Following the Cai River
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 52 of 126 › view all entries
The few villagers who had gathered on a soccer field were watching a cockfight. Two hefty roosters danced circles around each other kicking with their feet and wrestling with their necks. It must have been a training bout since neither had razor blades taped to their legs and I didn't see anyone placing bets. I was a few miles upstream from Nha Trang searching for a way to cross the Cai River. I didn't find the bridge that I was looking for - or even an open view along the river - so headed back to the main road to continue further inland. Somewhere past the Nghia Hoa Pagoda, I turned again into the countryside. I didn't have a map and tried to remember what I had seen on Google Earth.
Lanes narrowed to trails then footpaths.
A narrow lane of blacktop eventually came out at Highway 1, about seven miles from Nha Trang. That two-lane route is the primary overland artery between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and allows much of its traffic to bypass Nha Trang altogether. Dark clouds and morning sun made for a scenic rest stop at the nearby Cai River Bridge.
Traffic on Highway 1 is treacherous so I hugged the edge, pedaling north. I ate a fine meal of rice, chicken, and green beans at a roadside eatery by the Dien Phu market. Prices away from the city were much cheaper. It cost 30,000 VN Đong (about US$1.60) for the meal, a bottle of water, and a pack of cigarettes. About a mile further up the highway, I turned off to cross rice paddies and rural countryside back toward Nha Trang.
The paved cut-across led me right to the Vinh Phuong Bridge which I could not find from the other side.
After the crossing, I turned toward the city on narrow blacktop. I eventually stumbled upon the familiar Vinh Ngoc market and suddenly knew where I was. I went to the Cay Bang riverside restaurant by the rickety Vinh Ngoc bridge that I had found last week. A boat or debris had knocked out a good section and that crossing was closed. Fortunately I was on the south side.