Mui Ne is a coastal town in the Southeast region of Vietnam. The formerly inhabited fishing village of Mui Ne has transformed to seeking travel destination in the last 15 years. Now is a 15 km long strip of resorts shaded by coconut palms. The main resort strip is actually named Ham Tien. Mui Ne is close to the city of Phan Thiet and only four hours from Saigon, it makes an attractive destination for a quick beach holiday. Strong sea breezes make it very popular for kite-surfing and windsurfing. Mui Ne has many resorts on the beach, restaurants, bars and cafes. The biggest attraction are Mui Ne Sand Dunes (Red Sand Dunes and White Sand Dunes). The city is also a popular destination for Russian tourists, and many of the restaurants and resorts are Russian owned.
When to visit Mui Ne
The tourist season is from December to May. The average temperature is 27°C, and the climate is hot and dry for most of the year. For kite surfers is the best to come from November to March when the sky is clear with perfectly strong winds all day long. The rock-free water makes it relatively safe for the kite surfers. Whole day kiting is guaranteed.
Interesting meaning of Mui Ne
The first meaning comes from the fishing people who usually faced sea storms, so they used to hide in a cape, which was called ‘Mui’ in Vietnamese, and ‘hide’ meant ‘Ne’. The second one is the name of the daughter of Cham King who was known as the owner of this land. The cape where her temple was built, was called ‘Mui Ne’.
The whole place consists of one main street, so you can’t get lost in Mui Ne. The best option is to rent a motorbike or bicycle at your resort or rental agency. The cost depends on how many hours you need, age, and type of motorbike. You need to have a Vietnamese driving licence (we have international driving licence valid in Vietnam) and always wear a helmet. If not, be prepared to pay a fine of about 70$ and besides the fine the rental company or your hotel might will make you to reimburse you for the loss when the motor bike will be in custody. If the police stop you be cooperative and friendly. When you need to get from your hotel to the city you can take a local bus. Bus drives on the main strip and frequency is around 20 minutes, including weekends. You don’t need to search for bus stop, just wave at it on the main street. The ticket costs around 15000 dong and depends how far you will go. The last bus leaves around 7 pm (better to confirm there). If there is no bus and you can take a motorbike-taxi but bargain hard to get appropriate prices. To visit Red dune, sand dune, fairy stream, and fishing village you can rent a jeep from any travel agency or your hotel.
Our experience & Mui Ne Sand Dunes
We were in northern Dalat talking about Mui Ne – should we go there? A lot of people told us, that besides sand dunes there is nothing special to see. But we had enough time and I (Edita) have never seen sand dunes before. And the best of Mui Ne is a place called Longson Mui Ne where you can sleep on the beach! We were so excited about this experience. Longson Mui Ne is located on Suoi Nuoc Beach, 15kms north of Mui Ne, on the way from Dalat to bus station in Mui Ne. We were checking GPS and when we were close to our place, we have asked driver to stop there, otherwise we had to take a taxi which may be expensive. He didn’t want but my sad face and begging helped 🙂
After check-in we took “a key” to our tent and chose spot on the beach. If you don’t want to sleep in tents on the beach they offer dorms, bungalows, or you can sling up a hammock between palm trees. Two nights in tent for two people, and amazing sunrise is just for 13$. We put our big backpacks in safety locker and enjoyed a cold beer in chill-out zone. Their big chill-out zone is a perfect place where you can read books, work, relax, sleep or enjoy a nice meal.
We were ready to explore Mui Ne. Unfortunately there is nothing special to see. The beach is long, water is dirty, and almost nobody there. In Ham Tien you can see many restaurants in Russian language but we walked back to the Mui Ne to find a place to eat. There is no place where to eat so we returned to Longson Mui Ne and had dinner there. Manager told us to visit city in the evening when they bring fresh seafood.
Sleeping in the tent is an interesting experience. When you are on the beach it is windy and loud from the waves. Even in night the temperature was high and we left our tent open to get some fresh air inside. You don’t need to set up alarm, sunrise will wake you up. This was the best part from our stay in Mui Ne. You don’t need to leave your tent to see amazing sunrise.
Next day we took a motorbike and visited Mui Ne sand dunes. It is interesting to see sand dunes in Vietnam and very close to the water and greens. It is very touristic place, so come very early or stay until sunset when all tourist are gone. Very famous is quad biking around the white sand dunes. Cost starts on 20$ per 20 minutes. Unfortunately quad bikes are very noisy and destroy the atmosphere. But we still had so much fun on Mui Ne sand dunes.
Our last night we slept on the sofa in chillout zone, not because we didn’t like tent but it was very hot inside.