Last week I was measured up, dressed up and fitted up in all sorts of garments in Hoi An. This week we move to Nha Trang.
Day 43 – 1st June 2000
We ambled around today, no real place to go, nothing much to see. Nha Trang is not the most inspiring places I’ve visited. After a lazy breakfast we did the one thing that you can always do here, head to the beach. The moment a non Viet steps foot on the beach, that’s a cue for all the book sellers, fruit, newspapers, sweets and anything else they can sell to you.
We had large sun beds where we took it easy and listened to music. I didn’t swim as the water turned a bit murky after Karin got out. In the evening the rain returned just as we started walking to the Sailor’s Club. A sophisticated drinking spot with wicker chairs and abstract black and white photos surrounding the clientele. Good music such as Moby although the drinks were a little pricey. We moved on to the Rainbow Bar a vast contrast, crap Euro music and many pissed people. We ordered a bottle of Viet Rum our favourite tipple at the moment and received another bottle free. We felt it was our duty to drink them both. Karin and I coped well but Karin was wasted.
Day 44 – 2nd June 2000
Anne picked the worst possible day to have a hangover, the day of Mama Hanh’s boat trip. Mama Hanh is a crazy throwback from the Vietnam war who everyday cruises out in the South China Sea on a boat to party and in her own words ‘get fxxxxd up baby’. As we slowly chugged out across the sea Mama Hanh cried into her microphone ‘listen to mama, don’t be lazy, we’re gonna get fxxxxd up baby, do as mama says’. You pay $7 for the trip which includes food, free wine and free dope. You have to pay for any beer at the end; you keep your ring pulls to count how many you’ve drank. Definitely a safe proof method. The buffets were laid out on the decks with fruits, sea fish, spring rolls and much more, a wonderful sight.
We stopped for swimming and snorkeling, and a floating bar where Mama Hanh shoves a bottle of red wine down your throat to down. She also handed out copious amounts of weed pre-rolled and ready for action while you float around in a rubber ring. Anne perked up as the day went on; Zimbabwe Dave coped well as he joined the boat straight from the night bus from Hoi An.
On return to dry land we had dinner at Des Amis on the recommendation of an Irish girl called Sheila who joined us for the meal, along with a weird Australian called Dave. We turned in around ten; we couldn’t cope with anything else. I’m beginning to feel a bit Vietnamed out!
Day 45 – 3rd June 2000
We were movin’ on again today. We had to hang around until nine in the evening for the bus to Saigon. We decided to miss out on Dalat and the Central Highlands as we are running out of time in Vietnam. We still have to visit Saigon, the Mekong Delta and maybe the Cu Chi Tunnels all before our Visa’s run out.
We had breakfast at the ‘Backpackers Cafe’ opposite the hotel. Dave had gone scuba diving today. We booked the bus for tonight and checked out of the room. Well I didn’t Dave is staying another night so I kept my stuff there until I left. We then made our way to the beach for the day. We relaxed under parasols reading. I finished the Sorrow of War a very meaningful book. Karin was overcome by one of the beggars doing the rounds, he had no arms below the elbow, his eyes were gauged out, and he walked aimlessly down the beach chanting ‘Hello’. She gave him some money. There are many beggars patrolling the beach and seafront, some with horrific injuries. The problem with a poor country like this is finding genuine hardship.
Anne bought a crab which kept her amused for an hour or two. We had dinner at Des Amis again. Great food and classical music while you eat. We were joined by Irish Sheila again. It’s a shame she isn’t traveling in the same direction as us, very pleasant. We made our way back to the hotel to be picked up by the bus. Another mini bus arrived nearly full; this was not going to be a comfortable trip. I sat in the front with the two drivers, very cramped. I couldn’t listen to my CDs as their stereo was pumping out Vietnamese music. Who needs sleep?
Stay Tuned: As I experience the delights of Saigon.