Day 11 – Monday 4th January – Nha Trang to Quay Nhon

Early start today at 7.30am for the 230km drive along the coast to Quy Nhon.

Before we left Nha Trang, we stopped at the P Nagar Cham towers, a Hindu temple which was constructed from around 784 AD. There used to be 10 towers but now only 4 remain. Some have been partially restored, but this doesn’t detract from the fact that it feels as ancient as it looks.  The carvings on the stone are indicate and look like they were done just a few years ago!

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Just a few miles down the road we stopped at a fishing village where we could see the morning catch coming in and being sorted…

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… And sold.

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The smell was quite an assault on the senses first thing in the morning!

We travelled onwards following Highway 1 north. The road winds its way along the coast, sometimes hugging the side of the hills that rise steeply up from the sea.

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The scenery on the left is mainly mountain while the scenery on the right is of beautiful coast and islands in the sea. Whilst we van the body of water the South China sea, Phuong calls in the Pacific ocean… Because there Vietnamese don’t like the China reference! 

After a couple of hours we stopped at a beautiful beach side cafe. The views were amazing…

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Every so often the land would widen out and the hills move far away. We’d be travelling through large flat areas of land on both sides, with paddy fields as far as the eye could see… They only get two crops a year in this areas compared to the Mekong delta where they get three. No not of land seems to be wasted!

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We stopped for lunch at about 1 pm at a roadside place. It looked sparse but the view was lovely, overlooking a bay with fishermen and some fisheries. The food was pretty good too even if I did end up with sweet and sour pork instead of beef.  Ed had a huge portion of mackerel, which as before, was more like tuna.

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After book l lunch it was about another hours drive before we reached Qay Nhon.

When we arrived in the city we went straight to the Nguyen Nga training centre which was set up by one woman over 20 years ago. She now leads a charity that teaches life skills to people with disabilities in order that they can support themselves. We met some of the young people who had a range of disabilities but the highlight was heading the music class of blind and partially sighted.  It really was inspirational to hear them play the traditional instruments, and they even had us up dancing to the twist at the end!

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We then spent some time looking around the shop of handmade items ranging from cushion covers, coasters, paintings and hand made jewellery. We bought a few things!  They also make the bags that intrepid give to all of their travellers.

We drove to the hotel and checked in and were given a ginger tea on arrival!  The hotel is in two parts, with a modern 14 storey new section and a lower 4 storey old part. We’re in the old part and the corridor smells a bit of stale food. The room is nice enough though and had a sea view, after looking over a concrete roof!

After getting our bags, we striker along the sea shore which had a promenade and we stopped after a while for me to have a swim in the sea, which was very warm! 

We walked back to the hotel and had a gabber of cards before meeting the others for dinner at the hotel restaurant at 7pm. After we’d eaten, most people headed for bed, but we went back to the 14th floor rooftop terrace which gave great views of the rest of the city.

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After some more cards, and beer, we headed back to the room to get some sleep before another 7.30 start in the morning!

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