Brendan Gara Photography

Fear and loathing, Nha Trang style

Marine Biologists: they’re like buses, you wait ages to meet one and then you meet a whole group of them.

We ventured out into the Nha Trang bar scene after having our fill of madness in Vinapearl Land.  Nha Trang is party central by the look of things, bar after bar, drunk after drunk.  We ended up in a backpackers bar (not somewhere we would normally frequent, but fuelled on cheap booze and blurry eyed from scarred retinas from the days earlier assaults, it felt safe, had a pool table, smelt familiar.

After a few games of pool we retired gracefully to the bar and let the action waft over us.   We ended up hanging out with a bunch of travellers from the UK, many of whom were marine biologists, recently graduated and having spent a few months diving and teaching diving to tourists in Thailand.

Even stranger than meeting a group of similarly qualified people in a bar in Nha Trang, one of them was from the Isle of Man (where we both studied years ago).  Even stranger still it seems he was the cousin of somebody we were good friends with from Port Erin  (but had lost touch with over the years)- small world.

Introductions over we photographed the bar and the people, were invited to accompany them on their tour round Vietnam as “official” documenters, and drank far too much.  Really, really nice people, laid back, happy, funny and friendly.

After way too many drinks we politely exited and staggered back in the general direction of the hotel, only to stumble into something far stranger: “Strictly”, only in Nha Trang, and only with crazier people and shaven headed Russians getting heavy and angry about photographing.  We left, after consuming more cheap booze and Debbie having led the gangsters wives in a conga around the dance floor.  It hadn’t been 24 hours in Nha Trang and we were ready to leave.


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