We quickly put our packs down and headed outdoors and explored our new playground for the next few days. The grounds were covered with gardens that held many types of flowers, trees and even a small rice patty! There was a nice pool in the centre of the resort and it was steps away from a deep sandy beach. The beach stretched for maybe 100 meters before you reached the water. The surf was rough and waves pounded in on a steady beat and the red warning flags were straight out flapping and snapping in the wind. After the typhoon things were still unsteady and there was slight chance of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast, but the beautiful clear blue sky didn’t show any warning signs.
Mui Ne is very cleverly designed with all the resorts on the beach side and most shops and restaurants on the opposite side. The area we were in is nestled behind a hill and appears to only be one long road along the coast. We ventured along the street looking for a place for dinner as the sun was setting.
Again most vehicles along the roads were bikes and motorcycles with a few buses and cars sprinkled in. Taxis would slow down and honk to see if you wanted a ride as we walked along. I didn’t think a taxi was all that practical and how busy would they be in such a small place? We soon realised how long this little village was and to save your feet or escape the heat a taxi would be a good idea. There were enough restaurants in our end of town that we checked each menu for something to tempt us. Most places were seafood restaurants, especially since this still is a fishing village. I am not a seafood eater and John was in search of a pizza place that was recommended to us, so we kept walking. Some restaurants hire ‘greeters’ and they call out “Hello” and wave to people passing by… just added to the friendly atmosphere that seems to be “Vietnam”.
Many signs were in Vietnamese, English and Russian. Many Russians tend to flock to this area for a much deserved break from winter. As English speakers we are very lucky travelling. Many signs will be in English and often you can find someone who can speak or understand you. To see things in Russian was certainly the unusual. We finally saw the sign in the distance “Good Morning Vietnam Pizza”. A transplanted Italian runs the restaurant and uses a wood fire oven for cooking. YUM! Nice thin crust with so much cheese. Almost as good as we had in Rome a few years ago! A good meal here is cheap! Much cheaper than home and Shanghai, for maybe $8.00 we each had a medium size pizza and a drink. Bellies full we headed back to the resort. Along the way we peeked in a few of the tacky tourist shops loaded with the usual souvenirs that you would see anywhere. We passed a few corn vendors set up along the road. Steaming boiling pots of water were ready for hot corn on the cob. If you were lucky they even had a tub of margarine to slather your street treat. Back at the hotel we turned in for an early night so we could make the most of the next sunshiny day.
The next morning we awoke and headed off to our breakfast buffet, which was included in the room price. Seems most resorts in Asia include breakfasts, and are not all inclusivelike the Caribbean resorts we are used to back home. I am a picky eater, but in a new place I attempt to eat some of the local foods. Most foods were a mix of local dishes and western choices. I tried the pho (fahh) from a soup cart that they had set up to look like one you may see in the streets. The cook took some rice noodles and bean sprouts and quickly cooked them in some boiling water for a few seconds.
Pho -my new fav food
Next she added some broth, spring onions, flavoured pork, basil and a few hot chillies. She put a wedge of lime on the side as well. The enormous steaming bowl seemed a bit odd to be eating not only for breakfast, but in such heat. Chopsticks in hand I sat down with my new food adventure. After getting the hang of holding onto the flat slippery noodles I had my first taste. It was delicious! I found my new favourite food that I could eat everyday. It was very filling, and good for you too!
After breakfast we staked out our claim by the pool and sat and relaxed for the day. I read half a book in a few hours, what a treat! The weather was fantastic and not a cloud in the sky. Seeing some very red and burned people the night before we knew the sun was not forgiving and we stayed under the beach umbrella for the day and slathered on tons of sunscreen. The surf was still rough and the wind was strong, so you felt cool even in the hot sun. This is always the most dangerous since you do not realise you are burned until it is too late. The pool was a bit cool, so I just dangled my feet in a few times. I was glad I was so careful to cover up as I had missed a spot and my knee had an interesting heart shape burn where it didn’t have enough sunscreen. The burn was like nothing I had before and the sting was very uncomfortable; even more painful than the time I burned my back and blistered. I pity those poor people who looked like cooked lobster with bright red bodies.
The hotel (Seahorse Resort) had a spa and it was much cheaper than in Shanghai so I waited until we arrived to get a pedicure and make my toes beach worthy. The spa was closed that morning, so I had an afternoon appointment. I must say I was a little disappointed with the pedicure, even though I had paid extra for the ‘deluxe’. I am used to a little massage and creams as well as the top quality polishes. This was OK, but at times awkward as the woman positioned my feet for her to work on; my leg didn’t always bend where she wanted it to! She was a bit rough with the scrub and pulling off the nasty winter skin. Finally it was time for the polish and she quickly applied the colour, with a cheap brand, and no top coat. She left and never came back. After about 15 minutes I attempted to check my nails and the manager came over and helped me. A pedicure is expensive and something I occasionally treat myself to. In Shanghai they are cheaper than home and I usually have had a few in the summer months. They are relaxing and it is nice to feel pampered. This left me feeling awkward and rushed… so much for coming back for another spa treatment. A fellow teacher told us about the Seahorse and comparing notes since we came home she said the massages were fantastic… duly noted for next time.
The next few days we had to decide what to do next? Go out to the dunes (red and white sand dunes), relax by the pool, or go into town? Stay tuned to find out more…
As always play nice:) and words and images are property of ME and cannot be used witout permission from CTB.