LIFESTYLE MUSINGS: Mui Ne, Vietnam

Details in the Fabric.


There are things that I felt were genuinely sincere and very Asian on this side of Vietnam. Family values still exists, a quiet smile, a blunt observation. Going about their daily lives.

While time is money (Securing another tourist at their lodging/tour) and it can be blatant at times (more so in the city). Family comes first. Food quality is great, the quality of meat – bred and not battery produces. I never liked noodle soup as much in Singapore yet while I was there every bowl was a slurp. Deliciously made.

Herbs and plants in heaps on plates for your eating pleasure probably picked from the forest/field somewhere. Basil can be so expensive in our supermarkets but so cheaply grown here (In fact it can be anywhere).

Beef Pho at a streetside stall deeper into the Mui Ne strip, where the local village is. As authentic as food gets.

Can I say I am in a slow food process and appreciating it? Yes. Gradually.

Chopsticks for example that we use here, disposable ones. The quality of it made here and used is sturdier. None of that prickly poorly manufactured crap. What does that goes to say in urban living or the evolution of a privileged society? To rethink our lifestyle habits?

The wind is always blowing, the smell of fishy salty air – tells you fresh seafood is around the corner. The waters are not as clear, but you know that marine life thrives here. Plankton/seaweed is in abundance, seemingly turning the waters a murkier colour.

Lady selling Live Flower Crabs/Prawns along the beach. If you do, they will have it cooked on the spot on a makeshift grill.

I enjoyed the afternoon exploring into a Vietnamese fishing village/resort away from the tourist strip of resorts. Although further up the strip on the other side with the bigger established resorts seemed tempting, private beaches.

My perception of the place is to go further up to resorts for better beach or stay in the budget area where you can have a good mix of local and foreign holiday makers. At the beginning of the strip though, there are a few nice apartment like resorts, but the waters is not as good.

What I really do like about Mui Ne than the tourist islands like Phuket now, is there is still a sense of genuine that feels unspoiled by the tourism industry – yet. People are not capitalist prone. Neither pushy, but laid back on the overall. Nor a sense of danger going around the place. Very much like what I imagine the Kampong culture of younger Singapore days can be.  People minding and going about their own business. Not jaded and angry with the general tourist crowd, pushing for business.

Perhaps because, the area is not exploited yet by huge throngs of visitors. Although it is obvious that lands around Mui Ne is slowly developing, the effect of developers are not felt much around here.  Going against the nature and pace of the place. But the beginnings and progression of a seaside piece of land. Alchohol and club culture has not got to this place yet. Maybe the occasional dance music, but partying is not the mode of business here.

Animal tracks. Along a whole stretch of a Private Beach.

I love how the evening sun shines in this photo, and the co-existance of land and sea. Up close and personal with the rural and fishing lifestyle of the locals.

In order to revel in the original life and pace here, I was truly glad that the choice for a much cheaper abode was made. There I see how the father of the family of 8 children constantly keeps guards of the building, always coming out from his room whenever someone enters the walls within the property. The dogs by his side. Keeping vigil.

Reading in the courtyard one afternoon with the dogs by my side. A sense of peace and tranquility unexplained.

Waking up 5am on my last day watching mama go about her chores.

Mama going about her chores in the morning. I love how the vibrant blue stands out and the similarity of costume akin to 1930s Singapore ‘Samfoo’.

With another family living just living beside us. The smells of cooking (there was no kitchen in the room, so it was all done on a stove outside on the floor). The men coming home at night, the dogs barking in the dark.

The little girl of the family watching the shop, huffing when her elder sister is not around to handle us. And off she goes! On a mega huge bike with her small frame. It was beauty and innocence to me.

The number of vast coasts and untouched land. Seashells in abundance much bigger than anywhere I have seen yet. And you know, one has arrived at vastly untouched area – to be developed soon.

At one point or a few times, we sigh and say:” I hope this place will never change”. But it will in time. When the time comes when the tourist dollar is much more coveted, the environment will mean differently. For now I cherished this.

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