A mini adventure to Paradise!
06.09.2010 35 °C
At the end of my last post I touched on a place called “Jungle beach”, I didn’t give too many details about it except for a quick badly written over view and how to get there, so now I'm going to go into more details about the place and the ongoing journey through Vietnam.
Back in hoi An Kristian had been looking through his bible (Lonely Planet) and found a little article buried amongst other information about the south east of Vietnam, on this resort called “Jungle Beach”. This place is written up as a budget resort on an isolated beach with bamboo huts and all inclusive food and drinks (as long as it was water, lemon juice or tea – found that out when we got there) all for $20 (US) a day. This sounded like a great place and well within all our budgets the girls us lads and Rachelle, another girl we had met the previous day who tagged along. Getting there wasn’t going to be easy.
Before heading off on the bus in the evening the group of us had decided to head to the beach for some food, this was a mistake as food never turned up and we had to make a runner on our scooters back to town. We got back just as the bus pulled into the stop, picked up some snacks and jumped aboard, making sure the bus driver knew to drop us at about 4am at this certain petrol station on the road to Nha Trang. Jo, Kristian, Rachelle and I jumped into the last remaining bunks and settled into a long drive down Vietnam. 4am came far too soon with Kristian literally pulling me off my bunk to wake me, then having to collect my things and get off the bus straight away. Off the bus we really were in the middle of nowhere, it was still dark and there was nobody around to attempt to talk to and after watching the bus drive off into the dark we realised we were stranded!
We scoped out the area and still couldn’t work out quite where we were. After giving up in true traveller style, a convoy of scooters pulled up in front of us and said two words “Jungle...Beach”. Result, we had a way of getting to the resort, but not for the ridiculous price they wanted. So after much deliberation and haggling we reached a reasonable price for us and with our packs between the driver’s legs and us on the back of each bike we rode off into the glow of the morning sunrise. The other bikes followed behind mine in the morning dullness down a smooth bit of highway until we turned off onto a dirt side road and started weaving our way around huge potholes and rocks that seemed to spring out of nowhere in the gradually illuminating daybreak. All around our little convoy were fields, bordered by mountains at the very end of my sight. As the sun broke the horizon it revealed the Ocean which blew my mind, sending us into a world of glowing landscape and glistening water. We then turned parallel with the coast just a few Kilometres short and headed through a village, in the waking hours of another day, on the other side we headed back towards the Coast but as we got closer our Idea of a paradise was crushed as a Colossal oil plant came into view seemingly blocking our way. As we approached the main gates of this massive industrial station my thoughts raced “were the hell are we being taken”, “ this is not palm trees white sandy beaches and bamboo huts”, “what the ****!” (I'm sure you can imagine what goes there)
As we were about to enter the main gates our drivers swung right and followed the complex’s fence for a few of Kilometres. Finally we passed it and rode along the coast, again with the Ocean in view, after a 15 minutes we started passing houses and entered another village a lot more spread out than the previous one with less buildings and people, just as we exited the village the bikes pulled up to a small rickety gate hidden in some bushes with a drift wood sign above it with the hand written words “Jungle Beach”, We were there. My driver jumped off and headed through the gate he returned quickly followed by two guys in sarongs who picked up our bags and ran inside we paid our Moto drivers and chased our bags inside.
We found our bags piled against a wall in an open sided wooden thatched, common room would be the best way to describe it. With a long wooden table in the middle with quirky chairs down both sides and shelves around the edge with books, games etc on them. Just as we were about to head off and explore a voice came out of nowhere greeting us and inviting us to sit down at the table. A moment later a,very tanned, man came through a door off to the side wearing a sarong joining us at the table he explained how the place worked and offered a tour of the resort.
1) All food is included in the price,
2) Drinks are included (Water lemon, Juice and tea) beer, wine, fruit juice etc is extra and kept a record of by you on a sheet at the bar on an honesty system,
3) Breakfast is between 5am and 9am in the common room,
4) Lunch and dinner is eaten together with everyone here at the table at 1pm and around 6pm respectively (we will send people to find you before hand),
5) A fruit plate is brought to you anywhere in the resort during the afternoon and is included,
6) Help yourself to surfboards, body boards, table tennis, books and games,
7) If you want a bonfire on the beach tell us when the fruit plates come around so we can get wood,
8) Eat well, do nothing and get fat!
Ok, not so much rules but that is the best way the guy could think to put it and for such a relaxed chilled out place who cares. We were shown around the place then taken to our bamboo huts, orientated on were the toilets, activity room and more importantly where the beach was. Then to finish the tour he took us to the beach and what a Beach perfect white sand, blue ocean, jungle and mountains all around and no one to be seen. One word sprang to mind, Paradise.
The next morning the girls and Marc turned up, they equally stunned by the place as we were. We chilled out for a few days doing nothing, like the rules said, just getting sun burnt, swimming, surfing, eating, and on the whole chilling to the max.
On the third day we had a bonfire on the beach with the other people holidaying and asked for us to be taken to Nha trang the next day. The following lunch time with tears almost in eyes we left Jungle Beach we put this mini paradise behind us and headed back to the backpackers trail an hour or so south.