Published: November 30th -0001July 15th 2007
Dragging ourselves away from the beer hoi in Nha Trang, we got a bus to Mui Ne, 6 hours to the south. The journey went well for once with no flat tyres and the air con worked this time! Before we arrived we didn't realise just how big Mui Ne was, it turns out it is 6km long and the bus company decided to drop us off at the far northern end of the resort, an area with the lowest concentration of hotels - one of which the bus company owned (which were hideously expensive and snooty to boot) and a couple of restaurants. After asking at the snooty hotels the price of a room and Neil getting very condescending looks, we made an immediate decision to get a moto to the other end of the beach!
We found a good hotel for $10, with free wi-fi...well the bloke running the place said they had wi-fi but we soon discovered he didn't have a clue how to set the wi-fi up! Neil promptly took control and had his internet and wi-fi working smoothly within 5 mins. The Vietnamese have a lot of places with internet, wi-fi and other flash technology
they could probably smell the dog wee from Nha Trang still!
but they really haven't got a clue how to use it, set it up or fix it when it goes wrong...this lead to a lot of puzzled looks from hotel owners and us fixing a lot of technology (air-con units, tv's, computers, internet) when we were in Vietnam.
Mui Ne was a really nice place...it was only discovered for 'tourism' around 9 years ago, even now it's not too developed and there weren't many tourists around at all. The beach was very long and wide, but windy, perfect for wind surfing and kite surfing...we didn't have a go at these though as the water was far too cold to venture into, or so Donna said, Neil didn't even try the water, instead he just took Donna's word for it! Laying on the beach it was clear that this resort was not just for Western tourists, but was a resort for the Vietnamese to go on holiday, although this seems to be mostly on the weekend (giving some hotels the 'excuse' to raise their prices significantly on a weekend).
For some reason our photos of Mui Ne beach don't do it justice, Nha Trang beach looks better on the
Donna and local kids
...wherever we go it's either dogs or kids that follow her!
pics. The whole place reminded us of a very young Chaweng beach (on Koh Samui in Thailand). We lay on the beach for 3 days wondering why we were getting itchy red spots on our bodies and after flashbacks to the sand flies of New Zealand we noticed that Mui Ne had it's fair share of sand flies. Not surprising really because there was so much sand in Mui Ne and the surrounding area...there were great dunes of it miles away from the sea and vegetation was growing from it. Let us just repeat for clarity how annoying sand fly bites can be. We did describe their bites in our NZ blog but describing doesn't illustrate how much these bites make you want to rip your skin off! Let's hope we never get sand flies like these in the UK....the closest thing we can describe is the Scottish midgies in summer.
We hired a couple of moto drivers to take us to see some of these great dunes and also a canyon which is really weird, see the pictures. Walking up the sand dunes we were approached by several children under the age of 10 asking us if we
wanted to go sand sledging. Their sledges, or rather, pieces of plastic with rope tied to the front looked quite effective when the kids demonstrated how they worked and Neil turned into a big kids again and decided to give it a go. We don't think the kids were too amused though when Neil got to the bottom of the dune and the sled was shredded to pieces. We gave some money to the kids but as usual in Asia, whenever you give somebody money, they always want more...especially children and they soon started swearing profusely at us in between the crocodile tears. This all got a little bit too much for Neil who was getting fed up of the constant begging and whining so he walked up to the loudest swearer, took on a father figure role and shouted at him so loudly and gave him a good telling off that tourists on the dune a mile away looked around. Surprisingly the kids listened to him (he was a bit scary!) and scampered away without another peep to go and hassle some other tourists. Coming down from the sand dunes our moto drivers had disappeared but then one of
them waved us over to a dodgy looking café and invited us to lay in one of the hammocks and have a drink. It seems that this café was kind of a moto driver brothel full of (not very pretty) Vietnamese women who also took a liking to Neil, he reckons they must have been impressed with his manly handling of the children on the sand dunes! Ho Chi Minh/Saigon/whatever-you-want-to-call-it was to be our last place to visit in Vietnam, so more on this in our next blog...
There are more photos below