Hey world! I’m back and here to share more adventurous tips with you. This is going to be quite a lengthy post so I shall give you a sneak preview of the trip, here is what we did in just a mere 4 day trip!
Visited the beautiful city of Ho Chi Minh
Visited 2 Sand-dunes in Mui Ne (ATV & Sand-boarding included)
Visited Fairy Streams in Mui Ne
Trekking in Dalat
Cliff-Jumping in Dalat
Waterfall Abseiling in Dalat
Okay before you get confused on how the heck I did so much in just a short trip, I will get on with it.
Disclaimer: It was actually a pretty rush trip and almost half the time was spent travelling from city to city. It would really be better if we had more time there but this was quite a budget trip. Also, we had a rough idea of what we intended to do there but we didn’t book anything in advance less the flight.
We took a flight from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh early in the morning and arrived there at about 10am. From the airport, we got a cab to take us to the city area. *We had no idea where to go or what to do, so we asked the information counter which district had shopping and stuff*
Upon arriving at District 1, we searched around for a travel shop to book our activities for the trip. *This was a tip from a friend who had been there before. He said booking there is much cheaper than online and there are numerous shops to book from. So we can check which shop has the cheapest/best deal for us* After roaming a few shops, we managed to find a shop that offered us the following:
– A sleeper bus to Mui Ne
– An activity package in Mui Ne
– A jeep to bring us around for the package
– A bus ride to Dalat
– A bus ride from Dalat back to Ho Chi Minh
All for just $35 USD! So much, so cheap, so good! It was arranged that the bus will pick us up at their travel shop at 5pm. The bus picked us up, dropped us off somewhere to change to the sleeper bus and off we go to Mui Ne. The whole journey was 7 hours in total. Crazy right! 7 hours on a bus! Of course there were toilet break stops in-between and it was a sleeper bus where the seats are basically like very narrow beds. We arrived at Mui Ne at about 1am, managed to find a small eatery to have our long awaited dinner and just so happens that the eatery had a guest house beside them. So we decided to crash there for the short night because we had to wake up really early the next day for our first activity. And that sums up Day 1!
Guesthouse: $20 USD/night for a room of 3 (pretty expensive)
Now if you don’t know this, let me tell you now. Every pick-up ride we had in Vietnam required a confirmation notice 1 day before to the driver. We had the name-card of the driver so we had to make a call using the travel shop’s phone to the driver to confirm our booking for our Mui Ne activity package. *We did not purchase any SIM cards over there because we wanted to go old school for the trip. With the exception of Wifi usage at Cafes. This allowed us to enjoy the trip to the fullest rather than have our eyes glued to the phone most of the time.*
Going to bed at 2am the night before and waking up at 4am to catch the 4:30am Jeep that was to pick us up to bring us to the Sand Dunes was insane. But hey, we were all ‘Hellweekers’, 2 hours is sufficient. They picked us up so early because it was to ensure that we got to the Sand Dunes in time for the sunrise. Got on our Jeep and off for an exciting day!
The activity package included:
1. Visit to the White Sand Dunes
2. Visit to the Red Sand Dunes
3. Visit to the Fairy Streams
4. Visit to a Fishing Village (We skipped this because we didn’t want to go)
At the White Sand Dunes:
Rode the ATV for $20USD across the sand dunes (expensive)
Supposed 20 mins of Free & Easy but we played for 1 whole hour
Took a hell load of pictures and videos there
Off to the Red Sand Dunes:
Sand-boarded for $5USD per board
Likewise, supposed 20min Free & Easy but we played for again an hour
Then to the Fairy Streams:
Basically a barefoot walk around the streams
Raced the local guide up a clay sand hill (Which we lost)
All of these ended around 10:30am, we returned to our guesthouse via the Jeep to have lunch and check-out. The bus to Dalat was to pick us up at 12pm. We spent less than 12 hours in Mui Ne but a lot has happened in that time. It was a 6 hour ride to Dalat and this time it wasn’t on a sleeper bus as the sleeper bus was wider than normal buses. And the road leading to Dalat were all rather narrow so only a normal bus could pass through. The roads were not so developed so you can imagine a long, bumpy ride all the way for 6 hours. We all couldn’t get much sleep towards Dalat due to this.
We arrived at Dalat at about 6pm and as we got out the bus, we could feel the chilly winds blowing at us. Dalat is sort of a mountainous area so the weather there was pretty cooling. The bus dropped us off at a random hostel and their rates per night was really cheap. $10USD/night for a 8-men Dorm. Ain’t it a good deal! We also booked our Dalat activity package there at the hostel itself as the price they offered was reasonable for us. $30USD for the whole package and we did our resaearch before. It was stated online that the package would cost about that price so we got it.
The package included:
Trekking at a mountain
Gears/Equipment for all activities
Transfer from hostel and back
We got up at 7:30am as the bus would pick us up at 8am, bringing us to the mountains. We trekked uphill, did 2 cliff-jumps and 3 routes of waterfall abseiling (including the highest waterfall abseil in Dalat).
After all the adventurous activities, we had to relax and unwind. So we headed to a nightclub in Dalat just to drink and chill. The drinks were quite expensive for Vietnam price but still alright for us. After a few drinks, we crashed back at the hostel.
We got up at 8am because we thought our bus back to Ho Chi Minh would arrive at 8:30am but we forgot to confirm the bus pick up and they basically left without us. So we talked things out with the hostel receptionist and they arranged for us to take another bus back to Ho Chu Minh. Little did we know that the bus we took was completely F**ked up. The seats were bad, the bus was crowded and they kept stopping for unknown reasons to pick up some random people. It basically felt like public bus. One of the most horrible experiences we had there. A 7 hour ride back with just 1 toilet break stop, gosh was it hell for us. We even got scammed as we had to pay an extra $5USD per person for this freaking terrible bus ride.
They didn’t even drop us at the travel shop we first booked from. They just stopped us at some Bus Terminal and we have completely no idea where we were exactly. With no SIM Card or Data Usage, all we had was a map and poor conversations with the taxi drivers there. We finally found a taxi driver somewhat understanding what we were trying to get at and they brought us to District 3 which is said to have some shopping. So we believed him, bargained a price and got on.
Upon arriving at District 3, we roamed around and finally for the first time in our trip, we saw tall buildings. We didn’t know that District 3 was the town area of Ho Chi Minh where all the hipster cafes were too. So we spent our last few hours roaming around, shopped a bit and at about 8pm, we had to grab a taxi back to the airport and say our goodbyes to Vietnam.
So that’s a wrap! Hope this long post did not bore you too much and hope it did help you get a better idea of what’s in store for you at Vietnam. Do remember to LIKE & SHARE it with your friends. Spread the love for ADVENTURE & TRAVEL!