First port and first shore excursion!
On the way off the ship, I see G from the singles group from last night – he is on my same tour but arrived after me, so we’re not in the same tour group.
Our tour guide, Van, will take us to myriad stops – a breakneck pace to visit 7 in all – to see a traditional fishing village (being transformed by the growth of Nha Trang), a Hindu tower, a Buddhist temple, a pagoda where we are treated to traditional music, a facility where we are treated to traditional dancing (and coconut water), a visit to an embroidery ‘factory’ (workshop/museum), and of course some shopping stops. Whew! If that sounds like a lot to cover, it is.
Now add temps in the high 80s Fahrenheit and 100% humidity.
And now, mix in pervasive smells in that wet heat. Fish. Rotting fruit. Hot garbage. Wonderful, yes? No. Not that part of it.
But… I meet a lovely family from Bahrain as we board the tinder to shore, and since we’re on the same tour I spend most of the day with them. And they are delightful.
And we visit very interesting places, and I really enjoy the music and the interesting musical instruments as well.
Scenes from my day:
And even though I’m not much of a shopper, I do appreciate that our guide makes it clear where not to buy anything at all, where to buy but only if we haggle, and where we can buy whatever at a fair price, but they won’t haggle.
(That may not seem like much, but later when we all meet up for dinner, T (an amazing and fun Aussie lady from our group from dinner last night) hasn’t had nearly as good an experience on her tour. In fact hers was a disappointment from start to finish.)
I get back to the ship at 2pm, not having had anything since this morning’s coffee and yogurt, and a little coconut water. In other words, starving.
I get myself cleaned up immediately and order a burger at the onboard grill. There are a lot of us just in, and of like mind.
By the time I get back to my room I have a message from G, also of last evening’s dinner set, asking if I’m back and want to join him at the grill for a bite.
I live just down the hall from the grill and had just realized I have no plan until dinner with the group, so although I don’t need food I pop out (he’s still in line for his meal – they can’t keep up – and while he’s in that line I pop over to the bar to fetch beverages (ah the joy of cold caffeine on a long hot day) and we sit and chat about our respective tours.
After he’s had a bite we stroll the ship a while. Not much is open while we’re in port, and not much to do at this hour, but we check things out, change one of his tours later in the week, sit on the deck as we sail away and watch the sun set.
G likes me, lilbit.
We’re meeting the gang for dinner, so we split up to get ready. I meet T at the entrance to the dining room. ND and V join us, but P opts out go she can make the ballroom dancing.
After dinner V excuses herself to retire – last night’s rough seas disrupted her sleep – but the remaining four of us go watch a game show running at one of the clubs on board. Then T and I head back toward our decks, leaving the gentlemen to their devices. On the way, she and I make plans to meet up in the morning for our tour.
Because tomorrow we have another day in Vietnam – in Ho Chi Minh City.