Nha Trang

Waikiki Without Sun

As it turns out, the group got lost leaving Qui Nhon and the bus makes it to the top of Cu Mong pass minutes before Carol and Horst come flying over the top. It was to be wonderful ride - all on dry roads with several scenic passes, coconut-palm fringed villages, and coastline. We also had unusually light traffic with another day of strong tailwinds so everyone was able to stop frequently and meet people along the way and explore things that caught their eye. Strong gusts pushed our bikes to speeds approaching that of the scooters which amazed many a scooter driver. Neil, having cycled twice the day before for a total of about 90 miles looked like he could barely keep his head up, but pressed on without complaint.

We stopped cycling in Tam Ky for lunch and a shower and climbed on the bus for a few hours drive to Nha Trang -- "The Waikiki of Vietnam." Like every city we had passed through, Nha Trang was devoid of travelers and our hotel restaurant which is usually bustling this time of year was deserted. What to do in a beach town without sun?

The swirl of clouds that has spun between the coast of Vietnam and the Phillipines over the South China Sea for the last two months does not fade and our two days in Nha Trang are spent under cloudy skies with a cool, driving wind. Nevertheless, everyone gets out to explore the town on Bike, foot and cyclo. Tim and Barbara decide to relax on a beachfront patio, but a freak wave spills up onto the patio drenching them in seawater. Barbara laughs that it was the first day her shoes had been dry since Hanoi

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This 16-day bicycling tour by twelve Americans and Canadians involved traveling the length of Vietnam, from Hanoi to Saigon, with plenty of time to stop and see the uniqueness of the cities and people along the way. Although cyclists ranged in ability from beginner to champion racer, all found a way to explore Vietnam at their own pace and in the best way possible -- as most locals do -- on two wheels.

This diary was written and updated each day during the trip as it happened during the tour according to the perspective of the author who makes no claims of accuracy to the events happening as described herein.

 

Nha Trang on a sunny day, which is to say not during our stay. Still, Nha Trang has wide boulevards and a long prominade for great biking.

Sinh usually guides trekking or motorcycle tours but was a good spirit and got on the bike for a few days.

The Hai Yen Bungalows next to our hotel along the beachfront. Nha Trang has seen a lot of new hotels in recent years, but the older ones have much more charm.

Minh try his first piece of pizza which he was nice enough to act like he enjoyed. He then immediately ordered the dish in the next frame.

Mien Thom, a Chinese shrimp rice noodle soup. Nha Trang has excellent seafood, including crab, grilled fish, squid and lobster. Tropical fruit shakes are also popular.

Photographs by VeloAsia 1999 [More Photos]
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