After travelling from hotel to hotel/hostel to hostel for three months we
decided it was time to take a holiday from all the hard work and chill out in a beach resort for a week. For this we chose Mui Ne and managed to find a beachside resort with a pool for £9 a night between us. Being far more interested in quaint towns and people watching this was quite a unique experience. The entire town (being one road about 6km long) is there for the sole purpose of tourism.
This isn’t a bad thing, just very different to what I’m used to. I’m almost sure that if it weren’t for a steady flow of tourists then most people here would have to move to Saigon for work, or perhaps the local fishing village. There are numerous good restaurants here, both locally owned and owned by European husbands of Vietnamese women, which is so often the case. I’m still not quite sure how acceptable this is, whether they are just in business marriages, I have no idea.
One amusing side effect of Mui Ne existing for tourists is the desire for people to make even more money from these tourists. The only attraction that Mui Ne has is some local sand dunes about 30km away, there are the red and the white dunes. The white dunes are impressive and the red dunes are more like a lump of sand. Often bulked in with a trip to these two places is a trip to the Fairy Stream. This magical sounding place entails a walk in a river surrounded by rubbish to see some red coloured rocks. It is the first time I have been going to a tourist attraction and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ And in all honesty I don’t think there is any reason to go there, it’s an almost surreal experience in pointlessness yet the tour shops have it listed on their walls as a main attraction. I’ve heard they also sell tours for the Dragon Garden, which turns out to be a dragon fruit plantation.
Mui Ne will never have attractions that draw in a crowd, no matter how hard the locals try, and although it’s kind of amusing to see their weaker attempts Mui Ne is actually perfectly good just to go for some Rest and Relaxation, needing only to cross the road for a tasty, well priced meal. When you’re used to being in a squatty room without even having air con the luxury of a pool is definitely worth the journey for a short break from the travellers’ regime.