We took the train from Ho Chi Minh to Tuy Hoa which was a nine hour journey. We decided we fancied a few days by the beach . Nah Trang is the usual destination but we knew this was quite busy and touristy so picked somewhere that the train stopped. There’s not much here apart from sun, sea and sand. Well that’s me sorted!
What looked like a grandmother and grandaughter boarded the train a stop after us. The grandmother initially was very loud, this is going to be fun we thought and oh they were. They both chatted to everyone around them, including us even though we couldn’t understand each other and shared their food. We discovered they were going to Hue, our next stop after this. By the time we got off they and the people around us were all waving and shouting bye to us. It was lovely.
We didn’t know what to expect with the trains so were pleasantly surprised when we got into exactly what was advertised soft seat and air conditioned. Food being sold was brought round by train staff. A very different experience to Myanmar.
Tuy Hao is the capital city of the Phu Yen area with a population of just over 200,000. It is much quieter and so doesn’t have so much hustle and bustle which was a welcome change. Driving from the train station to the Kaya Hotel everywhere was lit up. There is a lot of work going on to make nice pavements, park areas and there are tended areas by the side of the road along the river front. This could well be a tourist destination of the future.
The beach was a five minute walk and we had it all to ourselves. The sea was lovely and warm too.
We had to get our train tickets for our journey to Hue on Thursday 16th March so we took a taxi there and thought we would walk back via the river front. The locals are not used to seeing “Foreigners” and in fact we only saw one other during our stay here, so we got lots of stares and shouts of “hello” and frantic waving.
We walked along a main high street where shops with big TV’s were being sold, and then on the next road they are welding, (you can see this just on the left of the picture) of which they gladly posed for a photo. Such extremes.
We walked along the river front and stopped for a drink. There were various eating places with tables across the road by the river which is where we sat. The owner gave us our drinks and stated “foreign tourist”, which we are, as we are so unusual in this part of Vietnam.
We eventually decided on a place to eat, one that didn’t have small low plastic chairs (ones like the kids sit on). One guy remembered us from the night before where we had eaten at Bob’s American Cafe, where we had an enormous burger. His English was very good so had a bit of a chat with him about this restaurant but it was his first time there too. So we get the menu. Ah bit of an issue here. All menus we’ve looked at have had a picture of the food so we had some idea of what we might be getting. Not this time. We managed to ask for Chicken and Rice and Seafood and Rice. It was very nice. What was odd here was they didn’t give you a glass to drink out of but a bowl and ice is always offered as drinks are not always cold, which they need to be in this climate. Now in Raffles they throw the shells from the monkey nuts on the floor here they did it with beer cans. They buy a box of beer and as they finish with the can they throw it on the floor.
In this part of the world people carry all sorts of things on their motorbikes, walking back to the hotel, the strangest one was large blocks of ice which looked about a half a meter wide and a meter tall, about half a ton.
We walked miles this evening so Ian soothed his feet in the hotel pool.
This is something else you have to get used to in Asia there are pavements everywhere, very wide pavements, but half the time you can’t walk on them and have to walk in the road. The pavements are filled with motorbikes, people sitting on chairs, wares from shops so as in the song by Adele “Should I give up? Or should i just keep Chasing Pavements”.
If you want to chill and want somewhere a bit quieter then Tuy Hoa is worth a visit.
10th to 13th March 2017