After arriving in Mui Ne at 5am and taking a nice 4 hour nap, we got up around 9 and decided to spend some time leisurely time exploring the coastal road.
Mui Ne has a very laid back vibe to it despite tourism turning it into a resort town. The city is packed full of mostly Russian tourists and most signs have Russian on them. Apparently a lot of the restaurants and resorts are owned by Russians as well.
There isn’t really a ton to do in Mui Ne unless you’re really into kite or windsurfing. You can take lessons but they’re pretty pricey and we weren’t planning on spending a lot of time here, so we opted out.
We enjoyed strolling down the street, there were lots of creatures in tanks outside of restaurants waiting to be eaten by patrons.
We made our way back along the beach, though in many places the beaches have vanished due to coastal erosion and have been reduced to concrete walkways and steps. These can be treacherous at times when the waves crash against the concrete. We almost lost the Nikon, at one point!
Back at the bungalow, we arranged for an army jeep to take us to the sand dunes, fairy stream, and the fishing village. It picked us up along with 6 other backpackers at 1pm and took us to our first stop: the Fairy Stream. Colored by the clay, the red water stream is surrounded by huge rock formations and lush greenery. We had fun exploring the area for about an hour, walking all the way to the end where there was a small waterfall. The water was almost waist-deep at some points, which was really a blessing as the sun was pretty relentless this day.
We hopped back in the jeep and drove down to the fishing village. The village was fascinating but also a little depressing, as the beach was covered in garbage and dead sea creatures. From the top of the steps leading to the beach we got a really nice view of all of the boats.
Our next destination was the massive white sand dunes. We climbed up the highest one nearby and enjoyed a picturesque view of the Lotus Lake and surrounding dunes. Jojo also had fun jumping off the peak and tumbling down. Your feet would sink in calf-deep when you try to climb back up!
You can also rent four wheelers for 400,000vnd/20 minutes to zip up and down the dunes with a bit more speed and excitement.
Our last stop was the red sand dunes which were less impressive size-wise but spectacular in color. The sand was was cool on top but almost burning hot when our feet sank down about a foot.
We were dropped back at our bungalow around dinner time, so we walked down to a restaurant called Indo Bar where we feasted on fresh and wonderfully affordable calamari, squid, and scallops. We also walked a little further down the street and stopped at Joe’s Cafe for a drink and listened to some live music.
We had been told several times that Mui Ne was not a destination worth going to, and we could see why some people feel that way, given that the town itself doesn’t have much going on. However, we personally felt that the jeep tour made it worth it for us, and we might have stayed another day or two for kitesurfing if we had more time. But, our visas expire in a few short weeks and we have much to see and do before then!
Breakfast: 75,000vnd ($3.50 USD)
(2) Beer: 24,000vnd ($1.12 USD)
Jeep Tour: 280,000vnd ($13.06 USD)
White Sand Dune Entry Fee: 20,000vnd ($0.93 USD)
Water: 10,000vnd ($0.47 USD)
Seafood Dinner: 225,000vnd ($10.50 USD)
Water: 8,000vnd ($0.37)
Bungalow: 310,000vnd ($14.46 USD)
Total Spent: 952,000vnd ($44.41 USD)