There were days with strong onshore winds, but in the second half of September, days with light winds appeared. Rain has been falling several times a week.
Morning sunrise in Phan Rang-Thap Cham.
As Vietnam is mainly bordered by the sea on the east side, the morning sun can often be seen beautifully from the coast when the weather is clear.
Sunrise in Ninh Thuan. It will be hot again today.
I’m feeling better and woke up early for the first time in a long time.
Ninh Thuan province with large coral reefs. Many of them are black and have little to no beauty left in them. The mountains of Nui Chua National Park can be seen in the background.
On this side, a beautiful section of emerald green seawater is visible.
Coral reef situated front of the inn.
There are no restaurants near the hotel, so we drove 20 minutes by motorbike to a local diner to eat porridge. This diner seems to be run by a mother and her 10-year-old daughter. The food is delicious and tastes like it was made by a minority type of Vietnamese who are particular about their work. It actually seems easy for such a minority Vietnamese to succeed in running a diner. It is generally perceived that prosperous shop owners are generally one-person leader types who can have this good commitment and act on their own initiative. In Vietnam, the difference between a few and all others is extremely large. It is easy for the few to succeed because they can do business with everyone else. The structure is different from that in Japan, but there is no doubt that scarcity is an important factor to consider here as well.
View of a dirty coral reef covered with rubbish. Is it the same here?
Goat and kid. Small kids are rare.
A few years ago, I was happily invited by a Vietnamese to go out for goat meat. Goat meat must be a special food, regarded as the same ranking of seafood. I don’t eat it.
Nha Cho where we stayed in Ninh Thuan Province. It was the first sunny day in a while and the wind was light, making it a good day for drying clothes. Besides us, there were two long-term caucasian women, an Aussie and a Vietnamese couple and their family staying there. All were kitesurfers. The sea in front of us is a kitesurfing point, so it must be a good location for them. There is a deep and high mountain behind us, and we could feel the strength of nature, such as strong winds and thunderstorms.
The rooms were small, there were many flies and it was by no means comfortable. However, the owners, a Vietnamese couple, treated us very well. and were very hospitable.
Meals at the inn. Fried noodles with coriander from a neighbouring field. Not only this fried noodle, but the food served at the inn was delicious, not in the general Vietnamese taste, but suited towards a foreigner’s taste.
Fast-growing backyard coriander. Within a few weeks, it has reached a good size to eat.
This is where the seawater looked the cleanest in the area. Even so, there are noticeable black areas on the coral reef in the foreground. The blackness could be some kind of man-made contamination, although the visibility would depend on the depth of the water.
At the end of this suspension bridge, deep in the mountains of Nui Chua National Park, there is a settlement of people who appear to be ethnic minorities with different cultural standards.
Goats can be seen crunching on cactuses with sharp thorns. The thorns appear to be painless to them.
A goat with a cactus stuck in its back but walking nimbly. It still doesn’t seem to be in pain. The other goats walked by without attempting to eat the cactus that had been stuck on the goat’s back.
Rubbish trucks in Ninh Thuan province. A system in which garbage is thrown into the back of the truck and trampled down by human power.
Few people have cars in this part of the countryside. This Vietnamese man is riding on a motorbike with a large amount of harvested goods as well as his spouse.
Today there is a swell and light wind. Finally, we might be able to surf. Let’s go looking for a surf spot.
It seems to be the only beach break in the area. Sets of chest high waves coming in. No one is in the water. I brought my surfboard and wanted to go in. However, I gave up after checking the waves for about 10 minutes. There was a lot of rubbish floating around, so I judged it to be dangerous. Too bad. We came all the way here and can’t surf for this reason? Vietnam is a stressful surfing destination if you don’t choose the right place and time of the year.
Waves breaking on coral reefs.
There were places where the conditions were right, surfing could be done, but it was felt that the probability of this happening would be a few times a year.
The waves are no good here either, where the beach and coral are mixed. The sand looks blackish and dirty by the sludge.
I think you need a very strong swell to surf this goofy surf spot, but maybe you can surf it.
Salt is also produced here.
River in Phan Rang-Thap Cham where rubbish floats.
Boats anchored in the river. The surface of the water is glistening with oil.
I took a photo with the beautiful countryside in the background. I want to leave soon because I don’t fit in with Phan-Rang’s air, but I haven’t surfed here once yet and I want to at least do it once. There are no waves to surf yet. I’m in a hurry to move on, but the odds of getting a wave are low, so I’ll have to wait and see. The reason why there are no surfers in Vietnam is becoming clear. This is a discipline.
Vietnamese dogs in the countryside.
Many grape farms in the vicinity of Nui Chua National Park produce wine. The receptionist is a dog. Vietnamese dogs are cute, but near here I was almost bitten by a dog that was seriously out of control. I escaped at 40 km/h on a rickety road, but it was a close call.
Beaches surrounded by barbed wire. Many areas are inaccessible.
Comfortable drive with little traffic.
Goats scavenging and eating rubbish. Not only goats, but also cows, chickens and other animals feed on rubbish and are conspicuous on the streets.
Riding the motorbike in search of a surf spot. This mountain road had no road, and I had a feeling that there was a possibility of a landslide, so I gave up and turned back. There was no one deep in the mountains and the sound of birdsong was pleasant. However, there was no reception on my phone and I felt scared.
Ninh Thuan province, the land of coral reefs and sand dunes. Next, a place that had been checked on Google Maps with the expectation of waves. The shape of the coral reef looks good. I am looking forward to it.
After a drive of several dozen kilometres, I arrived at the destination. But I was disappointed when I saw the dirty sea. Or rather, I had realised this was no good when I saw the black river water just before my destination.
Close-up shot of the coral reef at low tide. There was a staggering amount of dirt. Yet, I’d like to walk over the coral reef to the shore a few hundred metres away and see the waves up close once. Then, take a step out.
I got stuck in it. My shoes were stuck on and I couldn’t get out. Sticky mud like sludge is accumulating on the coral reef and you can’t move. It is impossible to walk on it. The black sea that I saw from the hill the other day, was it not this sludge-like sticky mud? If so, the amount of black muck on this vast coral reef is huge. Incidentally, there are many fish farms in the vicinity. Maybe there was also a processing plant. Anyway, the water in some of the streams flowing into this sea is black. If this were a sandy beach with strong currents, I don’t think it would be like this. The current is weak, and it is probably like this because it is a coral reef without fluidity of sand. Even if the coral reef waves here are good, I don’t think I would surf here. I don’t want to be wipeout on that sludgy coral reef.
River flowing through the town of Phan Rang-Thap Cham. Beyond the floodgates is the sea.
The water of the river flowing through Phan Rang-Thap Cham is black.
The weather in Phan Rang-Thap Cham is variable. Suddenly it became dark and started to rain.
Several sea turtles protected at the Nui Chua Environmental Centre.
Kitesurfing season will soon begin.
We’re back at the inn, served deep fried sweet potatoes. It was delicious.
Hotpot. Delicious. The food is always freshly prepared at this inn, which has helped a lot in terms of food.
Having stayed too long in Phan Rang, falling ill and waiting for the waves to rise, it was time to move on to the next location.
There is nothing around here and no waves at this time of year. The sea is dirty despite being a coral reef, and the air feels stagnant for some reason, although there is a lot of nature, so the impression of this place is not very good.
Day of departure from Phan Rang, first long-distance journey in a long time. High temperature. We proceed north in full protection. On the way, we will be stopping at several beaches to check out the surf points. We drive for several hours through the spectacular roads of Nui Chua National Park to Cam Ranh, south of Nha Trang.
Ninh Thuan Province. The sea is beautiful and there were no people.
Finally, we have entered Khanh Hoa Province. The sea is beautiful in this area where few people live.
(Surf trip record: Phan Rang-Thap Cham, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam – September 2019)