To start a new year of 2015 I have chosen to feature photograph taken by Charlie Marchant in Vietnam. Mui Ne Sand Dunes looks like a place I would love to visit!
Charlie is a long-term traveller, freelance writer and house sitter taking an alternative path across the world. Her travel blog, Charlie on Travel, is about simple, sustainable and socially-responsible travel. Please follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Picture Story: Mui Ne Sand Dunes, Vietnam
Vietnam is a rite of passage for all backpackers, and I was no exception. After finishing a year of hard work as a language teacher in Taiwan, I flew the proverbial coop and went across the waters to Vietnam. My backpacker’s route took me from Hanoi in the north down the country and through Mui Ne Sand Dunes, where this shot was captured.
My thighs ached from cycling, it was scorching, the sun was burning down through my red summer dress, I was thirsty. Dying to leave the main strip of Mui Ne, my boyfriend and I had rented bicycles, reasoning that motorcycles weren’t so safe on Vietnamese roads and that they were more expensive anyway. This was a mistake.
Though the clouds hung over Mui Ne in the early morning, creating cool shade for us to cycle through, they soon rolled out, leaving the sun to beat down from the clear blue sky above. We’d been pedalling in the direction of the sand dunes for two hours but they had still not appeared on the horizon. I shook my head, giving up; my boyfriend tipped water into my mouth and encouraged me back on my bike. I pushed it along instead, unable to bare the heat.
Eventually, at the end of the road, we saw glorious reds and oranges rolling on the horizon. Mui Ne Sand Dunes! We tied our bikes up in the local cafe in exchange for an expensive lemonade, and crossed the road ready to explore. As we trudged onto the sand, it started leaking into the sides of my shoes. I threw them off, complaining of the gristly texture – and ow, my feet! The sand was burning hot, completely exposed to the sun. I feverishly shoved my shoes back on my feet and slumped under a tree, exhausted.
After a few minutes rest, a new jolt of determination propelled me up, I pulled on my conical hat and began walking up the nearest sand dune. My feet sunk into the sand as I walked, leaving strange footprints that lost their shape behind me. An unexpected gush of wind made me grasp my hat as I made it to the top of the dune. From there, all I could see for miles was red sand dunes and blue skies, rolling into one another.