back dated post, with loads of photos ahead.
December trip to Vietnam was one of the longest we’ve ever done thus far. We were there for 11 days. This time round, we travel out of Ho Chih Minh to a nearby city called Muine.
The moment we landed in Ho Chih Minh on 7th, we quickly pack our clothes and all prepared for the long ride. 6 hours in the car in Vietnam is seriously no joke!! We rented a very comfortable 16 seater van (3 families).Â Also try to imagine there were 7 kids in the van, with only 5 adults. Lucky thing is since it was night time, the kids were most of the time sleeping or asking “Mommy, are we there yet?”
We finally arrived at the hotel by 12am on the 8th. Took a quick shower and we all went to bed. Note: kids we wide awake since they slept in the car, but Mommy was like an owl LOL.
We booked the hotel via online and got a pretty good deal. Canary beach resort, it’s along Huynh Thuc Khang Street, almost the last hotel along that street. It’s a 3 star, but it’s very clean and cosy since it’s right at the end of the road. Suitable for kids. We only paid USD50/night. Breakfast included as well.
view of the hotel
another view of the hotel on the other side
After breakfast, we went to the beautiful long beach and hang around for a while. It was such long beautiful beach lined with groves of swaying palm trees!! The sand of course is not as fine as those in East Malaysia, nevertheless it’s beautiful.
love the beach don’t you 🙂
White Sand Dunes
Next destination is Sand Dunes. We decided to go for the White Sand Dunes (Bao Trang). Having a driver is great, cause he knows exactly where to go when it comes to tourist attraction, we don’t need to give him directions. The massive, saharan dunes lay 65 km NE of Phan Thiet. The dunes range from gold to pure white. There are 3 lakes surrounding Bao Trang making it more scenic. Apparently, the sand were blown all the way from Gobi Desert and somehow because of the whirlwind happening around Muine, the sand landed there. Seriously, out of no where you just see a pile of sand, but rest of Muine, is never a desert O.o. Amazing nature.
feel like in Sahara?
It was quite a long walk before we could see the foot of the Sand Dunes, maybe about 500m. But once you reach the Sand Dunes, you are like whoa…where am I going now? It’s just endless and huge!! So we just run up, following Daddy, since he’s the only one that has been here before. It’s fun & scorching hot as well.
Vyktore was dragging himself walking on the sand dunes LOL. So funny, we were all ahead, but he was walking so slow, we decided to dump him behind. There weren’t anybody at all at the sand dunes except us. Faythe was pretty fast at catching up with Daddy.
The tips about climbing sand dunes: You gotta be fast and lean your body forwards, cause if you are slow, the sand dunes will just slide down and you will never reach the top hahaha…we love the piles and piles of sand. Vyktore is the only one who took so long to climb up.
love this pic of Faythe & me. OMG!! Look at those big fat elephant thighs O.o.
When you reach the top of the sand dunes, the view is breathtaking. The shape changes every now and then due to the wind. So what you see here today, will be different the next hour.
In fact, while we were happily taking photos, strong wind was blowing and I could even feel the sand in it!
Then we went further, and they all slide down the sand. Kids love it. Faythe actually went up and down the sand a few rounds. I only when up once, sat there, enjoy the scene and took photos.
After spending an hour and all burnt under the desert, we were all knackered and walk back to our van. We were even smart enough to bring along cooler box all the way from Saigon, filled with ice cold Sprite, Coke & Beer. Muahahaha…..thanks Daddy for the smart move :).
Cham Kingdom Ruins
After sand, we went to see the Cham Kingdom Ruins, which is pretty near from where we were. Don’t ask he where, I really can’t recall how we got there within minutes. Must be pretty near.
Do you know Cham Kingdom? Actually, I’ve not heard of them as well. But did a wiki search and found that they were also known as Champa. Oww…that I know :). If you are a history buff like me, you’d know Champa was an Indian Kingdom once existed in South East Asia. Still don’t recall? Think Sanskrit LOL. They appear way before Mr. Parameswara time. They are even older than Angkor Wat, Cambodia!!
Wow, so they resided in Vietnam. Cool. Anything that is >500 years old is worth visiting (that’s Mr. Hon’s principle). When we arrived there, Faythe and rest of the gals didn’t wanna go down. So we left them chilling in the van with one of our friends, while the rest of us went down.
Just a short walk up the slope, you will see 2 ruins. Pretty small scale comparing to Angkor Wat & Borobodur, but heck, it’s worth some camwh0ring for sure.
The thing about this is, Vietnam government is not doing much to promote this place. There’s no tourguides there ready to con you, there’s no signs showing you what are all these and the history behind. So you feel rather lost at time. Don’t know what’s the purpose of those ruins.
There were alot of “petai-look-a-like” trees there. But when you open up, it doesn’t look like petai at all. Looks more like ammo for paintball LOL.
If you want to know more, go read the Wiki pages :).
So it’s lunch time. The driver brought us to a restaurant nearby. Actually we didn’t want to eat there, but seems like the driver is taking charge everytime when it’s food time (night before it was dinner). Maybe he’s earning some side income from all these. But we were sure not happy bout it. So lunch was the last time we let him decide where to dine.
prawn shells. All the prawns went into her stomach
We ordered alot of seafood, since Muine is by the sea. Love the fresh prawns, clams & snails.
steam clams. Dip the flesh into sauce, nyom nyom
stir fried prawns with assam ko…yummy!!
Faythe enjoyed the prawns so much, you can look at how much she ate here, all those prawn shell was hers only!!
Vyktore as usual had his rice & fried purse egg.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel to take a rest. I’m quite goners by then. But they wanted to hang out at the pool. So I sat by the pool and fell asleep while they enjoy themselves. Kids have tonnes of energy!!
Faythe swimming. She loves swimming.
Vyktore, jumping in and out of the kids pool. It’s a jacuzzi kids pool. Syiok!!
someone went to pee at the bushes 😛
Why is he crying? Daddy (the naughty fella) threw his sand toys into the beach and it got washed away LOL. Punishment for Daddy, he went and get him a new set after that, if not we will never hear Vyktore nagging “Why Daddy throw the crab” Why…..
Then later in the evening, we went to the fishing village nearby.
It’s a nice sunset view from the road. You walk the stairs down to the fishing village, and the slopes beside the stairs, they dry little prawns, maybe to make “Vietnamese” cencaluk? They just dry it on the slope, and my dear son initially was stepping on the slop and walking down O.o. Eww…I’m not gonna eat that.
Yep, Vyktore stepped on this!! Don’t buy Vietnamese cencaluk OK. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
boat they use to catch fish. Cool huh
By sunset, most of the fishing activity has ended, so there’s nothing much to see. We actually wanted to buy some fresh catch from them and bring back to hotel and get someone to cook, but unsuccessful.
Kids were already getting hangover from all the Vietnamese food, so we walk along the road where our hotel is, there were lots of restaurants. We finally decided to eat Western food hahaha.
After dinner, again they went to the beach. This time they went to catch crabs. I was dead tired. I slept at the hotel lounge. Love the sound of the waves hitting the shore. The sea breeze blowing. Whoa, I felt like I slept for 3 hours there!!
this was where I fell asleep.
The 2 man. Out looking for fresh seafood
Last day in Muine. So everyone had their breakfast, laze around the beach & pool. Daddy & Anuar (his friend) woke up very early to see if they have any luck buying fresh seafood from the fisherman. Mind you, just behind the hotel where that long stretch of beach located, fisherman sell their catch there as well. We drag the kids along as well, but they were so tired, they just sat at the beach chair, while I continue walking and take photos.
Just love the beach :). I also collected some sea shells along the way for Faythe. After check out, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant. Then we went to Phan Thiet town.
Went to the local market there to buy some crabs home to cook. Bought some Vietnamese tit bits as well. Then we started to head back to Ho Chih Minh by 3pm.
The journey back to Ho Chih Minh was bad. Not because of the traffic, but the kids!! When we were going to Muine, they didn’t know each other, so all were quiet and slept. But after 2 days, they are like BFFs (especially the girls), so they wanted to sit together, play in the van!! And the biggest problem is Vyktore wants to join them, but they didn’t allow. So he was complaining all the way from Muine to Ho Chih Minh. He even broke into tears if I recall correctly. Poor fella.
At the same time, Annuar’s kids were taking turns crying as well. Gosh…it was like orchestra in the car!! We were all glad that we finally made it back home by 9pm.
Twas the trip to Muine.
We love the sand dunes and certainly don’t mind going back there. But the journey to go there in a vanÂ will definitely make me think twice. There’s no flight there, you just gotta go by van.
Now enjoy the rest of the photos from the trip.
At the hotel & beach, 8th Dec
Swimming pool at the hotel
Daddy checking out what they selling
A fisherman sorting out his catch
Common sight at the beach. Fisherman riding the bike
No customer, poor fella
Some boats by the beach side
Vyktore, enjoying the sea breeze
Crocs gang. When you go to beach, it’s very comfortable to wear these. The sand goes it, you wash them and they dry easily. No frills :).
Sand Dunes & Cham Kingdom Ruins, 8th Dec
On our way to White Sand Dune, saw a herd of cows walking.
The sand dunes from far
One of the lake surrounded by sand dunes
My favourite shot
Super duper hot
Look at them, can’t even open their eyes LOL
Daddy having a tough time to climb up
Faythe making her way up there
She’s very skillful in climbing those sand dunes. She’s the only one that went up and down umpteen times 😛
Father & daughter
Daddy throwing some sand down
Vyktore starts the slide
Sand formation. So cute, looks like lil sand castle
She found a rose in the desert O.o
Another shot of the lake
Vyktore posing at Cham ruins
My reluctant model @ Cham Ruins
At the fishing village, 8th Dec
Mending the net
All the boats
While waiting for the van to come fetch us
At the beach, 9th Dec
Crabs for sale
Cows also need to go beaching
Fisherman keeping his net
Saw this jelly fish while walking by the beach. I ran back to call the kids to look at it, but it was gone by then
Another sight @ the beach
At Phan Thiet Town, 9th Dec
The lazy bump that doesn’t want to walk
Dried seafood for sale
Longan for sale
Dried baby sotong
A variety of eggs
Vietnamese bak chang. Don’t try these, yucky!!
Mooncake festival is over, but they still selling it here
A pregnant lady selling seafood. And look at that giant squid!!
Trying out the pipe
Ducks for sale
Vegetables and chicken for sale
Those in the middle are chikus. Huge!! They are famous for ciku juice. Apparently very yummy. I’ve not tried it, but my MIL loves it.
Super hot chilli. More power than chili padi. We bought a kilo of this for MIL
Some shops in Phan Thiet
Some tower across the bridge. Too lazy to walk there, just take a snap shot.