I left Saigon on a bus bound for Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which included two stops at the border to get my 30 day visa and then to get my passport stamped into Cambodia. It was a rainy drive and we (my new travel buddies and I) were all extremely glad when we made it to our hostel for the next two nights, Mad Monkey hostel. We knew upon arrival that we would have a great time meeting people here, as well as partake in some of the toughest and maybe even the most emotional sightseeing of our journey.
While Jenny continued traveling through Vietnam and into Cambodia, I opted to backtrack a little and revisit Perth. Our 2 months in SE Asia left me exhausted and homesick and I was ready for a return to routine and “normal” life as I used to know it. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get from Nha Trang, Vietnam to Perth, Australia, so I spent about 24 hours traveling back to the land of Oz. Most of this time was spent on long layovers in Saigon and Kuala Lumpur.
It’s more like what didn’t we eat in Vietnam. There’s a very good chance we ate more food in Vietnam than we have in any other country so far. We loved the fact that there was tons of fresh produce included in every meal… we had missed our greens! While we ate almost every meal out at a restaurant (except the free breakfast included at all hostels), we definitely had a large variety of different types of foods. There was one point where we were burnt out on Vietnamese food so we devoured burgers, pizza and Mexican food. Here’s some of the many places we chowed down at…
My new travel buddies and I left on a bus to Saigon early afternoon and arrived at the bus stop around 6pm on Friday. The traffic was absolutely insane and we had a fairly short walk through the craziness to our hostel. It felt weird to be back in a big city again, after traveling to smaller towns for the past couple of weeks! We got checked into our hostel and learned that they put us in our own dorm room with just the 5 of us, and it even had a balcony just outside the door overlooking the busy street. We decided to have a chill night and just hung out at the table and chairs on our balcony chatting with a guy we met who had just decided to stay in Saigon to teach English, which is quite a common job for a traveler who is in need of funds…in order to travel longer. Our next day would be jam packed with “tourist attractions”, so we called it a night early-ish and went to bed.
I left on a bus from Nha Trang to Mui Ne for my first solo adventure on this trip.
Kerry and I have decided to travel separately for a couple of weeks, so I booked a bus to head further south in Vietnam to meet up with our Swiss friends we met in HaLong Bay a few weeks ago. After a 4 hour bus ride, I was dropped off in walking distance to my hostel, which was nice to not have to worry about hailing a cab…or worse, a motorbike taxi!
Upon arrival to my new home for the next 2 nights, I met a girl in the dorm to have lunch with and then settled in by the pool until my friends arrived. I would now be traveling with Patty and Mile (short for Qamile), Mile’s sister Kreni (who is visiting for 2 weeks) and Imran, a fun guy from Singapore who the girls met in their prior town. We all were heading in the same direction so we have now decided to all travel together as a pack!
Our hostel offered sunrise and sunset tours to see the main attractions in Mui Ne, the white and red sand dunes, a fishing village and the Fairy Stream. After much discussion and a little persuasion, the group agreed on a sunrise tour for the following morning!
This hostel was quite social, so we hung out with a huge group of people that evening getting to know everyone, playing cards, pool, and we even played in a beer pong tournament!
The next morning we had a super early wake-up call at 3:55am, met at the reception at 4:15 and headed off in 4-wheel drive Jeeps to see the sun rise at the first set of sand dunes!
The dunes are really magnificent. We just sat on the white sand and enjoyed such a peaceful moment watching the sun rise and taking in the beautiful colors in the sky.
The next stop were the red sand dunes, which were equally beautiful, even though the color was a bit more burnt orange than red. This Aggie still can appreciate a beautiful creation even if it’s not my favorite color…😁
We hopped back into the Jeep and headed to a lookout point overlooking a large fisherman’s village. This one was so unique because the boats were all totally round and bright, beautiful colors!
Our last stop was the Fairy Stream. We were told to walk up the stream for about 15 minutes or so to get views of some amazing rocks and cliffs. We ventured barefoot up the stream and were totally amazed at the beauty of the rock structures we saw along the way!
One thing that I keep saying over and over is that every city or town that we have been to in Vietnam has been so different than the last! You have bustling cities like Hanoi and Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City (going here next!), gorgeous mountain villages like Sapa, quaint beach towns like Hoi An and now I’m exploring a small town, Mui Ne, with a desert-like feel to it. This country is so unique and special, and I’m soaking it all up on my last few days here!
One more stop to go in Vietnam!
That’s what they always say. In reality, we’re just spending a boatload of time together. Possibly more than married couples do in a year or even a few years of marriage.
We are parting ways for a few weeks to do separate things and it’s okay! Jenny will be continuing down south through Vietnam and into Cambodia with our wonderful Swiss friends (from Halong Bay) and Kerry will be heading to Perth for some R&R.
You’ll hear from each of us separately for a bit, but there’s no need to panic. We’ll be back in each other’s arms soon enough (in the Philippines).
In the meantime, check out our YouTube channel where we constantly add random videos.
~ Kerry & Jenny
The next stop on our Tour de Vietnam was Nha Trang. This was a town we were originally very excited to visit as we were longing for lazy days on the beach. However, as we worked our way south, all we heard from fellow travelers was how they did not like Nha Trang due to one thing: the abundance of Russians. Despite what we heard, we kept our original reservations and intended to stay for a week and enjoy the views.