Today, the ship stopped in Nha Trang for a few hours. This is my first visit since 1972. The beach is the same, but much construction has altered the beachfront skyline. At my last visit, no building was higher than 4 or 5 stories, with those being relicts of the French occupation. This town was a resort for the French colonists, thus it resembled a Mediterranean beach community. I experienced my first baguette here, long before I ever visited France.
It was common to fly passengers to Nha Trang, and then we would wait for a few hours or overnight. I recall enjoying a lunch at a French restaurant, which was absurd. A war was raging in the surrounding countryside, but life in Nha Trang seemed to be in a time warp...except for the US military uniforms.
The town features a long, sandy beach, with a parallel tree-lined boulevard. Many new hotels and condominiums have been constructed, still hoping to achieve peak capacity from tourist (hopefully American, but more likely Russian). Few people lie on the beach or frolic in the water, which is clean and warm. There is no reason for growth not to blight this lovely spot, with the danger of it resembling Pattaya. Palm shade the park and sculptured tress decorate many parts. At the moment, the promenade resembles Nice, but is nicer. Less motorbikes crowd the streets, but one still be careful crossing.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.