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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 5: Mui Ne

We woke up SUPER early this morning to catch the 6:50am train from Ho Chi Minh to Pan Thiet!  Luckily, we made it there on time, and there were plenty of seats available!  Thank goodness!

We showed our tickets to the train attendants, and they motioned for us to get onto train car number 1.  So, we quickly walked to the front of the train and jumped on.

We got nice and cozy in our seats…

…and were pleasantly surprised at the train! It was much nicer than we had heard, which was GREAT!

The countryside was lovely!  Super lush and green!

This mountain actually had a rice terrace cut out near the top!

Before I left for vacation, I downloaded the last season of the biggest loser and Everybody Loves Raymond to watch on the long train rides!  I love those shows!

It wasn’t until about 2 hours into our journey that the train attendant came to check our tickets and told us we were ON THE WRONG TRAIN!  NNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!  We had no idea whether or not we had even gone in the right direction! Luckily, the guy sitting behind us spoke English and told us that we needed to get off at the next station and wait for the right train to come!  Oy Vey!

So, there we were, in the middle of nowhere at Muong Man train station!

Literally, the middle of nowhere…

As we were walking, Aaron spotted this GIGANTIC dead scorpion!  EEEkkkk!

We found out our train would come in an hour, so we decided to make the best of it and walk through the tiny town to get some pictures of the locals who live there!   These were some of the most friendly people I’ve ever come in contact with in Asia!

These little girls were so sweet and shy, but their grandmother pushed them outside to say hello to us!  She was exstatic that we wanted to snap some pictures of her grand daughters!

We were both pretty hungry at this point, so we sat down here, 
at this neighborhood market for some lunch…

Unfortunately, it was, hands down, the most disgusting cup of Ramen Noodles I’ve ever tasted! You know how the noodles start out dry and crunchy?  Well, even after the hot water was added, they kinda stayed hard, but turned to a rubber consistency! Haha…

“V” for Vietnam!

We caught the train and made it to Pan Thiet 40 minutes later!  While we were on the train, we met the sweetest English family who had recently sold their business and had bought “around the world tickets” and were traveling with their 4 and 2 year old kids through south east Asia, America, and Australia for 6 months!  Yes please!

When we got to Pan Thiet, we jumped on motorbike taxis and went the 20 kilometers into Mui Ne.

Within 10 minutes, we were checking into Hong Di Bungalows!

My little bungalow, on the beach, was only $10.00 a night!

We spent most of the afternoon in the beach chairs, watching the wind surfers,
soaking our feet into the sand, and relaxing!

The view wasn’t all that bad either! J

We walked down the beach to a place called Joe’s where we had some drinks under straw hut umbrellas on the beach!  Then, we decided to rent a scooter and drive over to the famous Mui Ne red sand dunes and stopped here, at this beach!

This is actually a garden, where plants are growing in the sand!  I never knew you could do that!

We had to be extra careful not to hit the ginormous cows that were ROMAING FREE in the roads!

We drove another 19 kilometers to the red sand dunes, which were some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!  They’re huge and go on for at least a mile!

The sun was going down, so we had to leave the sand dunes shortly after Aaron snapped this pictures. 

We drove back into town and stopped in at this restaurant for some fresh seafood!

Prawns anyone?

How about some delicious fresh fish?!

Tomorrow we’re planning to just relax a bunch, check out a waterfall, and hopefully make it back to the red sand dunes to explore a bit more!  J

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