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kiting, diving, trippin' I ain't never been lost, just confused for a few days - Daniel Boone

Kiting Mui Ne, Vietnam

VIETNAM | Saturday, 3 January 2009 | Views [1947] | Comments [3]

way out of focus, but you get the idea. When the wind got right up the windsurfers got out and had a ball as well

way out of focus, but you get the idea. When the wind got right up the windsurfers got out and had a ball as well

The guidebooks and website claim it is a sleepy litle place on the Vietnamese coast that is popular with weekenders from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) and backpackers looking for a break from their travels. They forgot about the hundreds of tourists from all over Europe, Asia, Russia and the Americas. This place is loaded up with ritzy resorts and spas. If Airlie beach actually had a beach, it would be much the same.

But it blows ! So for the twelve days I was there, there were only two days that we didn't get to pump up kites and ride. When it did blow there were up to a hundred kites along the couple of kilometres of beach that is pretty narrow and busy on high tide.

I'm reading back through this and it looks as though I'm having a whinge. That's not exactly right. I was dissapointed to see it so busy and commercialised, but I met some great people, had some great times and rode more in the last two weeks than I have been able to in the last eighteen months. I took a trip in an old Willies jeep with a couple from Holland out to some sanddunes, lotus lake and a creek running through the sanddunes to the sea. A few of us got sick of the crowds and cross/offshore gusts and went on a trip around to Malibu beach and Turtle island and rode there for a few days. It was really good to explore these places and ride with three or four new friends and no one else.

Now that I've been there once, I have a better idea of how to get around and where to go, and I'll definitely be going back too.

One tip though .... take some instant coffee. The people are really warm and welcoming, the food is great - and cheap, you can live on $US15 a day(food and accom) fairly easily here -, but the coffee .... sorry, it sux. Living in China, I'm a litle too use to haggling too. The Vietnamese Dong is roughly 15 000 to the $AU, so when you're standing there haggling with a motorbike taxi over 5 000 Dong, sometimes you need a reality check. There are the rip offs though. One guy expected me to pay 450 000 Dong for a sandwich for supper and noodles for breakfast on the way from Saigon to Mui Ne, but changed his mind, and a zero off the price, when I told him in terrible Mandarin that it was too expensive and he is not getting that much off me. It is surprising to see how much Chinese is spoken here.

One other thing a few us were discussing late one evening over a 11 000 Dong Saigon Bia one night - as you do; There are very few people between the age of 40 and 60 years old. This was the case in Mui Ne and then again I noticed it in Saigon again when I went back in for NYE (no wind)

This trip was one of the first times I have booked and planned and when I got there I got told they were overbooked and full, so I had to find somewhere else to stay when I got to Mui Ne, then the same when I went in to Saigon, after I'd had a shower in the room and getting ready to go out for NYE. All worked out in the end and I spent the last hours of 2008 with a Scot "on my way from Inverness to London", three Europeans not living in their country of birth (one lives in Shangahi so we had plenty to talk about), a Philipino band and a friendly crowd in a Vietnamese club loaded with tourists. I met a guy at the bar from the Isa, a Canadian girl going to Beijing and wanting to know where not to go and another Aussie living in Singapore who hadn't heard an Aussie drawl like mine for a while. All in all a good night but even better trying to find my 'hotel' (I use the term VERY loosely) early next morning. There were markets setting up in front of the place so it didn't look anything like the place I'd left the night before, but the lady selling fruit on the doorstep of the place showed me the side door.

So from wintery Vietnam at 25 degrees C on a plane back to Weihai at 2 degrees C at 2:30 PM where any water not flowing is solid ......

Ah ...... back in the real world!

Tags: beaches, kiting, mui ne

 

Comments

1

Gary - you sure sound like you are having a wonderful time. Would like to some film of you wind surfing, or ocean flying, or whatever it is called..... kiting?? Isn't it interesting to travel in such a relaxed way and encounter so many fabulous people.
We had a lovely Christmas day here with Jen and family....and I only had one glass of wine. Pretty sure.
Harry and I went to Noosa on 28.12 for 3 days, went out that night for seafood chowder - big mistake. 3 days later I finally started to feel a bit better. Russ and Ade and Penny came up too......was VERY hot.
We had 40 degs here day before yesterday - today is 22. FANTASTIC. We have had nonstop very hot weather so this is really great....
Harry Russ and I going to first day of Brisbane International Tennis - at Tennyson (where else - the old power station) tomorrow. Hope there is not too much rain to stop anything.
The Fieldings (in Melb) and we (in Brisbane funnily enough) went to see the film "Australia" yesterday - 3 of us loved it, and Gordon stayed awake...... so that's saying something!!!
Harry has to have his eye lasered over next few weeks - will get date next week. The specialist fixed cataract in that eye - then said ..."Our machine made a mistake".... so has to be done again. He is not charging us but apparently we have to pay hospital and anaesthetist (which I think dr should pay for). Poor old Harry has had a bummy time with his eyes......
Going now - Harry has cooked some lamb on the Weber ......maybe he will feed me ....and give me a little glass of red.
Take care, love Barb

  barbara howchin Jan 3, 2009 8:14 PM

2

hey mate

sounds awesome over there, except for the wind, and yes the beaches do remind me a lot of the north qld beaches, ie very thin stretch of beach before you hit the shoreline.

where do yo go from here?, other parts of vietnam? how long you over there for?

Russ

  Russ Howchin Jan 3, 2009 8:34 PM

3

Interesting location you chose for the Viet holiday, not far from OZ area of operations in 1971, the area ESE of Mui Ne is Phuoc Tuy Province. Bounded in the Sth by Vung Tau, in the Nth by Xuan Loc and in West by Bien Hoa. Some where in the middle is Nui Dat (base camp) and Long Tan (Battle Site). Next time try Vung Tau Back beach ,we used to surf there and an old Army friend of ours now lives there,Graeme Cusack.
I'm glad its now open to tourists

  Dad Jan 25, 2009 10:49 PM

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