Mui Ne on Vietnam’s South Central Coast is a perfect getaway from the hubbub of Ho Chi Minh City. Located just a few kilometers from the fishing town of Phan Thiet, Mui Ne’s tourist strip is little more than a dusty road next to a long beach, but trust us when we say it’s better than it sounds!
The area is popular among water sports enthusiasts, particularly kite surfers, for its windy and choppy waters.
If you head to the beach, do be aware of the tide as there are often strong undercurrents and the beach has no lifeguards.
As a popular weekend getaway, 48 hours in Mui Ne is a perfect amount of time to experience much of what’s on offer.
Check out the Po Sah Inu Cham Tower
A couple of kilometers away from the main strip of Nguyen Dinh Chieu street is an ancient relic from the Champa Kingdom, the Po Sah Inu Tower. The red brick tower is living proof that Vietnam’s history is deeply complex, and forever changing. Not only is Poh Sa Inu an important historical and cultural relic, but it’s hilltop setting comes with amazing panoramic views over the surrounding bay.
Fill up on lunch at Sindbads and laze by the water
One of Mui Ne’s most popular eateries ought not to be a kebab shop you might think, but let your tastebuds decide! Mui Ne is loaded with great seafood, crab and lobster in particular, but save that for dinner, and grab a delicious, comforting kebab at Sindbad’s before retreating to spend the afternoon on the beach or by your hotel pool.
Late afternoon on the Sand Dunes
There are two towering sets of sand dunes just a few clicks away from Mui Ne, the first you’ll arrive at are the red sand dunes, where the deep red sand creates an otherworldly, almost Martian feel, with dust devils careening around in the late afternoon breeze. You can rent a flimsy, home made sand board for a dollar and slide down the sand. While that’s a fun activity, we actually like going to the dunes just to climb to the top, relax and enjoy the views over the ocean.
We’d say the best time to visit the sand dunes is at sunset, around 5.30 pm, but that’s also a popular time so there might be a crown. Otherwise, head over an hour earlier to avoid the people rush.
Further along the road are the pristine white sand dunes, also a very beautiful sight, where you can do a touch of off roading via 4x4 or quad bike for the thrill of it!
Dine on seafood and chill out with a drink at Old Fashioned Bar
Mui Ne’s F&B scene has had quite an upgrade in the last few years, with more discerning places opening up, selling more than cheap bottled beer and bad quality spirits. One such place championing quality is Old Fashioned Bar. It’s a casual pub with beach side vibes, but they serve up really high calibre cocktails and have some great music.
Before of after cocktails, dine out on local cuisine at one of the many seafood spots along Nguyen Dinh Chieu street. They mostly offer up the same things including lobster, tamarind crab, scallops and daily caught fish. Wash it all down with some cold beer and enjoy the sound of the ocean washing in.
See Mui Ne Fishing Village in Full Flow
At the end of the Mui Ne tourist strip of Nguyen Dinh Chieu you’ll find the fishing village, where life is at its most feverish in the early morning around 6 am, just as the sun rises and dyes everything gold. Don’t forget your camera, for this scene offers some fantastic photo opportunities. Watch the colourful boats pull in from a night at sea to drop off their bounty before it’s all sold for the day.
Take a morning stroll in the fairy stream
In truth, Mui Ne’s so called “Fairy Stream” is far from Vietnam’s greatest attraction, but there is something nice and peaceful about plodding barefoot through the soft sand and shin deep water, while on either side of you limestone and sand walls rear up in all manner of strange shapes. It won’t take much out of your day, just an hour or so, and offers some nice respite before a full on, activity filled day of…
Now maybe this isn’t for you you think, but honestly, the waters around Mui Ne make an excellent location to take a lesson in kitesurfing! There’s almost always a stiff enough breeze and enough waves to make it fun. And since Mui Ne has become one of Southeast Asia’s most popular kitesurfing destinations, there are quite a few reputable schools where you can safely learn for the day. Some of the most highly rates are C2Sky and Mui Ne Kitesurfing School.