Thanks goodness that the Vietnam Coracle has great routes for leaving Ho Chi Minh/Saigon (We followed his Ocean Route to begin our journey) that it wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Rob and I were doing pretty well getting our stuff packed and errands run. The mini market in our alley had bungee cords for 50 cents each and cheap face masks. Getting a SIM for Rob’s newly unlocked phone took longer than expected since the first one was bad, but we got it figured out.
So, we get the bike, load the bike, maneuver down our tiny alley to the main street then promptly find out that we can’t take the way we planned to the gas station. While trying to navigate to it, Rob realizes the bike isn’t riding right and sure enough, we have a flat tire. Everyone took one look at the bike and pointed to the nearest mechanic shop. An hour and a half or so later, we have gas and two holes in our back tube solidly patched (Only $1!).
Despite one wrong turn, we manage to escape the chaos of the city via a tunnel then a super cheap ferry across part of the Mekong. After hours of riding and perhaps a nap on my part, we made it to the coast and eventually Hô Tram, a small beach side town surrounded by a few mega resorts. After some brief searching while having refreshments at a beach side hut (not too pretty with lots of trash and flies around), we booked a room at the river ray estates with our hotels.com credit. We wanted to spend the afternoon lounging around a pool and that was the only one in our budget.
Arriving at the River Ray Estates, it appears to be pretty deserted. We were upgraded to a large section of a villa on the beach. The best feature above all was the washing machine. The thought of having all our clothes clean was amazing.
More immediate though was the fading daylight. We put on swimsuits and headed to the beautiful pool. Since the resort is located on a sandbar between a river and the ocean. It has water views on both sides. Our room was on the ocean side and the pool is on the river side.
Dinner at the resort seemed a bit expensive starting at $4 entrees so we took the motorbike about 1 km to a roadside com (rice) restaurant. The main recognizable thing was shrimp. Rob ordered some for him but the lady grabbed the rest of the tray and heated it up. I ended up with shrimp too. These weren’t able the large or even medium shrimp of the Western world. No, these were the itty bitty fried rice shrimp and just slightly larger with full heads and shells. Too big to eat without shelling but difficult to peel. Dinner choice fail. We should have just eaten at the resort.
We returned to our room full but unsatisfied. After a bit of laundry and some internet time, Rob and I called it a night.
The next morning as we went to check out the proprietress called us over to join her for a water and coconut. It was freshly picked and easily the best coconut we had ever tasted. After drinking the juice, she had it cut open so we could gorge ourselves on its sweet flesh. She told us about her children who live all around the world (she said we remind her of them) and the many places she has traveled. Eventually, we got on the road to Mũi Né.