Beached out

Nha Trang Travel Blog

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I finally figured out I have a b/w feature on my camera!

I realize it’s been quite some time since I did an update.  I’ve been traveling with a group of about seven the last week and I find I don’t get on the computer much when I’m not alone.  So for those of you who have sent words of concern, don’t worry! 

 

To be honest, there isn’t much to report.  I feel as though I haven’t really taken in Vietnam like I should.  I’ve spent most of the last week or so on the beach.  From Hanoi, I headed down to Hoi An to meet up with the crew I met on the Halong Bay boat.

This girl is a doll! Her mom sold me some water.
  On the bus ride there, I met a Vietnam veteran from Duluth, Minnesota!  I’ve been wanting to meet an American Vet as I know they do come and travel through Vietnam, so I was even more excited he was someone from home.  So one night in Hoi An my group met up with Scott Cameron for dinner and listened to him chat about his time here and what he’s done since.  He almost lost his life at aged 18, and after 40 some surgeries, is still going strong and is very active at home and abroad on anti-war campaigns and such.  He caused a stir a few years back by hanging a sign near an Army recruiting office in Duluth that said don’t forget our fallen Iraqi veterans and listed the number of lives lost to date.  Right now he is chronicling his journey in Vietnam for an ABC Special. 

 

That was the highlight for me in Hoi An.

Scott and I after dinner.
  The rest of the time we hit the beach and shopped.  We rented motorbikes one day and headed off somewhere near China Beach.  My travel companions were into getting stuff tailor-made as that is a big thing in Hoi An.  I have no need for nice clothes at this point in my life so I did my best to avoid buying any shoes. 

 

As is the case when I meet others, I decided just to follow the group to our next stop, Nihau Trang, another beach town but with not as much character as Hoi An.  So far we’ve, well, hit the beach some more.  We also did a day long boat cruise to some islands, but that mostly involved partying.  At one point we all waded out to a floating bar and that was loads of fun.  Nha Trang is like the mugging capital of Vietnam, however.

She was tiny!
  One guy in our group got mugged on the walk home from the bar and another girl lost her wallet from her room.  I’ve kept a tight grip on my stuff here.  Some of the most interesting things I’ve learned in the last week are about flying.  In our group are two flight attendants and one pilot, so they’ve got lots of stories.  I didn’t realize that at any given moment there are probably dead bodies on board and eyeballs in the flight deck (for transplant that is; they must keep them up there so the blood vessels don’t burst).

 

Like I said, I don’t feel like I’ve really gotten to know Vietnam like I did Laos.  I’ve definitely eaten the local food (not my favorite cuisine) and found myself at local soup joints late at night with the motorbike taxi drivers.  That’s about it.  I’m going to let this entry be mostly pictures, as even though I feel like I’ve done little the last week, I sure have loads of pictures!

 

I’m bidding my group farewell (for now anyway) and boarding a train this afternoon to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City where I plan to actually do some things to write about. The train journey may prove interesting as well.  I’ll let you know when I hit HCMC!

chrisrae says:
Anyone offer me illegal drugs? Only every block! It's not hard to find stuff but I'm not looking. I think the ladies chew the nuts to clean their teeth - yes, I know, sounds weird but true. It think it is considered attractive to have those black teeth. Scott, the Vietnam vet I met, talked a lot about his current view of politics and war, but I was most interested in how veterans feel coming back here after the war. He talks to the locals and has tried to come to terms with what happened to him. He was seriously injured and it's been hard for him, but he is amazing. He said not everyone does that. Many veterans come and harbor anger still and leave still with that anger. I suppose it's hard no matter what. And Lao Lao, well, that is whisky made from rice. It is a very strong alcoholic drink made by the locals. I don't recommend it but if you go to Laos, you can't leave without trying it.
Posted on: Apr 29, 2008
Jensclass says:
Has anyone offered you any illegal drugs? Why do those ladies chew Betel Nuts? What is Betel Nut? Did you ask those ladies to smile or do they just smile on their own? What did you learn during your dinner with the Vietnam Vet? How do they make Lao Lao and what is it?
Posted on: Apr 23, 2008
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I finally figured out I have a b/w…
I finally figured out I have a b/…
This girl is a doll!  Her mom sold…
This girl is a doll! Her mom sol…
Scott and I after dinner.
Scott and I after dinner.
She was tiny!
She was tiny!
Another betel nut victim?
Another betel nut victim?
She was so adorable.  She was sell…
She was so adorable. She was sel…
The boys with their soup
The boys with their soup
Good stuff!
Good stuff!
This was at about 3 a.m., still ma…
This was at about 3 a.m., still m…
Barber shop on the streets of Nha …
Barber shop on the streets of Nha…
Helen and Luke, the New Zealand co…
Helen and Luke, the New Zealand c…
Helen and I enjoying the infamous …
Helen and I enjoying the infamous…
Colin, Luke and I outside the sail…
Colin, Luke and I outside the sai…
Us ladies have no mercy - we made …
Us ladies have no mercy - we made…
Cooking our beach snack after a da…
Cooking our beach snack after a d…
Enjoying seafood on the beach
Enjoying seafood on the beach
Dad and daughter on the beach of N…
Dad and daughter on the beach of …
This poor guy was chained up outsi…
This poor guy was chained up outs…
This kid is bigger than momma!
This kid is bigger than momma!
The boy band on the boat cruise - …
The boy band on the boat cruise -…
This kid was driving our boat!
This kid was driving our boat!
My taxi driver after we had bowls …
My taxi driver after we had bowls…
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85