Saturday, March 08, 2008

Coastal town of Mui Ne

We could tell from their breath and bloodshot eyes that they were still drunk from the night before. When the bus stopped to pick some locals up, one of them bolted across the road to grab some water. He returned triumphant with two plastic bottles and handed one to his mate in the other seat. We didn’t pay attention to him again until he sprayed a mouthful of it over the people in front of him. It seems that he’d bought two bottles of rice wine by mistake and swallowed a rather large gulp before realizing.

Laughing and looking around for someone to commiserate with he settled on us since we were the only other non-vietnamese on the bus. I’ve always thought of the animosity people held for yanks as a mob-mentality, knee-jerk thing, but hearing that accent splinter the quiet of the bus tore at my nerves (even though they were Canadian).

Later that afternoon we arrived in Mui Ne, a quieter coastal resort town known as “the” location for kite surfing in Vietnam. It was dominated by beach-front resorts rather than back alley hostels and tiny hotels so it was a nice change.

We’d been doing tours at every town trying to see the most we could so we decided to relax for the next few days, unwind from our busy schedule and do nothing but read books and get hammered. The hardest thing we had to worry about was deciding which restaurant to eat in that night.

We eventually found a small resort that offered tropical beach front bungalows and hot water (luxury!). We had our own stand alone hut with a little deck a few meters from the beach so we sat on the deck reading counterfeit books and playing with a tiny local dog.

It’s little wonder that Mui Ne is the kite surfing capital, because as we sat on the bech chairs our full 1.5L bottle of water was blown off the table. It was fierce.

We met up with an English couple we met in Da Lat at a great little beach bar in front of a kite surfing school owned by a local. The sky was absolutely packed with kites and drank cheap beer as we watched them danced in the air like a hundred multicolored butterflies.

That night we found a great little place called “Hot Rock” where the staff all wore Montezuma Restaurant t-shirts. We ordered the ‘hot rock special’ and watched the Russian tourists in their crazy mad fashion (high heels on sand?) while we downed another $1 Tiger.

The waitress brought us a clay pot fire with a wire tray over it, bowls of marinade and a large plate of raw meat and seafood. Deliciousness!

After that $10 feast we found a little cocktail bar where we paid a 12 year old to mix us the best mojito I’ve ever had. i tried to play fooseball, but the cocktails must have been incredibly strong because I had my arse handed to me. Repeatedly.

Every bar in the strip seemed to have a ‘happy hour’ that lasted all night. We found the pommy couple again and sipped drinks and chatted to a backdrop of motorbikes and crashing waves.

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