From the Heart of Darkness to the tropical beaches of Mui Ne
Mui Ne Travel Blog› entry 6 of 15 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve slept well in our room with super air conditioning and we get up at 5.30 am, to leave Ben Tre at 7. First we have to drive in the wrong direction, to get to the ferry to cross the Mekong, before we can continue moving actually closer to our destination.
At first all the seats in the front of the bus are taken, but soon Michel announces that the guideâ€™s seat will remain empty today, so I gladly move forward, because in the back nobodyâ€™s already enough awake to chat.
When we arrive at the ferry, our party is split in half. Some of us can go, the others canâ€™t, because the boat is full.
Michel starts telling about Vietnamese customs and such, he knows a lot about this since his wife is Vietnamese and he deals with it every day. One thing he and his wife cannot agree on is the custom not to exterminate cockroaches, but to feed them. So they have made a compromise: his wife can feed the roaches anywhere she wants, except for the kitchen.
We leave Mai CafĂ© at eleven and drive until one, when we stop for lunch in Hung Phat.
Off we go again, our stomachs filled, waiting for whatever surprises this country may offer. When our bus pulls over, on our right hand side lies a dragon fruit plantation. And weâ€™re going to have a tour. Weâ€™re early in the dragon fruit season and the plants are still blooming. The few fruits that the plants are already bearing are still green, not the bright purple-ish pink colour that makes them so recognizable.
A little closer to Mui Ne lies the fishing village Phan ThiĂŞt, here we stop at the harbour to have a look at the fishing boats and their crew, who are already preparing for their next fishing trip early next morning.
From here it is some 15 kilometres to Mui Ne, a village that is known for its nuoc mam (fish sauce) which is a highly regarded product, and for its long sandy beaches. Tourism caused the village to grow, mostly resorts, and people who love sunbathing should certainly stay here for a couple of days.
Itâ€™s 4.30 pm when we get there, and while we are waiting for the key to our cottage, we agree with Caroline first to take a plunge in the alluring ocean, postponing dinner for a little while. We swim and splash about for a bit, feeling one with the sea and indulging in the surroundings, enjoying the descending sun and the shifting colours of the sandy beach with its palm trees in the fading light. We move to the resortâ€™s swimming pool when it gets too dark to stay out in the sea safely (and the water in the pool is a bit warmer too).
After having washed up we cross the street to have dinner at Kim Loanâ€™s. Dinnerâ€™s fine and the fruit shakes are great here, like everything has been freshly picked from the trees. Michel is here as well and he arranges a Xe Honda (rental moped) for me and a Xe Om (rental moped with driver) for Caroline, for tomorrow we will not be joining the rest of our group, but the three of us will be going to a large statue of a reclining Buddha. According to the drawn map on the wall of the restaurant it should be about 20 kilometres from here, so thatâ€™s quite allright.
Weâ€™re in bed by 10.30 pm and in spite of the heat (27 degrees Celsius) I fall asleep within minutes.