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Rosi & Jen's 11 Thousand Beach Odyssey Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, then the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream...."

Mui Ne Meander

VIETNAM | Tuesday, 1 April 2008 | Views [1645]

We’ve spent the last 3 days sunning ourselves at a beachside bungalow in Mui Ne. Mui Ne for those of you not familiar with Vietnam is a small coastal village about 200kms north of Saigon.  It’s also the Kite and Wind Surfing capital of Vietnam.  If you’re not in to water sports the only thing really to do here is lay around in deck chairs soaking up the sun and looking at the view.  It is a glorious spot indeed and from the moment we arrived we knew we would love it.  The resort we’re staying at is very small family run and inexpensive.  It’s also spotlessly clean, cheap as chips, has a pool and has a restaurant with endless views right on the beach.  The only thing spoiling the whole place we discovered on our first day as we walked along the beach is rubbish.  Tons of it.  We were sooooo disappointed.  The entire shoreline is strewn with plastic bags tin cans food scraps any conceivable household rubbish you can think of.  And it’s not just a little bit, it stretches for miles without a break. The saddest thing about it is that this is one of the most perfectly beautiful beaches you would ever find anywhere in the world.  Early in the morning the water is like glass.  Not a ripple and an amazing turquoise colour.  The wind picks up as the day progresses but it’s equally lovely even then. 

As you walk along the beach you notice however all sorts of things floating in the water, plastic bags are the main culprit, but any sort of garbage can be found.  You have to be careful where you stand because of the fear of stepping on a tin can or glass or something else sharp.  When we arrived back from our walk Jen noticed that our feet were black with a thick oil/tar like substance.  I’m not sure what it was but it was very hard to get off.  I definitely wouldn’t swim in the ocean here.  If the Vietnamese want their tourism industry to grow, they really do need to do something about educating people regarding waste disposal and the environmental and economic  consequences of not cleaning up the mess.  We’ve seen this sort of problem everywhere through the country so far.   It really does make us realise how incredibly lucky we are to be blessed with such pristine beaches in Australia.  I know that hasn’t always been the case,  but the situation here really does highlight how far we have come.  I don’t know what the answer is for Vietnam or South East Asia as a whole.  I know the countries over here are still developing so I guess it’s easy for me to come over here from a wealthy nation and highlight their problems,  but I do hope that something is done before the situation becomes dire.

As for Jen and I, our search for the elusive South East Asian beach paradise continues.  We’re heading up to the central highlands tomorrow on a 5 day motorbike tour and to visit some coffee plantations and to do a homestay in a hilltribe village and we should arrive in Saigon on Sunday.  We just realised we have been in Vietnam over four weeks now and on our adventure for over 5.  Looking back, it’s already incredible how far we have come and what we have seen. We hope you are all well and happy and missing us. 

Take care, love Rosi and Jen

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