12.01.2009 - 15.01.2009 30 °C
I was filled with hope for sun and beach time when I boarded the night bus for Nha Trang, Vietnam's busiest beach town. When I got there at 6:30am it was suspiciously cloudy and chilly, but I decided to give it a couple of hours and see if the weather was gonna clear up. I was planning to stay there for two nights, maybe take a boat trip or the cable car to the amusement park. I also had a 6 USD dorm bed at clean and modern hostel, so I was happy with that.
By noon it seemed that my plans for beach holiday were a little too optimistic, as the sky was still thick with clouds and it was too cold and windy on the beach. I met Kerry from the US and a lovely couple from Melbourne, where I'm going soon, and spent the morning chatting with them at the hostel. I had a disappointing, tasteless lunch in a nearby restaurant - so far the Vietnamese cuisine has failed to impress me. I do like their fresh spring rolls though. Vietnam is the first place where I've tried spring rolls that haven't been deep fried and I love them.
I went for a walk to the beach in the afternoon, and by then it was nice and warm, although not quite what I'd call beach weather. Somehow Nha Trang reminded me of some coastal cities in Spain, there was same kind of feel to it. As I had heard before, the beach in Nha Trang was really dirty. I don't know how many kilometres I walked by the beach, and all the way the sand was covered in trash and plastic bags and rotten food. I wonder if anybody goes to that beach! It's such a shame cause otherwise it would be quite pretty really. It seems that in Vietnam they have no environmental conciousness whatsoever, and it makes you wanna shake the people and force them to take a good look at all the litter on the beach. I can't fathom is that the way they want their nature to look like, and is that where they expect tourists to come and spend their holidays!
That was my time in Nha Trang really. I had some ice cream from Romy's Italian Ice Cream whilst walking on the beach, and despite the dirt and all I was so happy to be near water again. After the big, chaotic Hanoi I was in high spirits for just seeing the sea again and being able to breathe fresh air. Even though after four years of living on islands I'm always quick to claim that it's not enough just to have the beach and the good climate, this once again came to prove that I am a beach girl at heart and love to be on the seaside. Maybe not enough on its own, but perhaps essential all the same?
So I only had one night in Nha Trang, and I didn't explore its famous night life. Somebody at our hostel recommended an Indian restaurant on the other side of the road, and me and Kerry headed there for dinner. It was one of the best Indian meals I've had for a long time!
From Mui Ne I finally found what I had been looking for. The sun was on the sky, it was hot and the place was small and quiet. Bliss! Me and Kerry found a nice guesthouse for 11 dollars, dropped our bags and went to explore. Mui Ne consists of just one road, which I thought was fabulous. You can only go left or right, and you definitely don't need a map. It's a sleepy surfer town mostly populated by kitesurfers, expats on holidays and a huge number of wealthy Russians.
I wasn't gonna stress about doing anything in Mui Ne, it was to be beach time no more, no less. The beach was clean and nice, a perfect spot to be when there wasn't a sandstorm. And when there was, well, then it was sort of impossible to be by the sea! The many kitesurfers of Mui Ne may like the wind on the beach, but for anyone else it's just a nightmare of three days later still trying to get the sand out of your ears...
That night I was happy to find fresh tuna steak for 45.000 dong (approx 2 euros), and I swore to Kerry I'd be eating fish every day whilst in Mui Ne. And that I did! Amazingly I'm still not sick of chicken and rice, but I have been missing seafood.
I didn't really take many pictures in Mui Ne, as most of my time was spent on the beach or chilling at the guesthouse. I didn't even go to see Mui Ne's famous sand dunes because I didn't want anything to interfere my perfectly lazy beach life. On my last night I went for a dinner with my Ko Pha Ngan travelling buddy Stefano and his friends. He's working in Mui Ne over the winter as a kitesurfing instructor so it was a good chance to catch up with him as well, and freeload workers' discount at the best Indian restaurant of Mui Ne!
Mui Ne was so much better than Nha Trang, and I would have liked to stay longer, but with my schedule there was no postponing to be done - after three nights it was time for another sleeper bus to take me to Saigon, my final destination in Vietnam.