From Vietnam with love: it's all about people - Dal Vietnam con amore:la gente soprattutto

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Mui Ne is a lovely crescent-shaped, palm-lined beach with resorts on the beach side and restaurants across the street. The water is not tropically clear and warm as I expected, but more like the Atlantic - short, strong waves, slightly chilly (Marco would disagree, but I'm a wimp). I loved it anyway. It's the rainy season, which means that the sun is out in the morning and then it rains most of the afternoon. That's okay, because Maia wakes us up early and then we all take naps soon after lunch.

To get over the harrowing drive there, we ate at an Italian restaurant for dinner (a big plate of pasta and a bottle of red wine to calm the senses). As usual, the Italians seem to have found a nice beach spot to settle down in and open restaurants – there are at least four genuine Italian-run restaurants in the small resort area. Naturally we had to try all of them. My favorite was Il Giardino, where we had delicious fresh little scallops, very small whole fried fish and calamari on a bed of watercress, and exceptional ravioli filled with shrimp with a wine and cream sauce, and for dessert, a dense and cool chocolate tart and a warm pineapple one. Maia flirted with the Italian owners (who joined us later for limoncello) and played with the staff.

Besides the beach, Mui Ne is famous for giant sand dunes, like Jockey’s Ridge but bigger and in a more natural setting, with excellent views of the coast. As you approach the dunes, little children surround you to offer you a ride on their plastic sleds (for a price, of course). I couldn’t try it because of my hurt wrist, and Maia was too scared, but Marco gave it a go. It looked like a lot of fun!

We stopped in Mui Ne again on the way back to HCM City, to break up the otherwise long journey home. This time the weather was sunnier and the water was calmer and more fun to swim in, and it was mighty hard to leave knowing that we would be going back to the big city and would have to face the chaos of moving into the new house, but more about that later…


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