June 20, 2007
At this stage Ben had left to go Na Trang. Sam and I arrived here by hydrofoil from Ho Chi Min City.
There wasn’t much to see here. Vung Tau is a weekend getaway for city people. When we arrived during the week it was very quiet. The main reason for the visit there is for my father, Malcolm.
He did two tours of Vietnam in the 1960′s conflict, and during army leave he would come here to relax. Nearby from Vung Tau is Nui Dat (Small Hill) where the NZ and Australian forces were based. We checked out this area too.
We stayed at a place three kilometres from the city centre based on the Lonely Planet’s recommendation. The place was cheap, but it was a deserted concrete hovel.
We made a new friend there, a 5 inch cockroach that made me shriek when it appeared from around the toilet. Other notable incidents was the durian flavoured sundae that I mistakenly ordered.I pointed to a chocolate sundae on the menu — I got a durian one. The sundae tasted like LPG, and had a weird after-taste.
We had to arrange our own transport out to Nui Dat. There was a small tourist office, but it was too expensive and we had to hire a car. They sold us the idea that there was something to see out at Nui Dat. However, we took two local motto riders to take us out in the morning. These guys introduced us to delicious Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) which became our staple breakfast for the rest of the Vietnam tour.
When we arrived at Nui Dat, it was a disappointment. Everything was gone.A rubber plantation has replaced the old base. But I was convinced there was something there. Sam and I took a few pictures from the top of the hill. Also there were some old painted regiment stones left around that had still had their coat of arms.
But apart from that nothing really to see.
We gave up. Mui Ne beckoned as the next port of call. We returned home,found the bus station and determined that we would have to be ready to leave at 4am the next day. Great! Another bus trip.