0046 The Two Faces of Nha Trang (Viet 007—new)

Nha Trang Travel Blog

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Picture doesn't do the view justice...

Day 033: 4 hours, 6.0 kms

 In the evening I catch a bus that goes all the way to Saigon.  Time is running short, so I’ve got to keep moving. 

In the morning the bus stops for a couple of hours in the beautiful coastal city of Nha Trang.  I eagerly head out to see how much I can discover…

It’s only 6 in the morning, but the beach is already packed.  It seems like it’s the tradition for every man, woman and child to head down to the beach to walk, jog, play or swim.  Old couples, young people… clusters of housewives… All head down to the beautiful circular bay to take advantage of the cool early morning hours.  It’s an inspiring sight--  seeing folks here enjoying life and truly appreciating their magnificent coastline…

But then the beach comes to an end, I cross the highway and I come across the other face of this city… the Stilt Slums…

It’s a mini-city perched on bamboo stilts over a filthy lake.   Definitely begging to be explored.  I find a footbridge into the city and make my way down the zigzagging elevated walkways… Just inches away, families in tiny cage-like huts made of bamboo, palm fronds, or wood scraps, sleep, squat on the floor eating their breakfast, and prepare for the activities of the day. 

If it weren’t for the stark contrast with the modern downtown district and beautiful beach boardwalk just a few hundred yards away, this neighbourhood might not feel so disturbing… Unlike the stilt village of Surat Thani, Thailand, this definitely does not feel like a cool place to live.  It’s got to be rough living in rather wretched conditions right next to their middle class neighbors strolling lazily along the beach. And by the looks in people’s eyes, I can sense that a lot of ugly stuff goes on in these dark corners…

There’s a mix of people here… some young folks dressed in school uniforms, heading of in search of a better future… other groups of despondent looking men, already at the bottle, seem to have given up…

I’m getting more and more ill at ease, so after a couple of dead ends, I decide I’ve seen enough of the Stilt Slum City, and head back out… on back through downtown Nha Trang, and on my way to Ho Chi Minh City.

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Picture doesnt do the view justic…
Picture doesn't do the view justi…
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85