Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mui Ne, Vietnam: Red Sand Dunes

You haven't tried everything until you have tried sledding down a sand dune! Mui Ne is not only known for its amazing coast line, but also for its rich red sand dunes.

The sand and the water meet for an amazing view

Only a short ride by moped on the only road leading north out of town and you will find the well-known red sand dunes. Once there, it is only seconds until you have an entourage of little boys asking if they can "help" you go sledding.

The entourage

They are cute, and of course, you do need something to sled on, because last time I checked I forgot to bring a plastic sled. They work in teams and will offer to watch your moped, while the others carry the sled to the best location, which happens to be about a mile away!

Once you are there, if you still have any bit of breathe left, they will escort you on a tiny sheet of plastic, your sled, and ask you to hang on to a piece of rope. Before you know it they are behind you and push you down a pretty steep dune.

Note: Keep your mouth shut! Though you would like to scream an excited, "Wheeeee," remember, you are sliding down sand. Sand! And unless you want a mouth full of grit and grime, close the trap!

The kids will stay out there with you until you have had your fill. Frankly, hiking back up that dune a few times was all I needed for my vacation workout.


The trekking and sledding was certainly invigorating, and so was the face of the kid who was watching your moped. Now, the entire entourage, even the kid just following you around, wants to be paid. Each would like about $20, which would make your little sand sledding adventure about $200. Don't worry, they are happy with $20 altogether.

As we drove our moped back to the resort, I attempted to brush the sand off of my face, causing a nice exfoliation, bordering on peel. The best thing to do is the outdoor shower. Don't miss your ears... because the sand sure didn't.

Ah yes, the red sand... deeply embedded in every pore of my body!

Then smile, after all, you just rode down a 100 foot sand dune on a tiny sheet of plastic... and survived!

At the bottom of the dune, with a mouthful of sand!