June 16, 2010

night bus in Vietnam

i get booted off the first bus because it was overbooked.  i have the seat already so i make them pay me $5US and they put me on another bus a half hour later.  it seems there is all this yelling and conflict constantly between the Vietnamese.  once the bus is moving i wrap myself up in a sarong and go to sleep.  because of the bus change i end up at the wrong spot in Nha Trang.  i take a cab over the travel agency and tell them to pay for the cab.  they don't want to [and it's only a $1US] but i do not back down and they take care of it.  i leave my bag in storage there for the day and head to the beach.
i arrange for a boat trip out to the islands a bit of snorkeling.  the masks are really bad but i love to snorkel and so i jump in even though there are jet skis and boats zipping along and a thin coating of gas covering the whole area.  it is the high season for Vietnamese travelers because the kids are just out of school.  the whole day has a very carnival like atmosphere. 

it reminds me of the boardwalks on the beach in New Jersey. the boat is mostly Vietnamese and when the boat stops for swiming the few westerners strip down to swimsuits in 2 seconds flat and jump in. the Vietnamese don't go swiming and they remain covered from head to toe in clothes.  after the third stop the motion catches up with them and like a wave across the whole boat they all start vomiting.  meanwhile the crew transforms the table into a platform for thier boy band - complete with guitar, drums and front man.  let's just say i do not think they would make it past Simon on American Idol.

i only have the one day here as i am getting another night bus to Hoi An in the evening.  what i have seen of Nha Trang is not impressive and i hope there is more to Vietnam than the dissappointment it has been thus far.

i am on the open tour bus which means i can jump on/off the bus at any location and it is $36US from Saigon to Hanoi which sounds like a deal to me.  it works out to just over .50US per hour.  i booked with TM Brother, however, every time i am asked by a local which ticket i am on they screw up thier faces terribly and say Sinh Cafe is the best open bus ticket.  thanks lonely planet!!

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