After our bus ride from Dalat we reached Mui Ne around noon. We were dropped off at the Main Street which runs next to the beach and walked about 1km to our Airbnb. The place we stayed was owned by a Russian family, they were very nice and accommodating.
The destination commonly known as Mui Ne is in fact split in two parts Mui Ne and Ham Tien. Mui Ne as a whole is known to be the Kite surf Mecca due to favorable winding conditions and relatively calm sea. Ham Tien is a typical seaside town with loads of restaurants, bars and shops so there is really nothing special about it except that it offers the best beaches, therefore the most expensive and fancy resorts are located there. Mui Ne is crawling with Russians, actually the signs of the shops and the menus are quite often in Russian too and sometimes only in Russian (?!?). Mui Ne itself, located on the most Eastern tip of the main beach was populated mostly by locals with no so many hotels nor restaurants, offering a more real life feeling. The beach in the Mui Ne area is more narrow and not as pleasant, it’s also the port for the fishermen boats. Our place was located between Ham Tien and Mui Ne, perfectly located away from the noise but still an easy reach to everything.
Besides the Kite surfing, the others highlights of Mui Ne special are the sand dunes – which wouldn’t expect in Vietnam and the Fairy stream.
There are the White Dunes, apparently great for sunrise and you can climb them by quad, and the Red Dunes, great for sunset.
We didn’t go to the white ones as they are about an hour drive from where we stayed and my back couldn’t handle another hour on a hard motorbike seat^^ another way would have been to book a tour but after Ha Long Bay we didn’t want to do this. So as we also saw the dunes in Namibia and even woke up in the middle of the desert (how spoiled are we^^) we decided to skip the White Dunes.
We did however go and see the Red Dunes for sunset, which was beautiful! We were actually positively impressed as we read mixed reviews about there being too many pushy sellers selling slides. If you stay a little bit off the main path and chose a dune which is a little further you don’t have pushy sellers (who by the way, only try to make a living!) and can have a dune for yourself. It was quite stunning to see the dunes and the ocean right in front and the setting sun.
We returned for sunset at the panorama view at Mui Ne harbour, very nice and scenic and popular among locals.
Another site we visited was the Fairy stream, a little river you can walk in for about 1 kilometer, surrounded by red and white sand formations. Funny enough this ended up to be one of my favorite activities we did in Vietnam! Sometimes the small things make you happy and it was so pleasant to wak in the river bed against its stream and to take in the landscape around us.
Every day we spent some time at the beach right across our Airbnb, it’s quite difficult to find shade place in Mui Ne except of course if you rent an umbrella or stay in a resort right off the beach but we found a spot under the only tree for a mile 😁, and we basically had the beach for ourselves.
The last evening we took the night bus (leaving at 00h30) to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), we paid 110’000 dong (about 5$) per person only. We heard a lot of things about the night bus being bad and…well they are 😅 They are indeed tailored for Asians so if you’re taller than 1m65 or not super slim you will definitely have a very uncomfortable journey. But the transfer was really fast, we arrived at 4h30 am and for such a short trip sleeping bus is fine but we would not have liked using such transportation for much longer trips.
From HCMC we waited a little bit as our bus to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta wouldn’t be before 6am. I have never seen so many people around at 5 in the morning – doing jogging, Tai chi, eating…it was quite fun to see! We also practiced what we learned since Halong – don’t get into a taxi at the bus stop! We walked a bit further and stopped one at the road. He turned out to be the nicest taxi driver we had in Vietnam – after dropping us at the approximate location he even came back to indicate us the house number we were looking for – an address he didn’t know before and most likely just saw when driving off.
In my next post I’ll describe further in detail how to get to Ben Tre and the Mekong Delta without booking a tour or expensive guide.