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Published: December 28th 2015
Tuesday 24th November 2015
We were checked out by 7:30am and on the bus by 8am. We had paid £4 each for a 5 hour bus ride down the coast to a place called Mui Ne. The bus journey was quite nice, being well air conditioned and having reclining sleeper seats which allowed us to lie flat and kill some of the journey with sleep.
We arrived in Mui Ne at approx 1pm and headed straight to our Hotel, Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel. We were paying approx £6 each per night and were pleasantly surprised when we were shown to our room which was directly outside of some sun loungers and a small pool. Inside we had a lounge area and a bedroom upstairs. Not bad for £12!!
This Hotel was split into 2 parts, our part, the budget section and a nicer part with much more expensive rooms. Luckily for us, we were able to use the facilities of the nice hotel, so a very short walk took us to the pool and bar/restaurant where we spent all of the first day. It was nice to have a beer, sit on a sun lounger and take
a dip in the pool. Not much can be said for this day other than sun and swimming. Later in the evening we had some food in the adjoining restaurant, a 3 course meal of spring rolls, Vietnamese curry and a chocolate fondant and then went back to the room to watch some TV and sleep. Wednesday 25th November 2015
Mui Ne is situated by the sea and as such is very sandy, so much so that most of the things worth visiting in Mui Ne are sand related. We had paid $6 each for the services of a man with a Jeep to take us to some sights. Jumping into the Jeep along with 2 Russian fellas and 3 other British guys our first stop was the Fairy Stream. This was a little stream with ankle deep water surrounded by bright orange sandy hills which gave the place a miniature Grand Canyon sort of look. We had a good walk through the stream in the soft sand for roughly 45 mins before making our way back to the Jeep passing a sad looking Ostrich which was being forced to offer tourists rides around its small pen. Sad.
Back in the Jeep we headed down the road and stopped at a fishing village. Here we saw hundreds of brightly colourded fishing boats anchored just off the shore and witnessed some fishermen weaving and repairing torn fishing nets. We headed back to the Jeep once more and made our way 30 mins down the road to the white sand dunes. The white sand dunes are more inland from the coast and despite being 30 minutes from town gives you the feeling you're in the desert. On offer at the entrance to the sand dunes were some guys with quad bikes offering a 30 minute rental for £12. Despite not being that expensive, we gave it a miss on account that some reviews we read complained about most of the time the quad bikes got stuck in the sand. We set off on foot, which was more difficult that we thought. Walking up hill in soft sand was a real killer on the calves. We saw a spot we wanted to reach at the top of the highest, whitest sand dune and made for it. Unfortunately, so did all the quad bikes. There were approx 10 quad bikes whizzing
around the sand dunes all having a great time, but most of them getting stuck in the sand. There was this one couple who had picked up some speed and whilst speeding down hill, they hit a divet in the sand and somersaulted off the bike at quite some speed. The quad bike likewise flipped over and some how managed not to land on either of them. They seemed ok, although I'm not sure how much was saving face in front of all the concerned spectators. The man who owned the quad bike though looked furious as there seemed to be some damage to the bike. This cemented in our heads that not hiring a bike was a good idea. We spent 30 mins taking in the view and playing around thinking of as many different photos styles we could take before heading back to the Jeep. The sand dunes were our highlight of the day and we were glad that this place wasn't too busy with tourists and we were able to enjoy our time there.
The next and final stop was another set of sand dunes, only these were orange rather than bright white. These were much
closer to the town and the idea was to sit at the top of the sand dune and watch the sunset over the sea in the distance. This place was much busier though and had many more local people trying to sell stuff as you left the Jeep. Little kids were trying to rent you a plastic board which acted as a sledge to slide down the sand dunes for about £2. We didn't take this opportunity to play in the sand, but it did look fun. Instead, we joined the other people at the top of the highest dune and watched the sun set from behind clouds. Unfortunately we couldn't see the sun, but we did witness some beautiful coloured sky. We then headed back the Jeep just as the wind picked up and the walk back was quite uncomfortable with the sand blowing against your legs. Back in the Jeep we headed to the hotel where we showered and deposited about half a beach worth of sand down the plug hole. We the headed out for some food at a little Vietnamese restaurant down the road. In this restaurant were a Russian couple who were sat on the
table next to us. At first I thought they were arguing because they were quite loud and waving their arms about, but it turns out they were absolutely hammered. They paid and left the restaurant but got onto their hired motorbike to drive home. One English girl shouted to the restaurant owner to take the keys off him because he would probably injure himself, or worse, someone else. I think the owner was just happy to get rid of them. We all watched as first the Russian guy rolled his bike backwards straight into a table of diners and then after straightening up, and his equally drunken girlfriend got on, he fell asleep. HE FELL ASLEEP SITTING UP ON A BIKE!!! He then woke up and somehow drove off, but with a group of spectators watching. I just hope he got home safe, or better still, got stopped by the police before he injured anyone. After eating and having our evening entertainment we went back to the room and slept. Thursday 26th November 2015
We woke up to a power cut. The room was hot, on account of the air-con not working so we got dressed and headed
to the restaurant. Options were limited on food as the ovens weren't working so we had scrambled egg and a baguette and a lovely Vietnamese coffee (much thicker than normal coffee, almost the consistency of hot chocolate, and very strong). The rest of the day we sat by the pool and occasionally swam. We had a few beers and some mango shakes to keep us going. After a good 6 hours of relaxing we headed down to the beach to watch some of the kite surfers. The beach was only down the road but we were yet to venture there. We actually found it quite difficult to get access as there didn't seem to be a road that led to there beach. The main stretch had tons of resorts built directly on the beach so after 5 minutes of walking down the road trying to fin a cut though, we thought sod it and walked through on of the hotels and out the back straight onto the beach. The beach was lovely. Very soft, white sand and the water was a nice temperature to paddle in. We walked down the beach with the sun setting behind us and dozens of
kite surfers whizzing around in the water jumping huge waves and surfing quite far out to sea. It was very windy, which despite being good for the kite surfers, was quite painful for us as the fine sand hit us in the face. It was like being scrubbed with sand paper, so quite painful. We then had trouble trying to get off the beach, so again we walked straight through a hotel, and into a jewelry shop. Gemma didn't mind and decided to treat herself to a nice ring. We then headed back to the hotel and had dinner. Mui Ne still had a power cut and it was whilst sitting at our table on the balcony overlooking the town, listening to backup generators humming in the background that the electricity came back on. Slowly, the whole town lit up and my hope of seeing stars was lost in the lights of the town. We then headed back to the room to settle down for our departure the next day. We had a sleeper bus booked departing at 11am to take us to our final city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as it was formerly called).
Mui Ne has been a comfortable, cheap and relaxing place. Its been nice recently to not do much with our days and just spend time relaxing. Its quite a misconception that travelling is easy. Our first 3 countries were very busy times for us, every day was 12 hours + of moving around and although having a great time seeing some wonderful sights, it is physically exhausting. Now in Vietnam we are able to experience a slower pace and we plan to take full advantage of it.
Next stop for us is Ho Chi Minh City, a City once controlled by he American's, but after they lost the war, the Vietnamese Army took over and named the city (then called Saigon) Ho Chi Minh City after their leader. Until then, goodbye!
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