Today we took a relaxing trip to the beautiful Vung Tau beach. Upon arrival, we immediately took a hike up a tall, rocky, “mountainish” hill. The view at every point on the hill was beautiful. Then, at the top of the hill, there was a statue of Jesus which we were able to climb up into. The view at top of the statue was breathtaking. It was so nice to be able to take time out of our trip to mindfully appreciate the natural beauty of the country we are in.
After the hike, we had the pleasure of eating and lounging at a resort. The food, per usual, was incredible! I could taste the French influence in all of the dishes, and I definitely left the meal with a full stomach. After the meal we relaxed in the pool and took a swim in the ocean. The water in the ocean was warmer than any other ocean water I have encountered. I overheard multiple people say it was like getting into a bathtub and I couldn’t agree more. (No complaints here though!)
Surprisingly, one of the most interesting parts of the day was the 3 hour bus ride to and from Vung Tau. As we drove out of the city, I noticed there was an immediate difference in the scenery. We went from tall buildings and commercial stores to small buildings and local stores and restaurants. It became obvious that we were no longer in the city. We drove past lots of farms and rural areas. Additionally, we drove past many local markets. There was still a busy atmosphere that you see on the streets of Saigon, but it had a different feel out on the streets outside of the city. To articulate to the best of my abilities, I observe a hustle in both the city and the outer areas, but the hustle is not directed at the same thing. In the city, there is a hustle for business, technology, and other things many hustle for in America. However, in the area outside of the city, it appeared like they focused on small businesses, farming, and other such things. This contrast is also seen in the United States; however, I was surprised by how quickly the city changed to rural. I put a video below of part of our ride to Vung Tau.