We cycled to the An Bang beach in Hội An.
It was a nice ride and the beach was calm and clean.
There was a fisherman trying his luck
as we tried some fresh prawns from the sea…
Fairy stream is all about a nice long walk in sole deep water.
The soil is red but the water is clean and
perhaps it could be seen as some kind of therapy
for people who never go barefoot.
In the first few minutes of your walk,
there is a sign for “ostrich riding”
and there are also a few stalls selling fruits
eatables and souvenir items.
But otherwise you don’t spend a single penny
to explore fairy stream.
It is an off road adventure
that requires one to explore
beautiful rock formations
and truly enjoy nature.
These rock formations are sandy
and could apparently fall off too
But it was an easy walk on the stream
that was so charming and clean
While the end of the stream
was but a tiny waterfall
it rang true that it is the journey
not the destination that matters after all.
Since we had parked our bikes
in front of the Burger House
we went there after our walk
and watched people pass by…
But the favourite sighting of the day
has to be this t-shirt of Trump
as we walked out of that place.
Mui ne is your ultimate vacation destination (but not many people know that).
When people go to Vietnam, they skip Mui ne, because it is neither the capital nor the infamous HCMC. Although it is just a few hours from HCMC as we took a morning bus from Saigon and by noon, we were in Mui ne.
Mui ne is like any other beach town with one stretch of the road leading to different “tourist points” along the coast. I looked around for maps of Muine but this banner was the only map I could find hanging in the first place we ate at Mui ne.
It is a small town with a growing tourist industry and you hope it remains the same because the pace of the place is what one needs on a vacation. Tall palm trees, blue skies and empty beaches is ideal and if there are surfers, swimmers and other water sport activities one can only be thankful that it is not at all crowded and everyone can find their own things to do.
But Mui ne is not only about the beaches. There are so many things to do for anyone and everyone. The best way to get around is hire a motorbike, ride around town -outta town and enjoy all its treasures. This wonderful place is home to sand dunes, a fairy stream and a fishing village one cannot miss. The vibe is such, we actually went around looking for a place to rent (for a month or two) wondering if we could afford because we are definitely going back to Mui ne.
On our third day in Saigon, we took a half day tour of Cu Chi Tunnels. By the looks of it, the Viet Congs definitely gave a tough time to the American soldiers. Like I mentioned in my previous post, these guys have mastered the art of tunnel warfare. The American soldiers had no idea how they were operating. They would move underground in these tiny tunnels thanks to their smaller framed bodies as well which was allowed them to fit under these holes and make way to the American base, ambush them and come back with much ease as it baffled the Americans what was happening under ground.
These tunnels looked tiny but a few of these were made available for tourists who wanted to experience the same.
Overall, it is not just the tunnels but traps and their whole machinery of how they would partake in tunnel warfare.
In the evening, our local friends suggested we go to District 7 -the up and coming swanky township in Ho Chi Minh City. While District 7 reminds me of Hunger Games, it was nothing like the districts of Hunger Games. There were malls, new apartments and a lake. One of the things about Vietnam is, they hardly build high-rise apartments as we see in newer cities etc. Also, they decided not to ruin the lake and built their city around the lake. It was pretty.
The Mekong river begins in China and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. So an opportunity to ride down the Mekong on a boat for one full day was definitely on my mind. (I don’t know why we didn’t do this last time because I think my father would’ve loved it). But yes, there are many tours that take you down the Mekong; our local friends advised us to go to The Sinh Tourist -apparently the oldest tour operators in town and we were set.
We started from their office at Ho Chi Minh City around 8am and looked like a whole lot of people had signed up for the same. There were four buses and we drove out of the city to a place called My Tho where we were transferred to a boat as we rode down the river…
We stopped at the Coconut farm where they make coconut candy, paper, cookies and even make-up products. They had maximised their usage of coconut raw materials to their advantage and was even known as coconut village.
Lunch time in coconut village was equally interesting as they prepared spring rolls wrapped in coconut paper and served vegetables, fish, pork and rice. It was a pretty good lunch. This island village also farms honey so they gave us honey tea after some hike around the village.
Then we went for a buggy ride in the village followed by a cultural program with local artists singing Vietnamese folk songs where they also served us the different tropical fruits.
But they saved the best for the last as we got on smaller boats whose captains were mainly the women folk as they paddled through the green palms and river alleys as if we were in some spy movie. The river run was long for her perhaps to row the entire stretch so she turned the engine and the sights and the sounds made it seem like we were in the scene of some James Bond movie.
One of the things to be appreciated is how they are doing tourism in this country. Giving a peek of their lives to tourists who wants to go to Mekong delta, they have promoted their coconuts products, their local villagers who prepared lunch and the folk singers who sang for us. And these women who now gave rides to tourists in their boats. The best part again is how when we ran across women who had already completed their trip in the river, they would flash some cash suggesting “don’t forget to tip”.
It was the women helping women because I have noticed the Vietnamese people don’t necessarily ask for tip directly. So to have your friends aide you in coaxing your customers to give you some pocket change is brilliant. And who would not want to give a few thousand dong after that surreal Mekong delta river run…
saw so many yaks
for the first time
in my life.
the pastoral nomads
who look after these yaks
inside their temporary settlement
we met Dolma who offered tea
and snacks as we opted
for just some warm water.
she said they had been there
for about two months now
and looked after 150 yaks
she also gave yak churpees
and asked us to visit again.
a little further from their place
we saw another yak herder
with his herd and
watched the yaks
cross the road.