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Published: June 13th 2007
HCMC - Mui Ne - Nha Trang
Jason & Kirstyn O
Our first beach stop was the lovely beachside town called Mui Nei. Made up of heaps of resorts lining the coast, we enjoyed a relaxing time chilling out on the beach, amazingly with not a single tout to annoy us! We even played a bit of frisbee (or to the purists - ultimate disk!). There are also a few sites to be had around Mui Nei which we visited in a rusty old Russian 4wd! These included the Fairy spring, fairly uninspiring and complete with child guides (well they tag along then ask for money!), the Red Canyon which was pretty cool, and the main attractions: sand dunes. The white sand dunes were very scenic and we tried out a bit of sand surfing here, which was great fun! We did manage to get sand in every body space imaginable and it was bloody hot! We also got incredibly burnt, our Neutrogina, factor 45 moisturising sunscreen must have been a fake and hence the accompanying red faces and arms!
From Mui Nei we ventured further North to the tourist hot spot of Nha Trang, also on the beach. Due to time running out we decided to blitz the place,
hence we did and all day boat trip the day after arriving and left on a night bus the same night! The boat trip was a blast, definitely a party boat, complete with on board music show and a floating bar at one stop. We did manage to see some nice scenery, get in some snorkeling, pay to visit the worst beach in Vietnam which was extremely busy (god knows why) and visited a somewhat tacky aquarium! Needless to say we were pretty exhausted and still had a bus to catch that night, so after very quick shower and dinner we boarded for our fateful trip to Hoi An.
Now we have done some pretty crappy trips in SE Asia but this one takes the cake hands down. The "a/c comfortable coach" had something to be desired anway and as we boarded close to last we got shafted with our seats! We all had to sit separately, Jason and Andy managed to jag the prime seats in the very back corner with not enough leg room to even sit with feet on the floor and not enough head room to sit up straight. After 12 hrs or so, we
White sand dunes @ Mui Ne
were regretting being tightasses and not taking the sleeper train and fortunately found a really nice guesthouse for pretty cheap, complete with a/c. The sleep was great but Jason awoke with the stiffest neck of his life which a few days down the track is not much better (thanks TM Brothers!) oh and Kirstyn's necks a bit stiff too now!
Hoi An is THE place to go and get Tailor made clothes and shoes done. Buoyed on by the excitement of Nicola (she had been waiting for this day for some time!) we ventured down that afternoon to see what was on offer.... Kirstyn restrained herself quite well, getting two great coats and a couple of nice work shirts made while Jason was stoic and held out. Next stop was the shoe shop where K went a little bit crazy ordering 4 shoes and some boots while Jason got some shoes as well. The next day Jason caved in and joined the party getting an overcoat made for the UK, which will be very handy in winter and somewhat cheaper than getting one over there!
Due to the state of Jason's neck we didn't venture too far a
Kirst getting acquainted with Ben Tranh
field. Hoi An however is very cool with loads of old French buildings, narrow streets and funky stores. We also had a frightening ride on the back of a moto. We worked out early in the trip our driver was actually just on his way home from the local, Jason could smell the booze on his breath, and he drove like a lunatic and ranted on the whole way often looking back at us and ignoring Kirstyn's pleas to stop as she hung on with white knuckles! Finally we arrived at our destination and we have never disembarked from a moto quicker!
We were disappointed to find the trains were all booked out for our next leg to Nin Binh, and very very relieved to find a sleeper bus (??) leaving from Hue that was available. It is even further than the nightmare last trip. Hopefully it works out to be a good trip as we hope to be able to visit Nin Binh in a day!
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