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Alicia & Rich's Roads to Everywhere London to Australia on the route less traveled

Nha Trang

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 4 August 2010 | Views [699]

Ever wanted to know what it feels like to live in a sardine can? Just hop on an overnight bus down the Vietnam coast and you'll quickly find out. From the outside it looks like any other bus, but once you step inside (take your shoes off before you do!) it's a whole strange new world. Three rows across and ten deep, these futuristic looking bedseats fill the bus. You have a choice of floor or top bunk, we chose the top beds and spent 6 hours trying to figure out how to get comfortable. No-one told us that there is no room for backpacks, so we have to jam them into the enclosure with our legs. It could've been worse, at least the a/c was working.

So we arrive in Nha Trang around 6am and the city is already buzzing. This seaside town is halfway down the Vietnam coast and is Vietnam's most popular beach for tourists and locals alike. After spending the last couple weeks in crazy cities, it'll be nice to grab a bit of downtime on the beach. Which is where we head to straight away. Sunloungers, umbrellas, warm clear water and a coconut...now this is more like it. Of course at the end of the day Rich is burnt and vowing to never lay out in the sun again. So tomorrow we have to find activities away from the beach.

Vietnamese food is so tasty that we decide to sign up to a cooking class to learn how to make these treats at home. The class is run by a chef at a local restaurant and she begins the day by taking us to the market. This massive market sells everything food related and we weave around the maze of stalls, tasting unfamiliar fruit and veg. And then we see the most disturbing sight. In the fish section, we come across all the normal creatures for sale - crab, octopus, shrimp, and then we see the frogs. A bowl of frogs with no skin! It's gross but not too bad, until we see them move slightly. "Are they alive!?" I say. Then as if to confirm my disbelief, we see a woman pick up a live frog, cut a slit down the back of its skin with scissors and (this is where i looked away) rip the skin clean off the frog in one quick motion.

With the utterly disturbing sight lodged in our heads, we head back to the restaurant to cook up our feast. Our 3 course meal of spring rolls, hot pot and flambé is pretty tasty and they give us the recipes so we can try them out at home.

We spend the rest of our time, exploring the small town's temples and other points of interest. We go scuba diving about 1hr off shore and see some eels and interesting fish in the semi clear water. All in all, Nha Trang is a great beach spot and its only going to get bigger with all the building going on. Glad we got to see it before it turns into Cancun.


local beach life

local beach life


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