Apr 3, 2016

Kite Boarding in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is the kite boarding capital of Vietnam because of the
strong on-shore winds. It may not be the best place to begin learning due to the strength of the wind but there are many kite boarding schools.  John likes to kite board, which by the way is considered an extreme sport.  Typical lessons start with three hours or more on the beach learning to control a trainer kite.  Then similar lessons take place in the water until kite control is mastered.  Then, after a few more lessons, it is time for the board.  Once one gets up on the board it is a matter of practice, practice, practice. It is not like wind surfing which most people can do after one lesson.  

John and I were in Mui Ne a year ago and even though the hotel we stayed at was nice there was no beach.  You’ve heard of “shifting sands” and that’s what happens to beaches.  They can be here one year and gone after a large storm.  Moral of the story, be careful buying beach property.  We like to walk on the beach so this year we stayed at Ananda Mui Ne Resort where there was a good beach and also the home of one of the kite boarding schools.  One doesn’t have to kite board to enjoy watching others do it.  There are many professional
class kite boarders who do stunts and get “a lot of air.”  Our bungalow had a sea view and was next to the pool so we loved it. In the evening we would go to a restaurant where dinner never cost more than $5.  One restaurant had a live duo six nights a week singing all our favorites from the 50s to the 90s.  

One day we took a trip to the White Sand Dunes. On the way we passed the Red Dunes, which are smaller and not very red but where people can slide down on mats. The white dunes are bigger and more popular but while they are not extensive they are still impressive. There were Jeeps with U.S. Army on them to drive people around the dunes.  It was a quick ride and a bit pricey.  I thought there was more to see
and I think the driver thought we would spend more time at the top.  I was surprised to see a lake in the middle.  On the way back we stopped at an overlook to see the fishing village where the harbor was full of colorful boats.  We had not planned to stop at the Fairy Spring (good name for a tourist stop).  I was
told it was a half hour walk to the springs which for me would have meant one hour.  But, thankfully we stopped and it was a short, easy walk to the spring, then a few steps down into the shallow spring. John didn’t want to take his shoes off to wade in the spring; however, it is my kind of thing.  So he
waited while I walked through the cool shallow water for about 30 minutes and passed some white Braham cows, also a place advertising ostrich rides but I didn’t see any ostriches, to a place with interesting rock formations, and to a restaurant where I turned around. As so often happens the thing I least wanted to do turned out to be my favorite.