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VIETNAM | Friday, 26 December 2008 | Views [252] | Comments [1]

As we had two days off for Christmas, eight of us decided to escape the pollution of Ho Chi Minh City and head to Mui Ne, a coastal resort about 4 to 5 hours drive away. The town is basically one long road full of hotels, restaurants, bars and spas all of which are positioned just on the beach. However, the area is most famous for it’s sand dunes which we went to visit on Christmas eve. Walking up into the red sand dunes was like leaving Vietnam and walking into the Sahara desert; they stretched as far as the eye could see and were intensely coloured. On the dunes we were given a chance to go sand sledging (for the small fee of 20,000 dong). This involved lying on a piece of plastic and being pushed head fist down the slop. We were then taken by jeep to the white sand dunes which were pretty much the same deal only white and on a less grand scale. Next on the agenda was the “Fairy River” which, despite it’s uninviting colour, was strangely warm and pleasant to wade through. If you follow the river for long enough it eventually takes you right to yet more sand dunes but by this time the light was fading and we made out way back to the jeeps. Wading through that river, it felt like I had arrived in real Vietnam, or at least the Hollywood portrayal of Vietnam. This “authentic” Vietnam could also been seen in the fishing village which was about ten minutes drive north of our hotel. The easiest way to get around Mui Ne is to rent a bicycle which we did for $1 per day. That night six of us crammed on three bicycles and cycled down to a local restaurant to meet the others for dinner. After dinner we hit the beach and joined the crowds milling around a giant bonfire outside a beach bar called Wax. We stayed out so long that the sun was coming up as we were going to bed. As I walked along the beach I saw all the local fishermen we bringing in their nets, two old ladies even recruited my help in dragging-in one of their lines. Unfortunately my camera battery was almost empty but I managed to take one shot before it died. Christmas day was the first time I felt slightly home sick, I think Christmas just isn’t Christmas without cold weather and family. Christmas decorations in a tropical climate just look tacky and out of place. Nevertheless I did have a great time; we spent most of the day sitting by the pool or swimming. There was even a 100,000 dong secret-santa from which I got a jar of disgusting pickled shrimp (which I didn’t eat). That evening we went to a French restaurant and I spent far to much money on Christmas dinner.



haha, i loved pickled shrimps, then my mom tried to stop me by saying that i would probably not be able to leave the toilet.but those homemade taste fantastic with "goi cuon"(rice noodle+lots of veggie+pork&shrimp, all wrap together)

  xuan to Feb 26, 2009 2:49 PM

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