I arrived in Nha Trang on Sunday. The airport is about a 30 minute drive from Nha Trang proper and is literally right on the beach. The drive to Nha Trang is very remote feeling, almost looking like desert, however, once you arrive in Nha Trang all of a sudden everything is very nice and landscaped, with a lot of nice new buildings and an interesting vibe.
I was very pleasantly surprised at my hotel, which cost $35/night (taxes and everything included). It is called Asia Paradise Hotel and for the money it is quite amazing. The hotel is brand new, very nicely designed (almost as nice as hotels that cost 10 times as much, such as Delano in Miami etc), has great service, broadband internet for free in every room, and a nice rooftop pool overlooking the beach.
The prices here are unbelievably cheap. For example, the snacks and minibar in the room have prices like “Chocolate Bar: $0.39, Coca Cola: $0.45”, and I ordered room service and had a whole pizza and a coke for $4. They also offer massage and such for incredibly cheap. A face massage is $2.
I went out last night to the two most popular places here, Crazy Kim’s and the Sailing club. Crazy Kim’s is a lot like a pub and is okay, but the Sailing Club is very, very nice. It is set right on the beach with great decor, nice sound system and good vibe. The crowd here is about half white tourists, and half people from Saigon (this is a popular getaway for people from Saigon).
During the day I went for a walk on the beach, as I was walking I heard a group of girls behind me yell “Jeff”… I figured they couldn’t be shouting to me as there is no way I know anyone here, so I just kept walking.
Then when I went out that night I walked into the sailing club and walked past a table with 3 girls, again, “Jeff!”… I looked at them and realized it was a girl I had met in Saigon, lol. She had come here this weekend for a full moon party. She said the party was amazing… it is a 2 day party on the beach and apparently a lot of people come from Saigon each month for it.
She is very cute, but her friends were even cuter. They were unquestionably the hottest girls in Nha Trang, so once again I somehow just completely lucked out. I spent most of the night with them, again ending up zooming around on scooters around 3am and ended up on the beach later with the girl I knew, Noong.
Definitely if you are looking for a cheap vacation that is a lot of fun, SE Asia is the place.
From a political standpoint, I asked Noong what she thought about Vietnam. She said it is slowly changing for the better but the country is taking each step very carefully. She said it used to be hard to get visas to come here but slowly they are opening up. I said to her, “why go slow?”, after all, if you think you are heading in the right direction, why not go there quickly. If you were leaving a burning building, would you take it very cautiously and slowly, or would you just get the hell out of there?
Her response was interesting, she said, “well, we are worried if we open up to fast bad things will happen, like people with cocaine”. I was stupefied. How did this whole ‘war on drugs’ thing perpetuate itself so well, worldwide?! So, you are worried about opening up faster because if you do, people with drugs might come here?! You might as well just say, “We are worried people with alcohol will come here”, it is the same thing.
Today, in the news, is major riots in Brazil caused by “drug gangs”. When will everyone ever realize that all this ‘war on drugs’ does is create a giant black market which is rife with sleazebags and thugs who dominate in this environment. If all drugs tomorrow were completely legalized, almost every ‘gang’ would immediately disappear and the world would be a happier, healthier and much more economically viable place (just think about all the people in places like Colombia, Afghanistan etc who are very poor but who could make a very good living growing opium crops etc if it were legalized, rather than having those same crops run by gangsters and scumbags).
Sure, some drugs are really very bad for you. Specifically, meth amphetamines and heroine. However, with all the money saved from freeing the millions in jail because of this ‘war’ and the waste of police and court space, you could easily spend a fair amount on education and rehabilitation facilities for those few unfortunate people who, just like with alcohol, find themselves in too deep.
That’s my rant for the day. As for the stock markets, the Dow and the Nasdaq had some very massive technical breakdowns in the last few days. I am calling for a fairly significant plunge in the next 60 days, possibly in the next few days/weeks. 10-20% is likely.
As for me, I think I am getting a bit tired and want to head back to my place in Bangkok soon, maybe tomorrow. I’ve had a fun and interesting trip through Cambodia and Vietnam but think i will go rest up for a bit before possibly heading to Malaysia later this month.