Different waterfall, folks. I’m not recycling old posts.
I’ve always quite fancied riding on the back of a Vespa and this morning I was picked up by Tyler to ride out along the coast road to the Ba Ho Waterfall.
The Waterfall (and three lakes) is about 15-20 miles outside Nha Trang.
I had looked for a group tour option (a little more environmentally friendly, travelling with seven or eight other people in a bus) but, one of the few problems of solo travelling is the dreaded phrase: “minimum booking: two people”.
None of the companies were accepting solo booking except the Vespa tour… so moped it was.
Tyler met me at my hotel, calling from the lobby and was a little surprised when I arrived… his company had told him to expect a man.
Confusion dealt with, we set off, chatting all the way there about travel and life in Vietnam.
Tyler’s mother was born during the Vietnam (American) War and she marvels at how much life has changed since then – advances in technology etc. She also remembers the war, though not in great detail.
She and her family were from Hanoi and moved South – food supplies were scarce and better opportunities were available outside the capital.
Tyler’s side of the family have been ostracized by relatives in Hanoi because they did not stick together with the rest of the family and share the hardship.
I’ve talked about seeing the health effects of Agent Orange. The emotional impacts of the conflict are still raw too.
We arrived at the entrance to the Ba Ho Waterfall and continued our conversation as we followed the river.
Stopping to rest briefly, I enjoyed a pedicure by fish that would cost a few quid back in Manchester.
The Waterfall itself is reached after a scramble over the rocks to a secluded spot.
It is not the tallest I have ever seen but on a hot sunny day…
…sitting by the river is a very refreshing way to pass the time.
After a brief pedal on the “duckie boats”… like the swan pedalos to be seen on ornamental lakes, but there isn’t a word in Vietnamese for swan, so they call them ‘duckie’…
It was time for lunch.
Tyler had asked the restaurant to prepare a typical meal. Pictured here are blanched greens which are ‘swished’ in the salty caramel sauce created by rendering lardons; with a large plate of prawns, fruit and vegetables.
Served with this was a large bowl of vegetable broth.
Meals in Vietnam, when on tours, have been large. Whenever I have asked about the size, the guides and the cooks have always said that Vietnamese people like a variety of flavours in their meals.
After a drive down a winding branch of the coast road, we ended the afternoon with coffee in Cong, a communist themed coffee shop.
This rather took me by surprise. Communism as a novelty or a gimmick.
Vietnam is a communist country – I did not expect to see this. I didn’t see anything like it in Russia or China.
It was almost as if the message was that communism belonged to the past.
The staff were all in austere green shirts and caps, with an embroidered star. Tyler pointed put that the furniture for each coffee shop was actually often original.
Franchise owners visited neighbourhood houses to ask if the residents had anything from the era immediately following the declaration of independence and through to the War
Many people did.
Tyler gave me a superb and interesting day – travelling through beautiful scenery and talking about life in Vietnam. This is why I decided to travel.