If you are looking for a place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Saigon and would love to have a quick holiday, Mui Ne can be just for you. Nestled along the Southern end of Vietnam’s eastern coastline, this laid-back town which is also known as the adrenaline capital of Southern Vietnam, has something to offer for locals and tourists. Mui Ne is renowned for its beaches and semi-fine sand dunes – which are great places if you wish to venture off some adventures. The fact that it is just a mere 5 hours away from Saigon, travelers should not miss to pay this town a visit.
There are so many reasons for visiting Mui Ne. From gorgeous sunsets to great beaches, breathtaking scenery to picture-perfect villages, you will definitely experience something new. Here is Filtraveler’s guide to top 5 things to do in Mui Ne, Vietnam.
Top Five Things To Do In Mui Ne, Vietnam
#1 Visit The White Sand Dunes
I haven’t visited Middle East or Africa yet, but as soon as I set my feet on the sand dunes, I felt like I already had. Many visitors enjoy a trip to these surprisingly Saharan-like sand dunes located not far from Mui Ne’s city centre. A lot of travelers flock to the sand dunes to see the sunrise or sunset and of course, to play around the dunes. It is ideal to visit the dunes in the early morning before the heat gets unbearable.
What do you need to know?
- The white sand dunes are about 25 km from Mui Ne’s city center. You will not get lost in Mui Ne as the whole place is just one long strip so you just have to drive straight.
- You can get there by motorbike which usually costs US$8 – US$12 per day. However, according to law, you need to be in possession of a Vietnamese driving license to drive a motorbike and wearing a helmet is mandated, unless you want to get yourself in trouble. Some say that it is okay if you don’t have a Vietnamese driving license to drive around as the tour companies have a deal with the local police. – well, drive at your own risk. You can also take a motorbike taxi which will cost roughly US$10 – US$15 per day. Try to haggle with the drivers as they tend to double the price especially for foreign tourists. You can also join a group tour which is priced from US$5 that includes all the major sightseeing in Mui Ne. You will be picked up from your hotel at 5am so make sure to get up early. Two options are available: Sunrise tour and Sunset tour. In my case, I chose the sunrise tour. We started at 5am and finished around 11am and only paid US$5.00 for a half day tour.
- Entry to the dunes is totally free.
- If you are up for the adventure, you can rent a quad bike.
#2 Slide Through The Red Sand Dunes
There isn’t too much to do around the Red Sand Dunes. As soon as you get there, prepare yourself as there will be children as well as women who will approach and will offer you to rent a plastic edge which you can use to slide through the dunes. If you’re up for it, you can give it a try.
#3 Visit the Fairy Stream
For me this is one of the highlights of my adventure in Mui Ne, Vietnam. This stream is tucked between the beaches and the fishing villages. You will be impressed by the colours and the limestone formation. The Fairy Stream has a resemblance of United States’ The Grand Canyon – another natural wonder of the world. The magical stream is about ankle-deep and is a great way to relax after taking a tour around the sand dunes of Mui Ne.
#4 Mui Ne, Vietnam Market and Fishing Harbour
The fishing harbor is located at the north of end of Mui Ne bay. Upon getting to the entrance, you can see hundreds of colorful fishing boats – an amazing overview of the Mui Ne bay. You can see people from the local fishing villages sorting out their catch which will be ready for sale. Don’t be surprised if someone will approach you and offer you some fresh seafood.
#5 Kite Surfing and Wind Surfing
Mui Ne will not be dubbed as the adrenaline capital of Vietnam without extreme adventures like kite surfing. In fact, Mui Ne is considered as one of Asia’s most popular sites for kite and wind surfing. Venturing off these trendy sports can be a bit costly as you need an instructor especially if you are a beginner. The kite and wind surfing instruction starts at US$60.00 per hour or some packages can also be availed starting from US$400.
How to get to Mui Ne from Ho Chi Minh City a.k.a Saigon
There are many bus companies that run from Saigon to Mui Ne, but I would recommend taking Futa Buslines’ Phuong Trang, bright orange buses and Tam Hanh Travel, blue and white buses, two of the most reliable bus operators in town. The bus fare from Saigon to Mui Ne is usually priced at 130,000 VD or US$6.00-7.00, inclusive of a bottle of water and a towel. The bus trip usually takes 5 – 6 hours. Tickets can be booked at the office on De Tham near Pham Ngu Lao area.
HCMC to Mui Ne: 7am, 7:30am, 8am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, 6pm & 7pm.
Mui Ne to HCMC: 1am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 2:30pm, 3pm & 3:30pm.
Tam Hanh Travel
HCMC to Mui Ne: 7am, 7:45am, 11am, 2:45pm, 5:30pm & 8:00pm.
Mui Ne to HCMC: 12mn, 1am, 6:30am, 8:00am, 11:00am, 1:30pm & 4:00pm
Where to Stay in Mui Ne, Vietnam
There are numerous guesthouses and hotels along the strip of Mui Ne. If you are on a budget yet do not want to compromise on your comfort, you may consider staying at Long Son Mui Ne Campgrounds and Backpackers Square located on Suoi Nuoc Beach, 15kms north of Mui Ne. The campgrounds have an east facing beach, meaning the place is ideal for sunrise and sunset views. It is a secluded yet well-located campground resort for travelers who would like to escape from the hustle and bustle of the main tourists spots.
Long Son Mui Ne has dorm and bungalow options, $4 for single tent, $4 for a double tent, $7 for the dorm. Tents come with mattress, pillows and blankets. You will experience resort living at backpacker’s prices. $1 menu, $1 cocktails, free wifi, clean beach and lots of activities. Plus, they also have a JUST A DOLLAR promo.