This one’s just a short one, a little day trip out from Ba Ria where I was visiting my Grandparents and many uncles & aunties & cousins etc. It was very good to see everyone again, old faces all grown up and some new ones – little kids who would have been just babies when I visited last. It always a little funny to see pictures of your parents in their youth, as I saw the many old pictures hung up around the place.
The plan was to visit all my aunties and uncles houses but instead they had all gathered at my Grandparents place to welcome me for a big feast! Side note: I had always been perplexed about why the Vietnamese drink their beers with a huge chunk of ice as it dilutes the flavour heaps, but now I’ve come to the reasoning that all South East Asian lager tastes the same and the flavour itself isn’t really high on the agenda. We fill our cups and give cheers to my long awaited return; ‘Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo!’ is the local way (in English: 1, 2, 3, Yo!).
After lunch we head out to Vung Tau, by bike its about a 30 minute drive – my auntie Kim Anh is driving so I can take photos etc. There is something about coastal drives that is so refreshing, the winding roads, the views over the ocean, the wind in your face; ‘Nobody to Love – Sigma’ is pretty much the soundtrack going off in my head (watch the music video, you’ll see what I mean).
Along the way you can see the beaches and all the resorts, but what also caught my eye was the big Jesus statue on top of the hill, a la Cristo Redentor Rio style (you know the one I’m talking about). But this one was not quite as big, but still worth the small trek (800 or so steps – not that I counted, theres a little signpost at the top). You can climb up the inside the statue and stand on the arms of the statue to get some nice views of the city below, but unfortunately long pants are required for ‘sacred’ reasons and I really only had shorts on ( I wonder if that is also a condition upon entering heaven).
We continued driving along the coast but unfortunately I didn’t go for a swim as even though the beaches were not that bad – I had become accustomed to a very high standard of Beaches, I guess thats what living in Sydney does to you; it ruins pretty much every other beach in the world. And so we just kept driving along and taking in the sights as we watched the sun go down; not a bad alternative!