Today we went on a beach getaway to stay at the resort town of Vung Tau. The city is three hours away from our hotel and on the way we got to see the differences between the different cities, as well as the rural areas of Vietnam. The stark difference between how developed some parts of the city are and the rural areas are almost like going back in time before technology existed. This explains why there is so much urbanization in Vietnam as people try to improve their qualities of life by moving out of the houses made of wood, with no power into the high rise apartments that seem to be popping up all over the city.
Once we got to Vung Tau we got to see the Christ, the King of Vung Tau statue. In the grueling heat of south Vietnam climbing the 811 steps was quite the physical challenge that I should have been more prepared for. Once we got up to the shoulders of the statue the view is one of indescribable beauty, but covered in sweat kind of adds to the experience in a weird fulfilling way. The view of the city itself from the shoulders is quite different to that of the view of Ho Chi Minh that we get from some of the site visits. The two main differences are definitely the lack of high rises and other modern buildings in Vung Tau, that seem to almost be the standard in Ho Chi Minh. As resort towns go, Vung Tau seemed to be pretty standard, I mean I’ve never been to a different resort town so I don’t have any comparison, but it seemed nice enough in comparison to the rural areas that we passed on the way. The resort itself was really nice as they provided us with a great meal with excellent service. This was the first meal since I’ve been here to feature the whole animal, head and all.
After lunch we went out on the beach and briefly went into the ocean before being scared back to land by the numerous roaming jellyfish. In the pool we got to enjoy the “cool” tub instead of a hot tub which was different but very necessary. We had a great day of much needed relaxation sitting in the pool listening to music and just getting to know each other better. Tomorrow is a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels which will be a great learning experience of a more specific aspect of the Vietnam war.