Friday, September 10, 2010

Long Hai

We had a good time in Long Hai. The village is on the beach, and consists mainly of a big square beach front with lots of food and drinks stalls. We only ate on the said square in the evenings as lunch time is all about eating seafood on the beach. Vietnamese ladies walk around with their restaurant on their back. They propose prawns, squids, crabs all live and cook whatever people chose right there on the spot. When I say people: there was only us 2 on the beach, and a group of Vietnamese people from the country side. We chose Banh Canh. Banh Canh (pronounce Bang cang) is a seafood noodle soup, where the noodles are much thicker than normal, which is why they are called Banh – a word which in Vietnamese means cake, bun, bread, “beignet” (French) or anything hand made and thick. Bread in VN is “Banh my” and half the Vietnamese specialties are called “banh” something”” Banh bao, banh xeo, banh cuon. All very different things, unrelated to cakes but involving some sort of breadish wrap, bun or else. Anyway, these banh canh on the beach were really good, in the broth: grilled fish, prawns and herbs. We also treated ourselves to 2 huge prawns, at that point it’s not even prawns but probably some kind of Langouste. Don’t know how to say Langouste in English. Perhaps it’s the same word.
The rest on the day was spent reading (I have finished Mansfield Park, and, in a Jane Austen mood, I then read Pride and Prejudice. I’ve finished that too and now I’m quite reconciled with Jane. Pride and Prejudice is so good. I love everything about it: the book, the BBC series and the film which I have seen three times in the last 3 months, thanks to my housemate Lanette. Regardless, I had enough of good old Jane Austen after reading Pride and Prejudice so instead of following on with Sense and Sensitivity, I started Jane Eyre. That’s what I’m reading now. I’ve read it before, but I forgot all about it apart from the obvious lines of Mr Rochester is blind, she’s the governess in his house and they fall in love. Now on a second read, there is a LOT more to this book and I can’t put it down.)
We read, we sunbathed (how I regret this now, red and puffy with a sun allergy as I am while writing this post, inside my bungalow in Mui Ne, forbidden to go outside), we napped. After a while we went for a ride and found the five stars resort mentioned in the Lonely Planet. Yes, it was sumptuous but… we were a bit puzzled by the swastikas symbols on the pool restaurant building. It’s a symbol used in the Buddhist religion, however still a bit unexpected to us foreigners and as the wider clientele of such a resort would be foreigners also, I’m not sure it’s the best marketing move.
Evening was approaching when we ate this fish balls snack, and then found an Internet café with wifi (YAY!! Took us forever but we found wifi) and posted like… 5 posts. When that was done, we walked around, had dinner (sea food rice soup) and played with the same 2 year old boy as the night before. His great grandma was there, lovely, but his grandmother seemed a bit more strict. She made him bow to us and when he wouldn’t do it (“khong”, “khong”) she hit him on his little feet with chopsticks (“Aoow!”). She also made him bring dishes to tables. 2 years old. Child labor, much?
We went to bed early. Because yesterday morning, we wanted to be on the road by 7.00 am, direction: Mui Ne, the Sand dune beach town.

Lang Hai c’était genial. Le village est construit autour de la plage,en tout cas notre petite placette preferee est juste devant la mer. Sur cette place, des dizaines de petits stands ou on peut boire et manger. Mais pour nous, c’est l’endroit ou diner seulement, parceque le midi, rien ne vaut des fruits de mer sur la plage. Les dames vietnamiennes se deplacent avec leur restaurant sur le dos, et viennent proposer aux vacanciers (nous, et un bus de Vietnamiens de la campagne, c’est tout) leur crevettes, crabes et calamars vivants. Elles les cuisent sur place. On a choisi deux banh canh (prononcez Bang Cang), une soupe de nouille aux fruits de mers, et deux langoustes.
Le reste de la journée, on a bronze (comme je le regrette maintenant, sous cortisone, rouge et gonflée par une allergie au soleil du feu de Dieu), dormi et beaucoup lu. J’ai fini Mansfield Park, j’ai ensuite lu Orgueil et Préjugés (fantastiques, le livre, comme la série, comme le film) et au lieu d’enchainer avec Raison et Sentiments, en ai eu marre de Jane Austen et me suis rabattu sur Jane Eyre. Je l’ai lu en au collège en troisième, je crois, ou en quatrième, mais m’en souvenait a peine. Je suis complètement dedans et n’arrive pas à poser le livre. Enfin, ma DS.)
Ensuite on est allé visiter l’hôtel 5 étoiles de la côte ou on a été un surpris de voir des croix gammées sur les murs. La Swastika est un symbole hindu, utilisée dans la religion bouddhiste selon Wikep. Mais quand même, c’est moyen. L’hôtel a une clientèle plutôt Occidentale pour qui la Swastika, c’est la croix gammée, et le stigmate qui s’y attache.
Le soir on a retrouvé notre copain But, le petit bout de deux ans que sa grand mère a force a s’incliner devant nous pour nous saluer, sous peine de se faire taper les pieds avec des baguettes a nouilles. Lol. Pauvre puce. Il disait « khong Khong » (non, non) jusqu'à ce que les baguettes apparaissent, et après la première tape sur les pieds « Aou, aou ». On était a la fois un peu outres pour lui et un peu morts de rire. Il était trop chou.
Puis on s’est couchés tôt parce que le lendemain (hier), on voulait être sur la route des 7.00 pour une grosse journée de moto. Direction, Mui Ne, la ville estivale aux dunes de sable.


  1. i just stumbled upon your sweet little blog and couldn't help but hit the follow button! look forward to following your adventures in the months to come! xo

  2. Glad you enjoy it Kate. Thanks.