Our train wasn’t due to arrive until 3pm so when I woke at 9am and everyone else in our cabin was still asleep I decided to make the most of it and nodded off again until 11. We’d managed to get two baguettes with Dairylea and some crisps and Oreos before we left Danang so had a little picnic in our bunks for lunch – slightly tricky to eat when you’ve got no choice but to be horizontal.
A 45 minute taxi ride brought us to our hotel – Mui Ne Seaview – and we checked into our private room. It was clean and relatively modern but the bathroom light didn’t work, the mattress was like a brick and they’d only given us a single blanket. After almost 24 hours in transit this was enough to set off a Sophie strop and Tom had to remind me we were only paying £3.75 each a night.
We set off for an explore and this was the first place we’d been where you could really tell it was the off-season. The seaside resort was quiet, restaurants and bars were shut down and there was barely anyone around. We only decided to visit Mui Ne as a stop off to break up the extremely long journey from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh so we wouldn’t be staying for long.
We walked for an hour past numerous seafood restaurants, all with huge fish tanks with weird and wonderful creatures for you to select your catch. Not big fans of seafood, we carried on walking and found a cool outdoor foodhall which Tom had read about on TripAdvisor. There was a central dining area and then you ordered your food and drinks from a wide range of different restaurants. Spoilt for choice we went for crispy sweet and sour pork with rice, chicken quesadillas and a chicken kebab burger – all delicious.
After a rubbish night’s sleep due to the rock solid mattress and me worrying about bed bugs I woke to the sound of heavy rain. With only one day to explore Mui Ne we grabbed our waterproofs and headed out. Thankfully the rain dried up quickly and we walked for an hour in search of the Fairy Springs. During our walk we discussed life back home, our previous jobs (I still can’t switch off from work and it’s been nearly 3 months!) and what we wanted to achieve when we returned – a recurring conversation we have every few days.
We finally found the Fairy Springs, which I thought was just a stream with some pretty rock formations to look at, so when Tom told me to get in the water I thought he was joking. With not another person in sight, and glad that I’d worn a dress I could hoick up, off came the trainers and we climbed into the orangey-brown water – a bit nerve-wracking when you can’t tell a) how deep it is or b) what’s lurking below the surface.
At some points the water was almost up to my bum and I started to think about the potential for crocodiles and water snakes in the water, so when I heard a sploosh behind me I was pretty quick to jump out. Thankfully we then came across two people who’d done the route the ‘correct’ way and the water began to get much shallower. Once the water was barely ankle depth the springs were busier with other tourists and the contrast of the white rock formations against the orange sand was quite striking.
We stopped off for lunch at the same place we’d been the night before and, as the rain started, we made our way to the Red Sand Dunes. The rain stopped as we arrived at the dunes and we climbed to the top, watching children slide down on make-shift toboggans sold by the locals. Deciding we couldn’t be bothered to wait for sunset, we walked all the way back to town via a fishing village and had our third meal at our fave eatery, this time opting for beef quesadillas, pasta bolognese and a hot dog – very Vietnamese!
Next stop… Ho Chi Minh!
See ya later, Sophie x