It has been nearly 48 hours since I arrived in Nha Trang. The visit to the city was supposed to be a welcomed relief from the hustle and bustle of big city traveling with most of the time spent on or in the water of the nearby beach. This stop had two purposes. The first was to relax on a beach, and the second was to begin a long line of scuba dives in the most famous spots of South East Asia. But one thing has become apparent in the short time I’ve spent in the city: it just doesn’t want me there.
The beginning of the first day in Nha Trang started out with great promise. Sunny skies and amazing temperatures were just what I needed to have in a relaxing couple of days. So it was straight to the beach and a ghastly site of 3 meter tall waves and muddy brown water. With warning signs of being illegal to enter the water for swimming, I took a leisurely stroll on the beach while watching the one lone windsurfer attempting to have some enjoyment in the massive waves. An hour in, and the ominous clouds began to roll in.
Unleash the Flood
After lunch, the rain began. Not thinking anything of it, I booked a dive trip for the following day to head out to a nearby island with calmer waters and amazing sites. With nothing else to do after and most activities being outdoor in nature, I passed out for 3 hours in my hotel room and woke up in time to get more food for dinner with continuing rain. The forecast for the next day, sadly, was more rain.
A Ruined Scuba Dive
It was an early morning to get ready for the dive, and the dive company picked me up from the hotel in a complete downpour of rain. With hope of the dive site being better, it was decided to head on out. At this point I should have canceled, but decided against it. Incredibly rough waters that rocked the boat up and down, left and right battered us until we got to the relatively secluded cove where the dive site is and calmer waters. The rain, however, was not relenting.
Gearing up it was time to go in. The boat consisted of myself as the only one dive customer and several staff and interns. The one-on-one guide is my favorite way to dive, so in we went as the rain came down and I made my first descent. Impossible. My guide ignored my request for more weight and brought out 2 to 3 more kilos to add to my suit. The second descent worked out beautifully and we were greeted with less than half meter visibility. Up top once more. A bit of conversation with my guide and fellow instructor diver and we tried once more.
Who is Paying Who?
At the very most I can say that I saw a few coral formations that would have been absolutely stunning in clear conditions. Unfortunately it was not. The most frustrating thing about the dive, was that the instructor I was paired up with did not listen to me when I wanted to ascend. Luckily another instructor was present and understood that the visibility conditions were poor, and we got out. Within 5 minutes the instructors and other guides all got out of the water, and somehow two managed to drift over 100m down the coast and needed picked up by the boat.
A second dive site was scheduled, and a guide went for a quick check and said that the visibility had doubled to just one meter! Being the only paying customer, it was my choice, and I declined so we could head back to dry land. Upon arrival, we were greeted with massive flooding on every major road in the city. So much flooding that some streets had water up to the halfway point on a motorbikes wheel, and the rain continued on the entire day.
Knowing Nha Trang just doesn’t want me to enjoy its beauty, I booked a night bus to Saigon, and am leaving the beautiful beach ahead of schedule for hopefully better conditions.