The beginning of my Northward Journey
Mui Ne Travel Blog› entry 25 of 78 › view all entries
November 19th, 2006 – by: droonsta
As I arrived at Mui Ne, after a 4 hour bus ride, I was dropped off at Hanh Cafe, the local branch of the Open Tour Bus service. With such a company catering for westerners, the 2 customer service dudes sitting at the counter was absolutely of no help. Neither of them spoke a single word of English, and as I started asking questions they gave me a puzzled look and mocked me by laughing amongst themselves at my expense.
After getting some information on some scenic destinations, I promptly agreed on a price for a private motodop to the Cham Towers (back towards Saigon), the Yellow and White sandunes, the Fishing Village and the Waterfall.
The motodop that I agreed upon was Qi, a 50 year old Vietnamese man who spoke a little English, enough to get by, however not enough to hold a decent conversation, like asking about family members etc.
Qi, provided me with some Resort business cards, but in the end he took me to neither of them and dropped me off at The Watering Hole.
I quickly showered and headed off to my first destination at 3:00pm, the Po Chanu Cham Towers. The Chams were once the original inhabitants of Central Vietnam, their Kingdom Champa was a flourishing Hindu Kingdom which left behind many great minor monuments scattered across Central Vietnam. Due to the Vietnam's southward expansion, the Kingdom of Champa came to an end in the 17-18th Century. Today the Cham can be found in Cambodia, Malaysia, and of course Vietnam.
After quickly visiting the towers, I made my way back towards Mui Ne and stopped off at the Fishing Village. The Beach was full of fishing boats, an absolutely spectacular view. Before heading to the Yellow Sand dunes for the Sunset, Qi dropped me off at Mui Ne market as he said it was too early for the sunset, so I quickly browsed the not so lively market and then made our way to the sand dunes.
As we approached the Sand dunes, I was completely amazed that such a place existed here in Vietnam. It looked exactly like what you would see in North Africa. I made my way towards the sand dune, while Qi waited for me at the nearby restaurant. I was instantly followed by 4 local kids Hoi, Son, Nhi and Vay.
After a while I managed to persuade them that I was not going to "slide down" and that they were welcomed to tag along and show me the nice spots. I stayed for about an hour, until the sunset and was disappointed as there were too many clouds, however the view of the sand dunes prior to the sun setting was well worth the hike up and through the sand. I took a few photos of the 4, gave them some money and farewelled them.
I returned to the Hotel, and shot a few games of pool with some Germans and Holland guys, and called it an early night.
The next day I woke up bright an early at 5:00am, and scooted off the the White Sand Dunes which was well over 25km away.
There were about 20-30 odd annoying Chinese photographers waiting that that right sunrise Kodak moment, and in the background someone shouting instructions to the poor Vietnamese Girls dressed in Ao Dai to walk up and down the sand dunes, so that the Chinese photographers can capture the moment.
Words cannot describe the environment, so I'll try and post some pictures up soon, if not you'll have to wait till I get back to Australia.
After staying for an hour or so, we made our way to the Red Canyon and I took a quick browse, as it was getting hot. The journey back towards my hotel was amazing, the scenery of the coastline, the mountains, and fields were beautiful!
I ended up giving the waterfall tour a miss, as it required me to walk 1km through a stream and I was already dead tired from walking around in the sand dunes for an hour, and hiking through the red canyon.
At the hotel, I sunbaked for about an hour, and I'm never doing it again, after that hour I had the biggest head spins.... As I've always said I HATE the Sun and the Heat!!!! I went for a quick dip in the beach and fell asleep at 9:30am, and only woke up at 11:30 to return to Hanh Cafe to jump on a bus to Phan Rang Thap Cham.
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