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Our world Travel On 10th May 2007 I fled the UK on a journey around the world with a long list of places to go. Got as far as the Philippines where I met my wife. We got married on 11th May 2010 and are now sharing the experiences of travelling the world together

Dalat to Nha Trang

VIETNAM | Thursday, 10 April 2008 | Views [4739]

Tue 8th Apr - Booked a bus to Nha Trang with TM Brothers leaving around 8am. Got picked up from the hotel half an hour early to be taken to the office where the bus leaves. The Phuon Hahn hotel has been a comfortable and clean place to stay, with a very swiched on girl at reception that runs it.

Quite a few people on the bus but some are going to Mue Ne south of Nha Tran and will change bus later.

The route eastwards goes through some beautiful scenery. Vietnam is a gorgeous country with a very fertile landscape. Fruit plantaitons are everywhere, as are rice paddies and vegetable farms. It was nice to see the rice paddies at different stages of growth, with harvesting taking place too. The rice stalks, having been threshed and separated from their seed form large mounds everywhere, to be dried for further use. The rice grain spread out in vast areas to dry in the sunshine. Some nursery paddy field with intense green, changing through different saes of green to the ochre of the crop nearing harvest time. Passed some fields with the typical scene of the groups of ladies picking the crop in their vietnamese cone hats...the standard postcard image.

One area had a large spread of trees laden with fruit ranging from cream thru intense yellow to vivid red about the size and shape of a pear. Looked similar to some I had tried on the market, but nice to see against the dark green leaves and blue sky.

Much of Vietnam is mountainous, and this journey is no exception, creating an ever changing backdrop to the lush fertile land below.

A small panic happened at one point, when the side luggage door of the bus swung open on a narrow winding section of mountain road, steep drop to one side and another bus coming the other. The whole bus yelled for the driver to stop and it was a while before he realised what was happening. He managed to pull over before the door got ripped off!

Got to Nha Trang at about 2pm and didn't take long to find somewhere at the appropriately named Nice hotel  between Quan Tran and Hung Vuong St. Got an upper floor room for $12 a night.

Hit the streets for a reccy and straight to the beach to paddle in the South China Sea. The seafront is attractive with straw parasols and nice quality sand, although a little gritty with many islands visible from the beach,  the biggest of which is Hon Tre island accessible by cable-car but spoilt by an enormous 'Vinpearl' sign displayed hollywood-style on the hillside. As expected, building work going on in places. Walked along the beach and stopped at the 'Louisiane Brewhouse' for a taster tray of their beers (65,000 dong). This place is famous (here anyway) for producing many beers in its micro-brewery from around the world. Very smart place that opened in mid 2006. The cover of the menu has a couple of eye-catching quotes......

`I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day`...Frank sinatra

` Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drik I feel ashamed - then I look into the lass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work, and their dreams may be shattered. Then I say to myself, I is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about my liver'....Deep thought by Jack Handy.

The sun started to fade and time to finish off the walk along the beach, heading through the lovely topiary park on the front. Also checked out some diving options for day after tomorrow as Nha Trang has some good diving and reasonably priced too. $45 for 2 dives including lunch and all kit hire on average.

Wed 9th Apr -  Walked along the Tran Phu beach road to where the Tran Phu bride crosses the Cai river. The scene from here gives a superb view of a fishing village complete with many tens of blue Gulet style boats and sea produce spread out to dry in the baking sun. Nothing gets wasted. Trays of fish skin drying out, Large trays of fish bones and jaws glaring their sharp teeth, other trays with fish backbones.  Across the bridge and as short walk to the Po Nagar Cham temples which were originally built for hindu worship in the 2nd century, but later used by buddhists.

The heat was rising rapidly, so ran from one shade to another as we walked to the Long Son Pagoda. A 92 year old buddhist monk was swinging in a chair posing for a nice photo opportunity.  Above the pagoda is a massive white Buddha statue looking east out to sea. A long walk back stopping at the railway station to gather information for later on in the journey. Back onto the sea front and stopped at the beautiful  XQ Cô Ðô Traditional hand embroidered vietnamese art and tea garden. Sitting on low wooden chairs in the shade around tables finished with emroidered panels and served by beautiful vienamese girls in traditional dress and cone hats, is a lovely way to end the mammoth walk in the heat. Plenty of freshly made green tea provided free. Most clients visit the galleries to view the stunning works that run into many millions of dong. A workshop shows work in progress and really does justify the high price. Most are double sided and of such intricate detail. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity. At the entrance is a photo wall showing some of their most famous of clients, such as prime ministers of countries or presidents, joined by David Beckham, Prince Andrew etc. Only those with loads of dosh get on the wall of fame!

Later on in the evening i learnt about changes to the issue of the chinese visa, which is now only 30 days single entry with no re-entry until after the olympics, which seriously affects my plans as I was going to spend a few months there. Need a bit of a re-think.

Thu 10th Apr - Had booked a couple of dives withTurtle diving for this morning. Picked up a 8am to go the seaport. A couple of good dives with good visibility upto 15 metres and plenty to see including moray eels, lionfish and some unusual urchins.

Rest of day spent chillin and a bit of research for future travels.

Disaster struck on the PC I was using earlier today. Some weird kind of virus just wiped out a major chunk of my photo database. I have just lost everything I have photographed from Saigon upto today. I am a bit depressed about it as there were some stunning photographs of the places I have recently visited that I cannot recover. Some of the Pcs you get on the road are lethal.

Fri 11th Apr - 8am bus to Quy Nyon along the coast oing northwards. This will be a branching point for heading into the central highlands...more later.



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