Mar 23, 2015

Visiting Mui Ne, Vietnam

John and I have visited many places in Vietnam including the beaches between Danang and Hoi An.  This time we decided to try some place different – some place that would be warm. Mui Ne is about 135 miles due east of Saigon.  After some searching we decided to stay at Shades Resort.  The rate was reasonable; it was on the water and had a pool so it fit our needs.
 There are buses that connect Saigon to Mui Ne and they look very upscale but we booked a private door-to-door transport with the help of Mr. Phi at Shades Resort. The driver picked us up at our hotel in Saigon.  The trip took about five hours because of the traffic and road construction.  It was interesting as we passed through towns, cities, past rubber tree plantations and dragon fruit farms.

Shades Resort was perfect for us.  Our room overlooked the South
China Sea and in the morning we watched the sun rise and the unique, round fishing boats called coracles head out to gather their catch from the nets. In the morning when the tide was low we would walk on the beach. For breakfast I would have pho, the traditional soup of Vietnam and my favorite soup of all time. Our accommodations had a kitchen and a Jacuzzi-style tub in the bathroom. Most days it was windy and John would
walk down to Mr. Lee’s Kite Surfing School for a lesson.  It is a famous windsurfing area as the winds are strong but the sea is also rough.  They advertise “Zero to Hero in 16 Hours.” The main thing is learning how to control the kite.  It is more difficult than it looks. In the
evening we would walk to one of the many local restaurants for a great, cheap meal. A good plate of traditional food averaged about $3 and we usually had enough for take-away. There was a lady with a push cart that sold sandwiches for $.75 that were excellent.  We would buy one to share for lunch. 

One day we took a taxi to Ta Cu Mountain.  On the way we stopped at a water tower but didn’t walk to it or climb it.  The boats in the harbor in this area are very colorful.  We also stopped at a dragon fruit farm.  Dragon is quite unique.  Is the fruit of a cactus with the outside
resembling flames of a fire-breathing dragon. The inside is usually white with tiny black seeds but we saw some where the inside was blood red. At Ta Cu Mountain there was a complimentary trolley that took us to a flight of steps that led to the gondola ride.  The ride was great as it went up the mountain and down the other side.  The views were lovely.  Then it was more steps up to the reclining Buddha, at 150 feet in length it is the longest in Vietnam. There was a small temple but a new temple was being built.  

On day the staff shared a great lunch with us and other guests. Lovely! There are other things to do in the area including visiting the sand dunes but we were happy with the one-day tour. The village of Mui Ne was more developed than I anticipated but things were quiet because it is a favorite of the Russians but their economy took a bad dip so there were not many Russian. Most tourists were from Europe and Australia.