The Bodyguard: Nha Trang EditionTuesday, April 12, 2011
Admit it: You have seen this movie a dozen times. You will probably see this movie a dozen times more. You love Kevin and Whitney (before she got into that bad habit of snorting stuff through her nose).
Well, if you must know I had my own bodyguard in Nha Trang: Although, he looked far from looking like Kevin in that suit. In fact, he was shirtless the whole time we were together.
So how much did it cost to have a personal bodyguard in Vietnam's main beach town, Nha Trang?
Apparently, it only costs 6 USD or 120,000 VND.
6 USD was the price we paid for the boat trip around the 4 islands surrounding the beach town of Nha Trang (pronounced Na Chang). The poster from our hostel stated that the tour will include: 4 islands, snorkeling, lunch, singing, floating bar and a mini-beach. Well, sign us up!
I met Bao Jr. even before we got on the boat. He picked us up from our hostel and took us to the port. Little did I know that he will become my personal bodyguard and escort for the duration of the trip.
Bao Jr. is a happy-go-lucky, smiling and rotund Vietnamese guy who, along with Bao Sr., was our party captain/host/waiter on the Nha Trang boat. I have this nagging feeling that in 5 years, Bao Jr. will become Bao Sr., who has a more rotund frame, a bursting beer belly and 11 children. With the way he's drinking and partying, maybe it would even be less than 5 years.
Our first stop was an aquarium of some type that I was too lazy to get out of the boat for. I stayed and napped for a few minutes, away from everyone else which was probably the reason why Bao Jr. thought I was alone. So, he comes over and offers a beer. I declined (it was 10am and much too early for beer) and that's when he made his vow of undying protection:
"You are alone. Bao will take care of you."With those 2 sentences, all my worries, fears and apprehensions were magically erased. I felt safe and secure under the watchful eye of my new knight with a shining belly.
Our second encounter proved to be more intimate. It was our 2nd stop and we were about to snorkel. I was preparing to put my mask on when I heard a voice behind me:
"Let me do that for you, Chichi."...and my self-appointed guardian lovingly strapped the snorkel tube to my mask. I was a damsel in distress and my prince saved me from drowning in my new Speedo snorkel set. Le sigh.
Lunchtime came, the Bao's and the boat crew served us fresh squid salad, fish, tofu, chicken, rice and fruits. It was a delicious feast!
What could make that meal even more perfect? Dessert, of course. This was our dessert:
Bao Jr. continued to take care of me in the floating bar. He would keep watching my glass to see if it was still full. Once empty, he would excitedly call me over for a refill. I got the feeling he wanted me to get drunk. You betcha I steered clear from him after the 2nd refill!
Our last stop was a mini beach with warm white sand and comfy beach chairs which were perfect for lounging. There was even para-sailing!
We chose to make use of the beach chairs and promptly dozed off. When I woke up, guess who was sitting right beside me and offering me a Heineken?
We chatted with Bao for a bit before finally leaving the beach and heading back to shore.
In the end, there was no happy ending for me and Bao Jr. With these parting words, the Kevin Costner to my Whitney Houston took off on the passenger seat of a bright red minivan:
"See you soon, Chichi!"
Safe and Protected in Vietnam,
Sole Sister Chichi