I was woken up at 4Am in the morning when everything was still dark and quiet. It took me about 10 mintues to get from home to my work place by taxi where all my colleagues were waiting. We left Hanoi at 5.15 Am and we spent about 4 hours on a big bus to get to Sam Son beach in Thanh Hoa province. Everyone seemed very excited to be having a short break from work where they have to work hard everyday, serving hundreds of people who come to enjoy Vietnamese food.
We all went to the beach after lunch and hanged out for a few hours, swimming and playing football together. Our meals were great, with lots of seafood such as crab, squid, prawns and fish every day. I gave a compliment to the chef because we all enjoyed the food so much that we ordered extra seafood during all of our meals.
Everything seems quite cheap here in Thanh Hoa. I took a xich lo tour for 30 minutes for just 15,000Vnd (1USD) and the driver was a woman. She works in the afternoon and her husband works in the morning and evening. They earn about 100,000Vnd per day which is good but this is pretty hard work for a woman. The xich lo is a popular form of transportation in this area where most tourists come for a weekend or a few days in the summer.
The beach is clean and full of people for the whole day. I wouldn't call the beach beautiful but it is acceptable for swimming, and for sunbathing. The local people seem very friendly here and they also try their best to sell their stuff by following tourists for hours. the most common street businesses are selling dry squid and live crabs and Cay cakes.
The most annoying thing was the people selling things along the beach in the evening. Everytime we bought something, we were cheated. My colleagues went back to their store to complain but they said to us, that's the way it is and they didn't care about that. I bought a flashing light ball for my dog Misa. It worked at the shop but 10 minutes later, it was not working. On the way back to the hotel, I saw a police man and I told him about that but he said nothing. He just smiled and some other girls working as street police said to us "that's the way the street business is here and many people have complained about that before but we can't change it. Why didn't you go to the real shops in the city?" What can you do?
Anyway, been there, done that. We did have a good time together, time to get to know the other staff and about another place which is good.