Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mui Ne

The bus dropped us off in the middle of the main road of Mui Ne and we proceeded to find some accommodation for the night. We all looked around for an hour but could not find anywhere cheaper then $14.

We negotiated a double room from $14 to $13 per night at a place called 'Gio Bien Guest House'. Jason, Luke, Josh & Aaron booked a double twin here for $20 per night between the four of them. We did all try lowering the price even further with the promise of staying here for four consecutive nights but the owner stood his ground and refused.

The rooms were spacious and basic and they all have air con, although even with this on continuously both our rooms were full of mozzys and we all got eaten alive!

Our room at Gio Bien Guest House

The boys went swimming in the sea just before sunset and then Ian, Jason, Luke, Aaron and I all headed out for some food. We found quite a few open air seafood restaurants and the others picked some fresh fish for our dinner. I'm not a fan of seafood so i ended up missing out on the fish.

The sunset on the beach

Aaron ordered a huge sea snail and the others ordered a large Red Snappa. The fish was cooked perfectly and tasted really good. I ended up finishing off the rest of Ian's even though i don't usually like seafood, i really enjoyed this. The only downside was that we waited almost 1 hour for the food to arrive!

Aaron's sea snail

During our first day it was quite cloudy but still incredibly warm. Most of the day was spent booking our flights to Bali and Bangkok and looking around the town. The boys found a nice gym that was owned by a friendly Aussie guy called Rex who gave us some great advice about Cambodia. If you're into your fitness i would recommend visiting here, it's called 'Mui Ne Fitness' and is located on the main road.

We found some builders having a nap during a power cut

The second day we booked a sunrise trip to see the sand dunes. We arranged this via Rex after he advised us to visit during sunrise and pointed us in the direction of a guide with a Jeep that we could hire.

We each paid $6 and were picked up from outside our hotel at 5am. The journey to the white dunes was about 40 minutes and we walked up to the higher dunes to get the better views. There were about 20-30 other tourists here but this didn't spoil the view in any way. It is a truly a magnificent scene and definitely worth the early wake up call.

The White Sand Dunes

 Driving towards the Red Sand Dunes

We then stopped off at the red sand dunes but the place was heaving with about 400 (I'm not exaggerating!) Chinese tourists, it was packed. The dunes here were beautiful but not as large as the white dunes and the sand had foots prints in every direction so it wasn't great to photograph.

 This is the crowd that greeted us at the Red Sand Dunes, although this picture doesn't quite show just how many people were actually there

Afterwards we visited a little market and fisherman's village.

We then stopped off at a place called Fairy Stream. It is a very shallow stream with a soft sand bed that you can walk along it. Again we were met with some stunning views here and some of the pure white and deep red sand contrasting against each other looked amazing. There is a stop off point offering tourists a ride on an ostrich but i would advise against participating as we watched the owners treat the ostrich's quite badly.

Four leaf clover

Me in the Fairy Stream

We arrived back at our hotel at just after 10:00am, all in all the whole tour had taken 5 hours, so for $6 each it had been really worth while, a must to do if you visit Mui Ne.

To hire motorbikes here it was quite expensive so instead we all hired bicycles and went in search of a quiet beach spot. After half an hour of riding we came across a bumpy dirt track that led to some small local houses and a little beach. The beach was located after Mui Ne Beach and just before Fisherman's Village.
If you want some peace and quiet away from the resorts and crowds then head here. It was deserted except for a few fishermen and some friendly local children that came and went throughout the day.

A small slice of paradise away from the crowds

Some of the local children at the small beach we found

On our last day we decided to head to the little beach we had found the day before. We had to stop off and change Ian's bike as the peddles were not working properly.

Whilst waiting at the hire shop, I was stood on the sandy pavement area talking to Jason, when i suddenly heard people screaming/shouting. I looked up to see a mass of metal coming incredibly fast and heading straight for me. Before i had time to think i had been knocked to the floor where i then waited for the pain to kick in. As i was in shock i quickly got up and everyone rushed over. I was shaking and confused and saw a girl lying on the floor next to me with a motorbike still in her hands.

Within just a few minutes the girl had picked up her broken motorbike and driven off! Ian said she didn't appear injured but i think she wanted to scarper quickly in case she had been forced to pay for any of the damage that she had caused to a couple of the bicycles that she had smashed into before she hit me.

I was told by my friends that this Russian girl had been travelling too fast on the motorbike and had clipped the back of Aaron's bicycle and then careered into me! 

The scene of the crash. I was standing just in front of the paved step and pole and ended up landing behind the pole. The pole and step probably saved me as it stopped the bike from skidding any further.

After 10 miuntes of getting over the shock, realising that my only injury were cuts and bruises and being tended to by a very kind local lady, we hit the road and headed straight for the beach.

The long straight road in Mui Ne and me and Ian heading to the beach just after the crash

I found Mui Ne to be a nice enough town and it was refreshing to be able to enjoy some beach time here after all the cold we had experienced in northern and central Vietnam. There are also so many places to eat here, not in the same sense of Hoi An but you are certainly spoilt for choice. 

The downside to Mui Ne are all the resorts. It has been over run with expensive accommodation and is very touristy, especially with your package holiday tourists and kite surfing enthusiasts. Don't let this put you off visiting, but 3 days here is more than enough.

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