Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nha Trang- Part One

My view from Sunrise Beach Hotel in Nha Trang, Vietnam- the first of two resorts we stayed at in the past four days. It was so beautiful and so much has happened that I hardly know where to begin. The city itself is much smaller and much less crowded than Saigon. The sea, although beautiful, was marred at this particular location because of how littered the beach was. My agenda for the past two days has been literally eat, swim, eat, and sleep. I'm sure I've eaten more in the past four days than I usually do in two weeks. Speaking of which, I got my first experience of a real seafood restaraunt. Now, eating at such a place for an eleven year veteran vegetarian who has only recently begun to eat seafood is not for the feint of heart. Such as when they caught our fish of choice from the tank and I had to hide before they killed it, or the plates of crabs and shrimp complete with eyes and claws and tiny tiny feet. Everything was so fresh- it was truly a seafood lover's paradise which of I was priveleged to partake. For me, it was certainly an experience. I also witnessed the first stoplight I saw in Vietnam- a thing rare and largely ignored when present. One night we rode in a cyclo (pronounced see-klo) which is basically a Vietnamese rickshaw. On this machine, the driver sits in the back on a bicylce and pushes the front carriage part containing the riders, as illustrated by coconuts in this photograph. Now to ride in a cyclo you have to bargain for the rate, like you have to do for many things here. But the man who offered to drive us was so old and frail I could hardly believe he could still ride the bicycle, let alone push around two full sized adults- so we just agreed to pay whatever he asked. Poor guy! But the ride was really enjoyable- it was night so the air was cool and the scenery moved along leisurely. On the final night we met a really cool guy born England whose parents were from Iraq. He had just graduated university with a degree in medicine and was celebrating by backpacking across the world- literally. He said though he'd been through so many countries none compared to Vietnam in how beautiful the land is and how kind the people are. I agree- my two days at Sunrise Hotel have certainly been filled with beauty and kindness

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