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Published: March 13th 2010
Arriving in Nha Trang in the evening, I wasted no time in checking in to a dorm in the town center and then looking for a place to go diving with. Nha Trang is known for it's water sports but mainly its scuba diving and snorkeling, albeit not as good as in southern Thailand from what I had been hearing. Nevertheless I soon found a place and two dives cost me less than forty bucks. Like I always do, I walked the town for a bit during the evening, and then returned back to the dorm, met a few other backpackers, but retired early.
My alarm rang at six in the morning and in zombie like fashion, I got my stuff together and then went down to eat breakfast, which was included and quite good. Soon after I was picked up and driven to the port, boarded the boat and were on our way. I was the only diver, a few other women from Singapore were there as well but were going snorkeling. The boat ride lasted an hour, weather conditions seemed bleak. Waves pounded against the boat, and the sky was gray and completely overcast. I hoped this wouldn't
hamper visibility down under. The divemaster and I suited up and then as soon as we arrived to the site, jumped in. The water seemed way warmer than being on the boat. We descended and although the corals weren't as vivid, nor the fish as plentiful as in Thailand, I was still able to see some cool things like cloud fish, flute fish, and a giant turtle that we followed for a while. First time I've seen a turtle while diving. We did two dives that day. On the way back I was shivering as the weather was even worse. Lunch was also provided and we ate at some local restaurant when we got back.
Soon after I bumped into two guys I had seen in Cambodia, we decided to go out later that night. I then went to a gym near the dorm, unfortunately it was a real girlie gym but it go the job done. Will be awesome when I get home and can start training seriously again. Got back to the dorm and went out with these three girls for dinner, was kinda pricier than I had wanted to pay, and this seemed like a fancy
place but it's good to do this from time to time and it didn't cost anything near as much as the same experience would cost back home. The four of us had full meals, bottle of red wine, and desert and the combined bill was only about twenty bucks!
We then went to meet up with those guys and headed into red apple bar for happy hour, I ran into Marissa here as well. I guess because Vietnam is so thin you either head north or south and it's easy to bump into people you've already met along the way. We moved on to Why Not? Bar and spent a few hours getting (mildly) drunk.
My alarm rang at eight in the morning, I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep but pushed myself up and rushed downstairs. I had booked a boat trip for the day that went island hopping, a fairly popular tour here but supposedly really good for the value. Needless to say it was a rough morning. I met an Aussie named Tim also waiting to be picked up. The weather hadn't cleared up since yesterday and this didn't bode well for
us. When we arrived at the boat we boarded and there was a half and half mix of Vietnamese and foreigners.
The first island we hit had a cheesy aquarium on it. It showcased some massive fishes, sharks and turtles. Tim and I went off to explore the other side of the island and then had to rush back and almost missed our boat in the process. The next place was a bay where we climbed the top of the boat and jumped into the water, then went snorkeling for a while. Obviously not near the same level as diving but still fun enough. By this point everyone was pleasantly surprised to see the sun breaking through the clouds, my first sight of it since arriving here. Next up we had a communal lunch on the boat, lots of food and I ate about six bowls of stuff. Then some of the crew played in a band and set up to play for us. They were really good, playing Vietnamese and popular cover songs and then trying to get the passengers involved by calling them up to sing as well. Some even got up to dance.
then produced a "floating bar", serving some sort of weird, tangy alcoholic concauction. At this point it was fully sunny and many jumped in to partake and shouted "Yo" (Vietnamese for cheers). The Vietnamese love to drink. They tried giving us vodka shots from off the boat as well. I met these two Norwegian girls, who were total alcoholics and chain smokers as well as two Canadian girls from BC who got along quite well with them.
Our final stop for the day was some private beach. I just lounged around for a while. When we returned to the boat, fresh fruit was laid out for everyone and it tasted good. We made our way back to Nha Trang after this, very fun day and it only cost seven bucks. Later on that night Tim and myself met up with the girls we met on the boat for dinner, the Norwegians were wasted but they knew how to drink!
Next day I hired a bicycle and biked the town. As cars, motorbikes, and bicycles all intermingle on the streets, it was fun being part of traffic although nowhere near the sort seen in Saigon. I stopped at some
dilapidated Cham towers that was a former Hindu temple way back in the day. I continued on to the outskirts of town before doubling back. I went to the beach in the afternoon for a short time, the weather was amazing.
As I finish typing this on a thirteen hour sleeper bus ride to my next destination, I think it's time for some sleep...
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