Heading back to Saigon for the evening, then flying out to San Francisco.
27.10.2008 - 24.11.2008 30 °C
Well, it's officially our last few hours here in Mui Ne.
The last couple weeks have been somewhat disappointing when it comes to wind. All told, the week of October 27th was a wash, but we kited 4 days the week of November 3rd, 1 day the week of the 10th, and 3 days the week of the 17th. I hear that it's blowing less this year than in previous years...who knows. I have definitely enjoyed the time I've had out on the water...even those times I crashed so hard that I ripped the screws right out of my board/board leash. My legs are battered and bruised from the board, but I'm really no worse for the wear. The other kiters here have all been really friendly, helping you out with launching/landing your kite, or rescuing your board when you lose it. There are quite a few schools here, though our only experience with any of them is with Mr. Lee's kite school (Vietnamese instructors) and Windchamps/WAX (British and Russian instructors). Both have really friendly staff, though one of the instructors at Mr. Lee's had a really bad habit of jumping really near the beach and other kiters. At one point he almost landed right on top of Mike - you could hear Mike swearing at him, even from where I stood on the beach.
My favorite 2 places for breakfast were Full Moon (at the back of the hotel, on the beach) and Mellow. Full Moon does a nice fried egg or omelet with toast, w/ free Wifi, and Mellow has nice fruit, muesli and yoghurt, as well as scrambled eggs and omelets. Full Moon also let me print my flight details for my next flight, free of charge. Offer to pay for the paper, though if you're printing a lot of stuff. This may have been a one-time thing, as we've been here for breakfast quite a lot - maybe they were just being nice?
Nam Khai, our hotel, had nice chicken curry, chicken w/ chili and garlic, french fries, sauteed noodles w/ beef or chicken (ask for it spicy!), and you can take the plates to your room, if you're staying there. A fantastic option for when you're terribly hung over from the full moon party.
Before & Now, the Italian & Vietnamese place down the street. The tagliatelle and penne were fantastic, and the bruschetta was tasty as well.
Mango has my favorite pho - nice and spicy.
Full Moon - fish baguette, burgers, club sandwich.
Mango - fresh fish BBQ. Get the prawns or red snapper grilled. They'll also chop up a whole tomato for you - I like it on my rice w/ a little lime and soy sauce.
Before & Now - we ate there about 4-5 times a week. It never gets old and is always on point.
SNOW - good mini pizzas, sushi was OK, but get the sashimi, not the rolls. The rolls tended to be really chewy - too much rice and seaweed wrapper and not enough fish/veggies. The sashimi came to the table, and we couldn't even tell there was rice underneath - the pieces were a bit bigger than I like on top of rice, but it's better than having barely any fish. The tuna was lovely. Free wifi w/ purchase.
I would definitely come back to Mui Ne, but I'd leave it until December/January when the wind is more reliable. Also, I'd bring more friends for the entire time. It was great having my friend Candy here, and became quite boring after she left, when there was no wind! I don't think I'd stay longer than 3 weeks next time. I've run out of things to do/see. Mui Ne is quite isolated, and once you've done all the local tours (which will take 2-3 days total), there is really not much to do.
I'll be flying to San Francisco on the 25th of November, arriving at 6:30pm...let me know if you wanna get Chinese food on Thanksgiving with me! Then flying to Seattle on the 1st, Portland on the 3rd, San Francisco on the 5th, Manila on the 6th, and Caticlan (Philippines) on the 8th, where I'll hop onto a boat w/ my kiting gear and head to Boracay, my final stop for December. I'm worn out just writing that! It's going to be a helluva 2 weeks coming up - I'm interviewing a 2 med schools while in Seattle and Portland...wish me luck!