Today provided us with some much needed relaxation, as we were able to travel to the Vung Tao province, wherein we got to go see a giant statue of Jesus and spend much of the day at a beach resort. As you probably can tell from the title, I may have spent too much time in the sun, which left some unfortunate side effects, but it was beyond worth it to spend some time relaxing with a great group of folks.
Along the way, we passed by numerous rice paddies, cows, shanty houses, alongside the occasionally more developed areas. It was definitely a sharp contrast with the city, as Ho Chi Minh is seeing much of the economic output, with many wealthy foreigners both investing and moving in, whereas these rural areas basically see the majority of people living in small huts who primarily make a living by farming. One of the struggles with the Vietnamese economy is the slow migration of people from rural areas to the cities, something that can almost be visualized when seeing how the houses appear as one moves closer to the city.
In terms of the resort town, it honestly is about what I expected from a typical ocean resort area, which makes a lot more sense having learned that it was a popular destination for American soldiers during the war. The view from the Jesus statue near the town provided a view reminiscent of what one would expect to find somewhere in the Mediterranean, complete with island monasteries and a breathtaking view of the ocean. The town itself was filled with numerous luxury hotels, and the resort we stayed at was all that I had hoped for. This was a fantastic day that not only provided down time, but allowed us to see Vietnam from unique angles.