My first reaction to Vietnam was very overwhelming. When we walked out of the Ho Chi Minh airport, about 2,000 people were standing outside. I guess they were waiting for people. Anyway, it was crazy and very loud. We got on a bed bus and drove ten hours from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang. At first, all I could see was countryside. There were a lot of mountains and rice patties. When we got closer to Nha Trang, we could see the ocean, which has blue water spotted with rocks and islands. When we got to Nha Trang, we walked around and that was very different from anything I have ever experienced. I went to a few shops, where we were targeted by street merchants since we look like obvious tourists.
Everything is so much different from the U.S. People are selling stuff everywhere: on the street, on the beach, inside restaurants. Most of them are selling book, sunglasses and bracelets. I don’t think anyone has bought anything from a one of them. Everything is so cheap here. I had lunch today at a nice restaurant on the beach and it only cost $5.00. I’ve been here almost two days and I don’t think I’ve spent more than $30.
Nha Trang has a lot of tourists. My Vietnamese teammates said that I am staying on one of the “tourist streets.” I hope to get out of the city and see a more residential Vietnam. There are a lot of thing that I am looking forward to doing. One is riding on a motorbike.