After two nights in Hoi An, we flew on to Nha Trang, a beach town on the south-central coast. Our plane was delayed, and the hotel lost our reservation. (Actually, I think the manager saw more profit in selling our rooms to a tour group.) Grumpy! Susan had arranged for us to have an afternoon motorbike tour, but we were getting a late start. There wasn’t much preparatory discussion.
After a quick lunch, we traveled 20 km out of town by motorbike to Ba Ho, a beautiful area with three waterfalls. We passed banana farms and rice paddies on the way. But I wasn’t expecting a hike. My Keens and some insect repellent would have been very welcome.
Who’s wearing the wrong shoes?
But our drivers had arranged for some guides to meet us there (love that entrepreneurial ingenuity), and these women helped (dragged) me over the rocks, pointing out the best hand and foot placements. The kids were amused by what they dubbed my “involuntary parkour.”
We cut our hike short and skipped the other two waterfalls, but still ran into a little traffic on the way back into town.
Our next stop was the Long Son Pagoda. It’s 152 steps up to this statue of Buddha.
College Guy became part of a game of hide and seek.
Long Son Pagoda is home to two enormous Buddha statues. The second is this reclining Buddha.
On the way back down from the Buddhas, we passed a monk silently descending the steps, head bowed. I thought he was in prayer. When we passed him, we saw that he was texting on a cell phone!
Night was falling, so we didn’t get to see the Cham Towers. Maybe next time. The next morning we spent an hour on the beach.
Do you like my hat? (channeling P. D. Eastman)
Part of the fun at the beach is the never-ending parade of vendors. I bought two silk paintings from this gentleman. We had a good time bargaining over price.
Then it was time to head for the airport to return to Ho Chi Minh City. (Yes, we spent less than 24 hours in Nha Trang.) We bought banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) from the street vendor across from the hotel. This woman was sewing next to the banh mi cart.
I hoped that the face I found in my sandwich didn’t bode ill for me eating street food!