How We Made the Most of a Less Than Desirable Place

Muine, Vietnam
Day 25-26: Although Mui Ne proved itself to be the most boring city to date, here’s how we made the best of it

In recent events, Briana, Kaitlin and I found ourselves famous in Saigon, so we had to escape the paparazzi and retreat to another town — one much smaller than Saigon…one with absolutely nothing going on…one called Mui Ne (M-oo-e Nay.) Okay so no one was chasing us, it was just the next stop on our backpacking trip. But Mui Ne is a boring place, that much is true. Sorry Mui Ne-ans . . .

. . . or is it Mui Ne-ites?

I digress.

Mui Ne Soda Machine
Here’s an irrelevant soda machine in Vietnam for your entertainment… I wasn’t sure which soda to choose.

We took a long, surprisingly comfortable, sleeper bus from Saigon to Mui Ne, which was an all-day event. We arrived in the small, dusty town around dusk and went to the hostel which we had presumed we would be staying at. Turns out they were full and sent the “over flow,” i.e. us, to the shanty motel next door.

We instantly got weird vibes about the place as we were led to a small room with two beds and a broken fan. The door didn’t securely lock and the windows rattled. At one point in the night, the door handled shook furiously as someone attempted to break in, followed by a loud tap on the window.

Is our aggressor asking to be let in? 

Bri, the group appointed security guard at that moment, opened the door, ready for anything. There she was faced with a drunk Aussie in his boxers, thinking he was at the door to his room. Very anti-climactic for you the reader, but we had a good laugh.

Day 2 in Mui Ne presented a bit more excitement, a jeep tour!

Today we signed up for a jeep tour to see the sites. I want you to pause for a second and think about the size of a jeep. Two seats up front, three in the back, and a small open space in the way back, commonly known as the trunk. This would seemingly fit about 5 people comfortably, 6 or 7 if you squeeze, correct?

Mui Ne jeep tours had other plans for us idealists. They crammed 10 of us into one jeep. 2 people up front, 4 in the back seat and 4 crammed in the “way back.” The girls and I got lucky and were 3 of 4 in the back seat.

I am truly sorry for those who sat in the trunk.

Your tour seemed highly less desirable than mine. 

Stop #1 was an excursion called the Fairy Stream. The name sounds more magical than it actually was. It was a essentially a long trail of murky, ankle deep water that you walk through as you look at the cliff sides. It was relaxing, but not something I’d recommend you go out of your way for.

Mui Ne Fairy Stream
Here’s a photo of the Fairy Stream so you don’t have to go visit it.

After we Fairy Streamed it up, the tour took us to Stop #2: the fishing port. This excursion lasted all of about 10 minutes and consisted of us taking pictures of boats and leaving.

Mui Ne Fishing Port
Here’s a photo of the fishing port so you don’t have to go visit it.

Stop #3 was the highlight of the day, for sure. The white sand dunes. I had never been to a place with dunes like this, so it was pretty incredible to see. There wasn’t much to do since the only quad rental shop had a monopoly and was charging outrageous prices. $15 USD for 15 minutes on a quad?

I think not, Mr. Mui Ne. I think not.

Instead, we had a photo shoot and took lots of fun videos and pictures of us at the dunes.

Mui Ne White Sand Dunes
Here’s a compilation of photos from my photo shoot…because I know you were curious.

After the dunes, we ate at a seafood restaurant that sold shark, drank at a hookah lounge with our new friend Matty, then got some midnight snacks at the corner gas station. The chip flavors were outrageous and we couldn’t decipher what they were going to taste like. I have learned that, in Southeast Asia, it is hard to identify if a food is going to be sweet, salty, fishy or meaty. You just never know until you try it.

And it’s usually the opposite of what you were hoping it was.

Have you gone to any less than desirable places while traveling? What’d you do to make the most of it? Share in the comments below!

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