Recipe for Relaxation

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(Preface: We were so busy making bubbles and chilling out in Nha Trang that we only remembered to bring out the camera for the cooking class, pictures of which you will find interspersed throughout the following post.)

We had originally planned to follow Hoi An with a lazy few days in Mui Ne, a beachside resort town with sand dunes and wind. But with our newly acquired PADI certificates in our salty hands, we decided that some more scuba diving was in order and we opted to head to Nha Trang, Vietnam’s diving hub, for a few days instead.

Our cooking teacher, Madame Chuon.

Our sole purpose in Nha Trang was to go diving. This should have been easy given the number of dive centres lining every street, but we soon found out that each centre offered the exact same formula of two dives and lunch for the exact same price. Everyone seemed professional and friendly, so it came down to our gut feeling.

Cooking pho!

The pho-nished product

After a morning of walking around all the dive centres, we narrowed our choice down to two outlets: the very creatively named Scuba Zone and Scuba Dive. We liked both but absolutely couldn’t decide, until we very randomly ran into Jennifer, our PADI course buddy, in a bar across the street from our hotel. She had also gone diving, and with Scuba Dive, and had nothing but good things to say about them. On such chance meetings most of our decisions seem to be made.

The pros! We got to keep the aprons.

The dive itself was amazing. Our Vietnamese dive master, Tuan, was funny but professional, and had the eyes of an eagle (ray). From metres away he could spot the tiniest sea creatures, which he would point out to us with his flashlight so we could see the bright colours. We saw a moray eel sticking its head out of a hole, gaping. We saw sea slugs and trumpet fish and a sea horse, thousands of little fish families on corals and amoeba, and even got to do a couple of caves and dive-throughs, where in my excitement I breathed all my air and Tuan had to give me his back-up regulator so we could stay down and finish our dive. It was a great day and we loved every minute of it.

Delicious chicken

We also spent a couple of afternoons lounging at the beach, and combined that with a cooking class, during which we learnt how to make Pho (my favourite) and lemongrass chilli caramelised chicken. Whilst booking our class we completely miscalculated the power cuts and ended cooking over hot stoves in 35 degree heat with no fan or air conditioning, but the meal was delicious. What was most incredible was that MARC WAS COOKING. And there are pictures to prove it. No more excuses, Cutler.

Master chefs.

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One Response to “Recipe for Relaxation”

  1. cynthia cutler Says:

    Marc Cooking AMAZING. Nha Trang is another place I have been to. Got their first Marc. Food looks fantastic. love n stuff Mum x

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