About 20 kilometers north of the Hotel is a very little known tourist destination. It is named Ba Ho, which I think translates to three lakes. An extremely enjoyable couple from Quebec Canada had read about it in a publication and wanted to visit. Apparently it is extremely hard to find and it might be a bit of a challenge for them to get to. It just so happened that I had some free time and offered to guide them (or try to). I have never been there and how can I as a local give travel advice if I have never been? Off on the motorcycles we went for what was supposed to be a short drive to a turn off that would carry us from highway 1 towards the mountains. Before departing Mat ( I hope he does not mind me calling him that) downloaded a map onto
his GPS just in case we had problems finding Ba Ho’s location. Well I have to tell you that even with the GPS we still had a heck of a time. We set out and after half an hour of driving, knew we must be way beyond the turn off. We turned around n the sweltering sun to head back, and nearing NhaTrang we concluded that we had missed it again. Hmmm We asked a lady that had a store on the side of the road and she told us 8 km north. We asked another person and was directed 20 km further north. I know, I know…. You people who know Vietnam are rolling your eyes having encountered the same thing when
asking directions. Missing the not obvious turn we tried yet again and again to get directions. After a good 4 hours of searching we were finally on a small side road that took us to a very old and quaint town I never knew existed. AHA!! My first nice photo. I think maybe I am starting to get the hang of finding good shots. Again the hopeless trio were getting confused and lost when a nice person motioned for us to follow him. At last wee were on the correct bumpy and sandy path. We approached the side of a mountain and there before us was a giant Tourist area map. Huh…. The highway, side roads, and paths showed no signs but before us, but before us
now were one of the loudest tourist signs I have ever seen. A glaring announcement of “Tourist Area” was a scar against the beautiful landscape Once past the offensive sign we were delighted with the rugged beauty of the “national park?” Mathieu, Carolyn and I parked the bikes and after paying the ridiculously low entrance fee, started our walk down jungle shaded path towards the waterfall area. It was a Saturday and there were mostly Vietnamese families enjoying a picnic. We were not perhaps a hundred yards before we encountered a very large family from Saigon visiting a local person in the area. They had small cook fires going and were
frying banh Xeo while the children happily splashed away in a small river pool in the rocks. Being typical of most Vietnamese, smiles, hearty hello’s and a warm invitation to join them followed. I declined the offered beer, but Carolyn was hungry and the banh Xeo was something she had never tried before, so she joined the friendly family for lunch. They were delighted and I am sure that my young friends will be talked about for a long time to come. After this point a person began to have to scramble up and over rocks and boulders that became increasingly harder We made it to lake 1 encountering some very monkey like young lads along the way, They scrambled up and down the boulders as if they were no hindrance at all. Lake 2 an 3 were a much tougher climb but are worth it as there are few people to
go that high and the area is beautiful. Ba Ho has allowed me to take 3 of the best photo’s I have ever taken, one of them being Caroline enjoying the cool water. I also entered the water and was delighted by a surprising event. As I sat on a rock with my feet dangling in the water, dozens
of small fish about 2 or 3 inches in length began to devour the dead skin on my feet. It was an interesting sensation and for the first time in my life, I have had a pedicure. I will go there again, and maybe make it part of what is special about staying in our hotel. It is definitely something that very few tourists get to experience.
I have just received a bit of disturbing news tonight. As most of you know, the entire city of NhaTrang has been experiencing power outages. Currently we are with one day on and one day off. The newspaper has announced today that it is going to 2 days off and one day on. It is worse for the countryside that can be shut down for a week or more. Currently Saigon and Hanoi were 1 day a week but that may change with the new announcement. Think about how your day would be if you had no power….. Now imagine it can get as high as 38 C…..