23/12/2009 - 24/12/2009
Nha Trang is a beach resort town, but we visited in the low season where big waves make the waters unswimmable. For me that meant playing in the waves, but that was exhausting as the waves are taller than me, easily have the power to topple me and leave me spinning around underwater at the mercy of the current, and come in quick succession. It was exciting and a bit scary to be knocked underwater by the waves and twisting like a rag doll, but after a few tries I learned water safety: always knowing where the next wave is, sitting on the water makes it easier to keep balance, the wave is strongest where it crests. Actually a few times I was right at the crest, and either felt water everywhere except my head (it literally jumped over me), or was unexpectedly flung into the air, or felt the rain from the wave crashing. The water literally knocked my trunks off more than once, as the wave and undertow were moving in different directions and I was helplessl being pulled by both.
For the most part we just stood back and were lifted by the passing wave, very calmly. Sue joined me in the water the second day, and agreed the waves were better for bobbing than anywhere else we'd been, but much less fun than Phuket because all we could do was wait to be lifted by the wave - the waves were just too strong to do anything else (except maybe surf, but we never have and there were no gear shops around).
Nha Trang town is a small city like any other, though the big buddha on buddha hill is pretty good. Here are a few of the landmarks: a government building, a monument near the sea, and the train station.
For pre-Christmas dinner we went to a fancy seafood place and got giant shrimp (about a foot long) and some other stuff for $10 per person. The shrimp were great, tasted like lobster and were very meaty.
Typical construction style of Vietnamese buildings - tall and narrow.
I went without Sue to Buddha hill, as she was waiting to buy train tickets out of Hanoi. It was about 20 stories of stairs up a mountain, but the Buddha was big as promised and the views of the city were not bad though the Buddha is not visible from town because of poor planning - there is no clear line of sight up the hill from anywhere we were.
The right way to do child discounts - by height.
We spent the night of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning on the overnight bus, making me a bit sad to not be with my family for Christmas for the first time, but at least I got to spend it with Sue.