Thursday, July 05, 2007


Arriving at 4 am, we were so tired so we crashed. Thank god Nha Trang was cooler than the north but mom and dad let us kids sleep in that day. The bad part about that: we missed breakfast. That means we missed Phỏ. DAMN.

Mom and dad woke up earlier and went in search of family. They found Chú Thím Quang, mom’s uncle and aunt. Everyone was there already by the time we kids arrived and it was really fun. They were all outgoing and nice so we piled into the car after a house mass and Chú Hùng led us into the city to get mud baths and bathe in hot springs.

Mud baths are fun. So are the hot springs. All the showers and faucet water comes from the springs and it is steaming hot. We changed into uniforms and dipped into our Jacuzzi of mud. After that, we cleaned ourselves off and cannon-balled into the pool. Little did we know that the pool is ALSO STEAMING HOT!! All 5 (me, Khoa, An, Toan, and Dad) ran and cannon-balled into the pool. Can you imagine shrieking dogs in a hot pool? That was us. We came up screaming HOT HOT HOT AHHAHAH and mom got it ALL on video. I still have yet to see that video but it must have been a classic. We also stood underneath a small waterfall of hot spring water and some guy started hitting on all the girls under the waterfall. It was pretty sad when I told him I was here with 4 other guys, 3 of which were my brothers and my dad. He backed off real fast.

Vinpearl is the new amusement park on the island off the coast of Nha Trang. We rode the Australian built gondola there and started taking crazy pictures as soon as we got there. An and Tòan got on the bumper cars and An video taped their crazy ride. It was so funny because they were ramming each other like idiots and no one else was doing anything.

Afterwards, we had a huge dinner with the family…all 30 of us… at the restaurant Lồng Đèn Đỏ. We had the longest table I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t even see the people at the end. It was a lot of fun and everyone made new friends. We found cousins we didn’t know about and they were desperately trying to learn English so it was weird to speak in English to them.


We went back to the same restaurant for breakfast the next day for Phỏ. Not as good as the alley Phỏ but it was good enough. It kept us going for the morning and we headed out on a quest for tennis shoes.

Tòan and I found them for 20 bucks apiece so we were stoked. Khoa and An were not so lucky. Their feet were much too big. The largest size they had for girls is a 39 and I was it. The largest size for men was a 43 and Tòan got it. An and Khoa were 44 and 45 so they were out of luck.

The next big site we went to in Nha Trang was the Chàm Temple. It was built centuries ago by the Chàm (a mix of Indian, Indonesian, and Cambodian people) and it was truly an amazing site. The temple is built completely out of bricks…but no mortar!! The bricks were so close to each other and to this day, no one has figured out how they did it. One theory was honey but it doesn’t smell sweet! So it remains a mystery because of imperialism. A bit of history: Việt Nam only consisted of the northern part. It ended right south of Hà Nội in the early days. We spread our imperialist thought further south into Cambodia and Chàm. Today, we have completely taken over the Chàm people and integrated their culture into ours. We still hold a portion of Cambodia in the south but we are not letting that go any time soon! Thus, this temple stays Chàm, a Buddhist temple in commemoration of the people in the midst of Southern Việt Nam.

I found my first shot glass of Việt Nam here in this temple! A woman sits in the west part of the temple with other weavers and decorates the shotglasses as well as other things with sand. The decoration is intricate and wonderful so I got two glasses that say Nha Trang in sand!

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