After a morning of teaching, we went back to the house and packed for Mui Ne… Beach weekend whoo! We got the bus from downtown at 3pm and arrived in Mui Ne at 8pm. It’s located east of Ho Chi Minh City on the coast of the South China Sea so we drove through lots of Vietnamese countryside and small towns. Driving through, you would think that more than 13% of Vietnam is Christian because there are churches everywhere, and really nice churches at that. The countryside in the south appears to be very similar to the countryside in the north, minus the churches.
Mui Ne is basically a beach with a very long strip running behind it with loads of restaurants, hotels, bars and small shops. When we arrived at the hotel, I was SO happy, my first slice of luxury. Travel and accommodation for the weekend (three nights) cost under $65 so although we read good reviews I was a bit apprehensive about the hotel but we had an amazing room (breakfast included) in a great location. After arriving we went out to a local restaurant for dinner and had lovely food and some drinks. We then went to a beach bar and sat on beanbags on the sand just having drinks and chatting… Was a really good chilled out evening.
This morning we got up at 9am and had our buffet breakfast (my first cereal in 6 weeks WHOOOOO) and then went to the beach. The beach isn’t particularly spectacular but it’s nice enough to laze around on for the weekend. Mui Ne is a really laid back area but it also attracts wind and kitesurfers so there are lots of shacks on the beach offering lessons even though it’s not the best season for it now. The beach wasn’t very busy so it was a nice chilled morning (the other tourists seemed to be rosy looking Russians). It was relatively cloudy but the sun was extremely hot when you were sitting in it so I could see how a lot of people looked like lobsters. The water was really warm but the waves were pretty lethal so I didn’t go in (I don’t trust the sea!).
We then went for a ‘quick’ lunch that ended up taking an hour and a half because of slow service, but the food was quite good. In the afternoon I sat by the pool reading my Kindle. For dinner we went out for… Indian! The curries we got were not like the ones at home (eg the korma I ordered wasn’t korma like I expected) but they were so tasty. It’s the first time this trip that I felt fit to burst after a meal. So after waddling home we got ready to go out for Kats birthday and then played a standard pre game of Ring of Fire (or Kings as the Americans among us call it). We then went out to a club that was quite empty but had good music and pool and then ended up at a really good bar/nightclub on the beach that had amazing music so we danced until very early in the morning.
Sunday morning was a lie in for most (I was the only one who made it up for breakfast and then went back to bed). We then had an early lunch and got our Jeep on a tour around Mui Ne at 2pm. Our first trip was Fairy Stream, which I didn’t have very high expectations for but it was actually really pretty. We walked through the stream and over red sand dunes and saw some lovely views, was a good start to the tour. We then went and saw a fishing village, which was again very pretty.
Next stop was the ‘red canyon’, which is exactly what it sounds like – red sand with a canyon running through the middle. We then went to the white sand dunes and that was the best part of the trip because we hired quad bikes and rode around on the sand. We got stuck a few times but it was really fun and you could go quite fast at some points. Then a couple of people got sled type things and rode down the sand. I thought you’d wizz down the sand dunes but everyone went slowly so it was kinda boring. The sand dunes are quite far outside the main part and the drive was just as good as the destinations: beautiful rugged landscape along the coast with bright blue sea and lots of waves. It was also really quiet on the roads, which made such a nice change from HCMC. We then went for dinner at a yummy restaurant – I had egg friend noodles with seafood and a banana smoothie – and most of us had an early night.
This morning we had quite an early breakfast and then me and Sarah went for an hour walk along the beach. After we went for a swim in the pool before showering and checking out. We had a quick lunch (the most amazing kebabs… Not very Vietnamese at all but they were so good) and got the 5 hour bus back to HCMC, grabbed some Pho Ga and then caught up with the others in the house about our weekends and now is an early night ready to start teaching tomorrow.