#1 puppies: yes, dogs: no
If you ever see a dog in Mui Ne that is more than 1 year old, you can consider yourself lucky. Puppies can be seen everywhere, but grown up dogs are very rare and that’s because… Vietnamese simply eat them. As sad and repulsive as it is for me, this is just a cultural thing that one has to accept. Still, it always bothers me when I see a cute puppy running down the street and I know that sooner or later it will probably end up in someone’s meat&rice…
#2 motorbikes, helmets, vietnamese driving licence
In Vietnam motorbikes are way more common on the streets than cars. Wearing helmets is obligatory – if the police stops you and you don’t have a helmet, a standard $10 fee is charged. If they check you for a vietnamese driving licence (which you obviously won’t have) they confiscate your bike and you have to pick it up at the police station later (after paying a fine). Helmets can be bought almost everywhere and they are pretty cheap, but most of them are just a colorful piece of plastic with a strap, so they provide zero protection in case of an accident.
#3 cheap RUM
Rum is THE thing in Vietnam. Mixed with coke and ice, it is our must have on every night out. Perfect while playing pool or relaxing on beanbags in one of our favourite clubs. Prices in stores range from 20.000 to 80.000 ($1-$4) for a bottle.
#4 Living&Giving/Buddha Beach/Dragon Beach
Even though its name changes a few times every season, this pub/club is absolutely the best to hang out with friends in the evenings. Open air area with beds, beanbags and a pool table is perfect for chatting and meeting new people. Everyone hangs out there. Happy Hour from 8PM till 10PM.
#5 Lam Tong
Lam Tong is THE place where everyone goes for breakfasts/lunch/dinner/late night snack. The food here is VERY GOOD and VERY CHEAP… that’s a lot of ‘very’ here. Banana pancakes with milk, tofu with lemon grass and chili, chicken or pork in claypot, fresh springrolls, lemon juice, jinseng pineapple milk… I could go on and on about how good all these things are. Once you’ve tried Lam Tong food your standards for what is ‘good&cheap’ will never be the same again… The only downside of this place is the waiting time – sometimes you would get your food super quickly, but often you have to wait way too long, especially when there are lots of people… this is not SO bad though, as in Lam tong you can ALWAYS see familiar faces from all over Mui Ne – chances of sitting bored and alone at table are close to zero 🙂
#6 Malibu kitespot
It is true that the most popular kitesurfing area in Mui Ne is wavy and choppy and just crappy in general. However, about 20 minutes ride from the town, right after Mui Ne fishing village, there is another kitesurfing spot which everyone calls Malibu. It’s a place where surfers usually go, as the waves there can get up to 3m, but it is also very nice for kitesurfing – perfectly flat water everywhere between the waves! if you ever go to Mui Ne, don’t forget to ask locals about this place, it’s definitely worth seeing 🙂
#7 sugar cane juice
costs only 5.000dong (25 cents), iced sugar cane juice is one of my Vietnamese guilty pleasures. It’s cold, sweet and it quenches your thirst like nothing else!
This is the thing that confused me profoundly right after I’ve arrived. Jesus Christ, so many zeroes on every friggin’ note! One dollar is roughly 20.000 here! And yet, for 1$ you can buy 2 bottles of water OR a bottle of rum OR 4 coconut cookies OR a sandwich OR four cups of sugarcane juice… and a small fun fact – money in Vietnam is WATERPROOF, which means you no longer have to worry that you forgot a 100.000 note in your boardshorts and went for a ride…
#9 funny coconut-shaped boats
You can see these boats everywhere – wooden/plastic, round, blue, looking like a half of a coconut, these boats are used by locals for fishing. There’s no engine or a normal helm or a rudder – these boats have only one paddle which moves from one side to another, making the boat move forward. obviously it is very hard to steer – if you don’t do it properly, you will just end up going in never ending circles…
That would be all for now. But just because adding pictures is so fun, here are a few more…
May wind be with you,