A bus, some cops, and a MIA….. Road Trip!!

A slow ride

It seems that everyday poses a different challenge for a person here. I have mentioned before that Vietnamese people see things very differently than we in the west. Generally in business we like to have a plan and execute it with logical precision to get a desired result. The Vietnamese on the other hand get an idea and the construction begins. If the idea changes or gets modified, just go with the flow and modify things as you go. It can make for some very strange bedfellows. For example; we were traveling on a highway yesterday and encountered a very large modern sigh that boasted Pho Bo which is beef soup and Sony products. The restaurant was in the Sony showroom….. Huh!! The challenge for me in the last few days is a coffee shop who has decided to do some renovations. Their building is attached to two hotels that are filled

A nice temple

 with overnight guests. In order not to affect is coffee business, he has hired a night crew to renovate starting at 11:00 pm. Well!! Midnight and the air chisels and sledge hammers start banging on the walls. Quick to react, I was out the door and in their face yelling for them to stop this stupidity. The owner of the hotel next door joined me and seeing how I was able to put an end to the madness, has now warmed to me. Maybe our relationship will be better. Anyway… the owner of the coffee shop had not even considered there might be a problem wit doing demolition during the night when attached to two hotels Sheesh!! Talking about not thinking thing through.

Collecting fares

There is a bus that stops very near our hotel and travels the entire distance of NhaTrang. Drifter and I were too saddle sore to even think of a road trip, so never being to the end of the line, I joined him for a bus ride. The number 4 runs every 20 minutes and stops at around 8 pm. From our area the bus departs near the tourism college and passes in front of the hotel. We jump aboard and a pleasant young lady in uniform charges us the 15 cents for a ticket and gives us our change. We are sitting amongst some very attractive young people…. In air-conditioned comfort, we drive a short distance along the ocean before turning up a small street lined with street food vendors, many of them serving food that makes my mouth water. The

Same same but different

 bus turns along 2/4 street (named for the day the North Vietnamese entered the city). After a short drive through a business area we cross two bridges we come to a large intersection that has both a traffic circle and an island in the middle. If a person gets off and walks 3 blocks towards the ocean, you will be in downtown and the busy Dam Market area, a great place to spend an afternoon shopping. The bus continues past a couple of more traffic circles and near the Maximark supermarket (the only one in NhaTrang), and then cuts a few blocks towards the ocean to run down Nguyen Thien Thuat street. This street leads into the

The drivers view

heart of the main tourist area passing many bars, western and Asian restaurants with surprisingly good food, and to the infamous Sailing club and the Why Not Bar. The bus again turns on to the ocean and continues to the harbor and stops very close to the cable car to Vin pearl land. Wow!! How convenient. Unless you are a late night person, there is nowhere you cannot get in 15 minutes right from our location.  We hopped off the bus we were on and jumped on a returning number 4 having to pay another fifteen cents for the fare. The bus took us back and the rest of the day was spent lazing around watching the world go by. After dinner, we jumped on the bikes and headed down to the bars in the main tourist area. Over a quiet drink we decided that our butts had calmed enough for another Road Trip!!

a custom tiled bike

Drifter had plans to try to get a bus to a town called Phan Rang about 110 km south of NhaTrang to find a MIA ( missing in Asia). A buddy that has disappeared for 30 years. He had some new information that he may be found in this town. Instead of leaving a day early to find him, we decided to turn it into another adventure. 

 Nothing was going on in the expat bars, and we could not bring ourselves to hang out in the expensive and trendy night clubs so we decided just to go back to the hotel and spend a couple of hours sitting in chairs on the front side walk sipping a cool one and winking at all the young beautiful people walking by, but alas it was not to be. We pulled up on our bikes to see 6 police officers in our place. EEEKS!!!! A raid. They were a bit surprised to see us come in, and maybe more so when I started using the reception computer.

Difter.... Do you need a wife??

After an hour, Drifter decided he would forgo our nightly tradition of people watching and hit the sack, unfortunately for me, I had to stay. Records were checked and rooms inspected, and then paperwork was taken away, Hmmmmm…. The next day Mai and the landlord have a meeting with the provincial police to determine our future. Oh Well…… Road Trip!! Why worry… we were legit, so Drifter and I were off for an overnighter to seek out an MIA he has looked for so long…… The adventure intensifies!

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

2 thoughts on “A bus, some cops, and a MIA….. Road Trip!!

    1. On the Hotel itself, but the reason is unclear. Some people may thing to make a few bucks. Others think to make sure we are not a Boom Boom hotel. In that instance, It was by team that found our signage not quite correct and fined us 4000 dollars US. We negotiated the fine doen to 250 dollars and survived the ordeal. Reguardless the reason, they now know a foreigner is operating the hotel and the police and tax raids seem to have stopped.

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