Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lounging around a beach town

So far our time in Nha Trang has been amazing.  The weather has been idyllic, with a cool ocean breeze relieving the sometimes heavy heat.  Ryan scuba dived Monday morning, where he spotted Lion Fish, Moray Eel and many other small fish.  We spent the afternoon visiting the famous Long Son Pagoda.  A tall white buddha stands over 300 meters there, and another equally as giant  buddha lies down on its side to rest nearby.  Later we spent some time at a beautiful cathedral and took numerous pictures of the gorgeous tropical flowers that surrounded it.  For dinner we stopped into an inviting Tex-Mex joint run by a former resident of Tennessee.  I had a yummy enchilada with pinto beans and Mexican rice (things we never had access to in Korea) and Ryan opted for a pulled pork sandwich with french fries and homemade BBQ sauce for dipping.  Our meal was complete with homemade apple pie and sweet vanilla ice cream.  Such a sweet taste of the America we've been away from for so long.

Yesterday we were beach bums.  After a traditional Vietnamese breakfast of phở, we parked ourselves on padded chairs under a straw umbrella and took in the turquoise waves.  We played our favorite game and enjoyed happy hour cocktails and fresh fruit in the sun.  Later we enjoyed 
more happy cocktails and dined at a delicious Indian restaurant for the second time in three days.

It began to rain this morning, and by the time we reached the breathtaking Po Nagar Cham Towers the sky had unleashed a torrential downpour.  Luckily we had gotten to the large local market before the rain.  A sea of women in conical hats wove their way through endless stalls of more women selling fresh fish, recently butchered meat, and loads of shiny fruits and vegetables.  It was quite the sight.  The pictures will come soon, I promise.  On our way to the towers we quickily found ourselves on a quiet neighborhood side street.  Locals sat in groups enjoying tea, soup and conversation.  Further down the street we came upon a circle of men spurring on a cockfight.  Once we found The Towers we were already drenched.  Water rushed down the stairs leading to the site and came down in sheets from the sky, making it rather unpleasant.  Such a shame, because the ancient buildings estimated to be built between the 7th and 12th centuries were amazing to look at.  Inside many of the smaller ones were beautiful shrines honoring buddha.  Some statues were completely decked out with head dresses and jewels.

Soaked, we returned back to our hotel and onto lunch and ice cream inside homemade waffle cones.  Here we are preparing for a train ride tonight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).  Hopefully it won't be as unpleasant as our bus trip....

We'll keep you updated as we go!

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