This morning Pati and BeeBee got up in time to see the sunrise (meaning that they got up at the usual time but opened the curtains). A large black cloud over Cam Ranh Bay kept the sunrise from being truly spectacular, but they have a few more nice photos now.
Spoiler Alert: Today was much better than yesterday.
Their met their guide at 9 am. Their first stop was the Vietnam Oceanographic Institute and Oceanography Museum, built by France in 1920, with a large collection of live sea creatures and preserved specimens. Here they saw some fish species that they had never seen before.
Next they visited the Long Son Pagoda, a Buddist temple.
Next came the French colonial Nha Trang Cathedral, a Catholic church. Pati and BeeBee were able to explain some parts of Christianity to their guide here.
After this, they drove to the Hon Chong Promontory Rocks. Inside one of the buidings was a group of musicians who demonstrated several unusual instruments by playing three short pieces (including “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”).
They then walked down sets of stairs to reach the Bay, where there was a group of large rocks forming a promontory into the Bay. They all scrambled out on the rocks and climbed as high as they safely could. The breeze was cooling and the scenery was beautiful. This was the favorite stop of the day for Pati and BeeBee.
Next they visited the Po Nagar Temple, built by the Cham people, one of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. This temple looks like a very small version of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The next stop was to the Dam Market, where the locals shop for foods and goods, to experience the culture. The guide explained that only a very few items in the market were produced in Vietnam; the rest come from China. Several fruit sellers were offering durian fruit; Pati and BeeBee were not interested (they have smelled them now).
After that, they drove to the Chopsticks Restaurant for a set Vietnamese lunch. The menu was very similar to yesterday’s (minus the soup) and was quite tasty.
After that, they were delivered back to their hotel.
Their guide promised to check on a cooking class for them, at the Chopsticks Restaurant. This has been arranged for tomorrow morning. They will learn how to cook a five course Vietnamese meal.
They picked up a map from the front desk on their way out again. Apparently the “boardwalk” (brick-paved path) begins directly in front of their hotel (across the street) and runs left along the beach.
After a short walk, they stopped at the Ponagar Restaurant for dessert and coffee. (They were still too full from lunch to eat dinner.) As they sat there, they watched a pick-up volleyball game on the beach that lasted until sunset. Then the full moon appeared, playing peekaboo with the dark clouds. Even behind the clouds, it cast a fine sliver at the edge of the water and the sky. As the moon reappeared, its shimmering light on the water crashed ashore with the waves. And along with this perfect moon-sky-water imagery was the perfect service of Ponagar. The perfect counterpoint to yesterday.
They headed back to their hotel for internetting in their square meter of 4-bar service before bedtime.