Returning to Sam Son Beach

After more than nine weeks in Thanh Hoa, we finally returned to the beach that sits only 15 km away. I’m not sure what took us so long to get back there, but either way the situation was remedied. I had the middle of the week off, so on Wednesday morning we took a taxi out to the beach we’d visited so many times before.

Stuart and Zach collected shells, crabs and other “waste” from the fishing nets. When the boats come ashore, they clean out the nets and all sorts of things find their way onto the shore.

Including this fantastic horseshoe crab specimen. Audrey was especially appalled when some locals started playing with it, flipping it over, etc., but someone nicer came along and lifting it by its tail, threw it back out to sea.

Audrey and I on the rocks. We didn’t yet have the deep red glow we would acquire by the end of our three-hour visit to the beach. Ouch.

Audrey is always happy to pose for pictures–the cheesier, the better.

For a snack, I bought xoi (sticky rice) from this woman. I know I paid too much, but there are times when I feel like it’s worth it. She was so kind; she deserved the few extra VND.Eat xoi on the beach at Sam Son

Overall the trip was enjoyable. We were originally bombarded by sellers and children who would not leave us alone, but a few fellow sellers chased them off from us. It’s always an awkward situation to be trying to set up a beach spot and have people surrounding us, touching us and talking quickly in a language I do not understand. And despite our answers of “Khong…khong thich…di di” they just stay pushing their wares at us.

Then, of course, there was the man who was trying to let me accept a massage. I finally got him to leave, but when he returned the second time he just kept touching, squeezing my arm, then my leg, then grabbed a handhold on my breast. I nearly punched the guy, but managed to keep it to a hard shove. So frustrating.

The kids were all enjoying themselves and we’d rented an umbrella, so we stuck around longer than we should have and three days later, none of us are sleeping well due to the burns. Oops. We forgot our sunblock in Hanoi and the stuff is unfindable around here. The locals carry umbrellas and wear long-sleeves, what would they need it for? So, we all pay the price. But next time when I say we really should go, I’m pretty sure Audrey will be more apt to believe me.

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    Dionne Donofrio

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