Mui Ne White Sand Dunes

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne is the adrenalin capital of southern Vietnam. There’s no scuba diving or snorkelling to speak of, but when Nha Trang and Hoi An get the rains, Mui Ne gets the waves: Says Lonely Planet, before going on to describe a beautiful beach that has maintained much of its charm. When we were there, however, only the closed kitesurfing shops hinted at Mui Ne’s adventure hungry nature. Out of the surf season, Mui Ne is still firmly on the backpacker trail, and I’m here to ask one question: why?

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Sapa view across the valley

Remembering Sapa

Our journey to Sapa started with an overnight train from Hanoi, and would end back at the same station a week later. Hanoi station is, to say the least, confusing. Corridors seem to end for no reason and some of the platforms seem to lack any access at all. It was one of these platforms that we needed to find a way to. Leaving our bags in a pile with Helen, Graham and I went in opposite directions to try and suss out the way. I could see the train, with crowds of people loading their bags and finding their carriage: the normal bustle that surrounds a train as it readies for departure, with the addition of chaos that seems to come free with anything in Vietnam. Looking at my watch in desperation, I followed a Vietnamese man rushing to the end the platform I was on, though there was nothing at the end. Which I knew as I’d looked twice already. I watched him as he checked for trains, hopped onto the tracks and across to the other side, arriving at the platform we needed. Hello, Vietnamese shining health and safety considerations, I thought as I rounded the others and we followed the man’s unconventional route.

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Hartleys Cassowary

Hartleys Crocodile Adventures

As you drive along the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns towards Port Douglas you already know you are in for  a treat at Hartleys Crocodile Farm. The drive is considered to be one of the best coastal drives in Australia, as you pass by perfect beaches and beautiful greenery it’s easy to see why. This is the perfect place for Hartleys Crocodile farm, nestled among the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

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