Monday, 27 February 2012

Hue, Hoi an, Nha Trang, Mui Ne - Vietnam

We arrived really early with no hotel to go to, so we decided to just look around for a nice place to stay. We crossed the river and walked around for a short while and found a place that looked nice and we settled down.
We decided to go for a walk and found a cool park with Bonsai trees on display. After this we decided to find some veggie restaurant to eat at. At first it looked quite bad but after seeing them cooking the food and bravely eating it we were pleasantly surprised with the results.
The next day we headed out to the Citadel where we saw the ruins and a water puppet show and got to see the tools and materials they were using to renovate parts of the Citadel. On our way out we saw some old captured US military vehicles, so Sarah and I stopped to have a look. That night we decided to walk around the river side and saw some cool lights on the bridge. We also found a bookshop that had a cafe attached to it, where I had what will forever be the best iced coffee of my life!! It was really thick and the ice made it like heaven. The next day we hired bikes and took to the streets to see as much as we could! We saw some small temples and ate at a lovely restaurant on the ground floor of a hotel that was all veggie yay!! We tried to go to the Ho Chi Minh museum, but it was closed. Instead we headed to the Pagoda quite far away but it was well worth the trip even if we did have to ride our bikes against oncoming traffic and cross a busy train line. The pagoda was huge and the temple inside was really well maintained making for a very lovely warm experience. They had a car that was used when a monk set himself on fire (could be the same Monk on the cover of Rage Against The Machine album). The monks at the temple even said hello and talked with me about football.
On this day the weather seemed to pick up as the following morning we were off to Hoi An the suit making capital of the world.

Bonsai park Hue

Piggy Hue



Health and safety Hue


American Helicopter Citadel grounds Hue

Renovations Hue

Citadel - Hue

Beginning of Lee's Vietnamese Coffee addiction


Action shot Hue

Cycling around Hue (near veggie restaurant)

Pagoda Hue
Hoi An

The suit making capital of Vienam is cram back with tourist and due to Da Nang up the road being the business center, Hoi An offers a lot of options for spending your money.
We couldn't resist updating our wardrobes while we were there especially as my holey leggins and no longer white top. Lee got a grey suit jacket and trousers made for $60, and 2 shirts. Sarah got a pair of shorts, trousers and 2 tops, and picked up a nice flowery dress too.
As we were still in the Tet holiday period there were lots of locals on holiday and as well as a lantern exhibit and a carnival there was folk games being played like 'smash the clay jug' blind folded with a stick, Vietnamese Pinata.
We bough an old town ticket, but the sights were very hit and miss, the museums were tiny and usually included a shop, and some temples were a little unwelcoming to tourists, though one of the assembly halls had a beautiful garden and well kept alters.

Most of Hoi An is tailor shops

making adjustments

Cycled to the beach, past rice fields


Ladies working

Shave and ear clean

Nha Trang

On our first day in Nha Trang, we arrived from the night bus about 7am and saw many people on the beach exercising. We spent a long time looking for our hostel, till eventually I sat with the bags while Lee looked.
We had a morning sleep, (especially as Lee resided to sleeping on the floor of the sleeper bus as it was less cramped) then we hired a motorbike and went to see the sights, first off the beach then a hill top Buddha with a second lying Buddha and a vegetarian restaurant in the grounds! Then we made our way to a Black and White photography exhibition by a Vietnamese Artist.
We then met up with our Chilean friends and visited the Mud baths, where we showed before sitting in a freshly poured water mud bath, after another shower, and jet shower and soak we went for a swim, it was getting late an the mosquitos were on their way so we headed back to the city..

We also went for a snorkeling trip, which was again really different to our previous experiences, it was really shallow and we worried about hitting the coral with our flippers, but both sites were really pretty.

Hill top Buddha Nha Trang

Laying Buddha Nha Trang

Sunrise Nha Trang Beach

Snorkelling at Nha Trang

A little dive

Our Guide 'Bruce Lee' and Lee being violated
Dirty Backpackers

Mui Ne

We booked a trip with Easy Rider to see the Red and Orange Sand Dunes at Sunrise (cooler time of day) and the trip got started slowly as the Jeep ran out of fuel twice before we got their, but we made it up the dune to see some beautiful cloudscapes, we also rolled down the sand slope accidentally filling our pockets with sand. The trip also included a visit to the fishing village and Fairy Stream a long water way you can wade through with steep red and white sandy cliffs overlooking- which really reminded me of Fraser Island in Australia.
The rest of our days were spend chilling on the beach and watching the Kite Surfers doing flips.

Sand Dune at Mui Ne

Beach bums with fresh Coconut

Fishing Village, Mui Ne

Fairy Stream - Mui Ne

Super Sarah at Mui Ne kite surfer beach

Sand Dunes - Mui Ne

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