Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vietnamese Beach Day

Posted by Fiz

Friday turned out to be a bloody hot day.  It might not have been all that hot in actuality, but the humidity was through the roof.  We hadn’t finished breakfast yet when we noticed our clothes sticking to us like they were made of cling wrap.  There was no dispute about spending the afternoon at the beach.

The sky was blue when we left our guesthouse, which was the first time it wasn’t overcast since our arrival, and there was a good strong ocean breeze blowing inland.  We drove on our rental scooter the 5Km to the beach passing resorts and hotels that steadily grew larger and more swank until we turned a corner merged onto the beach boulevard, with the most grand of the resorts on one side of the road and their private beach fronts on the other.  We turned right and admired the pristine blue waters of the Pacific and the coconut palms swaying in the breeze. 

We just drove enjoying the views until we couldn’t drive anymore, because the resorts had ended and the beach boulevard had suddenly become a miserable gravel road in great disrepair.  So we turned around and drove back till we could find a beach for the public.  It didn’t take too long.

Unfortunately the first place I parked, which was right next to some motorbikes some Vietnamese guys had parked, I got yelled at and my attention was directed at a sign that said no parking.  No problem, I thought. When I asked where to park I got pointed up a small hill to a lot with a bunch of bikes on it. I let Kathleen off to grab us a spot under some palm trees.

So I drove up there and before I even could turn the engine off this nasty little shit of a dude tells me I have to go into the restaurant if I want to park there.  ‘Fine, whatever,’ I was thinking, ‘I just want to feel the sand in my toes.’  “How much for water?” I asked.

“50D.”  Compared to the 5D water is anywhere else, I felt robbed. 

Where do I park I inquired, the little shit pointed back the way I came.  So I go back, and when I parked next to some other parked scooters the same guy who had yelled at me the first time appears out of thin air with an obnoxious whistle between his lips waving at another sign saying, “You no see sign?”

Clearly I had but said no anyway, and gestured angrily at the other bikes parked.  He made a show of grilling some random dude about parking there but again only made me move.  Telling me to go back up the hill.  Someone must have taken pity on me because he pointed down the street we had taken to get to the beach peppered with seafood restaurants. 

So I went down that street, and parked in an abandoned lot between a store and a restaurant behind a fish kebab street vendor.  When found Kathleen on the beach I found out I was not the only one harassed, she had been told no less than four times that she needed to pay to sit where she was sitting. So to get them off our backs we got a fresh coconut, for 3 times the price of what it should cost, though it was definitely the best coconut water I have ever tasted.

When we decided to move out of the shade and closer to the water, the harassment didn’t stop, every ten to twenty minutes someone would come up to us with some God awful reason to guilt us into buying something, like “You buy from her, but not from me.”

The water and the view of the islands was wonderful, but our enjoyment of it was short lived because there was a huge thunder head that rolled in forcing us to get back to town lest we drive in a torrent. We didn’t outrun it.

All in all, not such a great time.


  1. The dollar, the đồng, the taka; No matter what its called, imaginary ownership of gold written on tiny receipts of colored paper, can turn some people into the greediest assholes you'll ever meet.

    Keep on truckin' through, though. Its inevitable that you'll run into some rough patches, but that's what keeps life from stagnating.

    Stay safe, guys!

    When asked "What thing about humanity surprises you the most?", the Dalai Lama answered:


    Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

  2. Hey guys ^_^
    It's me the student on yesterday's train. I don't have my own account so would you give me your fb and email address ? I'm better at writing than speacking ^_^

  3. @ annonymous
    hey our email address is on the back of the card. (i know, its not a very professional one)

  4. @ Cows
    It's seems wherever you go one thing stays constant "it's all about the money", well, maybe not everywhere but many places.

  5. Nah it was impressive to me "D you know, i like it more than 'professional business cards' pretty much.
    and i actually saw the email address but end up asking anyways, sorry "D
    since lately i've been lazy and fb was the only thing left that i'm involved with much