If you like traditions, don’t celebrate a holiday away from home!
In Denmark we celebrate Christmas in the evening of December 24th, since originally the following day started already at sunset and not by midnight. In Vietnam Christmas is not an official holiday, but even though not many Vietnamese are Christians, there are decorations being sold and nativity scenes in plastic with small flickering lights. Especially in Saigon there was a lot of cheer.
In 2003 my husband and I were in Vietnam. Spending Christmas on the beach of Mui Né in Vietnam maybe sounds nice, but I was so homesick. We had brought some decorations, and my mom had packed a small gift for us. But it was all wrong: no cold, no tree, no gifts and worst of all – no family! Not doing that again!
MUI NE BEACH
But still, it was a nice place for any other time! It is a very small village. We rented a small bungalow at a very cheap guesthouse Hong Di. This was back before internet, so we just ran to the nearest nice looking place and grabbed the last room for 1 night! Then we spent the entire evening checking for a better place, but everything was booked. (I really don’t miss the pre-internet travels!) So we stayed at Hong Di…
You can spend Christmas evening getting a massage and fresh grilled fish on the beach with a drink. We bought the most expensive menu at the most expensive place: 27$. Notice, this is 8 times what a meal normally costs… Afterwards, we had a beer in the hammocks below the palm trees, while small sand crabs were tripping over our feet. Horrible! (Okay, maybe not that horrible…)
The beach has many palm trees and the sand is white. It was not to crowded, when we were there, but that’s also some 14 years ago (as you can see by the pictures of me). It was not that hot, but warm enough to just lounge around! For breakfast you could get pancakes with honey and a coconut-shake.
Close beside the beach are some fine red and white sand dunes. It’s a great place to watch the sunset. This is when the red colour really pops out! But apparently these days they are quite crowded. We were there all alone…
The stop in Mui Ne was part of our 3 month long road trip to SEA stopping in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. We went on to take a roadtrip (read Easy Riders: Explore Vietnam from the back of a war veteran’s motorcycle!) and to have New Year on a different beach, but it was closed due to pollution in the water!
Travelling during your own holidays you have to be ready to give it all up. Maybe it’s easier when you have a kid you can bring…
Do you like spending the holiday abroad?
Glad to hear that although you missed home that you made the most of it whilst away! We are celebrating our first Christmas away from home and like you mention the build-up hasn’t felt the same – heat instead of cold, no work Christmas parties, no mulled wine, no Christmas jumpers…but also no shopping! We are looking forward to tomorrow and spending the day by on the beach, having a BBQ and spending time with some locals. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun. Merry Christmas!!
Nice to hear I am not the only one..And as soon as Christmas is over it’s no problem. Love travelling during New Year’s Eve! Enjoy!