Travels In Vietnam 2011: Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a typical seaside resort town: lots of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines targeted at tourists, extended happy hours, some late-night party venues, a wide range of hotels, and an extensive promenade bordering a long stretch of beach.

It was off-season, we were told, but there were plenty of Caucasian tourists wandering about in beachy gear. There were a lot of Russians among them. Indeed, many of the restaurants displayed menus in Russian.

I couldn’t help but notice quite a few hoary old fart Westerners strutting along hand in hand with Asian girls in their teens or a bit older – proportionally more than we had seen in Saigon or elsewhere. Dunno whether the girls were locals or imports. Whatever, they didn’t look terribly enthused, and who could blame them. Hopefully, Nha Trang is not in the process of establishing itself as an alternative to Patong specialising in servicing creepy geriatrics.

The bay is gorgeous, straight out of a tropical dream.

evening settling on Nha Trang Bay

sunset approaching

Unfortunately, contrary to the widespread promo claims of the sea being ‘pristine’, it is littered with plastic bags, bits of paper and other rubbish. This didn’t seem to bother some of the Euros, but swimming in a soup of refuse didn’t hold any appeal for me.

nice scene – shame about the crap littering the shore

Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s prime tourist locations. Apparently, there isn’t a spare hotel room to be found during the peak season (July and August, when the Vietnamese take their holidays). It’s set up to thrive, with the big hotel chains having staked their claims in the best vantage points overlooking the beachfront, as is evidenced by the high rise construction currently underway. The climate is beach-friendly most of the year. The place has everything going for it.

Why, then, do the Vietnamese treat Nha Trang Bay as a dump, rather than recognising it as the outstanding natural asset it most certainly is? Environmental vandalism is always short-sighted, but in this case it is commercial self-sabotage. Bewildering.

More posts in this series on Vietnam:
Travels in Vietnam 2011: Intro
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Saigon
Travels In Vietnam 2011: The Cu Chi Tunnels
Travels In Vietnam 2011: War Remnants Museum, Saigon
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Mekong Delta
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Dalat
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Hoi An
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Sleeper Bus Nightmare!
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Hue
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Eating and Drinking!
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Hype vs Reality
Travels In Vietnam 2011: Reflections & Wrap-up

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