Nha Trang…. Changes are afoot

I decided to check on my website statistics and was amazed yet again of what I saw! As usual, readership was up, but that has almost become expected. (insert blush here) What really surprised me is that the two top countries that have been reading my ramblings (Canada and Vietnam), has now been surpassed by Australia and the United States. There are also many more readers in many more European countries. Welcome to all of you!!  It is your continuing interest that keeps me going. I also had an interesting but short conversation with a friend here today. He planted the seed in my head about the two of us starting up NhaTrang first Expat news paper or circular. Hmmmmmm…. Food for thought 

 There is something in the air here and I cannot quite put my finger on it. Recently a giant Sheraton hotel has opened amongst a giant Novatel, and a Yasaka hotel. There are more giants in the works. A Crown Plaza and a Marriott has erected construction barriers along the main beach area boulevard that in my opinion has totally destroyed the romance of the NhaTrang beach front. I am very thankful that I am located where I am. However, back to the strange aura….. The Diamond Bay resort located towards the main airport us rushing to complete an 18 hole beautiful golf course without the infrastructure to keep it watered. I have illusions of convoys of water trucks lining the highways. One might think that something big was going on huh? Well there is… The NhaTrang airport will become the Cam Ranh International airport as of July 24. For the first time there will be international flights into Central Vietnam and it will be here. I still see many more rooms being built than airplanes can carry, where are they expecting the people to come from? There are also luxury condos being built that are selling for 100K each. That is way out of the price range of the people here so…….. Who are they expecting? If there is indeed some kind of master plan to fill this city with flush pocketed tourists, it can only be good for me. The more budget minded people will come my way to avoid mixing with the posh (so to speak). I do have one major concern that falls in line with all of this large hotel development. I have been told by a person who works as a receptionist in the newly opened Sheraton that the wage after perks and bonuses is as high as 400 dollars. That may not be much to you and me, but that is a very big wage for here. Already many English speaking Vietnamese have been lured away from smaller hotels and restaurants. There are help wanted signs everywhere in the hospitality industry. What really has me worried is that the very same person who is now working for the Sheraton has been offered a job at even higher pay from the Crown Plaza that is not even close to being completed. What is going on here?? I am afraid that when these mega hotels are finished, that all of the English, French, Russian, and other multilingual Vietnamese will be absorbed into the new vision of Vietnamese tourism. All of us small fry will be left scrambling to find anybody we can with the language skills we need. Worse yet… Say goodbye to the Vietnam we know and love as a cheap and fun tourist destination. Perhaps in as little as a few years, the beachfront of NhaTrang will only be easily accessible from your 200 dollar a night hotel. Those of you who know me also know of the location of my little piece of paradise. The beach here is beautiful and filled with fun loving people. I stop to wonder though, when I see a group of 6 motorcycles, well dressed riders with memo pads, and brief cases sitting outside my door across the street. I see them make notes, and point to various buildings including mine. This beach is small enough, yet also large enough, that it could be the perfect location for a giant Holiday in or some Dubai resort to buy up the whole area. How could a person fight that in a country where whatever the government says can happen? I hope my fears are without merit and that I will have many years of adventure to come. 

Tomorrow, I will update you about the Hotel and the bizarre goings on about the death of that jumper. Things have changed in the past few days and not all for the worst, however, with the hotel next door being in its current state…… where do you think the short time renters want to go???? And I have to leave in 2 weeks!! Damn!! The Adventure continues!!

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

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