Day 12

Nha Trang, to those who know it, is a party beach city. This I can confirm. It is also full of Russians. Through the war, Russia provided much support to the Vietnamese, and they rented a military base in the Nha Trang area. Now, there are many flights from Russia to Nha Trang, including direct flights from Moscow, making for quite a large population of Russians. So many in fact that unlike other parts of Vietnam where you’ll find a restaurant menu in Vietnamese and English, you’ll find some restaurants in Nha Trang that have menus primarily in Russian, and the staff might speak Russian instead of English (and of course always Vietnamese).

The morning of Day 12, we headed down to port, optionally grabbed some flippers and jumped on a boat. It was a beautiful day, blue sky and plenty of sun, and in Nha Trang the water is safe to swim in! So on this day, this particular morning, we were going snorkelling.

We headed out to an island out in the bay. We wandered through the village, getting some idea of island life as we went. On the other side of the island we got into another, smaller boat the shape of a bowl, one of the more traditional Vietnamese fishing boats. As we were loading in, we got to see one come in with a load of fish, which they proceeded to weigh.

These little boats were really just taking us back to our original boat, which had moved around the island to meet us. The body took us out to a reef just off the shore of another island and anchored.

We all changed into our togs and jumped into the water. It was refreshingly cool, and I was happy to finally be able to immerse myself in a decent amount of water for the first time in a while.

After a swim, the crew served us lunch, which included prawns, fish, noodles, rice and spring rolls. For food on a boat I was impressed - it probably beat some restaurant food.

We had a few more hours out on the boat, some time spent swimming and some spent sun bathing. With sufficient application of sunblock, I myself choose to sun bathe.

By the time we returned to Nha Trang, clouds were settling in. As we came into harbour, rain started to fall. It was quite nice really, a light, refreshing drizzle. It was about 3pm, so back at the hotel we had a few hours free time, which must of us used to shower and rest before dinner.

I would say dinner was a token dinner, having been fed fairly well for lunch and not exerting much energy. But we needed to have something in us - tonight we would experience some of the night life in Nha Trang. Being still quite early in the evening, most of us went to the first bar, Why Not? Bar. You could say we are preloading, though I was also trying to double down on the water as well. I ordered a drink called the “Why Not? Bucket”, and soon learned why it had this name. The drink came out in an plastic jar, probably about one litre worth. Well, tonight could only end well.

After this bar we lost a few people to their beds, wishing to keep their heads. The rest of us that were left - you might call us youngsters - headed off to our intended final drinking hole, The Sailing Club. We got a free drink upon entry, although that’s debatable since there was a door charge. With the options of Heineken or a “Jam Jar”, I kept my wits about me and went for the jam jar. Lo and behold, out came another vessel of the same form as the Why Not? Bucket.

The Sailing Club also had a dance floor, which suited us just fine. Walking up past the asian analogues of the white man dance, I took my partner by the hand and we put a little show. It felt a little sloppy but we’ve been slack with practice and were dancing in sandals, but that didn’t stop people pulling out their cameras and phones. Given that we were dancing Modern Jive to techno, it wasn’t long before we had to take a break… Well maybe for her, but our flatmate demanded a dance so I didn’t get to rest until I was quite sweaty (given the heat, this wasn’t long).

The Sailing Club sits on prime real estate on the beach, so we retired out there where we could feel some of the nice sea breeze. By this time I was just drinking water, but that didn’t stop me from playing leap frog, managing to leap over three people, all the while feeling reasonably certain that I would fall short and take one of the others out.

One more dance (for the others) and we headed back to the hotel, which was practically just around the corner. I started loading myself with rehydrating salts, in hopes of preventing some part of the massive hangover I was rather likely due.