“The beach is beautiful, but it’s all rich kids and kite-surfers,” a traveller had told me when I’d asked about Mui Ne, a popular beach town in Vietnam.
“What if you head away from the beach?” I pressed. He shrugged noncommittally, “I don’t know, I don’t think there’s anywhere else to go.”
When we arrived in Mui Ne a couple of days later, we were pushed out off the tourist bus onto a strip full of sunburnt rich kids doing backflips into flashpacker hostel pools and kite surfers hurling around on the ocean.
Within seconds we had thrust a few dong into a local’s hand and were off away from the strip on a pair of cranky bikes. The November sun slammed down on our backs as we cycled and cycled along a long, endlessly straight road. I collapsed, begging my boyfriend for sun tan lotion and aloe juice. I slathered myself white and gulped away like an Inuit who’d been stranded in the desert.
Finally, we pedalled it over a hill and we amazed to see a serene harbour with hundreds and hundreds of fishing boats. Little blue tubs bobbed near to the shore, gathering in their tangled nets. We sat on a brick wall, watching the sun go down and the fisherman come in. There is always somewhere else to go it seems.
Charlie is a travel blogger, freelance writer/editor and house sitter taking an alternative path across the world. She writes about ethical and budget travel as a couple. You can read her stories at Charlie on Travel.
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