We spent the few days around Christmas, chilling out on the local beach in Hoi An, where the restaurant lady would look after our hired bikes, while we laid on her sun loungers in the hope that we'd buy something. We always did, usually a baguette and a drink. In the evening we'd look for another restaurant for the spiciest Vietnamese fayre. Christmas eve (Heilig Abend), was really nice. Lots of people wishing us 'happy christma' followed by 'buy somthing pleee'. We woke up on Christmas day to the sound of the usual cockerel crowing, and also as usual a vehicle passing slowly, playing what we thought was the national anthem, sounding much like an ice cream van.
Today we would check out as we had, after a day of searching for a good deal, bought bus tickets to take us further south to Mui Ne. A shame top leave our nice guesthouse as we went sure what we'd get next. The bus would pick us up at 5.30pm, or that's what the travel agent told us. 5.30 came and went, though at 5.40 a guy on a moped arrived. 'I here take you one by one to bus' he said. Ok we thought, Steffi went first so she was not left alone. As she and the guy rode off I thought I'd see her again by a big shiny bus, loading her her bag on ready for us to depart. Ten minutes later the moped guy returned. He took me the short distance where there I found Steffi on a street corner, alone and in the dark. More people joined us and it was not long before our sleeper bus arrived. We loaded up and quickly found some seats next to each other. These seats were not the most comfortable. Rather narrow and short too. Great for an average Asian gent, but a bit of a challenge for the western folk that filled the bus. The roads felt like we were driving across the surface of the moon, with our hands and feet bound. The nights journey was mostly sleepless due to the drivers obsession with honking his horn. ( Everyone who has a horn, uses it, all of the time!!!)
At around 6am we arrived at Nha Trang, a busy resort, a little like some over developed Spanish seaside town. We would be here to drop off and pick up, or so we thought. Despite the travel agent telling us that we'd stay on the same bus all the way through, the driver instructed us to get our bags and get off the bus, quickly. Slightly perturbed, we got a coffee and waited for our connection bus to arrive. It arrived on time, weirdly, and we were off again on the last five hour haul to Mui Ne. It was an hour before we left the city as we had to do many pick ups...and then we pulled into a garage where an old fella climbed under the bus to weld a metal plate to it's underside, with the engine running! Half an hour and we were finally on our way.
We'd seen on the Internet, beach huts for rent in Mui Ne. So getting off the bus we went on the hunt for a hut that wasn't part of a resort complex but something a little more informal and rustic. This proved way more difficult than we'd expected. As we did in Da Nang, we again walked for about 10km, in searing heat, fully loaded with bags. We walked through villages and along the beach looking for our dream hut until we got caught by the tide. Finding the road again and once in a taxi, we drove up and down the long strip, checking guest houses until we landed at Saigon Cafe, a guesthouse with a very simple hut and it's own beach. It's quiet, private, rustic and ours. We're staying here till the 2nd January. Here we are now, watching the crabs dig holes in the sand while trying to place ourselves away from falling coconuts. A family of Geckos do their best work to clear our hut of bugs, sometimes they lurk in very unexpected places including the toilet bowl...
We wish you all a very Happy New Year.