Monday, June 28th
Today, Sinh Tourist picked us up at Dreams hotel at 7am along with 2 other couples staying at our hotel. The bus was a minibus today to Mui Ne unlike the other full size buses we have rode up until now. We left about 25 minutes later than we were told and our first stop was the gas station only a few blocks away. We were told we would arrive in Mui Ne around 1:30pm and we figured with the late departure and gas stop we would get there well after 2pm. The road from Nha Trang to Dalat was very curvy so we had no idea what was ahead of us.
The bus driver was driving very fast which we didn’t mind at first since we would get there quicker. But, when people started to get sick on the bus it wasn’t ok anymore. First 2 victims to motion sickness were 2 little Vietnamese boys, then a middle aged woman from India, next a Danish girl and lastly a girl from Hong Kong. WOW 5 people in all got sick and the bus smelled of vomit. I couldn’t believe I didn’t get sick since our seats
were in the back, add the sound and smells and I usually get sick. Not this time thank god to my IPOD for blocking the sounds.
The bus driver kept zooming along and finally pulled over for everyone to get off the bus for a break from the mountain road. The poor little boys were covered in vomit from head to toe, their parents got out new outfits from the luggage that was stored behind Pete and my seats. We loaded back into the minibus and continued on our way down the mountain, it was a good 3 hours of mountain roads. Not a trip for the weak stomach person.
We came to a road sign that said 16km to Mui Ne at 11:40am. WOW our driver was going fast since we arrived into Mui Ne by noon. As we got off the bus we checked the prices of the hotel at the stop it was over our budget but we knew already that we would be staying in Mui Ne more than our intended 1 night. . Pete headed to the next hotel to check prices while I waited with the bags, our typical roles when we
arrive in a new town. Pete came back about 30 minutes later on a scooter saying he found a hotel with a pool, on the ocean, has power and serves breakfast with the room all for $30USD per night. This is the most we have paid for a room but well worth it.
Mui Ne is a low key beach town that isn’t as popular or developed as Nha Trang. It is a two lane road along the ocean with resorts and small hotels along both sides but not over developed. It still has a very small low key vibe.
After we got settled in to our room we headed out for lunch at Joe’s which was in the Lonely Planet. I had a chicken baguette with mango salsa and Pete had a Cuban pork baguette. The food was something we hadn’t had since leaving the US and was enjoyed dearly. We met the owner, Joe, who is from Vermont but has lived in Mui Ne for 10 years. He told us that 5 years ago more and more started to be built in Mui Ne and informed us that they have electricity 4 days a week and
without for 3 days a week. Be thankful for living in the US where you don’t have to worry about this type of annoyance.
We then set out to see the famous red and white sand dunes that are 5 and 25 kilometers outside of Mui Ne. We found the red sand dunes first but didn’t stop as we had read on travel blogs that the white sand dunes were much more impressive. We continued on and came upon some white sand dunes but the locals were doing some type of power station construction all over the dunes. We were confused then since we couldn’t see any more dunes in the distance. About 2 km down the road we came upon a foreign couple pushing a scooter along the shoulder of the road. We stopped to see what was wrong or if we could assist in any way. The had a flat tire and were told by others that had stopped there was a town about one kilometer away. We rode into the town and found no English speaking people but found a scooter garage and did our best in body language. We succeeded as the mechanic got on
his scooter and rode with us to the couple walking along the road. The mechanic got on their scooter and gave them his to ride into town. We continued on our way to find the dunes as we knew we did all we could do for the stranded couple.
I was beginning to wonder if we would ever find the white dunes as I still couldn’t see any in the horizon. We came upon a small village that the white dunes in the distance but no road leading that way. Pete decided to turn right and go down a wide sandy path. There were children herding cows down the road and we thought this can’t be it and turned around. The children they yelled “white sand dunes” and pointed the way we just turned around from. They shook their heads and made sure we turned back around. It was quite the tricky road as the sand was pulling the scooter but Pete did a great job of driving and got us there safely.
We walked to the dunes and rented a sheet of plastic for 10,000 dong=53 cents. As we walked up the dunes we ran into 2
guys from England that we had met on our bus from Hue to Hoi An, then saw in 2 other towns along the way. They told us the trick of how to slide down the dunes by sitting in the middle of the plastic sheet Indian style, pull up the front and lay back. Thanks Brits!!!
After our fun at the dunes we headed back to Mui Ne and had dinner at Phat Hamburger. It was owned by a Russian guy as the menu was in English and Russian. We have noticed all over Mui Ne signs are in Vietnemese, English and Russian. At our hotel, Sunrise Hotel, all the other foreigners were from Russia as we were the only ones speaking English at the pool. The USSR flag is flown ALL OVER Vietnam along with the Vietnam flag. Tuesday, June 29th
Today we slept in and decided we would just RELAX all day. We were at the pool by 9am and hung out until lunch when we walked down the beach to Jibe’s, another Lonely Planet recommendation. The food was good but Mui Ne is more expensive for food and hotel than any other part of Vietnam
we have visited. After lunch it was back to the pool and later we watched the numerous kite surfers, kite boarders and wind surfers in the ocean in front of our resort.
When I say resort it had 25 rooms which all were in a rectangle around the courtyard where the pool was then opened to the beach. We highly recommend the Sunrise Resort for the money $30 a night for a HUGE room. Many of the other places Pete checked were $48 to over $200 USD for a hotel with a pool on the beach.
Tomorrow we are off to Saigon at 8am for 100,000VND=$5.26USD per person with expected arrival at 1:30pm.
Thanks Mui Ne as you were the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam.
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