I inquired before staying there. This year I had the same experience. After checking into the Truc Linh Hotel and being assured that it was OK to bring girls back to the room, the next night I said to the manager, "You know that the owner said that it was OK to bring taxi girls back to the room" and he said no way, it wasn't possible. I immediately went across the street to the restaurant and grabbed the owner and after a lot of posturing, they agreed to let me bring guests back as long as I would buy an extra room for them. I would be charged an extra $5 for this but I didn't mind, going all over town to find a ST hotel and the fairly grungy places you have to use more than made up for the $5 extra. As a side bonus, when I brought a girl back to the room, we always used the extra room and I never had to worry about her taking anything or going through my belongings.
The pic below is of the hotel, I had the room at the top with a balcony. Directly below it is a view of the room. At twelve dollars a night it was a very good value. It had AC, phone, fridge, HW, and satellite TV and for the most part the staff was friendly. The only downside was that I didn’t have a sea view but I thought it was much more important to be able to bring girls back to the room with no problem than to have a sea view. At the bottom of the photo you will see the latest in adventure travel luggage, a North Face medium sized backpack. For crawling over ferries and using motorbike taxis I find backpacks much more convenient although I don’t consider myself a backpacker For my longer excursions I always travel with two backpacks, the North Face which contains my clothes, books, toiletries, etc. and a smaller one that I wear on the front containing my money, passport, Discman, and camera. I will check the large pack on airlines, ferries, and buses but I always carry the smaller pack with me at all times unless the hotel has a safety deposit box. Stealing is very common in Communist countries so I always try and be extra careful and stay in hotels that others have used with good results. Last year I lost my camera and, more importantly, all of my trip photos when my camera was stolen in Nha Trang my first night in the city.
Truc Linh Hotel
My room was the one on the top floor with a balcony. My favorite are the rooms with balconies
Room at the Truc Linh Hotel
There are three main avenues for P4P in Nha Trang. The easiest is to get any of the many moto drivers around to bring you a girl. These are usually girls that work during the day as maids, waitresses, etc. and are out to make a few extra bucks during the night. The girls are usually 18-25 in age and the looks are usually sixes and sevens. From my experience they show up dressed in their best clothes smelling of soap from a recent shower and they are tickled pink to have been chosen. The bad part is that you can’t pick the girl out yourself so often you don’t get what you are looking for. For the most part I had enjoyable experiences choosing girls by this method and you couldn’t beat the convenience of having the girl delivered to your hotel. Below is a pic of a taxi girl I met using this method, taxi girl being the euphemism for working girl in Vietnam..
The second method is to go to one of the clubs or discos that have a few working girls in attendance and pick your girl out yourself. The only disadvantage here is that unless you are a night owl this action tends to start very late, around eleven or midnight since most of the bars in town don't close until sunrise, Nha Trang is a party town. These girls are usually better looking, sevens and eight's, and tend to be a bit more experienced than the girls the moto drivers find for you. The best place to find them is the Nha Trang Sailing Club. Another alternative is the disco near the Nha Trang Lodge Hotel but this is mostly a local disco and if you don't have someone who knows the lay of the land you won't have much success. Prices for these pros run $30-40 for all night.
Last are the massage parlors/clubs that you find almost everywhere in SE Asia. My favorite massage club in Nha Trang was the Nha Trang Lodge Club and although no extras are allowed, many of the girls will come to your hotel room after they get off work. Also one of the valets in the club had a string of upscale girls available for $50 for all night and these included some lookers. A massage at the Lodge Club was 80,000 dong ($5) and this included the use of the steam and sauna facilities as well as a lounge room where you could watch CNN or HBO on their big-screen TV. A 50,000 dong ($3) tip was more than adequate and these girls gave an excellent massage. I went for a sauna and massage almost every day I was in Vietnam and I found the Vietnamese massages the best I have found anywhere. The girls in the Lodge Club were sevens and eight’s in looks, 18-25 in age and very personable. You can also get extra services at most of the barber shops around town. These have girls that give haircuts, shaves, massages, and manicures and sometimes they have a very nice staff to select from. I got a shave with a straight razor almost every day I was in Nha Trang for 10,000 dong (sixty-six cents). Haircuts were also 10,000 dong (sixty-six cents) manicures 5,000 dong (thirty-three cents) and a one-hour massage was 40,000 dong (three dollars).
It is also very easy to meet non-pros in Vietnam. There doesn't seem to be the stigma attached to being with a foreigner in Vietnam that you find in some other Asian countries so it is fairly easy to start up a conversation with the girls. The ones that can speak a little English enjoy having someone to practice with and I also brought along my Vietnamese-English phrase book for the ones that couldn't speak English. My favorite girl of the trip was Yu, a regular girl I met while she was working at her aunt's fruit stand. I had met her the year before but had never taken her on a date so that definitely made things easier. She spoke excellent English and was a joy to be around in every way. Probably the best places to meet up with non-pros are the Internet cafes and restaurants, the ones with a mostly Vietnamese clientele, not the ones in the tourist district. Vietnam is one of the best places to meet up with non-pros.
Receptionist At The Truc Linh Hotel
Fishing Boats On The Cai River In Nha Trang
My favorite hotel in Nha Trang would be the Truc Linh. It was very comfortable and had a great location right in the middle of the tourist district one block from the beach. It didn’t have a sea view but its location and monger-friendly policy made it a winner plus it had safety deposit boxes behind the receptionist’s desk. My favorite restaurants were the Red Star and Truc Linh, both right up the street from the Truc Linh Hotel. For a massage with extras, try the massage parlor on Phan Chu Trinh in the large hotel located on the east side of the street a couple of blocks away from the Banana Split cafes. One of my favorite ways to pass some time in the afternoons was to sit in the Banana Split Cafe and watch the traffic go by while enjoying a cup of Vietnamese coffee and some crepes. They also have very good regular food and this was also one of my favorite places to eat. There is also a good gym on Nguyen Thien Thuat with plenty of weights and benches although they didn’t have anything in the way of cardio machines. The cost was 15,000 dong ($1) per day. There is a sidewalk along a mile of the beach that is used as a jogging trail. My regular routine is to lift weights one day and then jog the next so it worked out perfectly for me.
The Banana Split Cafes
Banana Split 58 and Banana Split 60. Both had excellent food and deserts but I preferred the Banana Split 60 on the left. The Maximark on the left in the photo is Nha Trang's only supermarket and the place to go if you need any snacks for the fridge. The pic below is another photo of Yu. She was a sweetheart and I plan on looking her up the next time that I'm in Nha Trang which won't be that long.
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