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9 - Beaches, dunes and delta

Mui Ne

Arrived at our first beach for three years!!!! :) Another classic Lonely Planet 'unknown sleepy gem' that everyone therefore now goes to and hotels are up everywhere! We splashed out and stayed at a place with a swimming pool and spent a few days having some much needed R&R time, swimming and reading (yes Bryn was reading books - novels as well!)

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The beach was ok, but the hotels have been built too close to the sea and the beach disappears at midday - a bit of a let down. Bryn did nearly caused an international incident as his milky white body was revealed for the first time and started to divert the planes overhead!

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Also had an afternoon trip to see the local sights...

The Fairy Stream which you walk along barefoot to see sand formations....

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Had to share with the local cow herd...

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Off to the local fishing harbour

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Then the Red Canyon

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And the White Sand Dunes....

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And the Red Sand Dunes....

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Also enjoyed loads of fresh squid, fish and prawns each day in true roughing it, backpacker lifestyle!

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Saigon

We went to Saigon briefly in the end after realising it would be too difficult to bypass (we were getting a bit sick of doing city stuff and wanted some trekking). Got one of our worst, but cheapest rooms to date and explored for a day and a half.....

War Remnants Museum.....even worse propaganda than before - although all the agent orange deformity photos were gut-wrenching. They also love the photos of woman and children capturing american GIs. The ''tiger cages'' (cells) where the French used to keep their prisoners through to the 50s were pretty appalling.

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Walking tour of the city taking in some of the most impressive buildings and parks.

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Mekong Delta

As our 30 day visa was running out (we were well behind on Bryn's itinerary spreadsheet) we bit the bullet and did the Mekong Delta region on a 3 day tour which would take us into Cambodia. The Mekong is the most fertile area of the country , they get 3 rice harvests annually - and so most people want to live there. This means pretty packed floating markets - with everyone trading their crops by boat. Lots of genuine smiley kids all saying 'hello'' with big teethy grins.

Was good fun seeing the locals making the local foods - although it was a bit touristy (but a day off from thinking isn't always a bad thing).

Rice papermaking....

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Rice candy making....
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Coconut candy making...
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Local spirits (snake and scorpions included!) were also being made - go on, down in one Fi!......

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Stayed overnight on the boat one night in a room with 12 others - a bit like school camp - luckily no heavy snorers! Another day stayed in a floating hotel which was really pretty for sunset. Went on lots of different size boats.....

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Did some biking...

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Relaxing....

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And visited a local child sweatshop aka Silk Factory - where actually the kids seemed to be having a right laugh - albeit they probably should have been reading books or learning a language or something. Bryn went down a treat with the girls, as he had learned some basic Vietnamese phrases by now - heard the giggling fits down the street!

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All that was left was a nice meal with a drunk frenchman......
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All ready now to take the boat over the border into Cambodia. Cant wait for something a bit more off the beaten track......fingers crossed! tbc......

Posted by FiColes 05:51 Archived in Vietnam

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