Day 31–Thurs., Oct. 27, 2011–Nha Trang, Vietnam

IMG_0003 Stitch Nha Trang Port

     Nha Trang was ready and waiting for us to dock.  We had a Cruise Critic tour today with Karen for a Countryside Tour.  Private tours are hush-hush in Nha Trang so we met our guide outside the Oceanographic Institute just outside the port gates.  We then went through the gift shop and out the back door into our little van.  There were 11 of us and the guide and driver.  Eight would have been a good number.  The vans are made for tiny people.  The forecast was for rain so I talked to Betty and it was hot and sunny all day.  It was 79 degrees at 7:30 am and up to 81 at 3, but it felt a lot hotter due to the humidity. 

     It was a great tour, going down little country roads.IMG_0010     Our first stop was to see silk embroidery at the Arts and Crafts Center where we purchased an embroidery and a kit.

We then went to the Pagoda Orphanage where we saw the children in a classroom and some younger ones at play.  The children of the orphanage are taken care of by a group of Buddhist nuns and volunteers.  We brought them a bag a goodies from the dollar store.   IMG_0034

All the children seemed very happy.  We sang a few songs with them.  Then went to the home of women that made mats from rushes to survive.  It was very interesting to watch them at work.  Two of them working together can make 4 mats in a day, which they take to the local market and trade for food and other essentials.  IMG_0044

   

After seeing how the mats were made we went to an ancient house where we were served a fruit snack.  The garden was beautiful.  To keep the tea warm, they put the teapot inside a hollow coconut.

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Along the way we drove past a Buddah statue for a picture and then went to see conical hats made at another home.

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We then went to see how rice noodles and rice paper for spring rolls were made.  We passed them drying along the road.  IMG_0080

   There were boys helping their mother and I asked if they went to school and was told that it was their lunch break and they help at the little factory and will then go back to school.  The kids go to school from 7:30 to 11:30, have lunch and a nap and then 1:30 to 5 pm.  Our lunch was at a small restaurant on the Cai River and then we went to the Cho Dam central market.

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     We drove back to the ship along the beach.  It was a very hot and sweaty day, but a great look at Vietnamese life.IMG_0123   The climate was a lot nicer in Ho Chi Minh City when we were there March 11, 2011.  October is the wet season.

 

It was soooo good to get back to the ship and cool off and get cleaned up.  The evening show was Kevin Spirtas, celebrating his journey from Broadway to Hollywood in an evening of song and dance.  He played a doctor on Days of Our Lives.  He has a good voice.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” ~ Anon.

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