Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nha Trang

The train to Nha Trang was a nice change from the bus rides. I set next to a Vietnamese girl (maybe a lady but she was small and younger than me). When I tried to order a coffee she would not let me pay for it and kept feeding me oranges. I finally was able to pay for the meal for both of us. Then later we had a stop and she bought me some boiled eggs and a serving of chicken and rice. She also seemed to enjoy my music on my MP3 player. I enjoyed her company for the long train ride even though we could understand a single word the other person said.

Nha Trang is a city on the coast of Vietnam and has some really pretty beaches. I rented a bike and started by riding north along the beached and then headed over to Po Nagaar Cham Tower. Po Nagaar is the same type towers that are at My Son close to Hoi An. It was also one of the places I had seen a picture of in the museum in Danang. Bombing did not damage these buildings and I found them impressive.

After the towers I rode back to the coast and rode a bit further north just enjoying the view and the sea breeze.

After a glass of ice coffee across from a beach I headed back to the city and to Long Son Pagoda. When I got to the Pagoda I walked up to the sitting and lying Buddhas that are behind the temple while waiting for the temple to open in the afternoon. When the temple opened I was not that impressed with it. Just another temple but I had enjoyed seeing the area around the sitting Buddha sort of like a graveyard for ashes. I am not sure of the right name of these but each little compartment had a sort of gravestone with the name, birth and death dates.

After visiting the Pagoda I decided to try and ride to somewhere I could get a picture of a rice field. I had found the view from the train of the rice fields and the hills behind them wonderful and was hoping to get a photo sort of like what I had seen from the train.

I am not sure the photo was as good as what I had seen from the seat in the train but enjoy the bike ride and seeing some local people. I get a kick out of people's reaction to seeing me when I get away from a tourist area. I find it really strange the change in the way they reacted in just a few kilometers.

After getting a couple of pictures I headed back into town and bought something to drink and eat and went to a beach on the south side of town for a sort of picnic. While setting I was approached by a student that wanted to practice his English so sat around and talked until the sun started to go down.

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