funda fatale

It took more than 30 minutes of open highway motorbike ride to head off to our final stop of the day. But the old school asphalt road and the feel of isolation in the driest place in Asia made the joy ride seem shorter than a house party quickie stint. (Disclaimer: I do not know anything about quickies! I’m telling the truth).

I learned a new skill of taking pictures on a running motorbike, but the speeding open vehicle, the smashing wind, fine dust and some random flying small objects hurts like bitch when it hit the face, and it even scratched my 200 peso sunglasses that Monette brought from Manila.

FLIPtionary word of the day:

FUNDA FATALE n. Thick make-up sediment; an uneven foundation-like substance on the face; may also be made of road dust compound making one look like Donatella Versace after being murdered by her make-up artist/cocaine dealer.  A responsible traveler should know that a greasy skin brought by a full day under the sweltering heat and fine road dust doesn’t go well together.

And the best solution is a 2 dollar pack of brilliance from a convenience store. Wet power wipes!



The dry air and open roads transported us even further away from the visuals of what we all know as Vietnam. Yes, did I mention that this article is about Vietnam?

I am not a big fan of vibrating objects, let alone on my ass. After 30 minutes of butt massaging bike ride, we finally got our first glimpse of the dunes. The juxtaposition of the mirroring oasis and the glaring white desert bay made Monette and I shut-up for once. We stopped on a make shift-terminal and immediately walked towards the dune without hesitation. Our drivers made a gesture that what seemed like they were pulling an invisible object from the air, of course the idiots mean we have to hurry up and go back to where we parked as soon as possible.

Few meters of walking towards the 2 square kilometers of mound of fine sand, I started drawing out my camera and taking the liberty of snapping pictures like there’s no tomorrow.

RES IPSA LOQUITUR (the thing speaks for itself)

The idea of sliding down the dunes sounds fun. A boy approached us offering a vinyl sheet cum sled for rent, he initially asked for a ridiculous amount of VND 100,000, but I instantaneously stuck my middle finger up his nose then the rental went down to VND 20,000. Turns out, the desert sledding is an epic fail and I only moved a couple of inches before I tumbled down the slope. Totally retarded!

The word BASTOS, means PERVERT in Filipino language. Now, how about the idea of smoking some Perverts?

Unlike the “Muddy fun” in the Mekong Delta (I am not talking about those BASTOS daddies would consider a “cultural show”), Mui Ne may not be a suitable trip for family holidays due to it’s distance from HCMC. But the White Sand Dunes with all its picturesque appeal, will definitely make that 5 hour bus ride, all worth it.

We spent the rest of the night cycling through the little town of Mui Ne. Hopping from one beach bar to another and downing cheap bottles of Saigon Beer after Beer… after Beer… after Beer… after Beer… after Cher swayed me to a floating inebriation.

EXTRA: So what happened with the missing return bus tickets?

I woke up the following morning with selective memories of last night’s party, the dripping bermuda shorts, the throbbing club music, the flashes of strobe and a blond girl complaining of sand in my ear… <DELETE PERMANENTLY>

We prepped-up for another 5 catatonic hours of bus ride back to the city. Our big dilemma resurfaced: We couldn’t remember the name of our bus and we do not have the tickets at hand. We waited anxiously and unsure whether there is really a bus that will be picking us up at 8:00 AM. Time passed and we got pretty scared that we might not be able to make it to our flights that same day. So we punched in the dark and hopped on to the bus that came in at 8:30.

It wasn’t ours. The bus got filled quickly with tourists and the last two passengers climbed in. They were baffled and wondering why there were no more seats for them, they started a commotion and asked the driver what was happening. The Driver surveyed the bus isle after isle. As the driver aproached closer, Monette and I, like an involuntary reflex, played dead!

Since nobody asked us for payment when we were “sleeping,” we got out of this hullabaloo by alighting in Saigon at half past one, took our backpacks and walked away as fast as we could without looking back.