Epic Family Journey

The Sfiligois at the beach

Before we begin, we want to apologize in advance for dealing with a sensitive subject in this post. We have a special thought for our friends in Canada who apparently have a hard winter this year.

Are we spoiled? Probably. It seems we have been speaking a lot about the beach in our last two or three posts and we are still talking about it in this one. After our beach rainy week in Hoi An, we decided to take a twelve-hour bus ride to Nha Trang where we thought would be a good place to put our bags down for a few days before heading further South. After spending a week with our feet in the sand and a beer in our hands, we were not disappointed with our choice. We warned you that we would be dealing with a sensitive subject. ?

Nha Trang is a very popular travel destination for Russians, so much that it feels like Russian is the official second language. Advertisement posters are in Russian, travel agency signs are in Russian and restaurant menus are written in Russian. Several restaurants offer typical Russian dishes, such as Russian Salad, in order to cater to those customers. We were approached by many people talking to us in Russian on the street and we found it very funny that Russians would mistake us for their own. There is certainly many advantages to visit a developed tourist city, where there is a lot of different restaurants, markets and hotels to choose from.

While Simon and the boys were running on the six kilometer beach of Nha Trang, we found a charming spot with beach chairs and umbrella to relax and read while watching the boys swimming or playing in the sand. We spent a few days on a beach terrace at the Louisiana micro-brewery and enjoyed a passion fruit beer that was excellent.

A rough sea

We were far from the calm and turquoise waters of Greece, the waves were strong and we brought our snorkeling gear only for one day to realize that the water was far too troubled to see anything. At the beginning of our stay, the waves were just big enough for our children to play and have hours of fun in it. When the wind started to get stronger later in the week, the waves started to get so big that we couldn’t let the kids go without adult supervision. The waves were powerful enough to push down an adult and crush him in the sand. Unfortunately, Hugo lost his second cap of the trip in the sea. We want to take advantage of this post to ask for a sponsorship for children’s cap please ?. Nevertheless, we were lucky in our bad luck, we witnessed a rather funny situation when a kid about Hugo’s age came out of the water naked as the day he was born, the sea having captured his swimsuit. Let us tell you that the boys tied their swimsuit very tight after this funny episode.

Vietnam’s busy streets

The traffic regulations are quite arbitrary in Vietnam. The priority seems to be given to the biggest vehicle and the pedestrian must fight for their life with every street crossing. The Vietnamese people seems to be used to this mess, but on our part, we started to hold the hands of our boys again. Even Kolya was not too resistant to hold hand even, although he thinks that he his too old for this. Let’s say that after he had an unfortunate accident with a scooter in Hoi An the week before (we want to reassure you, there was more fear than harm done) he is now a lot more keen to be holding hand when crossing the street. In short, the streets are crazy busy, there is a mix of scooters, cars and tourist buses. Scooters are the most popular way to commute in Vietnam and they park everywhere and sometime take the whole sidewalk. It is not uncommon to have to give way to a scooter when walking on the sidewalk or to get cut walking by a scooter that is taking a shortcut and is rolling against the traffic. In order to cross the street, you have to raise your hand high to signal your presence and cross the pedestrian intersections at a determined pace. At each successful crossing, we were very happy to be unharmed. We felt like we were back in India?.

Long Son Pagoda

After a few days of laying on the beach, we felt a bit guilty about being in Nha Trang without seeing anything but sand and water, even if this was wonderful… so we decided to go exploring the Long Son Pagoda, a Buddhist temple. We began by visiting the impressive temple which was decorated with mosaic dragons made from glass and ceramic tiles. After this, we went up a series of steps and we were lucky enough to see the magnificent statue of a reclining Buddha showing an enigmatic face. Finally, climbing a little higher up on the hill, we saw an enormous Buddha that was sitting this time.

We loved our stay in Nha Trang. We finally had a few days of beautiful weather without having to bring a raincoat with us. This week in Nha Trang was one of the few times we actually had sunshine for our entire stay in Vietnam. It is a tourist destination that we would have no second thoughts recommending …

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