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Published: October 3rd 2015
The bus was actually kind of enjoyable! It was pleasant to travel overground and watch the scenery slip past and the driver, although kind of rude and shouty, was relatively safe by Vietnamese standards. Maybe being a bit grumpy comes with the bus/coach driving career in general? We weren't too bothered either way, as the seats were actually mini sleeping berths which, although a bit short and enclosed around the feet, was strangely comfortable. It was amazing how quickly the big grey city changed into miles of flat rice paddies, and then suddenly into trees and lush green mountains, and then again into sand and brush and roadside shops, houses, etc.
Mui Ne is essentially just a long stretch of coastline and beach resorts, with shops restaurants and tour companies on the inland side of the road, and then houses, villas and hotels situated up the sand dunes. The plan was to keep this leg of SE Asia on low budget, however the hostels and dorm rooms are more expensive than budget hotels so we've ended up at a nice place with 2 pools, about 300m from the nicest part of the beach, air conditioning and half price food in the low season! The other super budget option was a tent on a beach about an hour from here, however Chris seems to be a mozzie buffet so we decided to play it safe (and have a swimming pool, what a shame).
The beach here is much nicer than in Phuket thanks to the sand - here it is much finer and keeps the seawater soft. At night you can see the lights of countless fishing boats out at sea, and apparently very early in the morning they bring their catches onto the shore, though we haven't been awake early enough to see this yet. This does account for the weird fishy smell of the sand however! The most impressive thing are the huge sand dunes that follow the coastline. Just over from the posh part of our hotel there is a lot of sand-shifting going on in preparation for building another hotel, and we're about 70m above sea level resting entirely on sand. Blows my mind.
We are planning to take a walk over the dunes later on today, and then possibly an evening sea swim before taking a VERY long bus journey up to Hoi An tomorrow - 17 hours in total. I managed to avoid booking it with Camel Tours bus company, which are renowned across the internet as the single worst company going - thank god I read the ticket before paying!! - so we will continue our coastal odyssey with Hanh Cafe bus company, who we used from Saigon.
Tot: 2.718s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 11; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0437s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb