Paradise with no power
08.06.2010 - 12.06.2010 40 °C
Nha Trang is on the coast about an 11 hour drive north of Saigon. It is absolutely gorgeous. The day we arrived we found a hotel and were then informed that there was no power…. Anywhere in town until 6pm that night.. It was about 7am. We wandered through the scorching town and found ourselves on the beach. It’s beautiful. You have the swaying palms and the blue ocean and the islands in the distance. There is old women on the beach barbequing fresh crabs and we got 3 for about $1 each. Pretty impressive. We keep wandering and find the best and worst thing possible. A microbrewery on the beach with a pool and lounges and a massage centre and most importantly they have power which means fans!!!. It imports all its hops from Australia and is amazingly well run. The beer was awesome and we spent way too much time there.
I quickly made friends with the receptionist who worked at the hotel that we were staying. Her name is Fi and she is the happiest person that I have ever met. We spent quite a lot of time downstairs having a few beers and trying to translate Vietnamese into English. It was good fun and she brought lots of fruit that even Matt ate (I should have taken photos!!). They are pretty hard workers over there I must admit. They work 24 hour shifts, 7am – 7am. There was a girl and a guy who alternated days and as far as I can tell they don’t really have weekends.
It was Fi’s day off the next day and she came and picked me up at the hotel and took me down to the market. On the way though I joined a club!! The 3 people on a motorbike in the middle of town club!! We had to pick up her nephew on the way to the market and drop him off at a house somewhere. By the time I get there I am completely lost but the people are lovely. There was a woman who seemed hell bent on making me a gourmet feast in the 10 minutes that I was actually in the house for. It was sweet. I was given the hammock in the lounge to sit on (Hammock in the lounge room – how cool is that!! It was drilled into the wall and everything) which seemed to be a big deal. Anyway off we headed to the market. It is very different going to the market with a Vietnamese person as opposed to going with Matt. I didn’t get grabbed at. They didn’t try and rip me off. A few times they got a bit aggressive but Fi soon put them in there place. It was really cool and if I didn’t like what they were showing me she would promptly tell them no and they would listen.!! This has never never happened to just me.
We wake up nice and early the next morning to the air con turning off in our room… It is 6am. The room immediately heats up. We go downstairs just to be told that every second day from 6am – 6pm the town is without power… I was a bit worried about eating at places that didn’t have generators as they wouldn’t have any refrigeration but I sucked it up and didn’t die!! When there is no power the only real place to be is the beach with the nice breeze.
Matt and I had booked a half day snorkeling trip and when we made it onto the boat we were told that we were the only snorkelers. There were 3 other guys who were diving. It was a pretty cool cruise out there and when we anchored at the first site the boys all jumped in with their gear on. Matt had commented that there were a few jelly fish down there but I couldn’t see anything. I waited a bit - Matt was already in the water and swimming around. I leap in and try adjusting my mask. I had gotten about 3 meters from the boat when I felt stinging all over my body. I put my face in the water only to be confronted with about 3 feet of tiny jellyfish floating on top of the water. I immediately swim back to the boat. I am truely panicing. I tell the man that I can’t swim in that water. He gives me a wetsuit and I get back in. It’s no good, they are stinging my hands and the gaps in my flippers and if dare to put my face under the water they would go to town on that. Matt lasted a lot longer than I did in the water (about 15 minutes) but it even got too much for him and he headed back to the boat. We asked the guy to pull the divers as they had only just gone under but he wouldnt so we had to wait on the boat before heading to the next dive site..... Unhappy...
We decided to give the boat trip another go when Fe told us that she would come with us as well. It was a four island tour that went all day and cost $6. We all got picked up from the hotel at about 8am. Fe had decided to bring her 2 nieces and her nephew and we had all convinced a few Chinese guys to come along. We get to the boat and it is packed. Everyone scraping for shade and due to that lack of space we are soon all pretty good friends.
Our first stop is the Aquarium. It is housed in a huge concrete boat and has a huge fish farm attached to it. We only had 40 minutes here but if was pretty cool. They had the biggest fish that I have ever seen. The turtles and sharks were pretty impressive as well. I will post photos of them when I can. Next stop is just offshore of an island. We are told by our guide that we have time for swimming and snorkeling here. It is so cool. We all get to jump off the boat and they will throw you out rubber rings to sit in and give you a few beers. Despite Fe and her family growing up in a sea side town none of them can swim. Nonetheless we get them all into the water except the older girl who unfortunately is suffering from sea sickness.
Third stop is for lunch. We are in the middle of the ocean when these other boats appear out of nowhere. The throw on ropes and tie us all together and are soon having a huge communal lunch. One eating has finished there is an announcement that ‘the best boy band in Vietnam’ will be playing aboard our boat. People from the other boats pile on and our very crowded boat becomes a floating mosh pit. They were pretty fun (but not good). They played a few Vietnamese songs but then played a song for every nationality present onboard. We had a Dutch girl get up and sing with them. A very enthusiastic British girl had a go. We had Canada present and a lovely rendition of the Land Down Under by a very tall Aussie. There was a large group of New Zealand tourists on aboard and when they were told that they did not get a song because Australia and New Zealand are the same they went a bit crazy. So up 3 men get and do a laughable Haka. Only one knew how to do it so the other 2 just pulled to facial expressions to try and go along.
Once the ‘gig’ was over and we had all had our laugh they sent a man out in a floating bar filled with fruit wine and threw us all back in the water. We all swam over and were fed terrible tasking wine by the glass. It was fun though. Everyone was happy and smiles were everywhere.
Our final stop for the day was at a beach. They dropped us off at the pier and off we trotted. The beach wasn’t that good and they only thing I managed to take from there was a hole in my big toe but there were semi waves that we all could frolick in so it was still fun. Absolutely exhausted we headed back into shore and to our hotel.
There was just one more day in Nha Trang before we headed off on our 6 day motorbiking trip through the central highlands and what better way to spend it than at the brewery on the beach after getting Matt the best lobster lunch in the world. I think I spent about 7 hours there. Met a nice British couple who were heading in a different direction to us and chatted for a few hours. It was a perfect lazy day.