Nha Trang,

Arrival   Hong Kong   Halong Bay   Sanya, China   Phu My, Vietnam   Sihanoukville, Cambodia 

Life at Sea   Laem Chabang (Day 1)   Laem Chabang (Day 2)   Koh Samui, Thailand   Singapore  

Nha Trang, Vietnam

A coastal city in the northern part of Vietnam, Nha Trang has a population of 300,000. Now becoming popular for its pristine beaches, the city attracts tourists from all over the world.

After a quick breakfast on the Lido deck, we got ready to depart on our excursion. Our buses took us to the following sites:

The weather was hot and humid, but the buses were comfortable. We'd gone from about 32º in Seattle to about 90º in less than a week. The change was brutal, but we plodded on.

Po Nagar Cham Towers

Our first stop brought us to a pagoda complex. We took off our shoes to enter the main pagoda. Inside, the air was choked with incense and stifling humidity. But the interior was worth the discomfort because it was beautiful.

Po Nagar Cham Towers

Po Nagar Cham Towers

We climbed up the stairs straight ahead in the picture to the temple at the top. There, we removed our shoes and squeezed our way in past tourists who were squeezing their way out. The interior was stifling hot and the air was choked with incense. You couldn't stay inside for long without gasping for air. So, we peeked inside and then made a hasty retreat and walked around the temple grounds amid the towers

After touring the temple grounds, we took a few panoramic pictures of the bay and the fishing boats below.

View of Bay with Dean and Fishing Boats

View from Po Nagar Cham Tower Complex

As we came down, we noticed our bus was not among the other tour buses. We waited and waited. Well, you know what they say about idle hands, and lookie here what I found!

Vietnamese Policeman

Vietnamese Policeman in Pretty Green Uniform

I just had to get my picture with this pretty green uniform. And yes, he put his arm around me first. The poor thing was smiling, but his smile faded by the time Dean snapped the picture. Soon after, our bus pulled up, and we boarded for the next stop.

Long Son Pagoda

Our bus roared across town in heavy traffic to the site of the Long Son Pagoda and huge White Buddha. As you walk into the complex, the pagoda is facing you at the center-rear.

Long Son Pagoda

Long Son Pagoda with White Buddha Presiding Above All

But that's just the outside. Want to take a peek inside?

Inside Long Son Pagoda

Inside the Pagoda

The next step required a 152-step climb up to the big White Buddha. This Buddha was built in 1963 to honor the memory of monks who immolated themselves to protest the Diem regime. As you may recall, President Kennedy had the CIA shoot Diem and get him out of the way.

The White Buddha

The White Buddha

The Four Seasons

Next we headed for The Four Seasons for some refreshments. Everybody pictured this wonderful hotel called the Four Seasons with a fine air-conditioned cafe where we could escape the sweltering heat and enjoy a cool beer or two. Well, we pulled up to this open-air beachfront cafe instead and you could almost hear the palpable groan of the entire bus. I told the English couple sitting across the aisle from us that it was definitely The Four Seasons -- Hot, Hotter, Hottest, and Unbearable.

After drinking a beer and visiting the filthy bathroom, we took off for the embroidery factory and shop. The silk dresses, scarves, ties, and other clothing were exquisite, beautiful in color and detailed in design. I was a bit shocked at the sweat-shop conditions the women had to work in. None seemed happy at all. I caught sight of one older woman with dyed jet-black hair and a pale face. She looked as though she had spent her life in that factor and would probably rot there.

At this point, we were all looking forward to getting back aboard the air-conditioned ship and have lunch. At dockside, some vendors had set up booths with a wide variety of trinkets, souvenirs, and some useful goods. Dean bought some fine bamboo placemats there. Then up went went to the Lido deck for a well-deserved lunch.

Return to Top
Phu My, Vietnam