What a difference a day makes…

The drive to Nha Trang from Da Lat as stunning. We drove through cloud-covered mountains and villages where it seemed a subsistence lifestyle was still being maintained. The roads snaked in and around cliffs with sheer drops, and the clouds hung quite low.

The city of Nha Trang is as western as Da Lat is French; it is a seaside city, with  a rich history. We visited a 6th Century temple, situated high on a hill overlooking the city. The fishing boats, with their blue hulls and their painted red eyes dotted the harbour. Mountainous islands can be seen in the distance, like stepping stones to different worlds.

The street-sellers are persistent, but back off with a “No thanks”. It started raining, and a woman appeared from nowhere* selling raincoats. A taxi driver pulled up beside us, asking if we needed a lift back to our hotel. Tuk Tuks line the street across from our hotel, and motorbike owners try and sell us a ride. They are just trying to make a living in a country where there is a huge divided between rich and poor.

It’s wet here. It rains most of the day, even though Vietnam is out of the wet season. The streets are slippery from the wet; even slipperier if you are wearing thongs. I walk gingerly through the grime, careful not to lose my footing.

We are out on the water today, visiting a fishing village. I really hope it stops raining.

*In Da lat I found the best example of marketing ever. We were eating a very sticky fruit, and a street seller had been trying to hawk maps and sunglasses to us. We politely refused. But she did see that many of us were wiping our fingers after eating, so she proceeded to sell us tissues instead. Talk about giving the market what it wants, needs and requires!

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