Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Mui Ne In My Mind

Mui Ne Vietnam
Mui Ne's beach!


There was a sudden jolt.

The flight to Saigon was turbulent, all thanks to the severe weather disturbance off the northeastern seaboard of the Philippines. The plane started to descend, and before we knew it, we have safely arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, after nearly two hours of flight. The sun was almost up when we finally left the airport terminal building and had our USDs exchanged to the local currency (Vietnamese Dongs). For the first time in forever, I became an instant millionaire. Multi-millionaire to be exact.

While searching for a cab, a frail-looking man probably in his early 50s, approached us. He claimed that he was a cab driver and even showed his ID to us. Because we were so exhausted brought about by the delay, we immediately hired him. Normally, the fare to downtown Saigon costs 210,000 dong. However, our cab driver charged us 200,000 each. Multiply it by 3, the total fare was 600,000 dong. Upon arrival at the hostel, we tried to haggle the cab driver to charge at a lower rate. Apparently, he wanted to press charges against us because we were too nosy. He started to raise his voice and we got afraid. We gave up and he sped off.

The first thirty minutes in Saigon was a bit traumatic, but I don't want to disappoint myself. Without a doubt, those scammers are scattered along the busy streets and murky alleys of Saigon waiting for its next victim.

But, I believe Vietnam is more than that.


Mui Ne Vietnam
Innards of Saigon


After a quick shower and a hearty breakfast at Long Hostel, an attendant of a bus company fetched us and took us to the starting-off point to Mui Ne, the resort capital of Vietnam. We rode a sleeper bus thus it was a perfect opportunity to catch some serious zzzs. It took us six hours before reaching the city proper of Mui Ne. We were booked at Zenora Beach Resort and luckily, there were only a few guests and the villa was surprisingly comfortable and big! Take note that we only paid Php 930/night (per pax). Comes with free breakfast and an ultrafast wi-fi connection.

I took a quick dip and I really enjoyed the big waves of Mui Ne! I truly missed the sand, the waves, and you and me. #landi

Mui Ne Vietnam
Sand and waves.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Zenora: Our home in Mui Ne

Mui Ne Vietnam
Feels like summer again!

Mui Ne Vietnam
Another hostel.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Restricted.


Since it was Mui Ne's low season, there were only a few tourists but I actually loved it because it wasn't that stressful. There were so many hotels and restaurants along the national highway and I couldn't imagine the sea of people during holidays!

At night time, we explored a bit of Mui Ne's city center and visited some shops selling shirts, souvenirs, and even jewelries. I even bought a Vietnamese street food (forgive me, I forgot the name) and it was delicious. It's a deep fried corn garnished with bits of garlic, chives, pork, and fried shrimps.


Mui Ne Vietnam
For sale.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Bike rentals.

Mui Ne Vietnam

Mui Ne Vietnam
Delicious! Only 10,000 dong (Php 20+)


Whenever I visit a foreign country, the first thing that I try is their local food. The food reflects the rich culture and history of a country and it is the best way to immerse to its culture. Finally, I've tried their Pho noodles, their famous spring rolls (we call it lumpia in the Philippines), and the ostrich meat! Surprisingly, the ostrich meat is soft and tender.

UGGGHH THE PHO NOODLES IS TO DIE FOR!!!


Mui Ne Vietnam
Mga sahog ng Pho noodles.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Ostrich meat.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Pho noodles!


We had a rough day. The 4-hr delay was really stressful but there was nothing that we can do about it. Upon arrival at Saigon, we got ripped by a local. I never expected that we'd get scammed first thing in the morning. We just shrugged it off because we were too tired to react.

Mui Ne actually saved our day. After all, it was a quick respite from the unwanted stress we acquired on that cold and hazy morning in Saigon.


Mui Ne Vietnam
Belts for sale.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Night walk.

Mui Ne Vietnam
Blurred lines.



Indochina Series:

The Great Indochina Trip: Prologue
Day 1: The Mui Ne In My Mind
Day 2: The Hidden Gems of Mui Ne
Day 3: The Modern Kingdom of Cambodia

20 comments:

  1. I want to be a millionaire too! hehehe.

    want to go to Vietnam too - looking forward reading your future Vietnam posts. :)

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  2. Great photos. Vietnam is still on my to-visit list. Reading about your experience in Saigon gave me second thoughts, LOL! Still, I agree with you that Vietnam is more than that.

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    Replies
    1. Wherever you go, there are still scammers. I guess it pays to be extra cautious with your surroundings. Vietnam is a nice country despite what happened btw. :D

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  3. It's sad to note you were scammed in there. It got me thinking that the place is not that safe as well for tourists. Anyways --- anywhere scamming happens so if we go around we just have to be extra careful.

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  4. That sounds like what the cabbies in Las Vegas do to tourists also. You always have to be on your toes!

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  5. I have never seen a beach with sand so brown. Well, I haven't visited one for years now haha! Great photos as always :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha true! It ain't white. Brown talaga! But I still loved it.

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  6. Those pictures are real great.Would love to visit vietnam sometimes.

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  7. How was the ostrich meat? I have never tasted it and it seems surprising to me that it's edible there.

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  8. Don't trust no-label "taxi" driver, you can easy find well-known cab companies like Vinasun ( white and green stripe in car's body) or Petrolimex taxi (gray silver and pink stripe in car's body). Hope you have a better trip next time and enjoy Vietnam!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, Anon. Will be back there in two weeks :D

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  9. That was a bad experience with the cab driver. I only had a full day in Saigon before though I also take Saigon as an entry point to Cambodia. Fortunately, we haven't been overcharged yet.

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  10. AHAHAH! NATawa ako sa i miss the sand, the waves, and you and me.. Nice photos.. Vietnam pala has kinda hostile environment. did u able to communicate well with them in English?

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    Replies
    1. HAHAHA thank you for appreciating my lame joke (and my photos as well haha). Lol. I had a hard time communicating with them in English. With matching charade2x pa for them to see the 'bigger picture' of what I am trying to tell. HAHA

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  11. The food looks fresh and healthy. I thought it was Boracay with a touch of some city life vibe.

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  12. Zenora looks like a nice place to stay. The Food you had there were interesting specially the Ostrich meat.

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  13. Hi Renz! You're from Davao pala. I hope makasama ako sa mga travel mo. :)

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