Our biggest aspiration for the day was to lie on the beach and relax. This goal was easily accomplished and made possible by the Louisiane Brew House, which provided umbrellas, lounge chairs, and chair-side service for their customers. We ordered insanely large beers–passion fruit for me and a wheat beer for Byron–and enjoyed our surrounds. During the past few months I’ve been able to do so much more reading than back at home, and it’s felt luxurious. Most hostels have book swap shelves, so whenever I finish one, I browse around for a new one to enjoy. It’s great because I never have any idea what I’ll read next because I’m at the mercy of what other backpackers choose to leave behind. Currently I’m reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and sadly it’s lowered my opinion of Hunter S. Thompson.
I looked over at the couple laying in the lounge chairs next to us. Both of their left legs were bandaged, bruised and scabbed. Motorcycle accident for sure. I took a second to remind myself how lucky we were to have made it scratch-free so far.
The rest of the morning was a series of tanning, slathering on sun block, swimming to cool down, reading, people watching, and ordering a delicious pizza from the comfort of our beach chair. Needless to say, I was reluctant to leave when the sun became too much for us.
Determined to see a little bit more than just the beach in Nha Trang, I convinced Byron to go to the Long Son Pagoda. It was too hot to wear anything but shorts, so we weren’t allowed in the actual temple, but climbed a number of steps to reach The Big Buddha. This statue was a bit smaller than the one we’d seen in Hong Kong, but the pure white stone it was carved in was stunning. The Buddha sat in a giant lotus flower, and the base of the statue was ringed with the faces of many monks that had set themselves on fire in protests.
After a barbecue pork dinner from a street vendor, we attempted to experience Nha Trang’s nightlife at the Surf Club beach party. We could hear the booming base before we actually saw the venue. There were only three people dancing in front of the DJ’s beach stage while two dozen tables had people sitting and watching the lone dancers. On top of that, the club was charging a $10 cover. It was painfully awkward, so we gave up on the idea and instead spent the evening booking our plane to India and watching House of Cards on Netflix.