Christmas on the Beach

It’s my first Christmas in tropical climate and I absolutely love it! A part of me does miss the snow, but definitely not the cold that comes along with it.

Nha Trang is the Miami strip of Vietnam. It is the most popular beach destination in the country and attract local and international visitors alike. The beach stretches for a few kilometres and is parallel to the main street of the town. It gives this whole place a real beach ‘town’ feel rathar than an tropical resort feel. Regardless, the sun is shining, the waves are crashing and the sand is warm.

The beach here is also filled with hagglers and the best spot to hang out at is Lousiana Bar, where you can rent a beach chair for the day and get everything served to you, including a refreshing mango shake and a $5 massage. Happy hour as always is alive and thriving here, on and off the beach.
There isn’t much else to do anyways, even at night. It’s early to bed and early to rise again due to all the traffic that begins in the wee hours of the morning, and not to mention the construction taking place in the building next door to our budget hotel.
We did score a good deal at a hotel room over looking the beach for $15 a night, but alas everything comes with its little bits of flaws in Vietnam. I am slowly learning this along with the understanding of why so many backpackers I’ve come across have shared their deep hatred for this country.

Even with it being Christmas season the town still seems pretty dead in comparison to other beach towns I’ve visited. There are plenty of bars yet they are basically dead all the time even with their cheap happy hour prices. Luckily we had planned to meet 3 more of our friends here making us a travelling group of 5, so it has been a continuous party.

Nha Trang is also a scuba junkie’s paradise due to the cheapest prices in the country for diving. I spent Christmas eve indulging in it myself, even though the water visibility was pretty low. But for how cheap it is ($40 for 2 fun dives!) it was hard to turn away. Of course all the scuba boats head to all the same places so they all more or less also offer the same prices with a flood of divers.

It was my first dive since Thailand and my first dive was disappointing. I only became comfortable on my second dive which I almost chickened out of of, but as always, once in the water I was so grateful for sucking it up. On my second dive the visibility was better and I got to see loads of colorful fish and anemones.

Nha Trang has a small night market selling the exact same touristy bags, dresses and knick knacks I’ve seen everywhere. However the prices are much higher here.
It’s nice that the entire town is walkable and seafood is cheap, especially on the beach where they will cook it for you on the spot as well. Western food is readily available at all the restaurants.

The Sailing Club is the fanciest restaurant in town and we had Christmas dinner here which was incredible. It was followed by an awesome beach party that featured a live Reggaeton band. We finally saw people come out at night! It felt like the full moon party in Thailand, to be dancing under the stars with glow sticks and so many other foreigners.

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