March 22 2006
Nha Trang is my first stop on the Bus Tour. It's the place to get pampered. It's a sexy vacation place with lots of spas, great beaches and wonderful sights to see. I booked a boat tour the first day I arrived.
We were all shuttled to the pier where there were many boats just like this one filling up with tourists.
Our guide welcomed us to the boat and away we went, out to Sea. There are many Islands off the Coast of Nha Trang, and many beautiful resorts.
The thing I notice about Vietnam is that there are many people from Vietnam who are on these tours. In Thailand it was rare to see a Thai on board as a visitor. I think you guys are 'Tuanah and Haianh Pham from Hanoi.
And you two are newlyweds right? Dinh and Minh Chau? Work with me people.
And I hope you two are 'Anh and Thuy' from Hanoi. I think this woman has a beautiful face. Of all the people on the boat, for some reason I just gravitated to these three couples. I find the Vietnamese people very approachable. I find that because of my age and the fact that I'm a bit of a geek, I tend to get along with the local cultures better than the younger travelers from my own heritage. Go figure...
These are traditional Vietnamese boats for fishing and moving supplies around. A few of our bunch went for a ride to try one out.
Meanwhile, the cooks on the boat prepared a feast for us..We were served rice, fruit, French bread and a few Vietnamese dishes that looked like spring rolls. This culture borrows from the many countries who have occupied their land throughout the last thousand years. The result is a wonderful culinary diversity. (Wow, I think all that reading is helping my vocabulary).
After lunch we had a surprise. The crew brought out some instruments and we all got song sheets. We got to try some karaoke and sang the company song. By the end of the session a bunch of us were dancing on the table.
And yes, those coconuts are real. This is our Tour guide. He will do anything for the morale of the boat. These guys were here for a fun day and we were were very pleasantly surprised to see how much they did to make the day memorable. I think I'm going to need therapy before I'll be willing to drink cocoa nut milk again though.
The water is wonderful here. It's clean and warm and very refreshing. Our boat stopped for an hour while we did some snorkeling. There is a coral reef right near by where I saw a rainbow of colors and some fantastic fish. The only question you have to ask yourself is: am I jumping into the water here or coming up?
I swam for a long time, just enjoying the warm sunny day here in March. Sorry to hear about the snow in Canada. Life's all about choices, eh?
We stopped off at an Island resort for a couple of hours. This mermaid is the symbol of this particular place.
Some of our crew went para sailing ($12 a ride). Others went swimming. I just went for a walk down the beach until I met up with the manager of this resort. He invited me to sit down and have a whiskey with him. We sat and talked for a while and he asked me about Canada. This is such a nice way to spend a day. This seems like a dream. A few of us took this round boat to a floating fishing village. These people live on the water and have a marine farm. They catch undersized creatures and keep them in netted holding tanks until they are a better size to sell.
It's a bit hard to see but this is a squid the size of my foot. If you look carefully you can see her eyes. I kept thinking of the Jules Verne book: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. I can understand why he chose this creature to grab the submarine. It's a powerful animal.
One of the women who took us here made a motion in the water which attracted the squid to us the way you would attract a dog to come and see you. This squid is very tame. Unfortunately she will be very delicious very soon.
She may not speak much English but she decided I was pretty interesting. I think it's because I look like a Buddhist Monk. We had a great time joking around and they were very proud of their fishing village. By the end of the boat trip today I was happy and feeling very relaxed.