Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Fishing Village of Mui Ne

The next day was tour day. Since we rented the van for the whole duration of our stay, we had something of a customized tour, at our own pace. That's what I like about renting your own transportation. And if you do your math, more often than not, especially when you're with a group of more than 3, you get to save a lot of money. So, in Mui Ne, we hopped on our van, and visited our first destination: The Fishing Village.

The coastal towns of Vietnam are mostly fishing villages, and in Phan Thiet (province where Mui Ne is), you could see a lot of a unique type of boat: the basket boat.

The basket boats are unique to Vietnam, so the traditional boat has become a tourist magnet. Most local fishermen still use these basket boats, to carry their catch. Some use bigger boats to pull these basket boats filled with bounty. You can actually see plenty of huge fishing vessels, an indication of a thriving fishing industry. 
We rode a basket boat and paid 50,000 VND, which is pretty expensive. Our tour guide (we hired one to help us translate), seemed to have charged us higher, since we saw him give a smaller amount to the boatmen when we gave him our money. That made us very frustrated. More on this tour guide later.

The basket boat ride was unstable, and you'll feel you'll fall off. You needed to sit or squat to keep your balance. The boatman swayed in a funny rhythm as he paddled us around. We approached different kinds of fishing boats, small and large. It was interesting and being fascinated at boats, I was enjoying the ride.

The entire area smelled fishy of course, and the humid air was salty and sticky. After the boat ride, we took some more pictures on the top, to get a better view.

The beach looks nice here, but it's a typical fishing beach. The water also looks perfect blue, but it was murky. Probably, the light of day made the place spectacular in photos. The fishing village is definitely a must see when in Mui Ne, and just taking a snapshot is worth the visit. Of course, riding one of these basket boats made the experience more memorable.

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