Next installment of my reports (I think it is time to remove the label JB...)
As I am posting the reports seperately here is a list of the entries so far:
After visitng Hanoi and HCMC, and the fantastic trip to Ha Gaing and Cao Bang province it can be very difficult to for any new places to live up to that. But somehow it did. It was actually one of my favourite experiences in Vietnam so far.
So where did I go? Phan Thiet.
Most tourists heading to that area visit Mui Ne or Ham Tien. When I left HCMC by bus I actually didn't know excatly where I was going. The reason for that was that I was invited to visit to a friend's family. I only knew it was in Phan Thiet, and it was a homestay. Most people know that this phrase has different meaning in Vietnam.
In that case, a homestay really meant a homestay. I stayed at the home of a family, and not a touristy homestay. Located on a tiny road, surrounded by dragon fruit plantation, no A/C, no real bed but one of these hard Vietnamese wooden platfrom thingies. But the three nights there were just amazing. While I visited some areas there like the sand dunes, passing Ham Tien and Mui Ne on the way to Hon Rom beach. But the highlight was spending time with a large family of a friend, feeling like a guest and not as a tourist. I know you have to be very lucky to experience something like that - it is a priviledge. And as a result I see these three days really as one of my highlights of all my travels in SEA. And it showed me once again why I love visiting Vietnam, and while I constantly return whenever it is possible.
This is a slightly different report - maybe not a lot that could be helpful with recommendations and advise - but still, I thought it would be a nice thing to share a different story of Phan Thiet.