Monday, July 26, 2010

Mui Ne - Fairy Stream & Sand Dunes

The second tour we took was more of a self-guided tour. We had a driver, but he hardly spoke any English. We got picked up at our resort in a jeep. It was Julie's first time in a jeep so she was a little excited about that. The first stop was a place called Fairy Stream. Our jeep pulled off the side of the road and our driver pointed down a little alley way that had a stony path. He said, "Forty Minutes." We were like, "Uh.... okay." There were a lot of other tourists either coming out or embarking down that little path. Some were going barefoot and carrying their shoes. Hmmmm... curious. We walked down the path, pushing Terryn in his stroller. We then reached a small staircase which led directly into a stream. Yes.... that's right... into the water.

We ditched our shoes and the stroller, crossing our fingers that they would be there when we got back. The stream bed was soft sand. The water was cool and it felt good in the heat.
I was thinking, "This is pretty cool. Different, but cool."
Here's Julie posing right as we began making our way down the stream.
The downside for Sean was that he had to carry Terryn almost the whole way.
There were a group of local kids that took it upon themselves to be our tour guides. They spoke only a little English, but they pointed out the best ways to go. They told us to hike up a sandy little hill that everyone else was passing right by. We could have kept going down the stream, but we decided we'd trust them and up we hiked.
Look at this view! Everyone else was missing it! I think it was worth the short hike to behold this spectacular sight.
Another set of tourists were nice enough to take a group shot for us.
The sand forms were so beautiful. There were springs that flowed into the Fairy Stream and each spring's sand bed was a different color. Some were bright red, gray, tan, light brown, dark brown, and white.
There was even black sand in the stream.
The end of our hike was marked by the waterfall.
Then we hiked back and made Terryn do a little walking. He didn't like the feel of the wet sand at first, but then he enjoyed it.
The only problem was that he was slow and we had been out there about an hour.
But the hike back was pretty quick.
Here Terryn is catching a leaf. I love this picture. I don't know why. Maybe it's because Terryn is being Terryn and then Julie is in the foreground watching him.

The second stop of this tour was a fishing village. There were SO many boats out in the water. On the beach there were tons of shells, bamboo boats and starfish.
Here's Julie showcasing the scallop shells.
None of these pictures do the fishing village any justice. There were so many boats in the water and they were all brilliantly colored.
These bamboo boats are what the fisherman use to go ashore or to transfer things from boat to boat. We could have gone for a ride in one, but I thought not.
Here's Julie holding one of the starfish on the beach. It was funny because there were a bunch of star outlines in the sand, but you couldn't see any starfish. These outlines are where the starfish had dug themselves into the sand leaving behind only their outline.
Again, these pictures just don't do the village justice. It was so beautiful and colorful.
After the village we hopped back into the jeep and we were off to the White Sand Dunes. It was quite the journey out there. Maybe a 30 minute drive.
On the way we saw a few different cemeteries. We've noticed that the Vietnamese people bury their people above ground. Their sepulchers are usually very colorful. Apparently this comes from Chinese culture, but I haven't figured out why it's done this way.
We decided to go completely barefoot to the White Sand Dunes. First we walked through a small pine forest, passed Lotus Lake and then walked up the Dunes.
They were quite expansive. I'm not sure how far they went, but they were pretty.
Here's Terryn enjoying some auntie time.
There were kids selling sand carpets that you could use to slide down the dunes. Sean was all about that.
Then it was my turn. I have the most ridiculous expression on my face so feel free to laugh. Sliding down the sand was pretty fun.
Julie didn't want to do it at first, but we made her.
She ended up liking it.
Sean then decided he was going to take Terryn for a ride. I love the look on these women's faces. "Are you really going to take your BABY down this?"
I love Terryn's expression. He's like, "Hmmm... whatever." I think Terryn liked it, but then he got sand in his mouth and was trying to spit it out for about 5 minutes afterward.
Another shot of Lotus Lake as we were leaving.
We had one more stop on this tour so we had to drive back to Mui Ne. Here's a cool little island we passed on the way.
The last stop was the Red Sand Dunes. We were pretty tired at this point and didn't spend that much time here. They were more crowded than the White Sand Dunes and the sun was setting.
We figured we'd at least walk around and check them out. There was a lady and little girl that came up to Terryn and tried talking to him. The lady is the one in the pointed hat carrying the Sand sliding mats.

As I said, we didn't stay long. I took a few pictures and then we left. It had been a long day and we were hungry. This was a really great tour though. Sean wished he could have stayed at the White Sand Dunes longer and gone sliding more. Next time...

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