We had been to Nha Trang before so we mostly wanted to see things we had not seen already. We contracted with Jimmy and Jane (Scottish & English), a couple living and working in Vietnam in the tourism industry. We met Jimmy and Jane at 10:30AM and we set off with Jane as our guide for the day. Our first stop was the Po Nagar Temple, a Cham (Hindu people) temple, one of the oldest in Vietnam founded around 781 A.D. Then to the City Cathedral or “Rock Cathedral” built by the French in the 1930’s, gothic architecture with stunning stained glass windows. We visited a typical country house for a rest stop and enjoyed a fruit plate and tea before heading out into the countryside (this was literally a left turn off a main street and within two blocks we were in rice fields) to see water buffalo. Within 5 minutes we were out of the van taking photos of water buffalo and their calves. A rural fishing resort with ponds and shelters for the visitors was our next adventure. Long Son Pagoda has different levels, at the top is the second largest Buddha in Vietnam. We stopped at a bakery preparing French bread just as they have been doing since the French arrived, 6,000 loaves per day and it was delicious. Lunch was at a local restaurant, billed as a “light lunch” we had two kinds of rice, beef with noodles, eggplant, spring rolls, morning glory stalks with garlic and beer. Then a stop to browse in a silk picture embroidery factory to see the young women sew the intricate and beautiful pictures. We were now ready for our drink at the Sheraton roof-top bar to watch the sunset and the lights of the city and the fishing boats in the bay come on. Lovely spot and great views. The the highlight for us was the Vietnamese Spa for pedicure, foot and upper body massage. What an experience with various folks working on us. Tattoos were available but we declined. Back to the ship arriving about 8PM. We said our good-byes to Jane and Jimmy. Jane was very knowledgable about the sites we visited and she really made it all come to life for us. It was a really fantastic day.
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