A day long bus ride from Saigon to Nha Trang…
New buildings rise above the old everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City.
But in some places the old still rise above the new.
And accidents will happen…
Although long the ride was interesting. Somewhere north of Saigon, as we rose into the hills, we started seeing butterflies streaming past like snowflakes in the breeze. We passed tree plantations where the trees, planted in long geometric rows, created interesting optical effects. We passed numerous Christian churches, which we’d never seen anywhere else in Vietnam or Cambodia. And around Mui Ne, we entered sand country.
Mui Ne, one of Vietnam’s premier beach resort towns, is situated on a headland poking out into the ocean. Endless resorts line the highway, including those under development and those that never happened (like the one above). Yellow sand mixes with white sand mixes with red sand to produce a fascinating landscape.
Around dusk (how is it that buses always arrived around dusk?) we arrived in Nha Trang. We caught a taxi to our hotel of choice where the only available room had three double beds. As Sue was starting to feel the effects of a cold we opted for space and took the room. It was comfy and had an excellent view towards the beach.
Sue fought the cold for several days so we stayed in Nha Trang a bit longer than we originally planned. Although a bit of a resort/party town it was fairly mellow and the beach was delectable (rated as one of the 10 best bays in the world).
Our first day I walked the beach end to end while Sue rested. Sue felt up for going out for dinner in the evening so we stopped at Lanterns Restaurant which not only served delicious food but also supported local orphans (we tried to patronize businesses that provided community support whenever possible).
The next day Sue was totally under the weather so I ventured out for food and caught up on the blog. The next day she felt a bit better so we walked on the beach. The weather had turned and it was windy with big waves surfing onto the beach.
Some people continued to jump into the water, no matter how strong the surf…
We just watched, and listened to, it roll in.
All that ozone seemed to be improving Sue’s health.
The next day the wind dropped and we spent some serious time on the beach. As the sun set we walked down the promenade viewing the passing scene.
Although there were sights to be seen around Nha Trang we spent the next two days lounging on lounge chairs under beach umbrellas at the Sailing Club. Sue recuperated as we relaxed and swam. We also did a bit of low key shopping. My favourite shop was Bambou: excellent designs on good fabrics in my size!
We did do a little kite flying while in Nha Trang also. If you remember our blog of our trip to Europe last year you may remember our failed attempts at kite flying in Koroni, Greece. We saw the locals flying kites and thought we’d try our hand, but to no avail. Well, we saw lots of kites been flown at a plaza right behind the beach in Nha Trang so we bought one from a street vendor and tried again to play in the breezes.
We got the kite up there and then some kids came along and so we gave the string to a little girl. She was having such fun, and we knew we couldn’t take the kite with us, we gifted her the kite.
When the stage went up next to our lounge chairs and the bass started thumping we decided it was time to move on.
Nha Trang was a lovely place to spend some time, but as Sue said, if she hadn’t been sick, we probably wouldn’t have spent so much time there, as it was a bit more touristic and party mode than what we normally would have sought (e.g. our island paradise in Cambodia).
We caught an all-night bus to Hoi An. The Bus Ride from Hell, as far as I was concerned. The sleeper seat was too short for me, and I never sleep on all-night buses anyways. Plus the conductor was rude and officious. And the driver was typical: hit the accelerator, hit the brakes. The up-side was we arrived in Hoi An: a UNESCO World Heritage city that captures a Vietnam of years gone by.