Vietnam series: Mui Ne, Vietnam and the fishing village, white and red sands and Fairy River

Bungalow complete with mozzie net

Bungalow complete with mozzie net

I wake under my mozzie net in my AU$28 bungalow.  I checked in yesterday to the 3 star Suoi Tien Mui Ne Resort in Mui Ne, Vietnam and am grateful that my mozzie net seems to have done its job.

Yesterday I arranged for my motorbike taxi guy to take me again on his motorbike for a “tour for one” of Mui Ne (for an agreed fee).  He said he could take me on a tour which would include stops at the fishing village, the white and red sands and the Fairy River.  We had arranged that he would pick me up from my accommodation at the crack of 9:00am.

I will be sad to leave behind the beautiful sandy beach of Mui Ne so my late start gives me time to enjoy breakfast overlooking the beach and one final chance to visit the beach before I have to go. 

Last look at Mui Ne beach

Last look at Mui Ne beach

The water is quite choppy again today and might be a good windsurfing day, for somebody other than me that is.

Beach early morning - perfect for windsurfing

Beach early morning – perfect for windsurfing

My motorbike guy arrives right on time and we head off to our first stop to see the fishing boats at the fishing village at the end of Mui Ne Bay.  The number of boats moored off the beach is staggering. 

Hundreds of moored fishing boats

Hundreds of moored fishing boats

Fishing tubs also litter the beach itself and are apparently used for both fishing and as a means of transportation to and from the moored boats.

Fishing tub anybody

Fishing tub anybody

Next on our tour are the white and red sand dunes.

The white sands are the more impressive of the two with large sweeping sand hills. 

White sands

White sands

The white sand dunes also overlook the lotus lakes.  If you have the energy, you can climb the white sands and sled down (paying for board hire).  Sand dune sledding seems like too much effort and the effort/reward ratio perhaps not in “effort’s” favour.  I am content to enjoy their beauty and simply walk up and down them, well walk half way up anyway.

With the lotus lakes right next to the white sands, my thoughtful motorbike guy takes me as a side stop to the lotus lakes to show me their blooming pink flowers.

Lotus lake

Lotus lake

Pink Lotus

Pink Lotus

Back on the bike and we head to the red sands.  Hmmm… how do I describe them?  “The sand is more red in colour?”  I hate to pick favourites but the red sand dunes are not as good as the white sand dunes.  There, I said it.  But I might add, while I will be long gone by sunset, I have seen some amazing photos of what the dunes can look like at sunset or sunrise.

View from red sands

View from red sands

Our next and final stop on my Mui Ne “tour for one” is the Fairy River.  My motorbike guy brings us to a halt at a small shop that sits next to a bridge.  Between the shop and the bridge appears to be a path.  Apparently this is the entrance to the Fairy River.  Really?  Just looks like an unloved path.  My motorbike guy says he will wait for me and points me (with a smile) in the direction of the path.

Obediently I walk down the path and am greeted by a local kid, waiting to offer to guide me down the river. 

Fairy River guide - hopefully he is back in school now

Fairy River guide – hopefully he is back in school now

“Hi kid!  Shouldn’t you be at school?”  “You want to guide me?”  “Maybe, how much?”  We agree a fee and he takes me along the Fairy River.  I figure if this kid doesn’t want to or can’t go to school, at least he is willing to “work” and not be a layabout; so for that, I am more than happy to pay him a fair fee for services rendered.

I fling my shoes into my bag and head off with this young lad as my guide not knowing where he might take me and/or leave me.  The river starts off with quite dense foliage on either side and looks like a proper river, giving no clue as to what might be around the next corner.  I just hope there are no leeches (bloodsucking worms that live in rivers) in this river. 

Fairy River - introduction

Fairy River – introduction

As we head further along, the river starts to open up in parts and gives way to exposed pitched canyon like walls of red and white sand and beyond that, areas with more open greenery.

Fairy river next section

Fairy river next section

The red clay river bed that is the Fairy River meanders for about 500m and is quite variable with its canyon like sections of rough formed walls and tropical green foliage. 

Fairy River embankments

Fairy River embankments

It is an enjoyable and easy walk with my guide sometimes advising me to watch out for this or that. 

Fairy River geenery

Fairy River geenery

He is a nice kid and we chat along the way about why he is not in school etc but it seems, like most (not just Vietnamese), it is the basic necessity for money that brings him here.  We arrive back and I pay his (handsome) fee and we part ways.

Meanwhile, my other guide (of the motorbike variety) is waiting for me right where I left him and he drops me back to my accommodation.  I pay him double our agreed fee.  Why?  He has been a lovely and accommodating guide and has ridden me safely from spot to spot all morning.  He is very grateful and I tell him it is a start up donation for his own bike venture and wish him all the best.  He couldn’t be happier so it is a win/win really, I have had an excellent morning being ridden to all the hot spots of Mui Ne and hopefully he feels good about a job well done.

My motorbike guy

My motorbike guy

I collect my bag and have time for lunch at a local cafe.

Lunch spot in Mui Ne

Lunch spot in Mui Ne

The cafe has a map of the local attractions around Mui Ne and I am super pleased with my personal guided tour of these very places.

Map on cafe wall sets out Mui Ne hotspots

Map on cafe wall sets out Mui Ne hotspots

Time to get my 2:00pm bus to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC/Saigon). [showmyads]

For previous Vietnam series post see Mui Ne, Vietnam – beach, beach bungalow and whole lot of relaxing
For next Vietnam series post see Mui Ne to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam – from beautiful beach to bustling city