6 hours to get to Mui Ne is a long time, but it was worth it. We stayed at Windchamps resort, set on a beautiful white sandy beach and offering a selection of huts priced as low as $10. The place had a swimming pool as well. We took a $10 hut, then popped next door to Wax, a relaxing beach bar. Mui Ne is an incredibly relaxed place, beautiful and quiet, with few tourists. Perhaps they are scared away with the tale doing the rounds that Mui Ne ‘isn’t worth going.’ One traveller might brazenly say this, and before you know it, half of the travellers in Vietnam have heard it. Gossip spreads as fast as herpes in the travelling community. I never listen to it. Mui Ne proved me correct. It was well worth the trip.
We hired an automatic motorbike for $8 a day,and set off in the late afternoon to see the famous red sand dunes. When we arrived, we were besieged by ‘sand kids’ who made their living by allowing you to ‘sand sledge’ down a dune for money. A huge group followed us up to the sand dunes. Resembling a desert, the dunes are indeed an incredible sight. We caved into the sand kids eventually, and sledged down a dune. It was fun, if short-lived. After 3 sledges each, we offered 30,000 Dong. This was where the Vietnamese trait of showing aggression in the face of something they don’t like or agree with reared it’s head for the umpteenth time. Never have I been subjected to such a stream of expletives. Shocking. Having ‘face’ is a concept not familiar to the the new generation. After 20 minutes of increasingly hostile activity (they wanted more money), they left us. Luckily, Lindsay and I didn’t let the unsavoury incident affect us, and we sat on the top of a dune and watched a cloudy sunset.
We returned to the hotel, changed, then hit a Mexican restaurant for what Lindsay described as ‘the best Mexican food I’ve ever tasted’. I couldn’t disagree. We had a drink on the beach in front of Wax, but by 10pm I was exhausted, the sea air getting the better of me. We both went to bed, trying not to think about the 1,000 ants that were eating the bathroom mirror frame.
It had been a great day.