Shiny White Hotels, Dirty Grubby Us

Distance: 102km
Temperature (max): 36°C
View the stats on Strava (Nhà Trắng to Phan Rang)

Total distance to date: 1,564 km

The thermometer read hot, 36°C today but we barely noticed because we were sporting perma-smiles all day due to a strong tailwind, propelling us southward. We finished the day in a little city that has flown under our radar, Phần Rang. Our hotel is in a super cute neighborhood, surrounded by restaurants with big-people chairs (vs itty bitty plastic ones).

We always feel a wee bit guilty when we arrive at a hotel and wheel our grubby bikes onto the shimmering shiny floors of the lobby-parking-zone, leaving behind scuffs & dirt as evidence. But that’s how it’s done—guest’s bikes and motorbikes are parked indoors. It’s mildly embarrassing to check-in all sweaty, probably smelly (well, maybe Randy), but it’s how we travel and hotel proprietors are always gracious. Sometimes we wonder if they are secretly cringing at our presence in their little white Hotels.

In a country where very few own cars, we have observed that car owners keep them as shiny and polished as their glistening floors. People wash cars daily (or so it seems), on sidewalks, at the side of the road, gas stations—anywhere! That, along with horn honking, seems to be a national pastime.

Things aren’t always shiny & white. Oh, no no no…..we regularly see rats scooting the streets at night and they are as big as squirrels. We see giant cockroaches crittering their way across sidewalks though not as often. Giant is not an exaggeration—they are about 2-inches long. But we have made peace with the rodents. They are, afterall, just making their way through life. Now we just smile with amusement—as long as they stay outside—and so far they have.

Our hotel tonight is just 400VND which converts to about $22. Our room too is all polished and shiny, even the woodwork. Hotels are a bargain in Vietnam. Rarely have we been disappointed, and never have we paid more than about $52. We are probably averaging about $37 a night but we have been splurging on nicer places.

We rode through Cam Ranh Bay today, considered one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam, located just 45 kilometers away from Nha Trang. All the big brand, fancy schmancy ultra luxurious hotels are there, far from the busy beach-city scene of Nhà Trắng. The airport located at the southern end once served as one of three aerial ports locations where United States military personnel entered or departed South Vietnam for their 12-month tour of duty during the Vietnam war. Despite the proliferation of ultra-lux hotels, there stood what might be yet another behemoth hotel project that seems to have stalled.

Our lovely hotel in Nhà Trang. It wasn’t wide, but it was tall and the room was spacious & grand.

Another large hotel that looks to be possibly abandoned—or at least on hiatus.

The shiny floors we feel guilty about messing up with our grubby bikes.

Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. hotels are definitely a bargain there!…not so much the rats and roaches. Glad you had the wind at your back on such a hot day. Never ceases to surprise me what all shapes and sizes of “stuff” can be transported on the back of a motor bike. Amazing.

    • Just pumping up air. Hotel employees are so enthusiastic about helping out that they sometimes just grab a pump (with the wrong valve) and attempt to blow up tires for us. This guy had the right pump & valve so we let him proceed. 🙂

  2. What incredible memories you will recount with one another!! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us:) Continued safe travels:):)

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