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The Adventurer’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 21 Mar 2007

MapThe last few days has been awesome, once again. I have to say that Vietnam has been great all the way. I took a bus to Nha Trang (another popular beach resort, which I recommend, but didn't get a chance to stay there), where I transferred to another. Remember the cockroach story? Well, I had a worse encounter. We stopped at a pit stop along the way to Nha Trang. I happened to bump into an English fellow I met up in Sapa, and as we were chatting, someone pointed out that something was on my back. Yep, you guessed it, a giant cockroach. These things are haunting me. I tried to flick it off, but it stuck to me. This thing was bigger than the one in the hotel. A Vietnamese girl picked it off of me--just grabbed it like you were picking up a ball. She then proceeded to taunt me with it. And I also noticed that it was a flying cockroach to boot! Have I mentioned how much I hate those things?

Anyway, arrived in Mui Ne on the 18th, and it was heaven. Okay, I have to admit, Thailand and the Perhentian Islands are certainly better, but this was still pretty prime. My first night I stayed in a bungalow, complete with private beach out front, a nice courtyard with hammocks all over, and a nice, clean room. The weather was sweltering hot. Met a Canadian couple, Brahim and Isabelle. Finally, Canadians in Vietnam! They were from Quebec. Also met a girl from Australia who I hung out with for the evening for drinks. She would leave the next morning. The French Candians recommended a better hotel that was in the middle of everything, so the next morning I checked out of the bungalow and went to have a look at this place. Pretty damn nice I have to stay. No beach front, but the price was a steal--$9 for a room like new, and was the best one I've seen in Vietnam so far. We hung out on the beach all day soaking up the sun and the water. So many people were out kite surfing (think of a big, big kite that lets you surf on the water and take huge leaps into the air, coasting a bit before you drop). I wanted to try it, but I also just wanted to lay there and relax all day--I'm holding off on a lot of beach stuff until I get to my island paradise in Malaysia.

We topped the evening off with an excellent seafood dinner that consisted of a huge plate of prawns and rice. After that, it was time for cocktails at the beach bar. Isabelle left early while Brahim and I stayed out until the wee hours of the morning--we were having too much fun and we took our drinks on the beach and made a fire. A nice welcome breeze was blowing off the ocean, a nice break from the heat.

Was a bit hungover the next morning (now the 20th of March), and slept in until 11. Got up, had a great breakfast, and rented a motorbike to get out to the famous sand dunes. About 10 kms outside of Mui Ne are some sand dunes, the red sand dunes and the white sand dunes. I was a bit leary of renting the bike due to the traffic, but once I was on the road, it wasn't a problem. You could tell it was desert like landscape here--kind of strange really, but awesome nonetheless. I arrived at the red sand dunes to be accosted by a bunch of kids. Three young boys jumped on my motorbike and said they'd take me to the white sand dunes (for a fee of course, which I already knew, but also knew this would be an experience, so I went for it). The other kids were mad because I didn't choose them. So here I am, with 3 kids and myself crammed on this small motorcycle (really though, it's quite common for the Vietnamese people--I've seen as many as 5 on a motorbike). Let me tell ya, it's much harder to control and keep the balance with that many people. Anyway, they told me where to go and we got there no problem.

These dunes were a sight to see--can I say sand oasis?? You'll just have to see the pictures because I can't really put it into words. Anyway, you have these huge sand hills, which you can even go sand sledding on! I didn't take advanatage of this because I wanted to try something different. I went to the top of a dune, and I took huge jumps down it. You couldn't jump down a regular hill like that or you'd break your legs, but with this you land in the soft sand and you just sink. It was awesome! It was like flying..... almost. If you're ever in Mui Ne in Vietnam, don't miss the sand dunes. Unfortunately, I ran out of time by the time I got to the red dunes as I had to get the motorbike back. The kids let me off, and I paid them a fee that I thought was good enough. They of course wanted double. I simply said, "No way!" to which they were getting upset. Finally, I explained in broken English that I didn't ask for the little tour and I would have been perfectly happy to do it on my own--they were the ones who chose to hop on the bike, and I was quite stern. Two of them were fine, but one got really angry with me, to which I drove off. Sometimes, the hassle can be a bit frustrating, but it's worth the experience.

I went out for dinner with the French Canadian couple, and 2 other French Canadian couples who joined us. They were speaking French most of the time, so I had to tune in my listening skills and I did use a little French too. I could understand more than I could speak though. Was an excellent evening but after the late night before we all turned in early (if you call midnight early).

Next morning, the 21st, I checked out of the hotel, and we went to the beach before I would leave for Saigon at 1:30. Mui Ne is an awesome resort--recommended if you want laid back and not too much of a party scene. Nha Trang is the beach to go to apparently, if you're looking for the party resort.