Christmas in Nha Trang
Generally speaking, if I want Christmas I stay home in December. Let’s face it, it’s not the best time of year for travel to most places. In some countries, they literally do celebrate the twelve days of Christmas with every shop, restaurant, and hotel taking any combination of the days off. So there ends up being a lot of downtime. If you’ve only got 2 weeks to begin with, then it’s almost wasted money to go to some countries. Vietnam seemed like a safe bet. A communist country, I didn’t think Christmas would even show it’s jolly face. Imagine our surprise when we rolled into Nha Trang midway through our Vietnam winter break trip and arrived at our hotel to find a gigantic Christmas tree made entirely out of Heineken beer bottles! Really, it was massive. It took over the entire front of the multistory building. Of course, the interior was decked out in holly, poinsettias, and garlands. We thought they had really laid it on for the western visitors. As it turns out, it was probably as much for the locals. A steady stream of mopeds paraded past the hotel, through the drop off drive way, and stopped for a quick picture in front of the tree. Young men taking their girls out for a ride, they were almost all wearing a Santa hat and a big cheesy smile. There were hundreds of them; this went on from around 4 PM till midnight. It was fascinating, but since this is a communist country after all, none of the shops, or restaurants closed down early or stopped any services. We loved Nha Trang, but not so much for the overdone holiday decorations as much as for the nearby sea-side fishing villages with smiling, friendly people like our new friend in the photo above.
Where have you traveled that Christmas seemed to follow you?