When i first searched for Mui Ne in websites and blogs, the information made me wrongly assume that Mui Ne was all about beach, boat and fishermen. I had never thought that this small town located at 215 km away from Ho Chi Minh City is a major attraction for sand lovers. Think about the Grand Canyon in United States: Mui Ne is like one in miniature. It also recalls the desert dunes in Egypt, to me at least.
Like I mentioned in my article http://asianitinerary.com/po-shanu-cham-towers-2/ , Mui Ne is also famous for historical places like Po Shanu Cham Towers and Prince’s Castle, so it is correct to say that Mui Ne is a place hanging between sand and history. I am neither an archaeologist nor an expert historian, thus I will do my best to share what I saw during my trip to Mui Ne.
Back to my trip, I boarded the 8am bus in Saigon, a good deal at 120,000 Dong (5 US$) for the over 6 hours ride. I had never expected the buses in Vietnam to be so comfortable: the seats can be totally reclined and you get a footrest as well, plus a pillow and blankets so you can even sleep during the journey. A unique experience, quite different from Thailand and Malaysia standards.
Along the journey I was amazed at how many Dragon Fruit trees there are in this stretch of Vietnamese countryside. We arrived in Mui Ne in the afternoon, got some food, checked in at the hotel, rented a bike and off we were exploring. We visited the Po Shanu Cham Towers and Prince Castle and other locations described in http://asianitinerary.com/po-shanu-cham-towers-2/ and managed to get lost at least 3 times and risked when a dog run after us barking and trying to bite my leg! Exciting!
After the visit to the historic sites, we stopped by the seaside to take a few picture before heading to Red Sand Dunes. After a short break by a small shop near the attraction signboard, and had yummy food, great french fries and super fresh coconut juice. The owner then offered us to park the bike outside the show, and a 10,000 Dong tip assured the bike was safe until we returned.
Fairy Stream and Red Sand Dunes is a magnificent place, it feels like the small version of the Grand Canyon; there is wonderful nature, traditional fishermen villages and lovely beaches. It seems that lots of tourists miss up on the Fairy Stream, which is a shame: you wouldn’t believe how beautiful the whole place is until you walk deep into the stream, surrounded by limestones formations. The path leads to a waterfall where you can take a short dip. It is a tough walk up the dunes, but well worth it! The most beautiful sand I have seen in my life. The area is right by the beach and the surrounding looks pretty awesome at sunset and sunrise. You will love the place!
Back on our bike, we went to Mui Ne Harbor where we marveled at the sight of dozen of round boats. Mobile and convenient, this Basket Boat is very popular among the local fishermen as it can easily transport people from their big boats to land, as well as being used to carry oil, wood, food and other things they might need while fishing. An incredible and creative vessel!
Nightlife in Mui Ne is about plenty of restaurants with great seafood, beer gardens and places to entertain yourself. Our time was over, yet if you can spare more days I recommend a try at kite-surfing, a visit to the lotus lake, to Mui Ne hot springs, and to the fisherman village market in the morning. Until then, so long!