Work and Holiday tour in

Central Viet Nam

In Finnish
We had a tour trip to Central Viet Nam in August 2000 comprising Nha Trang, Dac Lac and Sai Gon. Jari participated in Dac Lac in a strategy seminar to strengthen the public administration. To go to Dac lac was not that easy as we had to first fly two hours and then to take a car ride alternating with four (from Nha Trang) or six hours (from Saigon).

So we decided to take it easy and stay first one day in Nha Trang and then two days in Dac Lac and Saigon. The trip to Nha Trang was made with Fokker airplane and we were greeted with a better destination that we were waiting for.

The weather was fine and warm in Nha Trang. Our hotel, Nha Trang Lodge hotel was very close to the beach and we regretted that we had chosen to be there only for one day. The room was in the seventh floor and although it was not best layout design, it felt very comfortable. And it had a big balcony overlooking the whole beach as you can see from the pictures.

At the destination it was discovered that Jari had only long trousers, but you could luckily find plenty of shops with proper shorts. The traffic was very much quieter than in Ha Noi, but the shop density seemed to be the same. With the exception that there were only one bigger supermarket, but for us it was enough. People seemed to be relaxed and happy, although you did not note it until you actually started thinking of it.

Sea views were great and you could see lot of islands in the horizon. There were also boat and diving trips available and we certainly will do it next time. The one development phase was unfortunately here also and it is the water scooters. There was one terrorizing the beach at all length. Of course it is fun driving one, but...

We noticed on the beach that a afternoon the wind was notable, but still there were more people on the beach than in Da Nang. Of course having the city on the beach has a lot to do with it and there were a good amount of tourists, although season starts in November. And in our hotel there will be some Finnish tourists through Aurinkomatkat (Sun Travel). When we visited Finland in summer, to our regret Furama was not anymore on the list and perhaps the price was not anymore affordable.

There were also enough with beggars and sellers. Luckily here you managed to get rid of them easily as there were always possible other clients in the vicinity. As we once were in Vung Tau the only tourists on the beach, it was very difficult and not enjoyable.

The next day we rented a car and driver to take us to Dac Lac. This was simply the best way to get to Dac Lac without needing to stay there too long. The car was older, year 90 vintage Nissan Maxima, which was quite comfortable. In the beginning we had some trouble to follow the speedometer, until we recognized that it was a Yankkee-model with miles per hour.

The four hour trip went very nicely, we followed the traffic and the scenery. Dac Lac is in high lands and the road is mainly in good condition. At some short tracks we went really snail pace, but otherwise we had good speed. Also we liked the serpentine road profile, which gave very good views.

We had one break for refreshments, where we could also meet some locals, who were very interested in us and Finland. Also for a first time we saw the Dragon fruit tree, Thanh Long (the Green Dragon).

The hotel in Dac Lac was more older style and the noise in the morning was very harsh. In the first evening there was a heavy rain for hours and the

During the first day as Jari was in the seminar, the hosts had arranged a elephant safari for Sini. Well, we thought, but final result was to drive for more than hour to see a captured elephant. Sini even rode it, not to any enjoy, but the arrangers seemed not to believe that she could manage it

We returned to Saigon from Dac Lac and the flight took only one hour. Considerably shorter than a six hours car trip. Well, the airport was a bit hot and they even sent a boy to pick up the hotel room key that was forgotten in Jari's possession (do not try to figure why, it is Jari).

We spent two days in Saigon un the familiar New World hotel, were we were able to have exactly the same room as previous time and we had again nice dinner at Bavaria. At the airport one young kid was very interested in our Handy cam and unluckily he was on the other side of the glass window, but tried to come as close as possible. And then we came back in two hours with Boeing airplane.

Last modified 1 January, 2005
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