27/10/2017 11045 views

Top Things To Do in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet

Mui Ne is the perfect place for a beach getaway. It’s only 4 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City and offers great kitesurfing, surfing and many other activities.

How to get to Mui Ne


Buy bus

Mui Ne is located in Phan Thiet, around 220km and 4 and a half hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. As it has no airport close, your best bet is the bus or train.

Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne

There are plenty of buses going to Mui Ne. You can book online or go to the office to buy tickets on the spot.

Sleeper bus: 150.000 VND ($6.50)
Limousine/van: 250.000 VND ($11)

By Car

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By Train

Train from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet and Taxi from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne

Catch a train from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet (around 4 hours) and on arrival, take a metered taxi or local bus to Mui Ne (30 min). This combination is a bit more time consuming and expensive, but far more comfortable.

Train: 120.000 VND ($5) soft seat or 220.000 VND bed ($9.50)
Taxi: 300.000 – 350.000 VND ($13-$15)

What to do in Mui Ne

There’s plenty to do in Mui Ne and around Phan Thiet, so here’s a list of most, but definitely not all of the things to do.

White Sand Dunes – Đồi Cát Trắng

Mui Ne area is unique because of its interesting landscape. You’re able to see dunes everywhere. One of the most famous ones are the White Sand Dunes. They’re pretty big, compared to the Red ones, and are about a 40 minute drive away and the best time to visit is for sunrise.

Best time to visit: sunrise
How to get there: follow the road along the coast to the north-east for 40 minutes
Entrance fee: free

Tips: If you stay a tiny bit longer after sunrise, you will have the whole place for yourself, as all the tours will leave. That is also the time when you can enjoy the dunes without countless super-loud quads tearing them up.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to ride a quad to explore the dunes. You can easily do it on foot and also get some exercise in.

Quads are many times in bad condition and you are not allowed to drive them yourself, so you essentially pay a lot for someone to take you around on one.

Red Sand Dunes – Đồi Cát Đỏ

The Red Sand Dunes are the smaller of the two unique geological sites. They are only a 15 minute drive away from the main strip and the best time to visit is for sunset as the colors of the dunes and sunset combine.

Best time to visit: sunset
How to get there: follow the road east for 15 minutes
Entrance fee: free
Tips: You can rent a plastic “sled” to slide down the dunes. We didn’t do it as it didn’t seem as fun to us, and the sellers were a bit pushy and rude. On top of that, the Red Dunes are a bit trashy, and you can see a lot of plastic parts from the sledes in the sand. The quality of the sleds is really bad, so once they fall apart or break they just leave it there.

Fairy Stream

The Fairy Stream is a shallow, ankle-deep water stream where you can observe the incredible natural formations that were formed by water from the red sand. You’ll be surrounded by palm trees and greenery on one and red sand dunes with white rocks on the other side. It doesn’t take long to explore this place, so it can be added to any itinerary, although it’s not the most exciting place to see in Mui Ne.

Best time to visit: anytime, but to avoid crowds, sunrise
How to get there: walk/ride to the entrance, which is just off the main road

Entrance fee: 15k per person + 10k scooter ($0.65 + $0.40)

Duration: 1 hour is more than enough

Tips: Come early, as this spot is the easiest to access and will be crowded.

You have to take your shoes off as you’re walking through the water, so take some bag for carrying your shoes.

There are some restaurants on both sides of the stream (before the official entrance), where you can have a drink or get some food, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of that part.

Please don’t support the small ZOO you’ll pass at one point. Luckily it wasn’t operational when we visited due to lack of tourism, and hopefully it will stay that way.

Po Shanu Cham Towers – Tháp Po Sah Inu

Po Shanu Cham Towers of Phan Thiet were built in the 15th century and dedicated to the princess Po Shanu. The towers are still an important religious site for the local Cham community.

The area of Phan Thiet and the coastline up towards Da Nang was once part of the Champa Kingdom, and thankfully, some of these towers and temples are still around.

Best time to visit: early morning, late afternoon
How to get there: on the road towards Phan Thiet, reachable in 10 minutes
Entrance fee: 15k + parking (total around $1)
Tips: Climb up the hill behind the towers where you can find an old fortress and bunkers that boast an amazing view of Phan Thiet and the bay.

Mui Ne Fishing Village & Market

Mui Ne is traditionally a fishing village and you can still enjoy a part of it’s history and traditions in the daily morning fish market. It’s the place where you can witness the local life and enjoy the view of hundreds of boats just off the shore. Pretty amazing sight.

Best time to visit: early morning for the market
How to get there: drive along the coast east for about 10 minutes

Entrance fee: free
Tips: The best time is to come early in the morning when fishermen come with their catch and sell it to others. However, don’t come too early. When we first visited we went for the sunrise, and there was just a small group of people there. You can witness a stunning sunrise here, but if you’re limited with time you’ll miss the market. So try to time your visit right.

This market isn’t that special if you compare it to some others in Vietnam, but it’s worth a stop if you’re nearby.

Do Kitesurfing & Best Kite School in Mui Ne - Surfpoint 

Kitesurfing is offered by many outfitters and hotels. Kite surfing instruction is available, starting at US$50/hour, beginners package of 7 lessons start at US$350. From November till March you generally will have strong winds every day. The Winds in Mui Ne emerge by thermal movements, after the shores got warmed by the sun. You will have perfect wind everyday from 11:00 until the late evening. Gusty winds are seldom. With strong winds, the sometimes choppy waves can be as high as 4 m and more. The water is free of rocks, which makes it relatively safe to kite. However in the peak season there up to 300 kiters in the water at the same time. Beginners and Students, who mainly practice close to the beach front makes things a bit more dangerous. So watch out for other kitersurfers and swimmers and control the speed, in particularly because swimmers are difficult to see when waves are high. Accidents between kitesurfers or between kitesurfers and Swimmers happen from time to time and medical facilities are limited in terms of their equipment and abilities.

There a kitesurfing schools along the beach call surfpoint, which all employ beach boys who will help you to start and launch the kite. It is widely common to tip the beach boys with US$1/day. If you bring your own equipment and don't want to carry it from and to your hotel every day, you can store it at one of the kitesurfing schools for US$20/week or US$60/month, including usage of their compressors and shower facilities.

If you are a beginner but already can practice independent without an instructor, you might avoid the area around Sunshine Beach Hotel/Sankara/Wax, because there are too many kite surfers and swimmers which may lead to accidents, particularly if you can not fully control the kite. Try the western part of beach front around the Kitesurfing School Surfpoint. There are less kiters in this area and you can practice without bringing you and others into danger.

There is a place called "wave spot" or "Malibu beach" (10.92676, 108.29500). It is suitable only for intermediate/advanced kiters, but its much less crowded there.

  • Surfing. Sometimes you get good waves in mornings of windy season. Lessons, day trips and rentals are available, don't hesitate to ask around. While Mui Ne is not the best destination for surfing, it can be good place to give it a try.

  • Swimming. The sea is wonderfully warm, but it can be quite rough, with large waves and a strong rip tide. When the tide is in, there is not much of a beach to speak of. When wind is blowing it can be quite chilly to even think of swimming. The area between kilometre markers 11 and 13 has the largest stretch of enduring sandy beach. Since large waves normally emerge after 11:00 you might prefer to swim in the early morning hours, when the water is flat and free of Kitesurfers. Most mid-range and top-end resorts have swimming pools for their guests. Some are open for day users starting at 80,000 dong per day. But you can always behave as guest from this hotel and buy a few drinks for these 80,000 dong.

  • Water sports. Most outfitters offer a host of water sports including kayaking, paddle surfing, and jet ski rental.

  • Windsurfing. If you like to do some windsurfing, go to eastern part of Mui Ne. Starting from Hai Au resort, there are some hotels that are offering good place to water start, rent or store your gear.

Best time to visit Mui Ne

The best time to visit Mui Ne depends on what you would like from it.

If you’re looking for good waves to surf, the time would be in winter, from October to April.

If you’re coming to just enjoy the beach and explore around, anytime of the year should be enjoyable.

Rainy season: April – October (high humidity, a lot of rainfall)

Windiest months: January – March