So a seriously unpleasant 5 hour bus journey later and we arrived in Mui Ne... or so we thought! We were actually 10 minutes away, but the driver decided he needed to sort his tyres out, so next thing we knew we were being driven up a concrete block, and being jacked up WITH all the passengers still on the bus!! As with all Vietnamese transport, we didn't know how long this was gonna take... so we grabbed our stuff and flagged down a taxi instead!
The little resort that we'd booked online was right on the beach, and the view from the swimming pool was just as pretty as the photos we'd seen too. However, there was not a festive thing in sight!! We knew that Vietnam wouldn't really be celebrating Christmas, as 95% are Buddhist, but considering we'd seen ALOT of decorations pretty much everywhere else we thought this place may have had something.. Unfortunately our room was pretty poor, and the view wasn't enough to keep us there in the end, so we checked out and booked into a proper hotel further down the road. Cue excitement when we turned up outside..... a massive Christmas tree with lots of lights! Haha. Maybe it wasn't going to be so bad after all?! ...
Turns out the whole town was pretty much Russian central, and our hotel wasn't any better... in fact it was probably the most miserable of places we've stayed in. But hey it's ok cos we made it our own! A miniature Christmas tree, bits of foil blanket hanging up anywhere and everywhere, screwed up bits of tissue for snowballs, a little snowman, a tissue paper sleigh with our travel buddies in and we had our very own little nativity scene! Haha! The strip was pretty lively at night with lots of restaurants, resorts & bars, all done out with lights, sleighs, snowmen and Santa, but Christmas Day appeared to be just another normal day for the Vietnamese here. We woke up and gave each other 'presents' (lucky Billy, he got some new hair gel!!) and our cards that were specially handmade back in Hoi An, and wandered into the town with our hats on.... getting filthy looks from the locals!
Billy managed to stay out for a little while before feeling poorly again so we popped to the beach and did some people-watching before heading back. No Christmas turkey in sight much to our disappointment, so a spaghetti carbonara & ham and cheese sandwich were as close to our home comforts as we could find!! We skyped both our families back home which was lovely and brightened up what had been an unusual day and then we called it a night.
Boxing Day was much more awesome as the food poisoning was finally wearing off so we went to check out some of the sand dunes and go sandboarding! Now ideally we would have liked to rent out a motorbike and make our own way there, which we thought would be easy enough - don't be silly though of course we couldn't do this. You'd think on a road booming with business we'd be able to find at least one place pretty quickly, but it actually took us about 20 minutes before we stumbled across one.. Then the guy we did find knew NO English and only had 1 helmet, but kept emphasizing that I'd be 'fine, fine, ok' without one, and then laughing! Haha no chance!
Instead we flagged down yet another taxi, and no sooner had we arrived and opened the door to get out were we hounded by 4 young boys asking to pay for use of their sandboards. Stupidly we agreed to this, but thought that we'd soon be left alone to enjoy it by ourselves. This didn't happen and we followed them to what they said was 'the best and steepest' dune. To be fair it was actually wicked going down, as you pick up quite abit of speed (as well as lots of sand in your mouth) but walking back up a vertical slope made of sand was a b****. Me and Billy did go down together too which was much slower, probably something to do with that big bum of his holding us down?! Hahaha.
Unfortunately the atmosphere changed within 10 minutes of being there. The oldest kid had asked Billy if he'd like him to hold our bag while we went down, to which we obviously said no as they clearly wanted to steal something... he then proceeded to say 'f*** you'. This was hard to take seriously though as it just came out as 'FUDGEOUUU!' because of his Vietnamese accent hahahaha. They soon walked off, taking their sandboards with them, but the oldest kept turning round and giving us rude hand gestures! Safe to say that this made the sandboarding part itself a little bit of a disappointment, however we sat on the top of the dunes for a few hours more messing around and taking lots of photos which made it so much better!
Back to our hotel to pack up and grab some dinner, then we had to wait until 1am for our sleeper bus to arrive.... at 2am we were still waiting... 3am came and we were off to Saigon!