The bahn mi sandwich is a Vietnamese staple; a crusty baguette filled with fried egg or meat,, vegetables, pate, and always cilantro. It is a big part of our diet these days as you can find a bahn mi stand on the street selling one for about 0.50 a piece, and they are almost always guaranteed to be tasty and filling. On the other end of the spending spectrum, we found a Japanese-Canadian restaurant making some amazing sushi, and decided it was worth shelling out there a few times, so it all evens out. And then there was the delicious Indian restaurant. Great all-around food experiences for us in Nha Trang, where the city flavour is actually not so much Vietnamese, but Russian. In fact Nha Trang is so distinctly Russian in terms of tourists and businesses, that even Vietnamese people spoke to us initially in Russian. As our Russian is non-existent, we had very few conversations with other tourists in this city which felt a little isolating, and is also an obvious reminder of our false innate assumption that people will approach you to speak in English wherever you are.
We spent 6 nights in Nha Trang which we didn't feel was really necessary, except that we needed to schedule 2 rabies vaccinations around this city which had the international hospital within walking distance of our hotel. Luckily the vaccinations continue to go well, and we haven't had any issues yet with the paperwork or receipts, which are fattening up our medical envelope to hopefully submit soon to our travel insurance. We have read that this vaccine used to consist of several painful injections to the stomach, but thank goodness that the injections are now just like any other regular vaccine into the arm.
Nha Trang is big enough that there is a good local bus service that we utilised to take us around the city a bit, as well as several kilometres away to the port of Van Gia to take a boat to the nearby island of Diep Son. This was one of those problem solving travel days that you get excited about and need a bit of to thrive on, but hope you don't have every day, as they can be quite draining! After much confusion, we finally found the port where we needed to wait for some more people to come before it would leave. When we gathered enough passengers, none of the other people on our little speedboat spoke English and so we all tried to communicate unsuccessfully about what time the boat was going to bring us back to the shore, and from where on the island. In the end it appeared that the two other couples were sort of hovering near us on Diep Son to make sure that we didn't stray from the group, which was amusing, and also comforting! When they told us to come back to the boat after a few hours, the captain then drove us to the middle of the water where everyone jumped out of the boat, him included, and started swimming. We had no idea what was happening, and were slightly concerned that the person in charge of the boat also decided to get off of it, but what can you do except laugh along with everyone else! Thank goodness Clare has taken drama class and is really into the idea of gestures and body language to try and convey meaning. Perhaps every foreign vacation should start with a warm-up game of charades?