Tips and tricks for Mui Ne
– Try out wind surfing (we didn’t do this but everyone else seemed to)
– Do the Sand Dunes tour
– Eat crocodile if you’re feeling cultural
We arrived in Mui Ne at around 11pm. The coach company had apparently dropped us to our hotel, but we did have to use a bit of map work to actually get there. Here’s another example of when to refuse a taxi or accommodation. Remain patient and use your map. Chances are you aren’t too far away.
Mui Ne Backpackers Resort
A great hostel, with a pool, helpful staff and a great crowd and direct access to the beach.
Recommended by Lonely Planet (you might have realised by now that this book was becoming our bible), we came here for a bite to eat after our long journey and dropping off our bags. A great spot for some live music and the chance to chill out with friends. The menu has a wide range of international foods and there’s a pool table too!
Late night beach walk
I felt nothing but pleasure at my first sight of the beach. A feeling of happiness that I was finally on holiday and about to have a few days of pure chilling. The sand between my toes and the fresh sea air on my skin was delightful. I felt so happy! The tide comes in pretty high in some parts during the night, but it’s all a part of the fun. Whilst walking down the beach, I decided to hang back and just take a few minutes to be on my own. I really value alone time, and I felt this was a good moment for it.
Although I’ve been on many beaches before, it was the contrast between the peace and tranquillity compared to the hustle and bustle of the city, that enabled me to have my first numinous experience whilst in Vietnam.
Numinous is my favourite word. Not because of the way it is spelt or the way it sounds, but because it is one of the best feelings I have ever encountered; quietly at peace, grateful and truly absorbing my surroundings.
CoCo Beach Hotel
So we didn’t actually stay in this accommodation, but we found ourselves paying to use their facilities whilst at the beach – it was pretty sweet. We paid 200,000 Dong (approx £6.40) to use the loungers and hammocks with service throughout the entire day. Not the cheapest of deals, but I would say definitely worth it. You need the shade as the sun is extremely hot hot hot.
I sat down with two of the Vietnamese CoCo Beach staff and watched them play what I believe is a similar game to chess. Although I am seriously lacking in Vietnamese language skills, they tried their hardest to teach me how to play but I opted to watch as I didn’t want to ruin their game. I cherished this moment as I love communicating with and being around locals, wherever I visit.
As the sun began to set, I asked the crew if they fancied doing a bit of yoga. I lead a quick session (yes! managed to get some yoga in to my trip) and we then laid on the sand, breathing deeply, to have a moment of relaxation.
Evening wind down
We went for a walk just to have a look around. Much to our surprise, we realised it is pretty normal to eat crocodile in Vietnam! It was available everywhere. The boys went for it, but us girls steered clear. It was served with passion fruit and they said it was delicious.
After a pleasant evening we headed back to the hostel, where we cracked so many jokes that I practically laughed myself to sleep. Loving the Vietnam crew.
Yoga @ CoCo Beach Hotel
I’m a bit of a yogi, so jumped at the chance when I saw that CoCo Beach ran a class. It was a private class which took place at our convenience and between three of us, we paid 18 dollars for a 90 minute class – bargain!
I loved the challenge. The class included a combination of stretching and balancing, and what I liked most is that Leyla informed us of the mental and physical health benefits of each stretch or position we did. I left class feeling relaxed but full of energy for the day.
Following yoga, we had breakfast in the CoCo Beach restaurant (no surprises there) – lots of fresh fruit and scrambled eggs with salmon and spinach. Yesir!!
Mui Ne Sand Dunes Tour
This day trip consisted of 4 stops:
Very pretty settings with beautiful sands and slow running water. Unusually, there was ostrich riding available – not something I was too keen on so steered clear and enjoyed seeing the other animals whilst walking around the Fairy Rivers.
My first experience of a fishing village. A beautiful setting, but I didn’t fully appreciate the experience as I had no knowledge of the fisherman’s life. I am glad that I got to have a deeper insight to this later on in the trip.
White sand dunes
Absolutely breathe taking views of the white sand dunes. I had my first quad biking experience on the back of a quad bike with Matt driving, genuinely a little bit scared for my life. It was immense. This is a must do!
Red sand dunes
Another outstanding view. We took the sunset tour, so arrived as the sky turned orange and the sun disappeared behind the red sand.
It was pretty windy so were absolutely covered in sand when we left, but it was all part of the experience. Word of warning – be prepared to be surrounded by children renting sand surf boards as soon as you step out of your vehicle. It can be somewhat over whelming!