Mui Ne is a great holiday surprise just waiting to be discovered. Also known as Phan Thiet, Mui Ne is a small fishing village on a peninsula connected to a long beautiful beach found along a 10 km strip of highway 706. It is a popular holiday destination with the residents of Saigon for good reason. Mui Ne is considered by locals to be one of Vietnams best locations because of its stunning beaches, tropical forests and amazing sand dunes. Mui Ne is located on the coast about a 4 hour, 200 kilometers, bus, car or train ride north of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) city.
There is plenty for beach lovers to do here but between October and April it is most famously recognized as a world class kitesurfing destination. My reason for traveling here was to learn to kite surf. The surfing season occurs during the dry season as this is when the wind is perfect for kite surfing because it blows so consistently. There are a number of local surf shops and excellent surfing schools along the beach road which service the kite surfing enthusiasts.
I traveled to Mui Ne for two weeks in early February of 2018 and attended a local surf school called Windchimes which had been recommended to me by a good friend who had learned to kite surf at the school the year before. There are several other good schools to choose from but based on my friends’ recommendation I choose Windchimes and took their 10-hour “serious package” designed for students who have never surfed before.
Thanks to their excellent teaching techniques and a great owner named Tran by the end of the third day I had accomplished my goal and was surfing on my own. The next several days of surfing were really great fun and very satisfying. I was so excited with my newly acquired skill that I never tired of surfing every day. Now I am able to surf on any beach around the world that has a strong wind. Mission accomplished!!!
During my two weeks holiday I discovered a few other fun things to do while visiting Mui Ne. Here they are:
1. White Sand Dunes
The white sand dunes are a favorite destination with the Mui Ne visitors. The dunes are of the only desert to be found in all of Asia so going to the White Dunes when visiting Mui Ne is a must. The white dunes are located 50 kilometers north of Mui Ne. If you leave your hotel around 4:00 am you should get there in time for an amazing sunrise—a favorite experience for many. The sunsets are also great to see, so take your pick. The main thing that people come here to do is to ride the dunes on their 4 wheel drive ATVs. This is a thrilling experience that is very addicting. You can rent the ATVs for as little as $10 for half an hour—something I highly recommend you trying. The visitors not riding ATVs choose to experience the dunes by merely walking up and down the sand hills and taking in the beautiful scenery in the process.
2. The Fairy Stream
If you like amazing vibrant colors you are going to really enjoy walking up the Fairy Stream. This is a favorite free activity for visitors to Mui Ne. The stream originates from an underground spring that bubbles up from below the neighboring sand dunes at a spot next to Highway 706 about 18 kilometers northeast of Mui Ne. The spring turns into an ankle high stream running between the desert hills on one side and a green jungle with palm trees on the other. These spectacular hills, are painted a vibrant red-orange color contrasted against the chalky white hills which were cut out over centuries into fascinating stalakite shapes. The result has a mesmerizing romantic effect which you are going to love.
Visitors usually leave their shoes behind and walk barefoot up the cool stream on the wet soft desert sand. They enjoy walking barefoot while viewing the colorful natural surroundings. Near the stream’s end there is a small waterfall during the rainy season. At the end of the stream there’s even a place for ostrich riding if you would like to try this unusual experience—I did and it was fun.
3. The Red Sand Dunes
The Red Sand Dunes are an extremely colorful and picturesque favorite with photographers from around the world. The red colored dunes are very unique and only found in a few isolated spots around the globe. They are located about 30 kilometers along the coast northeast of Mui Ne. You pass them on the way to the white sand dunes. Some visitors go to the white dunes first then back to the nearby Fairy Stream before finishing up at the Red Sand Dunes for an amazing sunset—for a very full day of exploring the Mui Ne area.
If this itinerary appeals to you then I recommend that you consider staying at the Red Sand Dunes Beach Resort and Spa which sits next to the ocean on the edge of the red dunes. An excellent double room with a great view and a buffet breakfast is about $50 It’s a perfect place to lodge especially if you only plan to stay in the Mui Ne area for a couple of days.
4. The Mui Ne fishing village
An early morning visit to the fishing village in the north end of Mui Ne Bay is a great way to start your day and see the local population at work first hand. The fleet comes in early with their interesting catch to sell to customers on the beach. The southern end of the harbor is where to go to see and buy the mornings catch. Buy whatever appeals to you and someone will cook it for you while you wait. Then you can enjoy a fresh seafood breakfast while looking out at the fleet of now empty fishing boats right in front of you. An amazing experience.
Mui Ne is just one of the many incredible experiences waiting for you the traveler to Vietnam. Now is the best chance you will ever have to visit this beautiful enchanting country. It is getting more popular and busier every year.
What are you waiting for? Call your travel agent today or log on line and book your trip of a life time NOW!
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