Nyah nyah nyah!

Nha Trang

Nha Trang (pronounced Nyah Train) is famed for its turquoise waters and beautiful islands, it is Vietnam’s only real seaside resort city, apparently. In fact, it’s three cities, Nha Trang proper, where life and business goes on, regardless of the sea and the tourists, where in fact no tourist ever goes. Then there’s the Nha Trang catering to Vietnamese tourists, and sandwiched in between the two is a rapidly expanding western tourist ghetto.

This is where Vietnam finally starts to look like the rest of SE Asia. Beaches, tourists, and pubs everywhere you look. But don’t look too closely, as I can’t shake the feeling that the locals might have seen photos of what a western tourist town dive should look like, with happy hours in the pubs and banana pancakes for breakfast, but nobody has ever been to one to figure out what actually happens there. There is sort of a Khao San road wannabe, there is what I guess will some day turn into a decent red light district, with ladies of negotiable affection standing there, but at the moment they’re just looking sort of confused and unsure of what they’re supposed to be doing, the bars shut at 10 p.m., and there’s an all pervading sense of “looks sort of right, but doesn’t quite feel right”. They’ve seen images of western decadence, but they haven’t got a clue how to set about being decadent themselves. Yet.

Do go and visit it now though, as I’m sure they’ll cotton on to how it all works, and before you know it, it’ll be just like any other place in SE Asia. For the time being though, there are no crowds whatsoever, and the tourist part of town is in the middle of the longest bay, with beautiful golden sands, and good happy hour deals are to be had just one street away.

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