Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 20 - Funky Monkey Boat Tour

I heard a little about this boat tour from my old housemate, who sent me a link from someone else who had done this tour. It was mostly a party on a ship, with short stops at four different islands around Nha Trang. More emphasis on PARTY than anything else. All the tour companies around the city had this type of tour available, but "Funky Monkey" really pulled me in with the advertisement since it looked more like fun than any of the others.

The tour bus picked me up, along with many Vietnamese families who were probably in the city for the Beach Festival. We were shuttled to the pier, where tens of boats all floated on the dock, waiting to be packed with locals and foreigners alike. My boat consisted of mostly Vietnamese families and a couple Dutch and German guys who worked in Saigon, but were in Nha Trang for vacation. Each of them had a Vietnamese girl by their side.

The first stop was on an island that had an aquarium (Tri Nguyen) that housed many giant fishes. Nothing too exciting here, except for the fact that they had so many HUGE fishes in such SMALL tanks... There was also a small enclosed area with fishes and giant sea turtles that you could feed.

Next, we sailed to the next island, where we could snorkel along the shallow waters. I've had pretty dismal experiences snorkeling, mostly relating to me freaking out in the saltwater. Since I don't really know how to swim very well, I tend to panic easily when I'm in open waters, even when wearing a life jacket. The same thing happened here, when I jumped into the water and tried to swim to shore, which took so much energy. Once I was on shore, I realized that I would have to swim again to get back onto the boat... I snorkeled for many a couple minutes, before swimming back onto the boat, more concerned about getting back safely than looking at the pretty fishes and coral. By this point, the fun began, when some of the guests jumped off the top of the boat into the waters and relaxed on lifesavers while drinking Tiger Beers.

During this time, I noticed one of the girls,who came with one of the white guys, sitting alone on the boat, not wanting to get wet. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some answers from her about the relationship she had with this man. For the most part, it seemed like she was conveying the fact that they were just friends, and that she was single. I tried to ask her how the two of them met, but I didn't get an answer. She then proceeded to ask me where I was from, what type of job I had, what my phone number was, what hotel I was staying at tonight, and what I was doing tonight, emphasizing the fact that she had a lot of single girlfriends that she could introduce me to. I could only laugh in my head since I didn't know what her motives were and told her that I didn't have a phone number and I was busy tonight... I don't know if I got any of my questions answered from this inquisition...

After that, we sailed to the third island, while it was nearing lunchtime. Floating near the island, we had lunch, which was a smorgasbord of delicious Vietnamese food that alone, was worth the price of admission on this tour ($5 USD). We heartily ate and soon after it was time for Happy Hour and Live music from the "Funky Monkey" Boy Band. But before any of the festivities, there were introductions of people representing different countries and parts of Vietnam. A German Guy, Dutch Guy, and American Guy (me!) were each separately asked to come to the front, where we all sang our own renditions of "Frere Jacques" in our own native languages.

I didn't know "Frere Jacques" in English...

I felt like that girl in Sister Act 2 who didn't know the words to Mary Had a Little Lamb and had to resort to singing "The Loveboat" Theme song...

When I was onstage, I told our host that I didn't know the song in English, but only in French (which was a lie, because I only knew parts of the song in French). Anyways...who really knows this song in English???

After that, our host and the Funky Monkey Band sang different Vietnamese songs before ending the performance with a rendition of "Unchained Melody."

Floating Bar Happy Hour came next, where we all jumped into the water to get free "Funky Monkey Cocktails" while we floated in lifevests and lifesavers. Music blasted in the background, including House of Pain's "Jump Around" and The Wonder Girls' "Nobody." I did find the courage to jump in the water in my vest...who can say no to free alcohol?

The last island stop was at Mot Island, which allowed many of us to lazily lie on the beach for a good hour, recovering from the day's activities. Overall a good trip that was worth the $5. Additional optional fees included the acquarium ($1), Sea Urchin Soup ($2.5), and the Mot Island Entrance ($1).

After the boat trip, I headed back to the beach to soak in more sun. I bought a kite to fly since it was a nice and windy day. The kite string ended up being very short, so my kite cowered over the other kites flying in the air. Next time, I'll make sure I purchase the higher quality kites... Spent the rest of the night lounging on the beach until dusk before having dinner at a street corner where they served beef steaks and retreated back to the hotel for the night...

Tri Nguyen Aquarium - First stop on the Funky Monkey Boat Tour

The top of the aquarium provided beautiful views of the boats around the island.

Feeding Sea Turtles at the Aquarium

Preparing lunch for all the hungry guests

Sea Urchin Soup - A mix between a rice porridge and egg drop soup with pieces of sea urchin

Sitting on the top of the boat, starving before lunchtime


The Funky Monkey Boy Band

Funky Monkey Happy Hour/Floating Bar

Mot Island

Flying Kites at Nha Trang Beach

Having a Beer at Dusk

Beef Steak with a tomato sauce, onions, and homemade Mayonnaise, along with salad and a baguette. I had two of these for dinner.


  1. Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
    Brother John, Brother John,
    Morning bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing.
    Ding, dang, dong, Ding, dang, dong.

  2. i'd rather sing the love boat theme song. lol