3 January 2002
From the mountains to the sea… We’re now in Mui Ne, a beach resort near Phan Thiet. There’s not that much here, not right now, anyway – a handful, if that, of smallish hotels. But that’s OK, because that means it’s quiet, too.
We’re staying in a ‘resort hotel’. I get a bit freaked out by such places, because they make me feel trapped, but it was actually quite cool being able to spend yesterday evening swimming in a massive pool surrounded by sun loungers, a bar and fairy lights. And our room is big and rather fancy and overlooks the beach.
There’s some famous sand dunes round here, and today we rented bikes and cycled to them. Unless we missed something, Mui Ne is little more than a couple of resorts at one end of a beach and, after a stretch of palm trees, a fishing village at the other end.
The sand dunes were pretty impressive – a touch of Lawrence of Arabia in South East Asia – but what I’m more likely to remember is the number of roadkill rats we encountered on the way. At least a dozen of the blighters. And they must have been just one night’s tally, as, by the time we cycled back, they had been pulverised and desiccated into something unrecognisable to all but the most ardent ratwatcher. However, they were all at the ‘business’ end of the village, rather than the poncy tourist bit where we are.