We continue our Vietnam journey from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne. To know about our Ho Chi Minh experience, click here
To get to Mui Ne, we had to book our bus seats in Ho Chi Minh. I would say our bus experience was decent to say the least. The reason I am not recommending this agent is that I have read many bad reviews about it. The only reason we took it was that the tickets to Mui Ne are fast selling out and we happen to find out this agent have few more to spare. The 1st leg was a sleeping bus so the seats are reclining. It was alright. The only thing that annoyed me was the bus driver was honking the horn non stop and he takes his sweet time overtaking the transportation in front of us. It was a slow 5 hour ride. There was only 1 stopover at the 3rd hour for bladder relief and something to eat. My advice is to avoid drinking a lot or relieve yourself before hopping on the bus. The bus will drop you off at the hotel and pick you up after giving them a call for the return trip. Heading back, we had the normal seating bus but the experience was slightly better. The driver was still slow but had smoother driving. Round trip ticket was 400k dong. Maybe the train would be better for the 5 hour journey.
Our hotel felt like a private area as it only house 12 bungalows. We stayed at Cham Villa, beachfront room. The price is a bit expensive since it was high season, roughly 4M dong for the whole 3 night stay. The room was very spacious and right at the beach. Our bathroom had a mini garden view (covered of course). The beach sand is nice, white and fine. The water wasn’t too great as it was murky. The view was great though: nice white sand beach.
Mui Ne only has one road and both sides are lined up with beach resorts, restaurants, massage parlors and beach items for sale. It seem to be easy to navigate but if you are looking for a particular place, be careful with the numbers in the address. The numbers on the right lane will not be consecutive order with the left lane as well as odd and even numbers are in different areas. Once you figure that out, it should be fine. Else, the taxi driver knows best.
There are 2 restaurants I would recommend which doesn’t specialized in Vietnam food but we already had our fill when we were in Ho Chi Minh so it was all good. Plus the Vietnamese food isn’t as great as in Ho Chi Minh as it is adjusted to the tourist taste.
- Sandals @ Mia Resort
- Santiniatti Italian Restaurant (I do hope that is the spelling). The restaurant is across Saigon Mui Ne Resort. I didn’t take note on the address but the Resort address is 97 Nguyen Dinh Chieu.
The massage parlors weren’t appealing to me as they look like ordinary setting with chairs lined up. To me, massage needs to be in a spa environment. Call me snob but I would like my spa experience to be at least pleasant to the all of my sensory. I settled on Forester Spa since it had good reviews and it was near to our place. There was another one that was supposedly the best but it was far. It looked alright and the massage wasn’t bad. I just find it weird that the door was open while during my body massage (you need to be naked with a towel covered on top of you). Good thing there wasn’t that much customers. I am not sure if I should recommend this.
The star of the trip was the Sand Dune tour. The white sand dunes is an hour ride so it is not practical to just take a taxi. It is cheaper to take a tour package with 4 attractions for 30USD. It is basically hiring someone to drive you in a jeep to all 4 places.
- Cham Tower. This site we did it by our own. Nothing much to see except 2 abandon old post.
- Fairy Spring. I am not sure why they called it Fairy Spring but on 1st look, the water was muddy and it was a small stream of river. If it weren’t for some people heading towards the water, I wouldn’t think of going in. Water was ankle high but cooling to the skin. The reason why it looked muddy was of the red sand flowing with it. A boy kept following us, trying to be our guide. In the end, Francis gave him some tip as he made the tour entertaining. I read some reviews these boys will try to tag along and demand money even though the stream is easy to navigate. I am glad that boy wasn’t groom (yet) to be rude. We walked up to a hill of sand and get to see the top. I definitely need to shape up. There were cool mini canyon that reminds me of USA.
- Fisherman Village. Blue boats on blue water looks very refreshing. Beware of vendors suddenly rushing towards you.
- Red Sand Dune. I have never seen red sand and I am glad to finally sink my toes into it. There were boys selling plastic boards for sand surfing. It looked fun but I didn’t try it out as there were a lot of people. This is nearer to the beach area so more locals and tourist visit this place.
- White Sand Dune. The highlight of the tour. The sand is so fine and clean. The desert is big. You need an ATV to go from a hill of sand to another. Each ripple creates different formation, it’s so cool. I am not sure if I will be going to Egypt since it is so hot there but this place is good enough for me to appreciate the beauty of the desert. ATV will cost you 400k dong for a 30 min ride. Make those minutes count.
- (optional) Mui Ne is excellent for windsurfing so if that is your thing, do try it out. There are schools that teaches this sport.
- The White Sand Dunes are one of Vietnam’s charming geological oddities (wheretotravelinvietnam.wordpress.com)