Our next stop after Ho Chi Minh City was Mui Ne, here we wanted to see the Fairy Stream and sand dunes as well as have a bit of seaside relaxation time. We had booked ourselves into a seaside bungalow and I was looking forward to being greeted each morning with the view of the sea on our doorstep.
My first impression when we drove through on the bus was that we had somehow accidentally ended up back in Russia, only a warmer version, given all the Cyrillic script on the signs. Mui Ne evidentially is big with the Russian crowd!
We decided to go on a Jeep ride to the dunes and the Fairy Stream. First stop was the stream. Disappointingly where you first enter the stream near the coast to walk inland is also where it seems the locals like to dump their rubbish. In the hot weather it stank. I was also concerned about getting an infection in my leg which was still healing from the “splat” incident on Phou Quoc so we hurriedly made our way through the rancid smelling area. Thankfully the rubbish didn’t last for too long and soon we were strolling through the water working our way upstream.
On our way we saw a sign advertising ostrich riding. We gave it a miss. The ostrich had a mean look in his eyes which said “if you even think about riding on my back I will peck your eyes out” which didn’t seem too unreasonable of the ostrich. Crazy stuff!
Further upstream we were treated to a wall of red sand lining the route. It was pretty spectacular looking.
Even further on the water became waist height. Not wanting to soak my manky leg for too long in water we opted for the overland route round the edge which involved scrambling over the edges of the compacted sand whilst skilfully dodging the children who “wanted to show you the way,” presumably for a fee. Although it sounds mean, we don’t agree with giving children money in such circumstances, it only encourages them not to go to school in favour of making a quick buck off of tourists.
Once at the end there was a waterfall, it was pretty unimpressive, but still it had been an adventure getting there. We retraced our steps back to the Jeep and carried onto the sand dunes.
The first dunes were the “white” dunes. At this point I realised why they use a Jeep to take you here. It’s not because the Jeep is cool and fun to ride in as I had first suspected, but because the access road is very bumpy and rough. We bumped along the road laughing as we were tossed side to side in the back.
At the white dunes you could hire a sand buggy and
terrorise other tourists drive around at high-speed over the dunes. We hadn’t brought enough money with us so we opted to explore on foot, chuckling at the very many sand buggy driving tourists who were getting stuck in the sand and then digging themselves in deeper by continuing to accelerate causing the back wheel to sink further.
The best bit of the white sand dunes was being able to act like a big kid and run down the dunes. It had to be done of course!
Last stop was the red dunes. They didn’t look especially red when compared to the sand of the Fairy Stream earlier that day, but it was pleasant enough. We dodged the children selling rides down the dunes on thin bits of plastic sheeting and chose a spot for watching the sunset.