Mui Ne is a coastal town in southeast Vietnam. Although a popular destination amongst the kite surfing and windsurfing community, Mui Ne seems to be one of those places that often gets overlooked by travellers. Nonetheless, during my trip to Vietnam in December, I decided to stop there for a few days and fell a little in love with the place.
On our first day, we visited the Fairy Stream which was only about 1km up the road from our hostel. The stream runs through the red sand dunes and the place really exceeded my expectation. Feel free to read a more detailed post about the Fairy Stream here.
For a coastal town, we actually found it really rather difficult to get to the sea because a lot of coastline is taken up by restaurants and hotels etc. We eventually managed to gain access through Coco’s Beach Resort where we were given the option of paying a service charge to use the sun loungers. Being the cheapskates we are, we politely declined and trudged along the beach until we found a patch of sand that was in the shade where we passed some time observing the kite surfers. Mui Ne is the kite surfing capital of Asia because of its strong winds, so if you fancy giving the sport a go, Mui Ne would be an ideal place. There are lots of places to get some lessons and I even saw some places that offered free trial lessons. Unfortunately though, if you’re not windsurfing you’ll most likely find the strong wind to be more of a foe than a friend and after getting gently pelted by a steady flow of sand, we decided to move on in search for an indoor beach, or at least, an indoor pool.
Bars and chill
Mui Ne has lots of cool bars where you can go and relax and nab some free wifi. We went to Joe’s Café after finding out the place had an indoor pool but when we got there, the pool had a sign saying it was ‘closed for cleaning,’ even though no cleaning action was taking place and clearly hadn’t been taking place for quite a while… We moved on to another place called Sankara. The place could have been a set for an Atomic Kitten music video, think white furnishings and weird pot plants circa 2000. The pool was sizeable too and far larger than the one in Joe’s Café. We paid 30,000 dong for a Saigon beer and lounged about on the deck chairs for a couple of hours. We also went to a place called Dragon Beach, which had beds (BEDS!) facing out onto the water with lanterns hung up all around the place. Dragon Beach seemed to be popular with tourists and locals alike so it’s genuinely a decent place for a party as well as a good hangout spot during the day. The bar is a little more expensive than the others if you want spirits but a beer still only set us back 30,000 dong.
Being a little fatso, I was disappointed to learn that Mui Ne is no big contender on the food front, especially compared to places like Hoi An and Hanoi. However, since Mui Ne is a coastal town, you can get some really good seafood for really cheap here. We ate like kings on our last night there and the bill only came to around 300,000 dong.
Mui Ne Jeep Tour
On our second day, we decided to do a jeep tour. I have to admit that tours aren’t usually my cup of tea but because the attractions in Mui Ne are quite far from each other and you know, because you get to ride in a jeep, it seemed to be the most sensible option. Most places seem to offer the same sort of deal: a sunrise tour starting around 4am and a sunset tour starting around 2pm for 200,000 dong. We opted for the early bird tour to see the sun rise over the white sand dunes. The jeep takes you to the white dunes, red dunes, the fishing village and the fairy stream and you get 20 – 40 minutes at each destination which turned out to be just enough time to wander around a little and take some photos. I would definitely recommend doing a jeep tour if you are stopping in Mui Ne for a short time because it’s a really convenient and easy way to see the sights.
If you’re travelling through Vietnam, definitely stop in Mui Ne even for a couple of days. It’s a bizarre little place, made even more so by the surprisingly large number of Russian bars and restaurants (cuttlefish porridge any one?), but just embrace and you’ll probably end up loving it too. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve been or are planning to go!