"Same Same but Different"
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 6 of 16 › view all entries
June 3rd, 2006 – by: Stephanie
Arrived into Nha Trang after our 10 hour bus ride, which all in all wasn't too bad. Occasionally woke up with Regina's head butting my shoulder, but I figured it was a small price to pay for cheap bus tickets. Got into town around 6:30 and ended up staying at Blue Star. Ate at a street stall where the tables and chairs are ridiculously small and meant really for children. I could barely fit my ass on the chair. I can only imagine how hard it must be for a large white guy. Ate delicious banh cuon which I guest translates to steamed rice rolls with minced pork and this other type of pork paste on the side. So delicious and only 10,000 dong (abut 66 cents) that I had 2 portions. The woman serving the portion heartily chuckled and was highly amused by me. Also had some fresh soybean milk on the side. We've been drinking everything with ice despite what the tour guide books says. We booked a boat cruise with Mama Linh's Boat Cruise company, a highly entertaining company whose drinking slogan is "Yo! Up your bum, no babies!" The cruise took us to four islands. We went snorkeling off the first island by jumping off the deck of our boat. We had lunch and a special show by Mama Linh's boat crew singing songs that lacked any musical skill but were entertaining nonetheless. After lunch, we had "floating bar" where we jumped off the roof of the boat and they threw us life rings so we could drink and float. Off the third island we wandered around and by the fourth island, we were too tired and didn't feel like going on and paying admission to the "aquarium" so they opened up floating bar for us again. Landed back at the dock and took a quick shower before getting amazing 1 hour massages. Went home to take a nap for 45 minutes before meeting up with our friends at Why Not Bar and ended up falling asleep for 2 and a half hours! We showed up sheepishly at the bar and it turned out quite a few others had done the same. Another meal on a street corner where we wedged our asses onto the chairs and crammed our legs up to the table. Delicious and also only 10,000 dong. Ended up drinking the local beer Bia Hoa late into the night with an Australian guy and 2 Swedish guys from the boat whose bickering reminded me of the Odd Couple. "You're so fucking ugly!" "Oh yeah? Well you're so fucking stupid!" The local beer is only 6,000 dong a liter so basically you could drink 2.5 liters of beer for a $1. And the guy made us spring rolls too! Woke up the next morning rather late and since it was Sunday most of the stalls we had seen the day before were gone. We surmised that most were at church. Managed to find a place with a different type of soup that had yellow noodles but they weren't egg. Couldn't figure it out. Topped off our 10,000 dong meal with Nuoc Mia or fresh pressed sugarcane juice. I had 4 in one day! So delicious. We sat out on the beautiful beach underneath the cover of umbrellas hiding from the harsh sun. We ventured into the water, enough so to have achieved tan lines and a dark color. Ran into our Scottish friend Scott at the beach and we promised we'd buy his dinner if he'd let us take showers at his place again since we had given up our room because we were taking the bus that night. Ate fresh crab and mussels on the beach boardwalk, but as soon as you crack open the crab, flies swarm around you everywhere. Tasty all the same, but the seafood didn't fill us up and we ended up getting another bowl of noodle soup before we had to catch our bus. On the way there, found a desert stand that had coconut and grass jelly, dragon fruit, start fruit, and mango all mixed together in a sugary liquid concoction. Hopped on the bus for what would prove to be the scariest ride of my life. The driver was speeding around curves and overtaking other cars. I remember at one point the entire bus was gasping when it felt like our bus would tip over the side. Lots of "Holy Shit!" comments were heard. But hey, 10 hour bus ride for $4 is peanuts and I guess you have to be willing to take some chances:) By the way, does anyone know why the phrase "Same same but different" is so popular here? We've actually found it useful and applies to almost all situations. "Uh, I asked for pork, not fish." "That's ok. Same same, but different!"
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