Discover Nha Trang – The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Discover Nha Trang – The Mediterranean of Vietnam

By Jean Wethmar

We’re traveling north on our voyage of Vietnam discovery. We left Saigon after spending a few glorious days there. Next stop… Nha Trang.

Discover Nha Trang - The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Discover Nha Trang – The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Nha Trang is known as the Mediterranean of Vietnam – exotic beaches, scuba diving and mild temperatures all year round. Nha Trang is on the stopover journey for Hong Kong Yacht Race yearly, it’s also been approved to host 2016 Asian Beach Games, was also the site for Miss Universe in 2008, and Miss Earth in 2010, and another point…. It was chosen by Travel & Leisure as the 29th most beautiful bays in the world! So make sure it’s on your itinerary!

On arriving at the airport, one quickly realizes we’re not in the ‘beep beep’ of Saigon city any longer, this feels like a beach holiday town! Very tropical, swaying palm trees, very green, high mountains. Bring it on! Immediately I can’t wait to get my feet on that soft beach sand!

Our hotel of choice is right on the beach, and it’s the ONLY one on the beach as well – the others are on the opposite side of Tran Phu Road, often referred to as The Pacific Coast Highway.

Evason Ana Mandara will be home for the next few nights. The beach bungalow is perfect on closer inspection. It is very well appointed, with very cool thin voile drapes that sway delicately in the breeze from the open patio door. Featuring either a king bed or twin beds, outdoor shower, steps away from very soft clean beach sand, and the gentle sounds of the ocean’s waves crashing onto the beach!

Discover Nha Trang - The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Discover Nha Trang – The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Evason Ana Mandara in Nha Trang reflects the image of an old Vietnamese village, with its warm hospitality, rich culture and unique tastes. The exclusive location of Evason Ana Mandara affords city-centre access to Nha Trang’s only beachfront resort. It is surrounded by private tropical gardens, offering simplicity, serenity and refinement together with spectacular views of Nha Trang Bay.

Discover Nha Trang - The Mediterranean of Vietnam

Discover Nha Trang – The Mediterranean of Vietnam

But wait….. There’s no time for relaxing!

I’ve got an appointment to meet Mai Loc, the local photographer this afternoon. Mai Loc was discovered back in 1995, by Norwegian, Gunter and Eva. He was their Cyclo driver at that stage! Loc was learning English; they were impressed by his eagerness, so they promised to pay for future English classes. They formed a friendship, kept in touch, and returned to visit Vietnam again in 1996 and 1997 for Loc’s wedding and presented him with his first camera as a wedding gift. In 1998 Loc inherited money from Gunter, shortly before Gunter passed away. Friends encouraged Loc to sell his postcards/photography and in 2002 Eva returned, and was so impressed with his progress she took them back to Norway. In 2006, the Nordic Light Photography Festival in Kristiansund, Norway invited him to attend, and with the support of the Norway Photography Association and government officials Loc finally got a visa.

Photography Appointment with Mai Loc

Photography Appointment with Mai Loc

Mai Loc has recently opened his own gallery in Nha Trang and I was in for a treat! He was waiting at the reception for me, with a helmet. Outside he led me towards his moped. Oh my gosh! I’d just seen how these drivers drive in Saigon! What was I thinking when I set up this appointment? “No time for cold feet now Jean!” So helmet on, on the back of his moped I got, and off we sped! In which direction? I couldn’t say! He did say over rush of the wind, and through his helmet that we were heading 35kms out of town!?! To a remote fishing village, not filled with tourists! 35kms! Oh dear me. And the sun was setting rapidly! Light was failing, so we sped off. Thankfully the roads in Nha Trang were quieter than Saigon! We got to this little village on the edge of the sea and my camera went into overdrive!

Jean Wethmar Exploring Vietnam

Jean Wethmar Exploring Vietnam

I ruined a pair of shoes with the wet fishy water, but it was a small price for the memory of this amazing afternoon! They say one picture is worth a thousand words? Well read on.

Photographer Mai Loc in Vietnam

Photographer Mai Loc in Vietnam

Eventually my camera discs had all been filled. And the light was fading real fast! So we sped back to Nha Trang on the back of his moped, me this time like a local, so relaxed and at ease, surprising myself! He took me to his camera shop connection in Nha Trang, where he wheeled and dealed, a good price for some more new discs for the rest of my holiday in Vietnam.

Mai Loc's Photography Gallery

Mai Loc’s Photography Gallery

What a gentleman Mai was. I can thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone with a passion for photography! For further details, contact me for Mai’s contact details, etc.

Mai Loc specializes in Black & White Photography

Mai Loc’s Black & White Photography

P.S. Mai specializes in Black & White photography… I found some ‘must buy’ prints here!

Next episode – Meeting the Locals of Nha Trang!

Read Jean’s previous articles in this series:

 

Learn More About Jean Wethmar and Cape Lux Travels.

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