Mui Ne Beach – Seaside amblings in a Socialist.. ..paradise?

5 – 8 Feb. 2011

Mui Ne, Vietnam.

This wanna-be sleepy beach town is split into two parts – tourist and local. The local side is a a neat sprawl of family homes, small temples, and few tall buildings, but with a breathtaking local fishing fleet. The touristy part is a narrow strip of low-lying hostels, hotels, bungalows, and resorts, among which are sprinkled some local homes and open-air, open-air restaurants – all lining the shoreline somewhere just above the littoral zone.

Dusk, over Phan Thiet Bay, across the street from our hostel.

Also in front of the hostel, my favorite reading spot in Vietnam.

Riding the white sand dunes. Intrepid travel partners, all in one frame; another favorite shot.

Chris K., clearing shoes of sand… in the desert.
Tim W. with sled gear, trekking upward to ride the dunes.

Chris, along a well managed lake-side evergreen path, approaching the white sand dunes.

White sand dunes, seen from across the lake.

It’s a relaxing town, off the high-season; but development is encroaching on the whole region. Even off-road spots have been linked to the tourism trade – like huge local sand dunes, the one-time quiet fishing town, a freshwater spring that flowed from the sands in a greem & shady desert valley – and is staffed by local underemployed children & wives, catering to the increasing tide of tourist. Like many places that were once upon a time little-known and in development, Mui Ne is rapidly being connected to the modernizing world. I’m glad I got here when I did. And moreso before vehicular law enforcement has become a priority…

Learned early and lived everyday – camaraderie is here a real way of life.

Downstream of the Fairy Spring. I never reached the end to see the source..

Along the walls of the valley containing the Fairy Spring, the water table leaks freshwater. All this around the desert region of Mui Ne.
Fellow travelers, Nadya and Tim, posing with a gregarious posse of locals.  Nearby the Fairy Spring, Mui Ne, Vietnam.

Chris, with another verdant backdrop, at the rim of the valley from where flows the Fairy Spring.

From the crest of a dune, overlooking Mui Ne and Phan Thiet Bay. Not all deserts are bare..
Yup, a giant golf ball ready for tee-off in front of a new country club development for the regions elite. And Chris piloting a motor bike. Can you see where I crashed it? Ya, didn’t think so. 1 Million dong fee…
More on the local side of town, Mui Ne’s fishing fleet. Unfortunately, I did not awake in time to catch the morning fish market where those who own and operate the ships in this fleet make their living.

Local on the prow. Local on the prowl.

We arrived here from Saigon, initially planning an overnight stop to relax on the beach for a bit before tacking north up to Dalat. On the eve of our 4th night, we decided we should find bus tickets asap and plan to head out. Otherwise, chances were very high that the remaining week we would share in Vietnam would very likely find us along this same 10-km stretch of beach. Our hours would be whiled away reading and conversing over bottles of delicious Dalat wine, interspersed with $10USD day-long moto-bike rentals, lavish (but hella cheap in $USD) seafood feasts along the sand with traveling friends, with swims and walks (Tim & Natasja jog) in between. To maintain the figure. Not a bad way to spend mid-winter in Asia – relaxing in shorts and flip-flops in the sun – though also rather unexciting and not the best way to experience the most of the fantastic South of Vietnam, from food to culture. While its changing, much of Mui Ne seems to have remained the same.. And here, that seems to be a great thing.

The photos laid out heretofore are taken with an Olympus Stylus 1050 SW 
 Creative Commons License
These works by Tim Paez are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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