The very first time that I watched Caitlin Upton’s famous response during the Miss Teen USA 2007 Q&A round, I knew that I was instantly hooked to beauty pageants for the rest of my life. There was something so marvelous, so dramatic about seeing the young woman go down in flames in front of a live audience, and the resulting media phenomenon surrounding her mistake was no less entertaining.
This morning I booked a room at the Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Premier Beach Resort from July 11th, 2008 to July 14th, 2008. The reason for doing so was two-fold. First, it has been ages since I truly took a birthday break to smell the roses, and second, the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant is coming to Nha Trang, Vietnam!
I have been to many places in Vietnam, but Nha Trang is not one of them. From the way other travelers tell it, I am in for an absolute delight once I arrive in the city. Nha Trang is seafood heaven and ever since I took beef and pork out of my diet, my cravings for shrimp, scallops and any other variation of seafood have only increased. Add in the fact that my beachfront hotel will be merely inches away from the fresh catches of the day, and I may never return to Can Tho.
As it stands now, most, if not all, of the notable hotels in Nha Trang are booked solid throughout the Miss Universe 2008 weekend. A part of me did want to wait until I actually arrived in Nha Trang to make reservations at a cheaper, more local establishment, but I wasn’t willing to risk not having anywhere to sleep next month in Vietnam’s so called party central. Make no mistake about it: although Nha Trang is a city of only three hundred thousand people, it will be packed to the brim with travelers from all over the world come July.
Miss Universe 2008 is a huge event for Vietnam. Oddly enough, the majority of the locals who I have spoken to about recently selected Miss Vietnam 2008 (Thuy Lam) are utterly appalled that a model just under 170cm would be chosen to compete on an international level. One hundred and seventy seems to be the magic number here, so if you ever tell a short girl that she is beautiful enough to be a model, you will be told that you are out of your mind. I relay this information due to experience with the matter.
Pending any unforeseen disasters with my camera or restrictions on photography at the Miss Universe 2008 pageant, I will be spending a bit of time behind the camera lens when I arrive in Nha Trang. There will be beaches to remember, absolutely beautiful women moments away from pageant immortality, and fish to fry. If you never hear from me again after next month, it will most likely mean that I have died and gone to epicurean heaven in Nha Trang, Vietnam.