Michele here (with later minor editing by Mike)…it’s January 30th and we are in Cambodia…
I have not been able to attach any photos because the internet connections in both Vietnam and Cambodia are incredibly slow. If nothing else, we are scheduled to be back in Bangkok within a week and I know of a fast connection in an internet cafe there. So, for now…only boring ol’ worlds. [Note: it's now Feb 6th and I am in the internet cafe that I just mentioned so photos are now inserted into Vietnam blogs.]
As I mentioned in the last blog we took a 7:00pm bus from Saigon to Mui Ne, Vietnam. Mui Ne is a beach town and we had big plans to hang out at the beach and beach bars, you know, sort of relax for a few days. But nooooooooooo!
The first thing that happened was that instead of being a 3 hour bus ride (as mentioned in the guidebook), it turned out to be a 6 hour bus ride, meaning we rolled into town at 1:00am. We had reservations to stay somewhere associated with our original bus company. However, our tickets were sold or transfered or something and we ended up going with a different bus company. When we arrived in Mui Ne we were dropped off at a completely different guesthouse than where we originally had reservations but whatever…it was late and we didn’t care. We took the first room we saw for $10. Although it was a bit far from the center of town, the guesthouse was right on the beach. The problem was that this beach is known for being incredibly windy and the waves are very loud. Loud crashes can be heard all day and all night so, you really need to put in earplugs when you go to sleep at night. The other problem, we later discovered, were some giant roaches. In Asia, all the roaches are giant so this is not unusual, but I really hate seeing them in our room – and I especially disliked seeing one in our bed! Eeeeek!
The next morning Mike woke up with a fever. He stayed in bed the rest of the day while I explored the town center (about 30 minutes walk away) and got information on kite surfing, sand sleding, and jeep tours of the sand dunes. Although the kite surfing looked like a lot of fun, it was really expensive – something like $350 for a 5 hour lesson. O.k., that was definitely out. However, it was fun to watch the people being pulled on a surf boards by small parachute-looking things. Here’s a picture:
I saw that you could go sand sleding as part of the jeep tour around the area but Mike was too sick so I told the guy I’d come back later to book if we were interested. The next day (Jan 25th), Mike was feeling a little better so we decided to go on the sunset jeep tour. It was fun, just the two of us, riding around this area of Vietnam in the back of a former United States Marine Corps jeep. We saw the following sites:
Fairy Stream/Spring – We walked up this red stream that flows through white and red rock formations. It’s very cool looking, sort of like you are on Mars, and the sand at the bottom of the stream is extremely red. Finally, I can post this photo to show how neat this landscape looked.
Mui Ne Market and Fishing Village – We saw the Mui Ne market and how the people of Mui Ne really lived (quite a contrast to what the center of town looked like where all the resorts were). The fishing village was a fascinating mix of different colored house boats showing how the Vietnamese fishermen/families lived on the water.
White Sand Dunes – We drove for quite a while to get to the white sand dunes. As we approached the white dunes, you couldn’t help but notice the beauty of the blue lake, white dunes, and dark blue sky. It made for a great photo:
While at the white dunes, we rented sleds for $1 and went sand sledding. It was great fun (see photo below) but after a while, it started getting too hot for us and Mike thought he might die so we headed back to the jeep and went to the Red Canyon.
Red Canyon – The red canyon sits opposite a huge beach on the South China Sea. The canyon is not that big but the rocks are extremely red – the reddest rocks we have ever seen. (See the photo below.) We walked around the red canyon a bit before heading to the Yellow Sand Dunes.
Yellow Sand Dunes – The Yellow Sand Dunes are actually orange sand dunes and the sand is very fine and powdery. We climbed up a few hills to get some sunset photos but it was about to rain so we didn’t see the typical sunset but we did see some cool looking dark clouds against hills of orange sand.
Our driver, drove us back to our cockroach guesthouse at about 6:00pm. I had trouble sleeping at night because I kept fearing cockroaches were going to climb into my ears or mouth during the night. Yuck! The next afternoon (Jan 26th) we caught the bus to Saigon and arrived there at about 8:00pm. The following morning (Jan 27th) we were scheduled to go to Cambodia on a 5-6 hour bus (5-6 hours – yea, right!) The next blog will detail our Vietnam to Cambodia bus trip. This bus ride will go down in history as one to remember, that’s for sure!
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Tags: Category #22: Vietnam