Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vietnamese Tourist

It was bittersweet being back in our hometown for a few days, even if it was for a short visit. For this trip we made plans to spend some time with members of the other side of our family, a side we don't know very much about. So we hit the road for a short pitstop in Nha Trang for some beach time and beer.
First thing first, we needed to sooth our skin from brutally ripping it from the cold and forcing heat and sun upon it, which left some of us burnt and sore, so we headed straight to the Thap Ba Mud and Mineral baths up in the hills.
A year ago our fearless selves piled onto a rented scooter and blindly scooted up the muddy potholed road to the end, gritting our teeth as tour bus after tour bus after taxi after taxi honked and passed us towards the mud/mineral bath theme park.
Note to those who someday hope to go to the mud/mineral baths. Don't bring your bathing suit, you can rent tank top/shorts that you won't have to worry about scrubbing pounds and pounds of mud out of later.

First you start with a soak in a large tub that has mud pumped in from the hills that looks like velvety chocolate and is so light that you actually float. These tubs are out in the open and can seat up to 10 people. Then you rinse off in mineral showers, then you soak in a hot tub, then you can sit in the mineral falls or swim in the large mineral water pool. After that you can get a massage or manicure, or do like we did and eat lunch.

All that sitting around sure made us hungry. We ordered a typical Vietnamese lunch - Crispy stir fried noodles with beef and vegetables and a spare rib rice plate with a over medium egg on top.

We were only staying in Nha Trang for one night and only decided to stay in the coastal beach town because we were flying north early the next morning, so we hit the beach right away!The Tet New Year brought out tons of people - Vietnamese, tourist and locals. Unfortunately our short amount of time didn't warrant spending any time lounging on the numerous beachfront chairs.

Or lounging on the beach.

Or party in the Year of the Tigar all night long.

We did managed to find many other ways to occupy our time. We came across this live action chess game being played on the boardwalk.

And we also saw a couple of Lion Dancers.

We also visited the local temple and paid respects to our ancestors, wishing them happiness in their after life.
Before we knew it, it was dinner time and headed straight to a local brewery who specialized in Japanese food.
We gorged on sushi and tall steins of beer.
It was amazing how at ease we instantly felt in Nha Trang, like it has always been our second home, even if in actuality we're just typical Vietnamese tourist hoping to spot the lady selling delicious seasoned rice paper on the beach!

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