Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beach of Vietnam @ Mui Ne

You must know by now that if there is a beach nearby, we would be sure to be there. Apart from visiting our friends in Saigon, I wanted to see if the beaches in Vietnam could rival that of Thailand. Nga Trang, with the arrival of all the chic resorts, seem to be the beach to go. Well, I'm not like everyone. Besides I was there 15 years ago & wanted to keep the wonderful memories I had of the place then.

I finally settled on Phan Thiet, 200km outside of Saigon. I was looking forward to taking the train there but was advised against it cos it's unreliable. We considered hiring a car which would have cost us $85 one way or taking the bus for $7 per person which everybody assured us was very comfortable - I figured 200km is not that bad....wrong. It's a long drive - at least 5 hours because the so called highway is only 2 lanes & often congested. You can purchase bus tickets from any one of the many tour agencies in the backpacking area of Pham Ngu Lao.

The view from our room @ White Sands

Phan Thiet is the town. The beach is actually at Mui Ne which stretches over several kilometres. Most of the resorts seem to be along the first section. We were really disappointed with our hotel - White Sands Resort that got good reviews at tripadvisor. Granted, the view from our room was amazing but it was a isolated from the strip.

When choosing hotels, I don't like to be in the middle of the action but I do like to be able to walk out of the hotel & check out the local restaurants & shops. But the straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that they seemed to have super chlorinated the pool making it not suitable for the Little One.

Early morning cleaning of the beach @ White Sands

Right after we dropped off our bags, we proceeded to check out the other hotels in the area. We liked quite a few but we finally settled on Sun Sea Resort. Exactly the type of place that I like - 15 room resort with a decent pool, good breakfast selection, right by the beach & across from a bunch of restaurants & shops.

Restaurant @ Sun Sea Resort

The hotel provides these drums of water for rinsing off the sand & The Girl took great lengths to make sure she cleaned off every single speck of sand.

The pool is always a welcome change from the beach

Kite surfing is a big deal in Mui Ne & even though there seem to be a kite school every corner, in the entire time we were there, we didn't see 1 person doing it.

Vietnam has a huge hammock culture. Not just by the beach. Along the highway we saw lots of coffee shops with hammocks set up.

The surfer dudes at Mui Ne
When I took this photo, I was a little annoyed that the beach surfer got into my frame but then when looking at it now, I liked the contrast between him & the little fishing boat going out.
You see these round fishing boats everywhere
The ubiquitious peddler but compared to say Bali or Phuket, they are far fewer in numbers & less intrusive. Tending to stay their distance.

Any idea what this is ?
Skin of some sort ?
I tried this once in Hanoi
The snake / scorpion wine

Most of the shops stock up lots of alcohol. Even with imported liquor, the prices are not excessive. Trust me, when you cater to Russian tourists, you make sure you don't run out of liquor. Mui Ne is mini Russia. There are Russian signs everywhere - I'm surprised they don't show prices in roubles.

We had a good time collecting sea shells. The sand is fine & beautiful. Only problem is that the water is still not the clear blue like what you would get in Phuket. The waves are manageable for adults & you can still swim in the sea, but not for The Little One. So our search continues.

This star fish got washed up on the shore
We put her right back


Anonymous said...

I have been a silent reader of your blog for a couple months, and really enjoys it. Thank you for reintroducing Singapore, i have been away for 10 years and looks forward to being back some day ;-)
Merry Xmas.

petite fleur said...

Lee - Thank you. I'm glad you like the blog. Singapore has changed & it will be quite a different place when you return. Happy New Year.