Friday, August 15, 2014

Phan Thiet to Mui Ni and a breakage of fortune

John busted his tyre... I know, there is a theme here and that theme is that bike tyres are no match for Vietnamese roads. It happened about 3km from where we stayed last night. So we pulled off the road to get it fixed but the guy said he would need to go back to Phan Thiet to get a new inner tube so we were stranded on one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen so far called Mui Ni Beach. What is an intrepid traveller to do? Well, I don't know about most but we found a tiki hut on the beach, we ordered a couple of beers (if I can only pick one, the red Saigon Larger is quite good actually), we played in the nice, calm waves and we hired a surfboard to mess around because the waves were rubbish (down side to low season I guess). As we were relaxing under the tiki hut, a jet ski roared past and a man rose from the ocean like Iron Man. He had boots that use the water sprayed from the jet ski to lift him into the air, its called Fly Boarding. To be honest, these guys could have been asking any price and we still would have been willing to pay it just for 5 mins on the thing. As it turned out, they were asking $50 for 10 so we agreed to meet them at 10am the next morning. We booked a hostel on the opposite side of the road to the beach (its almost always cheaper there) and spent the rest of the day on the beach. Excited doesn't quite articulate how I felt about the arrangement!

Remember what I was saying about resorts and clean beaches? Well this is another example of that. The staff are super friendly even though we are staying elsewhere which is probably helped by the fact that we have made an effort to buy beer every hour... what a glorious chore.

Speaking of bike repairs, John's luggage rack snapped yesterday so we spent a day in Phan Thiet which we would not have otherwise but by chance we ended up at a place near a rocky beach that had a creek running through it and was totally charming. My taste in public hangouts has been cultivated over many years and has been best described by my brother as follows: it must have the right amount of "dank". The super shiny, super modern bars with stainless steel and Swarkofzki crystal and glass interiors absolutely will not do. It has to have character (which fortunately coincides with John's tastes) and the place where we had dinner had that and really good food so we won on both fronts. Our nha nghi was slightly too dank but at a very reasonable price so no complaints there either.

As it happens, an extra day on Mui Ni Beach turned into three. We went Fly Boarding the second day and went to a place called Joe's for dinner. Apparently there are two places to go for night life in Mui Ni and we liked Joe's so much and the people we met there, that we never quite got to the other spot. It is a rocking little strip of beach and so far the best we have found for a mix of beauty, sun, water sports and social opportunity. I know this isn't what you are supposed to say as an intrepid traveller but finding someone who speaks your language after weeks of misunderstandings is so amazing. Alas, we needed to keep moving so we packed up our stuff and are ready to head to Nha Trang. This leg of our trip will take about 5 days so I will keep you posted on how that goes!

Xox Jane

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