The Vietnamese language is a funny thing, just like English. When I sit here and contemplate how you all will pronounce my title I start to giggle. Is it wind, like the gusts of air blowing by the sea? Or is it wind, like the way yarn goes around a spool? Hopefully, by the end of reading this post you will get the gist. If not, well hey, that makes me feel better about my inability to comprehend Vietnamese tonal inflection.
Phan Thiet was a welcome change from the absolute insanity that was Saigon. We were determined to not make the mistakes we made in the big city because c’mon, we got Vietnamese transport down pat (more to come on this later, BUT, no taxi with a meter, Grab ONLY out of Saigon’s airport!) Or so we thought… Turns out Phan Thiet is more beach town than big city and the sprawl from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne, that seemed so small on the map, turned out to be 45-60 minutes of driving.
After walking through the sun with 50 lb. packs for an hour, we finally caved, dripping in sweat, and took a taxi that was pleasantly as cheap as we dreamed ($3 US for a 10-minute drive). We checked into our Air bnb, and once getting to the beach, it finally felt like we had arrived on a proper vacation. You know, when that feeling of deep relaxation sets in and it feels as if the sinews in your very muscle start to melt like ice on a hot day.
That melty feeling lasted throughout our short trip in Phan Thiet with most days spent relaxing on a beach with the Saigon Specials keeping us company. Our other partner in crime, and a constant in Phan Thiet, is the wind. The wind on the beach was consistently whipping around the coast, which created perfect conditions for a worldwide kite surfing competition. One hundred at a time, the kite surfers dominated the coastline; in some cases, flying 45 ft in the air on a big gust, then landing, and tearing off out into the ocean at what seemed to be 30-40 mph. Truly a sight to behold, and a great way to keep entertained in between sun naps.
With wind up, we finally wound down to a nice slice of beach. As we drifted off to sleep at night, we were reminded we were still in Vietnam as the sounds of local karaoke carried us to our dreams.