Leaving for Nha Trang from Ho Chi Minh I looked into different options and it seemed the one that fitted the best was a sleeper bus. The bus leaves Ho Chi Minh late in the evening and since it’s a sleeper bus, sleep should actually be possible. This way we don’t have to pay for accommodation and not waste a full day on the bus as it takes around 9 hours from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang.
Having been recommended by other travellers to book bus tickets online for only 200,000 ($8.7), this is exactly what we decided to, because it’s easy and what can go wrong right?
The bus we booked left from 15km outside of the central of Ho Chi Minh, An Surong station. However some quick research shows the bus 27 goes to An Surong station and for only 5,000 ($0.22) the bus only takes and hour so this is perfect.
This is where the trouble starts. Arriving at the bus stop we look through the 7 emails we have received from the bus company saying that bus leaves from the junction on the motorway. We ask a lovely lady at the bus station about direction to this place and suddenly we are surrounded by 7 locals all trying to help us. Some of them speak English, some are just talking Vietnamese but all are desperately trying to help us. They call the bus company for us and ask for location and they then pass on the information to us.
After 30 min. the original last we started talking to has to run for her bus and we are left with only the people who doesn’t speak any English what so ever. However they are still being very friendly and trying to help us, which of course doesn’t really work as we don’t understand a word.
We think we know where the bus is supposed to leave from so we head of in the direction, only 1km from where we are.
Crossing over the motorway is slightly scary as there are 5 lanes, no lights or place to cross safely. Anyway, we get to the place where the bus leaves from and we see other people waiting for a bus with their suitcases. We show them the location and they ensure us we are in the right place.
We are still 1.5 hours early we look for some dinner. Saying that, there are no shops around or restaurants. After walking for a while we find a small shop. I am not entirely sure if this is a motorbike repair shop or a restaurant. We sit down, they don’t have any menu so we just order and hope for the best. Food isn’t terrible so we are happy, heading back to the bus to wait for the bus.
We are now pretty tired and looking forward to putting our heads down on the pillow on the bus.
2 hours later the bus has still not arrived. We then see that we think is our bus drive past us, without stopping. Great! We are 15km outside of Ho CHi Minh, no one around us speaks any english and we generally don’t really know where we are or the area.
We head for the bus station to try to book another bus. A guy on a motor bike stops us, he doesn’t speak any english either but we think he is trying to help. After 2 min we leave him and continue to the bus stop.
Whilst we are crossing over the motorway again the same guy comes around the corner and shouts at us to stop, in the middle of the motorway. Uneasy with the situation we rush over and think that’s the end of it. Nope. He tries to stop us a further 3 times before we make it to the bus station, ignoring our requests for him to leave us alone. We have officially gotten a stalker. The bus station is closed, only person there is the security guard.
The guy on the motorbike turns up again and gets of his bikes and start shouting in Vietnamese to us. Security guard comes over and tell him to go away (we think). He does, however comes back again. This time we are slightly more prepared. We hide behind a bush until he’s gone. Looking at the security guard he has a big smile on his face so at least we entertained him a little.
It’s now nearly midnight, we are in the middle of nowhere and realise defeat. We find a hotel via MAPS.ME not far away, however since the stalker is still looking for us we make the sensible decision to get a taxi.
At 5.00am we get up, located to a different bus station, arrive with 15 min to spare before the bus finally sets of for Nha Trang. 9 hours later we are here, slightly later than we expected but hey we made it in one piece.
A big thanks to the lady at the bus station and the security guard.
It’s of course possible to book bus tickets online just ensure that you know the exact pick up if not from a bus station.
There are many online places to book bus tickets, here are some of the ones we have checked out (and used)
We booked with Vexere, the bus company being Lien Hung. After complaining to the company they promised us a full refund and even gave us a voucher for the next ride.
As we won’t be using this code, please feel free. I guess this will only work once, so feel free to grab. Coupon code: E36H58, on www.vexere.com
After arriving to Nha Trang we spoke with a lovely Welsh girl who told us basically the same story, so I guess this is the normal way.