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Cam Ranh Bay

Eat and meet

Cam Ranh

Cam Ranh is not packed with restaurants -- even the usually ubiquitous noodle and rice shops were in shorter supply here than elsewhere. There's a selection of places on the side of the main road as you approach the bridge out of town on the way to Phan Rang.

There's a lot of seafood in cities and towns all along the southern coast of Vietnam -- but all the seafood we had here was consistently fresher and much more flavourful than elsewhere. Given that the fruits of the sea here can go from the water to the pot to the table in a matter of minutes, we suppose it's no surprise.

We had some absolutely exquisite shrimp at Quan Ngoc Anh, located on the side of route 1A just before the second bridge out of town on the way to Phan Rang. It overlooks a fish farm, and you can fish for your own food if you like. The atmosphere is pretty 'down home,' and the menus are in Vietnamese only, but 4km further down the road, Ngoc Suong is the place locals single out for a classy seafood meal -- waiters wear uniforms, tables with table clothes, and there's an English-language menu with a variety of fish and meat dishes.

If you're one of those who cannot live on fish alone, the region's other favourite protein, goat, is available -- try Restaurant 85 Lau De along the main road, just before the roundabout heading towards Nha Trang. The main restaurant is an ugly airplane hangar, but head to the back for seating in the open-air courtyard for a better atmosphere, weather permitting. No English-language menus available -- actually, no menus at all, just a sign on the wall. Crack out the phrasebook.

Ngoc Anh Restaurant: 37A Route 1A (Quoc Lo 1), Cam Ranh. T:(058) 950 512;(091) 968 7109
Ngoc Suong Restaurant: Route 1A (Quoc Lo 1), 4km from town. T: (058) 854 603
Restaurant 85, Lau De: Route 1A (Quoc Lo 1) just before the roundabout, Cam Ranh. T: (058) 856 097

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