090311 Thaikarl - Mui Ne, Vietnam

friends,  we got out of the city.  checked out and took the bus north.  it took nearly two hours on the road before we got out of populated, mercantile, industrial roadsides to where there was greenery beside the road.  and that was rows and rows of rubber trees.  it's interesting how similar, but different it is here, compared to thailand and cambodia.  we havn't seen a single pickup truck.  there's not that many cars even, most of the ones you see are taxis.  the conical hat that they wear in vietnam doesn't show in thailand.  we passed an area where there were shop yards full of industrial equipment- cranes, tractors, bulldozers, front loaders, back loaders, trucks, pumpers.  i mean this went on for miles.  tok noticed that all of the buildings and houses are made of concrete and bricks, there are no wooden houses.  and where are the temples?  every village in thailand has a temple, or two or three or for.  here in Vietnam we saw a couple of buildings that appear to be spiritual in nature, but not so identifiable.  strange in a strange land.

even just riding along in the bus, looking out the window is like being on a mystery trip.  what's that? why is that? where are the _____?  the bus drivers helper, sat up front and talked the whole time.  the whole 4 hours time.  practically non-stop.

we arrived at Mui Ne, which is on the coast, on the ocean.  theres a road along the water with strings of resorts, guest houses, restaurants, shops.  we got out when the bus stopped at the company travel shop. as we were getting our bags out, the bus driver said he had a resort 5 km up the road, on the water, rooms for 10 and 15 dollars.  so we went, declined the aircon room for 15 dollars and took the fan room for 10.  doesn't appear to be any other guests.  but it is on the water.  500 meters down the road we rented a motor bike for 50,000 dong and went riding up and down the road the rest of the afternoon.  i saw a side road and turned up. it went up above the beach road thru the red sand dunes and crossed a huge fourlane divided road under construction.  strange thing was , they had paved 'sidewalks' on either side of the asphalt and curbs.  not just a few feet wide, but two carl lanes wide paved sidewalks.  and there was nothing out there.  no houses, no resorts, just sand dunes and scrub.  we went up the road a few km, but could discern no real reason for this road to be here.  maybe they are planning some big resort or something in the future, but for now it's just a big road with a couple of motorbikes using it.  huh????  coming back, i notice a house beside the 4 lane.  they had literally chopped of a big corner of the house, taking out on a diagonal what used to be the front and side rooms, and the people were still living it what was left.  there was a triangle left of what used to be a room on one side, with broken off walls on the outside corners.  go figure.

we're off to find dinner somewhere now.  we're thinking we'll keep moving and take the bus to Na Trang tomorrow.  the adventure continues.

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