Spring Break 2005, Nha Trang

Trip Start Aug 08, 2004
Trip End Aug 2005

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Three blissful days in Nha Trang, a beautiful if somewhat bland seaside resort. It is such a foreign enclave full of western bars and sun-fried beach bums that the Vietnamese character has been heavily diluted. Ask me if I cared. Not at all. I was just overjoyed to put down my backpack and not have to be on the road. I was so exhausted I would have been ok with sitting by myself in a room and watching paint dry.

What follows is pretty much your standard beach fare...I think. I laid on the beach and sipped drinks from coconuts. I ate prawns the size of my head. I frolicked in an open air tub full of mud with 4 total strangers at the local mineral springs. I drank so many carrot-papaya shakes I thought I might turn orange. I got a bruise-inducing beachside massage from the largest Asian woman I've ever seen, built like a tank with powerful arms to match. I got a manicure on the beach from a mother and daughter team who came up from behind and pinned me down while they filed my nails. It was a rough, rough life.

Thursday I met up with Kiel who was on his way up to Hue, and hung out on the beach with him. We watched the Vietnamese tourists walk by, bundled up like it was winter out (well, I guess it's winter to them). At first I thought there was a photo shoot for upcoming 2005 fall fashions going on, and then I realized that the jackets and jeans and wool hats were just the standard beach-going garb, even when they went in the water.

I wish I could say that after three days of a lethargic, slug-like existence I am excited about hitting the road once again. But I'm not. I have settled into a fulfilling daily routine based around eating three square meals and sleeping a lot. Nights are spent at the NhaTrang Sailing Club, mornings are spent nursing hangovers with amazing food from the street vendors. At the beach, the only real reason to leave your chair is if you need to go to the bathroom. Otherwise, you can buy anything you want from the passing vendors-everything from books to sunglasses to steamed lobster.

Our one attempt at exercise was renting bikes today to ride out to a temple a few kilometers outside of town. This turned out to be more stressful than I had bargained for, since it involved figuring out the rules of traffic flow on a Vietnamese highway. Basically there are none. Every man for himself. By the end of our excursion, I had gotten pretty proficient at dodging motorbikes...I kept praying that I wouldn't get knocked over and crack my helmet-less head open on the road.

Tomorrow morning: moving on to Hoi An.
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