Mui Ne: Dirty hotel, fish sauce, and moonlight bike ride

We end our motorcycle tour at the beach town of Mui Ne at a hotel our guides recommend. I’m cold and drenched. The room is warm and cheap. We later regret this decision.

On closer inspection the hotel is pretty dirty. Although it is close to the beach as we are told, the beach is more of a dirty stretch of sand far from the main restaurants and ATMs, which we discover after a lengthy walk.

But this lengthy walk discovers a bar with hammocks next to the water. Quite nice.

Dinner at a restaurant highly recommended by Lonely Planet. The grilled fish is bland and the service is poor. Let the review go to their heads it appears.

The next morning an early walk alone to take a few pictures. Cows sleep underneath the coconut trees in the field between our hotel and the beach. The sand gets much cleaner further down and I walk through a resort, which I think would be a nice place to stay should I ever return.

We rent a moto for the day – a 100-125cc bike – my first time ever driving one of these. A little trouble at the start, but it makes for a nice day. We drive past streets of drying fish – Mui Ne is apparently famous for its fish sauce – and stop at the region’s giant sand dunes where two kids take us off sledding.

With shirts, shorts, arms, legs and shoes covered with fine red sand, we drive along the coast stopping at the previous day’s mudslide on one end and a pretty major roundabout on the other (which I handle with very little trouble might I add).

Upon returning to our hotel, I discover that my right arm from the end of my t-shirt sleeve to my knuckle is a bright red along with two one-inch squares just above my knees. After walking along the dirty beach, we stop at the resort I visited that morning and sit in unused lounge chairs and read books for about an hour.

Grilled meat for supper at a nice family restaurant with cute kids and a cute puppy, pineapple pancakes with chocolate at a cool beach bar named Pogo (?).

A bike ride with a full moon shining down as waves of the South China Sea hit the shore.

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