From a commercial beach town, we headed to a more off the beaten track (or so we were told) beach town on the east coast, in a little nook called Mui Ne. After another sleeper bus journey we were dropped off in the middle of this strip of sandy roads, with accommodations and restaurants down a 16 kilometre stretch with the beach on the east side.
Reservations were difficult to come by being the Christmas holidays and Mui Ne is popular more among the local tourists and the well knowledgable backpacker crowd. The main attraction here isn’t just the beach but the sand dunes which are a couple kilometres away and a truly stunning sight.
At first glance Mui Ne reminded me of the islands in Thailand – small, quiet and attractive to the easy going lifestyle seeker. The strip hosts resort style hotels as well as beaten up backpackers. We ended up at an overpriced ‘resort’ where breakfast consisted of a plain omelette. This area of the beach is popular for windsurfing due to the extremely windy conditions Mui Ne endures on a daily basis. The beach is beautiful but more on the dirty side since Mui Ne is an emerging tourist town building up around a fishing village.
Scooters are a must here since nothing is walkable. The traffic is low so scooting around is a pleasant experience, even at night. Even though with Christmas being the busy season, I still found it pretty quiet.
Mui Ne is a great attraction for families as well since the resorts are child friendly and its safe all around.
The sand dunes felt like being in the Sahara desert. They are located next to a lake so at first glance the view is breathtaking – I have never seen anything like it! You can also go sand sledding, which is definitely harder than it looks.
A few hour trip with a driver in his jeep is fairly cheap – about $5. After an hour or so at the white sand dunes you are taken next to the red sand dunes which aren’t quite as stunning but offers a great view of the ocean and nearby villages when at the top.
The fairy stream is just that – a stream and you are guided by local boys who have quickly learned the art of conning at such a young age. It’s hard to say no and they have learned all the right English words to make your heart melt.
The walk you through the stream, offer you a chance to ride an ostrich (random!) and take you up a sandy hill for a view of the stream. It’s really just a little hike which has become a tourist attraction mainly due to the lack of attractions in Mui Ne.
The beach life here is a bit boring since it’s too quiet. This is the main reason Mui Ne attracts the mature crowd, with families and couples as well. It was a relaxing few days with great meals, especially at a little French restaurant called ‘La Palliote‘ where we had the best meal in Vietnam. That alone was worth the trip to Mui Ne.