Day 2 – Mui Ne
We thought we could sleep a little longer after a long and tiring bus ride from Ho Chi Min City to Mui Ne arriving after midnight. Unfortunately, birds were already chirping happily outside our room at 6 am, so our sleep was cut short. As we didn’t really have a good dinner during the journey to Mui Ne, we went to the restaurant for an early breakfast.
Surprisingly, the restaurant was already so crowded so early in the morning. We found ourselves a table and started to collect food to begin our breakfast. The food was really good and the staff were friendly and keen to serve.
However, while I was queuing for my pho, a male staff holding a stack of empty bowls coming to the pho station found himself obstructed by the queue of guests. Instead of politely asking me to give way, he placed his hand on my back and moved me a little to make way for him to get through. Perhaps, he thought I was one of the locals and that I didn’t mind. This was probably due to a slip-up on staff training. Anyway, I didn’t let this incident mar my holiday in Mui Ne.
After breakfast, we went to explore the resort ground. The garden was very well kept, nice and clean. The resort compound was beautiful as well. Resort staff were polite and greeted us as we went around during our stroll.
We walked further down to the beach area and took a stroll on the beach. The beach was fine but not the best in Vietnam. The fishing village was just nearby. Beach chairs and towels were available for those who wish to hang out on the beach.
Next we went back to our room to use the toilet before heading out to visit the red sand dune just around the corner outside the resort. Since we arrived after midnight, we had a good look of our room this morning and checked out some TV programs for a while.
Not long after, having prepared with hats and sunglasses, we left the resort and turned right. Not far after the corner, we could see the red sand dune across the road. Some tour buses were also parked nearby along the road.
So we crossed the road and ventured up to the sand dune. It was a little tiring walking up the sand dune to have a good look at the surrounding. The sky was clear blue with the sun beating down on us. It was a magnificent sight indeed.
Once we reached high ground, we could see the endless boundary of this red sand dune. One edge had a belt of plants and vegetation. As we looked back from where we climbed up, we could see the resort among the trees and further ahead was the sea with some boats out there.
Next we tried to enjoy ourselves on this red sand dune. We observed some people sliding down the sand dune on some boards and then climbed back up for more. We didn’t do the sliding but we did walk up and down on some of the hilly terrain of this red sand dune.
After some time, it was getting really hot so we had to leave this nice natural attraction near Pandanus Resort. The very reason why we chose Pandanus Resort was because of its proximity to the red sand dune.
Back to the resort, we changed and went for a quick swim at the swimming pool. Because of the heat from the sun, we didn’t swim very long but we nevertheless enjoyed our swim.
We called reception to request for late check out but was denied even extending for just 30 minutes. So we had no choice but to have a quick shower. We then packed our bags and checked out by noon.
After checking out, we went back to the restaurant for lunch. The ambience of the restaurant was very good. The restaurant was rather empty and it seemed most guests were out exploring attractions in Mui Ne. We ordered some local dishes and found them very delicious. The restaurant staff were very friendly and personable.
Before leaving Pandanus Resort, we went to the spa for a look. The place was very nice and conducive. However, we had other matters to settle and also to check into another resort, so we left Pandanus Resort.
We crossed the road outside Pandanus Resort to wait for a local bus to travel to the office of Phuong Trang Bus Company in the middle of Mui Ne Beach. There was a convenience store over there so we went in for a look while waiting for the bus.
Soon the bus came and we boarded the bus. The cost was just 9,000 VND per person. This bus travelled along the coastal road in Mui Ne passing many resorts and some shops. The journey was rather interesting to sit on the bus with the locals. It was such a hot day and yet all their women folks were wrapped up with a few layers to protect themselves from the sun. There were young and elderly and when all seats on the bus were occupied, they just sat on the floor.
Not long after, we arrived at the touristy part of Mui Ne with a number of resorts, cafes, restaurants and shops along the road. We went into the office of Phuong Trang Bus Company and spoke with the staff to confirm our seats for the bus back to Ho Chi Min City for the next morning. We were requested to ask our resort to call them the next morning for instruction on pick up location.
Having settled our bus reservation to Ho Chi Min City, we roamed around this stretch of Mui Ne but didn’t buy anything. This location wasn’t as secluded as Pandanus Resort with many tourists hanging out here. It should be a hive of activities at night when this place would be lighted up and tourists come out for drinks and dinner. After this, we went up to a waiting Mai Linh taxi and asked the driver to send us to Amaryllis Resort.
In about 15 minutes, we arrived at Amaryllis Resort, which was not along the main road. This resort looked like some former colonial buildings which was pretty eye pleasing. Check in was smooth and trouble free. Welcome drinks were promptly offered. We were escorted to our room by one of the staff.
While the exterior of this resort was appealing, our room was rather basic. The room was spacious and clean but furnishing was not as good as Pandanus Resort. The bed was rather firm but still comfortable. Unfortunately, the two pillows were quite soft and flat to our liking.
The TV in the room was small and also dated. TV programs were mostly in Vietnamese so there was nothing much to watch. Wifi on the other hand wasn’t bad in the room. Toilet was clean and came with a shower stall.
Two bottles of mineral water were provided and coffee and tea making facility was included in the room. Writing desk was simple with a stool pushed underneath.
So our deluxe room was actually of lower standard compared to the standard room we had at Pandanus Resort. Anyway, for US$66 a night inclusive of breakfast, we were not really complaining.
From our room balcony, we could see the swimming pool below. The beach and the sea were just further away from the pool after the lines of trees. Having settled down in the room for a while and found the TV programs unsuitable, we changed and went for a stroll on the beach.
As we walked through the resort ground passing the swimming pool towards the beach, we found the resort ground nice and pleasing. It was very neat and well kept. There were beach chairs on the beach. They seem to be under utilized. Anyway, this wasn’t the high season yet in July.
The beach over here nearer to Phan Thiet City was cleaner than the beach at Pandanus Resort where a fishing village was just nearby. It was already later part of the afternoon, there were some beach goers out there enjoying the beach and having fun in the sea.
Further towards the left, there were some very interesting fishing boats in the shape of a circular tub. Some fishermen were also tending to their fishing nets. This was the first time we came across such interesting fishing boats.
This stroll on Phu Hai Beach was very enjoyable as my dear wife and I walked on this stretch of the beach holding hands forgetting about all the cares in the world.
After that we went for a swim in the swimming pool. The water in the pool was still warm and good for swimming this late afternoon where the sun was already at the far end of the sky. However, the water was salty and seemed to be sea water. The depth of this swimming pool ranged from 0.6 metres to 1.8 metres. We were the only swimmers using the pool so we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and had a good swim.
Back in our room after our stroll on the beach and our swim in the pool, we showered and rested for a while. The day was almost gone and so we relaxed a little before dinner. We were deliberating where we should go for dinner. One option was to return to the touristy stretch of Mui Ne Beach we roamed earlier before coming to Amaryllis Resort to look for a nice restaurant for dinner. Or we could simply remain in this resort and go for dinner at the restaurant here.
We finally decided to stay at the resort to have dinner. We didn’t see the point of incurring a few hundred thousands VND for taxi fares back and forth for dinner at the touristy spot in Mui Ne. So we approached the restaurant and found the restaurant empty. We had the whole restaurant to ourselves for dinner which was great. The setting of this restaurant was outdoor alfresco dining in a nicely lit up former colonial building. In fact, it was quite grand.
The waitresses were very friendly and helpful. One of them could even speak Mandarin which was great. We ordered the local dishes recommended and they were tasty and delicious. We were glad we remained behind to have dinner here at the resort. The food prices were very reasonable as well. So it was a great dinner indeed where my dear wife and myself were the only guests in this colonial style building restaurant.
After dinner, we explored the resort a little. There were a few places to sit at the lobby. There was a cozy lounge in the resort as well but it was empty. Having spent sufficient time roaming the lobby area and checking out other facilities, we returned to our room to rest.
There wasn’t much to do in the room as the TV was dated and programs limited. So chatting with the children back home via wifi kept us going during the evening. Sharing our nice pictures with them, especially those on the red sand dunes, and getting to know how they were keeping up back home was a pleasure much better than the TV programs.
Eventually, it was time to go to bed as our adventure in Mui Ne was coming to an end. Instead of spending three nights in Ho Chi Min City, travelling all the way to Mui Ne was fruitful even though we had only one full day to spend here, especially when transport cost by public bus was only a few USD per way; it was very worthwhile.
We had an early morning bus to catch to go back to Ho Chi Min City. As such, having a good night sleep was essential for the long bus ride back to Ho Chi Min City. Soon we entered dreamland reliving the fun we had during the day. The next day would be another great day.
Continue to Day 3 …