Nha Trang Day 1: Friends, Food, and Fun!

And we’re back on the road!

Now that Matt and Sylvie had arrived and the wedding business was over, we were very all excited to explore other parts of Vietnam. For the next two weeks we would head north and visit five different cities. First on the list for Brandon and me was Nha Trang, while Matt and Sylvie opted for Hội An. My good friend Kiều Tiên and her husband had invited us to join them in their hometown; they live in Camden, DE, but happened to be visiting Vietnam at the same time as us, so we couldn’t pass up a chance to hang out with them.

From Sài Gòn we took a night train to Nha Trang city, which is about an 8-hour ride north.

We were lucky to have the entire cabin to ourselves
For some reason Nha Trang is SUPER popular with Russian tourists
The crosswalk sign is so bizarre Brandon couldn't help himself!
"Napkins" at a roadside food stall

After breakfast and a coffee break on the beach, we accompanied Tiên and her family to a big reunion luncheon with Tiên’s friends. One of them owns a picturesque restaurant on the banks of Cái River, and we spent a relaxing afternoon hanging out, eating TONS of food (food is a definite trend on this part of the trip; we had 6 meals in one day!), and listening to her friends sing karaoke to a one-man keyboard band!

Brandon really loved these little birds; he ate them whole!

Brandon interrupts: So about these little birds, which were really tasty… First, I found it really funny to eat an entire bird–legs, wings, beak, head, and all. They were surprisingly delicious. Second, I found it even funnier that this little eight-year-old Vietnamese kid who lived in Australia kept bragging to me that he had eaten 13 of them. Finally, I had a funny conversation while eating them… At one point, I leaned over and asked Misou, “How do you say ‘bird’ in Vietnamese?” “Chim,” she said. And so I leaned over to the two pretty young ladies across the table from me and asked, “Em thích ăn chim?” (“Do you like to eat bird?”) Both of them burst out laughing. I mean really, really laughing. Turns out, for once in my life, my Vietnamese had been fully understood. Little did I know, however, that “chim” is slang for “genitalia”–and I had just asked if they liked to eat them. Misou laughed at me, too, told me that the sentence was perfectly correct, but explained the double sense. Either way, the girls both said “yes.”

After lunch we went back to the hotel for a nap (hey, eating a lot on vacation is a lot of work!), then headed back out for dinner. This time we got to eat bún bò, my absolute favorite dish in the world. Look at that pretty bowl of fat white rice noodles swimming in a fish paste/ox tail based broth, served with slices of beef shank and sprinkled with chopped green onions and herbs, lime juice and chili oil. Yum!

We were too full when we saw these bowls of chè, or sweet dessert
But after half an hour of walking around the city at night, we got hungry again. Good thing there was bánh mì to the rescue!
"City of Nha Trang, Civil Friendly"

 Brandon and I ended up at a beachside bar and ordered ourselves drinks. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Couldn't ask for a better view!
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