We have been to Doc Let Beach twice now. The first time was a few days after we got here. We thought that we might like to stay there over Tet. So we asked Minh (the hotel owner where we were staying) about getting there. He suggested renting a motorcycle. It takes 1.5 hrs to get there. The motorcycles are 125CC. I don’t know much about motorbikes but I do know that is not a lot of power. We had a couple of things going against renting a motorbike. I’m not steady on my feet and tend to get dizzy here and there. The traffic bothers me. Plus there isn’t any insurance in Vietnam for motor vehicles. So we decided to pass on that one…….
The next option was a private driver. So decided to do that. I hadn’t been feeling well since Abbotsford. I had caught a cold and the flu. I think I got a bug from the plane. So all in all the car sounded like our best option. Minh arranged it 5 hrs for $45 Canadian. We think for that price we would have had a good look at Doc Let and find a hotel. But no, we’re new and rusty at negotiating and didn’t end up finding what we went for.
First lesson, make sure your driver can understand you or you can understand him. We couldn’t communicate with our driver. We couldn’t communicate that we wanted to look for a reasonably priced hotel. Minh had explained this to him but for some reason he didn’t get it. He did take us to the most beautiful beach. White Sands Beach Resort. We paid the $2 each to go on the beach. I think that included the sun bed. But we didn’t want to lay around on a sun bed. Yes, it would have been nice to stay at White Sands Beach Resort but we were looking for a place for a month (over Tet) and that was too rich for our blood.
We more or less gave up trying to communicate with him and just went where he took us. He tried to take us to another beach where you pay a day use fee. It was a wasted trip. Pretty expensive for a walk on the beach even though it was a beautiful beach. It was nice to see the countryside as well.We ended up taking an apartment in Nha Trang for a month.
We had heard and read that there was a public bus #3 that went to Doc Lot. We kept seeing the bus as we walked around Nha Trang. One day we decided to take a bus (it was bus #4) and ended up at Po Nagar Towers. It was a nice day and the Champa Towers were something we wanted to see. We spend a lovely day walking around the 4 towers and gardens. The towers are on a hill that over looks a Cai River and South China Sea just north of Nha Trang. We walked around that area and then walked along the beach back to our hotel. A very nice way to spend a day.
We asked around about the #3 bus but everybody said it didn’t go to Doc Lot. One day we went to the bus stop and tried waving down the bus. It didn’t stop but a cabbie did. He wanted too much so we didn’t get to Doc Lot that day.
The next day we went to the same stop and we were going to take any bus that came along and see what adventure we would have that day and there comes bus #3. We wave and he stops and we’re on our way to Doc Lot Beach on bus #3 that everybody told us didn’t go to Doc Let. One and a half hrs later we pull into Doc Let public beach bus station. The bus station is right beside White Sand Beach Resort where we had been a few weeks before.
There was a nice restaurant just before you get to the beach where we had breakfast and later we had lunch there. After breakfast we walked down to the beach expecting it to be deserted like it was a couple of weeks ago. Man we got a big surprise. There were thousands of locals at the beach all crowded in one area. We walked passed all the people and kept walking and had the beach to ourselves. Everybody stayed in the one area.
The beach is so beautiful the sand is a fine white colour. The water is turquoise and soft rolling waves. We walked for a long time enjoying the beauty. Eventually the beach seemed to turn into a garbage dump. What a waste. We were so disappointed with all the garbage. We have heard how dirty the beaches are in SE Asia and now we have seen it. It’s heartbreaking to see that they don’t care or are uneducated about caring for their beaches.
We hopped on bus #3 and went back to Nha Trang. It’s not the most comfortable way to travel but it’s air conditioned and it only costs us $3 each round trip. The trip back took a little longer because the bus driver pulled over in the middle of nowhere for a half hour. But it’s all part of the adventure.
We intend to go back to that beautiful beach again and pretend the garbage isn’t there. It’s a picturesque bay with the fishermen out fishing in the bay. They’re so close to shore you can see them working their nets. It’s as pretty as a postcard. One of Vietnams secrets and well worth the effort to get there.