Published: November 6th 2006November 6th 2006
Making a good impression
Matt goes for a wander in the white sand dunes of Mui Ne
Firstly in response to comments regarding our experiences in Vietnam so far. We have been away for 2 months now so can hardly call ourselves seasoned travellers, but we will refuse to see the world through 'rose coloured spectacles' like so many travellers we meet. We experience the good the bad and the ugly and the number of times we see people pointing at a pile of ugly bricks announcing "How wonderful and Beautiful it is!" simply baffles us.
Still so early on in our travels we have already seen sights that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, but you have good and bad days and roll with it! using this blog to make light of some of the less pleasant experiences along the way.
Vietnam continues to fascinate us, but truth be told we have experienced few beggars here, only people who swear and shout at us when we politely refuse the books....postcards....motorbike rides......hammocks etc they try to sell us. We laugh it off, help where we can and enjoy the fantastic sights like Halong Bay, Hoi An and our next destination......
Mui Ne FISH SAUCE
Mui Ne stinks, Literally.
You can see why this place chills you out
The smell as you arrive comes from large terracota pots lined up at the sides of the roads that house dead fish which just rot away and eventually become Mui Ne's most famous export.... fish sauce.
Fortunately the fishing ports are only at the north and south ends of what is an 11km stretch of beach so by the time we reach our guest house, Thai Hoa Bungalows the smell has gone (although sudden wind changes remind us it is still there). The location is great and at a fiver a night our bungalow is exactly 10 paces to the beach and the same to the bar, so we dump our stuff and get ready to relax - something we spend most of the next 3 days doing!!!
The only down side to Mui Ne is its lack of night life, but we adapt and just enjoy eating a cheap meal, going back to our veranda and sticking the ipod in its speakers whilst we drink and chat until bedtime !! continuing to relax and recharge after a hectic couple of weeks and before our final onslaught on Vietnams busiest city Saigon.
The weather is great so sunbathing
Mui Ne or Mars
Carla at the Red Canyon
and book reading occupy us most of the time, but we hire a guide from our guest house on day 2 to take us in his jeep to the nearby attractions... SAND DUNES
25km outside of Mui Ne are the 'white sand dunes' a must see!! miles and miles of un trodden sand that reflects the sun and transports you to the Sahara or Gobi, its bizzare they can be found in a land dominated by rocky coasts and rice paddies. Local kids rent out plastic sledges so we both attempt to slide down the dunes only to get sand in every orafice possible and not move that fast anyway. The photos dont do the size of the place justice, but the whole experince is pretty amazing and we spend a good hour before returning to the jeep to head back towards Mui Ne for our next stop the 'Red Canyon'.
No doubt formed by a similar process as the dunes the Canyon is made of sand, but as the name suggests Red and heavily formed sand. The locals proudly claim it to be Vietnams Grand Canyon but its too small for that tiltle although still pretty
A drink thats bigger than your head
Carla enjoys her freshly dropped coconut juice
earie and spectacular to visit as the photos hopefully show.
We return via the fishing village and hold our noses whilst we grab a few photos before returning to our bungalow where a quick dip in the sea and hot shower eventually gets rid of all the sand (how it got between my bum cheeks i will never know???)
We are reluctant to leave Mui Ne and a few people we meet stay on, but with a soon to expire visa and a desire to move on through Saigon to Cambodia we pack up on day 4 and jump on a coach for the 6 hour trip south to Saigon (nobody calls it Hoh Chi Minh City over here)
There are more photos below