Asia,  Vietnam

Postcards from the seaside: Mui Ne

I have an issue with Mui Ne. Mui Ne is weird. A town, that stretches along the coast for 16 km and has over 100 beach resorts. Full of Russians, with Cyrillic alphabet everywhere. Kitesurfing. Fishing village. More holes than pavements. And lots and lots of sand.

Postcard 1: the beach

 

We’re arriving in Mui Ne in the evening, after a heavy rain. The next day it’s mostly raining and there’s no electricity, but each day it’s getting better. Each day the sky is less cloudy and when clouds disappear, we miss them a bit. If there were no clouds on our first day, we would be totally fried. Like a prawn.

The beach in Mui Ne stretches for many kilometers and we don’t mind walking along the seaside for lunch 20 min one way each day. Sometimes the beach is very narrow, sometimes incredibly wide. Before going to Mui Ne, check on Street View how does the beach closest to your hotel look like. And if you’re hotel is not by the beach, remember that the beach is public, but there aren’t many entrances to it and you may have to walk a bit.

Postcard 2: white dunes

Sand dunes tour is a Mui Ne’s classic. You can buy it everywhere, but probably the best one is organised by Mui Ne Budget Hills hotel. We took a different one and regretted it.

4 people were squished in the back sit of an Uaz without windows. Uaz without windows is not the best thing in the world at 5am. 4 people in the back sit is also not the best thing. But it can only get better, right? We were late for sunrise, because our driver was late when he picked us up. And we were forced to pay additional fee for quads even though we didn’t want to go to the dunes on quads. But according to our driver, we couldn’t walk there. Even though it wasn’t forbidden. We simply had to pay. So we gave in and I discovered I hate quads. And I’m really worried that they we’ll destroy beautiful dunes…

Postcard 3: red dunes

 

From the white dunes we went to the red dunes and it was way better. No quads. The red dunes start next to the road, which looks quite funny. Like a giant sandbox.

Postcard 4: fishing village

Another stop during our tour. Our not-so-nice-driver gave us 10 minutes there. Thanks.

Postcard 5: Fairy Stream

 

Have you ever walked in a stream? I did. Fairy Stream is quite shallow (and in some parts not that shallow). It goes along cliffs and rocks all the way to the waterfall, which we unfortunately didn’t see. We didn’t have enough time. It’s a shame, because Fairy Stream is one of the prettiest places in Vietnam! I highly recommend walking in water shoes, in case of stones in the stream.

Postcard 6: reality

Pretty views are pretty, but not everything in the world ends up on postcards. And this is my issue with Mui Ne. Despite pretty views, it’s just… average. Or ugly. At least the touristic part is. And there’s something interesting – pharmacies. You’ll see one every 5 meters and they sell absolutely everything, mostly alcohol.

 

Practical info:

Where to stay? On a budget: Mui Ne Budget Hills. Clean and nice place, with 2 swimming pools, restaurant, bar – everything you need and more. The only downside – location. Quite far from the beach and the surroundings aren’t the prettiest. A bit more expensive: Bon Bien Resort. Beautiful beach, beautiful garden and swimming pool. Good low season prices. Average breakfast and not good coffee, but still a great place.

How to get to Mui Ne? By bus from HCMC. It takes 5-6 hours. You simply tell the driver your hotel’s name.

Where to eat? It took us quite a while to find good food in Mui Ne, but when we found Choi Oi, we were there every day, sometimes twice.

Before I went to Vietnam, a friend recommend a cocktail – rum with passion fruit. Rum in Mui Ne is very cheap, we couldn’t find passion fruit close to our hotel, but we found a passion fruit juice. The best cocktail ever.

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