Starting Strange

Nha Trang, January 2nd 2011

I booked a 1-Day Tour to Yang Bay Waterfall with The Sinh Tourist. But unlike the previous tour I booked with The Sinh Tourist, this tour to Yang Bay Waterfall wasn't operated directly by The Sinh Tourist. While waiting for the other passengers to get into the bus in front of the actual tour operator's office, I caught sight of their billboard. "Strange tour in Nha Trang"???

The view on the way was remarkable. However, our tour guide never said a word about the places we passed by. Instead, with a microphone in front of his mouth he played games with Vietnamese girls sitting in front. There were loud and I felt bothered. Up to now I've been to several local tours in and outside Vietnam, but have never experienced a tour guide like this.

For example, the guides of the local tours I took in Japan didn't speak English. But they really did their job in Japanese. They explained things while we were on the way in Japanese. It helped give us a better understanding of the place we were heading to. The other local guides I had had in Vietnam spoke English and always seemed excited to explain about everything we passed by along the way. 

For me, hiring a tour and hiring a bus are two different things. It usually cost more for hiring a tour, because you get a tour guide. But what's the use of a tour guide, if the tour guide only play games with some girls all along the way?

Our first stop was a crocodile farm. We got off and still the tour guide said nothing but continued laughing with the girls. Were we expected to find out about the crocodiles ourselves?? At least can't he explain in Vietnamese?? 

I called the number of this tour operator which I got from the leaflet given to us before we got into the bus. I asked,

"Hello, I would like to know whether you have a tour with an English speaking guide?"

"Eight thirty."

I tried to speak more slowly. "Do you haven an English speaking tour guide?"

"Hello, eight thirty."

"Can you hear me?"

"Yes, yes. Eight thirty."

"Do you speak English?"

"Yes, yes. Eight thirty."

Aaarrrggghhh!! Really a strange tour it is!!
At the crocodile farm I complained the tour guide. I said that I felt just like buying a bus ticket and not hiring a tour.

"That's right! I agree," said a German-American guy next to me.

The tour guide looked at me as if I was telling him to use knife and fork instead of chopsticks. However, he said he was sorry. Wow! This the third time during this trip I hear someone says "I'm sorry." which is very rare in my experience.

Then to proof that he was truly sorry, he started to explain about the farm to me, Wiwik, and the German-American guy. There were handmade purses which he told me were made of crocodile and ostrich skin.

"How do you know which one is from crocodile skin and which one is from ostrich skin?" we asked.

"The one like this is from ostrich skin," he pointed on the ones that had many pores on it.

There was a moment of doubt among us. Is that true?

"Of course!" said 8 old year Gabe suddenly. "An ostrich has more hair than a crocodile!"

Bingo! We, well I, had never think about that.

I found out later that Nha Trang is famous for its ostrich-skin-made stuffs.

Gabe had fun (I suppose) feeding the baby crocodiles with fresh meat attached to a long rod. The baby crocodiles looked tin. But by the time they bit the meat, the pressure felt on the rod was huge. I can't imagine if it were an adult crocodile.

It turned out also that the tour guide's English wasn't totally bad. Therefore, the more unreasonable it is that he didn't try to perform his job as a tour guide.

From the crocodile farm we went on and stop at this spot. Although Yang Bay Waterfall wasn't at all yet in sight, this place was absolutely lovely.

There was a huge monument symbolizing their culture: communal rice wine drinking. It's exactly like the one I saw when I visited Jun Village.

Off the bus we got on this cart to get to Yang Bay Waterfall.

This is another type of transportation means. Hahaha, looks like children's playground, doesn't it?

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