a pleasure-hunting monkey.
Our trip to Mui Ne began as we wanted to sip the real Vietnamese coffee and savor the real Vietnamese Phở in their origin country. We chose Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) first instead of Hanoi as the flight ticket to HCMC is much cheaper than to Hanoi.
“We can visit sand dunes in Vietnam,” Indah threw the idea and I did Google the sand dunes in Vietnam.
“The sand dunes in Mui Ne. Shall we?”
“Let’s go to Mui Ne,” then we finally visited Mui Ne on early August, the rain season in Vietnam.
So we decided to go to Mui Ne for the sand dunes. We actually decided the other places we can visit in Mui Ne just several days before our flight to HCMC.
Located in the southern part of Vietnam, we reached Mui Ne by a 3.5 hour-train-trip. We were leaving from Saigon Railway Station and stopped at the last station Phan Thiet station and continued our trip by taxi from the station to the hotel, which took around 30 minutes.
The first thing I can say about Mui Ne is how affordable the foods comparing to HCMC. We tried the local foods as much as we can drag our lazy asses around and we found them unbeatable. I tried the best ice Vietnamese coffee at the hotel we stayed. I tried the best bánh xèo at the local restaurant near the hotel.
But just forget your expectation of a beautiful and clean holiday destinations. I have lost my count of how many trashes I saw along the beach, near our hotel, considering Mui Ne is also a popular destination for kitesurfing.
We didn’t go to the downtown of Mui Ne to explore the city life. As we stayed for two nights, we only visited the popular tourism spots.
We explore Mui Ne by join a jeep tour that offered by our hotel. There were two options for the jeep tour, the sunrise tour or the sunset tour. As the lady at our hotel recommended the sunrise tour, we got picked up before 5 a.m. at our hotel.
The tour was actually a joint tour with other tourists from other hotels around. So, we shared the cost with other 4 passengers to get cheaper price. Both the sunrise and sunset trip cost 150,000 VND/pax for share tour, which took 4 to 5 hours.
It is probably the most touristy destination in Mui Ne. As we were catching for sunrise, other visitors of Mui Ne has been arrived at the dunes to do the same thing.
Our jeep stopped at the parking lot and the driver took us to the ATV rental guy, a cool guy with his eye wear and buff to cover his face under his eyes.
With his limited English, they only asked us to keep our phone while the three of us riding the ATV. Yes, we need to rent an ATV to take us to the spot where we can get the best sunrise view there.
We rent the ATV for around 450,000 VND for 2 persons. The driver took me from the parking lot to the sunrise watching spot, where every visitors were also dropped and stood there waiting for the sunrise.
Be careful to your camera, as it is very windy around the sunrise hill.
When white sand dunes offers the adventurous way to reach the dunes, I found it is very easy the red sand dunes. I was only need to cross the road from the parking lot to the dunes without riding the ATV or other vehicle.
The red sand dunes seems warmer and smaller than the white sand dunes. The sand color is more red, which make it looks like a red small hill from the road.
You will see some local residents clearly here. Some of them are offering the sand boards for rent while some others selling some foods to the visitors.
I always love to see how the fishermen work as close as I can reach it. The fisherman village in Mui Ne is now one of my favorite fisherman villages I have ever visited.
The colorful round-shaped boats are the main attraction for me. The fishermen are seen transporting the boats from the water to the beach and gave the fishes to some other people who taking those fishes to other place.
Visiting this fisherman village, you may expect the unpleasant beach smell at the surroundings. It may because of the fishery activities or because of the trashes around.
At first, I was very curious to the fairy stream, since many people call it as the miniature of the Grand Canyon of Vietnam. Yet, after I entered the area, I thought “it can be a better place,” and after I got back to Jakarta, I can say that it is a tourist trap.
The visitors that visited Fairy Stream took off their shoes or sandals to enter this small river.
Nothing special to the stream of this river. The stream is colored by the soft clay under the water. But it is not a bad place at all. Despite walking along the stream, I love its dramatic red-ish view from the creek and the limestone around.
It turned to be an absurd place when I saw a man holding a big snake on his body just at my right side and I had to pass him. Totally absurd!
We stayed at Surf4You Residence in Muine. The room is very clean and has good oceanic view with the coconut trees at the beach. I really enjoyed the swimming pool, and of course the foods they served. Oh wait, their ice coffee with milk is the best I have tried in Vietnam!
There are varied of accommodation service in Mui Ne, from the low budget hostel to the beach front resort.
I reached the hotel by using taxi from Phan Thiet Station (Ga Phan Thiet). Which costed more expensive than by the bus, but we missed the bus at that time.