We weren’t expecting much of the beaches in Vietnam as we knew they were known for kite surfing and wind surfing so we knew we couldn’t expect calm beaches in the main towns we were planning on visiting. However saying that Phu Quoc located just South to the Cambodian islands must have been beautiful and similar to Cambodias but we were unable to visit. Mui Ne was about 5 hours drive away from HCMC, including stops. After the long drive we found a nice hotel which was too nice for the $10 we paid per night to be honest. This small coastal town was touristic but not to the extent of ruining it. The beach front was lined with seafood restaurants, reasonably priced and as fresh as can be. Live fish, toads, eels and crabs were presented in tanks in front of each restaurant. Some even offered crocodile which were presented totally skinned excluding the head. Toads were common as apparently it is a Russians favourite.
The following day was the only full day we had so we booked a tour on a retro army 4WD. We started at ‘Fairy Stream’ which was an orange coloured stream running along side a red sand dune. It was quite a random place but it served to be a nice walk, bumping into cattle now and again.
Like many places the locals try to make you pay an entrance fee which is clearly not an official thing as our guide told us not to pay and just walk in. There was an Ostrich farm offering Ostrich riding for $7. We watched a girl ride one which looked very uneventful, compared to when I had previously ridden an Ostrich in South Africa where I had to hold on for dear life, so we opted out and it was just a short ride from one end of the pen to the other and back.
On the way to the white sand dunes we stopped off at a view point overlooking a ‘sea’ of fishing boats (no pun intended) and small round tub-like boats which fishermen used to paddle out to the nets lining the beaches. The vast number of boats created a spectacular picture. The beach front was covered in crab shells which were left behind by the fishermen.
The white sand dunes was half an hour away and here we rented quad bikes to drive around. Unfortunately we landed with a dodgey quad which resulted in a tumble over when we were going down a steep slope! It was quite funny and thankfully we didn’t get harmed. It must have been pretty entertaining for all the tourists watching at the top of the hill. It resembled a mini dessert and from the top we could view the spectacular landscape.
We watched the sunset at the red sand dunes which was a peculiar place right by the road which had a feel of desert but next to the coast. Kids would run to approaching vehicles to try and rent their plastic mats for visitors to slide down the dunes. As the sun set the dunes became a dark brick colour.
All in all it was a very nice day which had only cost $5 each, dirt cheap! That night we ate seafood by the beach seeing as it we couldn’t leave without trying it. We enjoyed the food but feel we are a bit spoiled back home by the local fish available to us and it did not compare to home.
The next morning, after a leasurly lie in untill around 11am we then made our way in-land up the mountains towards Dalat.