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Motorcycle mayhem

August 20, 2008 | Travel, Vietnam | 2 Comments

So we weren’t really going to drink last night.  One Bia hoi (draught beer), some dinner and maybe a couple at a rooftop bar.  A quiet night after several not so quiet ones lately.  Mmmm.  Some new found backpacker buddies had other ideas, however.  Bugger.  Still, when you get a group of Kiwis, Dutch, Spanish, American and English guys crowded round some plastic tables in a shabby little cafe drinking 50c beers, it’s probably not the biggest surprise in the world…

Today was a new day however, and there was no question about the weather – beating hot sunshine.  Ideal conditions to rent a scooter (there’s only about five hundred places to do so within a one block radius of anywhere…).  Equipped with only the very best in safety equipment – sandals, shorts and an ill-fitting helmet – we joined in the madness.  Traffic in Nha Trang is nowhere near as bad as Saigon – the population is only around 350,000 people – but it’s still a fairly action packed experience.  Might is right, the horn is king, and road signs and traffic lights are optional at best.  And yet strangely, you still feel safe.  I think it’s because everyone is expecting other vehicles to come at them from anywhere, nobody gets upset, and everyone enters an intersection prepared and happy to slow down or stop anywhere they need to.  No raised voices, no road rage … just organised chaos.  There’s a few people in Christchurch that could learn quite a bit about courtesy and traffic merging from the locals in Vietnam, put it that way…

IMG_2095So anyway, the first stop was a bit north of the main town, at Hon Chong beach.  We engaged in a bit of rock-hopping to get a few photos, then headed back into town to catch up with the guys from last night.  There was a theory that we were going to all hire scooters and head out of town to check out some apparently awesome waterfalls – an idea that went down the toilet when the only person who knew where they were failed to show.  We suspect he was still asleep in a gutter somewhere.  Trying to find an information centre to track down some detail about these waterfalls proved equally fruitless, so Dean IMG_2099and I just went with the ‘riding aimlessly and checking out the town’ approach instead, which kinda worked better  anyway.

And just to prove that we can manage to do stuff that doesn’t involve food, beer or things that make lots of noise, we also  spent some time at the Long Son Pagoda, which also has an impressive – and massive – white Buddha statueIMG_2101 on the hill behind the pagoda itself.  Well worth the climb up the 152 steps to get there.  Back to near our hotel for a late lunch, more city exploring and we finally handed the scooter back after several hours, for once with perfect timing as the rain started a few minutes later.  It only hung around for half an hour or so, so I figured that then was as good a time as any to go for a run.  Apparently not, as the heat and stifling humidity turned my legs to lead after half an hour or so.  Still, it felt good to do some decent exercise after the excesses of the last few days.

And now it’s 8pm and I’m thinking about dinner.  But no drinking.  Honest, I mean it……



  1. Reply


    August 20, 2008

    Awesome traffic tips. Love the commentary. Wish I was there!

  2. Reply


    August 21, 2008

    You should check out the "mama love" bar, its on the foot path 3 blocks north and one inland from the sailing club. You sit on upside down buckets and she serves her beer from a couple of big ice buckets, cheapest beer in town! Obviously its not a bar as such......but the service is friendly!

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