Jul 2008

Mũi Né II

Mui Ne is like crack. Once you start, it’s difficult to stop. Or so I’ve heard. The Astronomer and I had our first Mui Ne hit a couple weeks back and we had such a bloody blast that we returned this past weekend. The occasion? Hawk‘s 27th.

This time around we rented a sweet mini-bus to get us there. We left Saigon at six in the evening and arrived in Mui Ne at half past ten. Definitely far speedier than a tour bus. We stayed at our favorite hotel Sunshine Beach.

The next morning started off with a giant strawberry pancake. I love the pancakes at Sunshine Beach so much that I had another one for dinner. It’s been so long since I’ve had real maple syrup that I find Aunt Jemima palatable. Sadness.

The Astronomer had some mighty fine French toast. No brioche, but still very lovely. I ate his bananas. Score. After breakfast, Hawk, The Astronomer and I walked along the beach collecting sea shells and jumping over mysteriously warm “rivers” draining into the beach. And before we knew it, it was time for lunch.

The boys at Jibes.

Food porn alert! The Astronomer ordered fresh tagliatelle with pesto. The pasta was al dente and the sauce tasted wonderfully fresh.

Hawk ordered a cheeseburger. The meat was pan-fried rather than grilled, which resulted in a most satisfactory burger. EDIT: By “most satisfactory” I meant plain ‘ol satisfactory. English wasn’t my first language.

I grabbed some Vietnamese food next door at a restaurant named Lam Tong (92 Nguyen Dinh Chieu) and took it back to Jibes to eat with the boys. I ordered some bun gao (rice noodles with tofu and vegetables), which was just what I was in the mood for. Deep-fried tofu has a wonderful way of soaking up seasonings.

I also procured some cha gio to share. They were supposed to be stuffed with seafood, but all I could taste was pork. Following lunch, we all went to our rooms and crashed even though we had good intentions of kayaking. After napping, The Astronomer and I went for a run. Afterwards, I had a mango pancake for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things.

The next morning started off with another run, which was followed by a dip in the ocean and breakfast. I wish I could have breakfast here every morning. The ambiance is just unbeatable.

Here’s The Astronomer eating toast with jam in his sopping running shorts.

For his main, The Astronomer ordered a croque-monsieur that was made with Laughing Cow cheese rather than gruyère. Regardless, it was still a great melted cheese sandwich.

I had my third pancake of the weekend. It was a delightful pineapple number.

After breakfast we read on the beach, while Hawk played golf at the Novatel.

When Hawk came back from the greens, we jammed over to Lam Tong for a Vietnamese lunch.

Hawkins requested that we order tofu, which was cool by me because I love the stuff. We settled on the sweet and sour variety.

We also ordered some vegetables in curry. It turned out that vegetables meant scallions and onions, which was a bit disappointing.

The ca kho was the best of the bunch. I can’t tell you what fish it was, but I can tell you that it was super-fatty. The caramelized sauce was nearly too sweet, but there was just enough fish sauce to keep it from tasting like candy. After lunch, we headed to the red sand dunes a couple kilometers up the road.

Hawk was pulling a Michael Jackson and walked around with an umbrella to protect himself from the sun

Hawk trying to snowboard upon the peaceful patterns in the sand.

The boys on the dunes.

The Astronomer sledding down the hill with a little assistance from a small boy who later beat the crap out of all of us. Note to self: make sure to negotiate sledding price before partaking!

Hawk getting in a killer work out in between sledding.

Exhausted. Happy Birthday, man.

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10 thoughts on “Mũi Né II

  1. I had the best seafood ever in Mui Ne! You guys were lucky your sled renters provided a parasol–I nearly died of a heatstroke. 🙂

  2. Mui Ne is definitely one of the best beaches in Vietnam, and at 4 hours, easily accessible from Saigon. Nha Trang, of course, has far more atmosphere (old colonial buildings, variety of nightlife, the Cham tower, Dien Khanh citadel, outlying islands, etc.) Between the two, you can pretty much satisy all your beach desires. Last time we passsed through Mui Ne, para sailing seemed to be the rage. I’ll definitely have to get back to try it. Of course, it’s only $17 for a tourist bus from Saigon to Nha Trang, with a stopover in Mui Ne, so for those planning a visit to Vietnam, it’s possible to catch both beaches on a single trip.

  3. Thanks, there’re more photos of Hawk on your blog than on his. Thanks also for the post on Huế specialities.

  4. So cool that you went to Mui Ne. My maternal grandmother and aunts live in Phan Thiet so I got to visit in ’99 and ’03. It was a lot quieter and less developed back then compared to now, but I’m sure the food is still awesome. There’s a seafood restaurant on the beach/shore pass the buddha by the rocks on the hwy out there that we went to numerous times for the snails and grilled cuttlefish… man I can’t wait to come back one day!

  5. hey, stumbled upon your blog while surfing for info on Mui Ne. Your blog definitely spices up my excitement going there. Can i ask you about the mini-van you took from saigon to mui ne? Do you have the contact or how can i rent one with driver? how much would it be? thank you so much.

  6. Hi gastronomer,
    my family and my friemds are planning to go to mui ne on Jan but i dont want us to ride the bus coz i had bad experiences riding those when we went to nha trang. Can you send me the contact details of the mini bus you rented and how much? Thanks a lot.

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