A four hour train ride from Ho Chi Minh took us to Mui Ne, an isolated beach town. Upon arrival at the train station there is a barrage of taxi drivers waiting to take you to the plentiful resort destinations that most tourists descend upon. We are new to the idea of resort stays but found the idea of ours to be too tempting to avoid. While there are indoor beds available at this particular place we opted for the option to sleep in a tent under the stars on the beach.
Long Son Mui Ne Resort is beautiful. The common area is a space set up to accommodate large groups of people lounging. Soft couches and massive pillows sit under a canopy roof. The restaurant and bar provide many delectable treats to appeal to the weary and budget conscious traveler. There was never a time we ever felt limited by the price of any item, a privilege we aren’t afforded often. Long Son has daily dollar deals from their menu. Grilled sea scallops, roughly 10 per order, butter basted herb topped scallops were ordered by us at least 3 times our first day.
Once arriving we plopped our stuff down into the tents, changed clothes, and started an aimless walk down the beach. In the distance we could see the red sand dunes, another distinct attraction Mui Ne boasts. Our walk ended back in front of the resort’s stretch of land on the swing sets. Yes, they have swing sets. Tis’ an ideal way to revert back to your younger self.
Sleeping on the beach is similar to sleeping on a boat. You hear the water and feel movement. The ocean rocks you to sleep. Our first night we awoke feeling completely refreshed. Seeing the sun rise above the ocean wasn’t a bad sight either. Breakfast consisted of fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit and pho with plenty of peppers.
After stuffing ourselves we considered a run but with the ocean winking at us and batting its eyelashes we couldn’t refuse but to flirt back by flinging our bodies into the waves for the majority of the day. Of course we took breaks and sat under thatched roofs on large pillows while reading and eating and drinking those fruity drinks you always must consume while you exist in a tropical setting.
The day felt like it lasted forever. Yet, the night came and with it came a special dinner deal. For roughly 5USD, a meal was made hot and fresh in the open pavilion in the resorts common area. The meal consisted of spring rolls, grilled scallops, kebab skewers, green papaya salad, grilled tilapia fish, fresh fruit and a Saigon beer. Obviously, we were beyond pleased with the menu.
Later that evening, the resort hosted a pub quiz. The quiz master attempted to count people off into groups to help diversify the pre established groups of friends. We still ended up in the same group because other people refused to section themselves off from the mates which seemed to be expected by the quiz master, puzzling. Why go through the work if adults who have been drinking are the worse listeners? We still ended up meeting some chaps in our group from the U.K., France, Belgium, and the states by way of Portland. Everyone was friendly and not crazy competitive. It was the first pub quiz we had ever played and are surprisingly good. Our weaknesses are the others strengths. Our team came in second place but our group suspected some illegal phone consultation occurring on the winning team mostly because we saw several of them pull out their phones, completely defeating the point! Imagined daggers were thrown their way aimed for the eyes and hands and hearts. Leave no stone unturned, right?
Waking up this morning was vastly different from the previous day. It was the morning a horrible man ascended to the U.S. presidency. We both had woken up several times in the night and even the ocean was restless, the waves were crashing with sounds similar to a storm. Who knew how much of a storm this idiot would stir up in the first two weeks of his already abysmal presidency. Ugh.
This was the day we were set to return to Ho Chi Minh City. The resort has a bus stop directly outside of its entrance. They get a phone call when a bus is approaching and round up everyone who is heading somewhere new. The morning was spent charging electronics while reading in the common space. We headed out fairly early and surprise, surprise upon entering the bus we were instructed to take off our shoes…proceeding into the bus we were met with three rows of bunk beds basically. Never had we travelled in this way but were not disappointed with the mode of transportation at all!