Today, we hiked up a mountain with a LOT of stairs to reach the famous Jesus statue in Vung Tau, a city about 2 hours outside of Ho Chi Minh. It was about time for some exercise to work off all the food I’ve been eating this trip. The weather was beautiful but a toasty 86°. I drank about 2 bottles of water on the way up, and we took a lot of “picture breaks” (we were really just all dying and out of breath). It was easier than I expected though, and we got to the top fairly quickly. Once we got to the top, we had the opportunity to actually go inside the statue. We needed to take our shoes off, wear pants that cover our knees, and have a shirt that covered our shoulders. It was even hotter inside the statue considering the stairs were only wide enough for about 1 and a half people to squeeze through, and only one way to enter and exit. We eventually made it to the top and boy, was the view breathtaking.
When I heard we were heading to a beach resort, I had a vision of crystal blue waters, white sand, the crash of ocean waves, and tons of people laying out in the sun. I was looking forward to this day the most! We boarded the bus at 6am and kicked off our 2 hour ride to Vung Tau, where the resort was. Along the way, the communities we saw were a lot less picturesque. A lot of the houses and shops looked dilapidated and like little shacks. There were a lot of open fields that were not well maintained, with a lot of overgrown weeds and litter. And a lot of big abandoned dirt lots. Clearly, this area was fairly underdeveloped compared to areas we visited so far, like the Phu My Hung/South Saigon part of Ho Chi Minh.
When we finally got to the resort, it was everything I imagined and more. There was a giant infinity pool right when you walk in, and the beach and ocean were mere steps away. We couldn’t wait to get into the water and relax after our mountain hike! We ran into the ocean and relished in the warm, salty waters. The infinity pool felt even better! After a blissful time in the pool, it was lunchtime and we were all starving. The grilled salmon….A+. We had more free time after, which I of course spent back in the infinity pool. It was eventually time to leave. I was sad, but it was probably for the better – most of the group looked like tomatoes from all the sunburn. Ouch. Time for a serious Aloe skin-repair treatment.