The Sand-Kissed Coast: One Day in Mũi Né

The Sand-Kissed Coast: One Day in Mũi Né

The sand stricken coastal town of Mũi Né  is a strange juxtaposition of Russian resorts, Vietnamese fishing villages, sprawling white sand dunes, red-sand fairy streams, and hundreds of seemingly abandoned properties. It has undergone a complete transformation in the last 15 years due to the spike in increased tourism, and draws an adrenaline-seeking crowd (mostly Russian) interested in kite-surfing, sand-surfing, motorbiking, and sun-bathing.

Where to begin? 

1) Stay at a local Guest House

There is a wide range of accommodation from five-star Russian beach resorts, to motels and local guesthouses. We opted for a guesthouse with favorable reviews, and couldn’t be happier with our stay at Duc Thao guest house. Duc Thao himself was such a friendly host, and our fresh seafood dinner was accompanied with guitar playing, broken-English conversations, and shots of sea-horse-infused rice wine courtesy of a shirtless Duc Thao. Stay here for a clean room, authentic experience, and great food.

Cost: 100,000 VND/person or 300,000 for Double Room with 2 beds

2) Rent a motor bike

Like anywhere in Vietnam, renting a bike is a necessity and a daring feat altogether. It’s easy to get lost roaming around local back streets getting yelled at in Vietnamese, but it only makes you a better driver and you’ll get your bearings after a few wrong turns.

Cost: 100,000 VND ($5 USD)

3) See Mũi Né Fishing Village at Sunrise

If you’re only here for one day, get your butt out of bed, I promise it will be worth it. Watching locals bring in the catch of the day on their rounded, colorful, bamboo boats is entertaining to say the least. Dozens of little Vietnamese women stand at the water’s edge awaiting the return of the bamboo boats filled with huge slime buckets oozing with freshly caught squids, shrimps, mussels, and exotic fish.

4) Wade in the Fairy Stream

The stream is hidden behind an old dirt road, and doesn’t look like much at first, but as you wade a little deeper into the trickling streams of the soft red sand, a world of sand art and cliff formations begin to appear.

Price: 10,000 Dong

5) Walk the White sand dunes at sunset

Motor biking to the dunes is about an hour drive out of Mũi Né  (35 km) passing through beautiful beaches, abandoned towns, and an array of resorts. The hot, tropical micro-climate creates huge swells crashing into the coastline and sweeps sand onto the roads. Wind gusts are a huge problem if you’re not enjoying them on a kite board, and we felt as if we were going to float right off our bikes and into the oncoming herds of cattle. If you can endure heavy gusts of wind, possible sandstorms, and the 2 km stretch of legitimate ‘off-roading’ leading to the sand dunes, go for it! It really is so rewarding to see these massive Sahara-like sand dunes appear in the middle of nowhere.

There are a couple of other options for the cautious (or less insane) including a jeep tour or hiring a taxi to and from the dunes! We chose to hire an old U.S. Army jeep to take us out on the dunes once we arrived for 450,000 VND ($8 each with three people). Scaling the dunes in an army jeep was exhilarating and one of my favorite moments in Vietnam.

Mui Ne is a visually stunning, strange mixture of ancient fishing villages, karaoke bars, beach town vibes, and sand dunes. Every 100 meters grants a new view into local life, Russian holidays, and the wondrous diversity of Vietnam.

Have you ever been to Mui Ne? What was the highlight of your stay?  

7 Comments
  • Hi there, I really enjoyed reading your past updates and most recent post 🙂 I have just started on WordPress since I am just beginning my travels – not only to keep my own recording of the journey, but also to read other people’s recommendations and insights. Some of the stuff I have read so far is great and I would love if you had any other recommended bloggers etc for me to follow? I am 23 and my first post lists the places I will be visiting. Thank you!

    • transient20s says:

      hello. first off, thank you for reading! That is so exciting that you are just starting traveling, and blogging is the best way to record all your thoughts, experiences, and ‘best and worst of’ on the road! It really depends on what type of travel you are interested in, but I love blogs such as bemytravelmuse, adventurouskate, ashleyabroad, legalnomads, travelfish (SEasia travel). Matadornetwork is one of my favorites for out-of-the box travel, and introduces you to places you never would have imagined. Let me know if these help 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your suggestions – I will definitely explore further! I’m still learning how to make the best use of my page but will certainly be updating it as regularly as possible so do keep an eye out! I really look forward to reading your future posts! Rebecca x

  • Hi there, I have really enjoyed reading your past updates and most recent post 🙂 I have just started on WordPress since I am beginning my travels – not just as a recording of the journey for myself, but also to read the recommendations and insights of others. I would love to hear if you have any recommended travel bloggers that I can have a read of? I am 23 and my first blog post lists the places I will be travelling to. Thank you so much!

  • Anita says:

    Reading your posts about Vietnam make me want to go there so bad. If I do, I could really use your tips! As for now, I am more enjoying your photography. They are just amazing 🙂

    • phoebe.nygren@gmail.com says:

      Anita- I am so glad that my posts have inspired your urge to go. Vietnam is such a beautiful country and one you should definitely explore. I am here to answer any questions you may have because Vietnam can be an overwhelming place at first, and I looked to other bloggers to help me, so I would love to help you with any questions! Thank you for the comment about my photos as well- I am an ‘Iphoneographer’ in training!

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