Mui Ne is a charming little spot in Southern Vietnam, mostly known for its unlikely sand dunes. We stayed for a couple of nights, although I feel that Mui Ne can be easily and thoroughly explored in just one day and night, depending on how jam-packed you like your days to be!
Where we were staying, Mui Ne Backpackers Village, you could join a tour for $7 to take you to the best attractions in the area. However we very cheekily decided to copy their itinerary and do it ourselves on rental mopeds. This allowed us to explore at our own pace and was also more cost-efficient – bonus!
This itinerary for us was in fact spread throughout a couple of days, but here’s how I would fit it all into one day and night.
Start the day off with a morning swim
Mui Ne Backpackers Village to this day was one of the best hostels we’ve visited during our South East Asia adventure. It feels a lot more like a hotel than a hostel and the pool is fantastic! I got up for an early morning swim one morning in a half-hearted attempt to get some exercise done (it is surprisingly hard whilst travelling!) and I found it to be a really refreshing start to the day, perfect before heading out in that heat. Of course, the sea is very nearby too for those that prefer the beach!
Take a gander down Fairy Springs
Our first stop of the day was the Fairy Springs stream and I had a strong inclining as soon as I heard the name that I would enjoy this magical-sounding place. A small creek running through red sand, it sounds rather simple but it’s honestly so pretty and picturesque. Bright blue skies, deep orange-hued sandy mounts and plenty of vivid green palm trees surrounded us as we paddled through the lukewarm river water, flip-flops strung from our hands. A definite must-see, especially for all the dreamers out there!
Have a quick stop by Mui Ne’s fishing village
Pretty as a postcard, Mui Ne’s fishing village is certainly worth a stop. For us that’s all it literally was, a quick stop to take a peek and a picture but I’ve heard that a visit to the early morning fish market is quite the experience. We also made a second stop one evening to watch the sunset on the beach, which was beautiful.
Go quad biking over the white sand dunes
Sand dunes? Whaat? In Vietnam?! I’ve already expressed my wonder at the fact that there are sand dunes in Vietnam, and they truly are a sight to see. Mui Ne boasts both white and red sand dunes, separated from one another, and the white were to me significantly more impressive than the red. It was rather bizarre to be able to see the bright blue waters of the sea peeking above the caster sugar white hills of sand.
The dunes were filled with adrenaline-junkies rambling around on quad-bikes, but for quite a high price for only 15 short minutes we decided to opt out. But I wish I did it, as it did look like a lot of fun!
Marvel at the sunset over the red sand dunes
We had been recommended to make the red sand dunes our last stop of the day for sunset, which is indeed what we did. Groups had gathered to sit up on the highest dunes to admire the sunset as it set harmoniously against the darkened sand, which of course made for a lovely sunset experience. The red sand dunes also brought out the inner (or not so inner) child in me; it was extremely fun running down at top speed from the highest peaks only to effortlessly sink deep into the sand.
Gorge on a delicious seafood dinner
There are plenty of authentic Vietnamese restaurants perched right by the sea offering a wealth of delicious fresh fish and seafood in Mui Ne. I ordered a huge plate of mussels, and I honestly think they were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately the next day I was ill in bed vomiting, and I’m still not too sure whether this was due to the mussels or part of a doomed hangover. Still, it was worth it (in both senses)!
Drink with the locals and party the night away
Mui Ne was reasonably quiet when it came to nightlife with a lack of casual bars, but surprisingly there were one or two big-ish dance clubs. Our casual drinking after dinner turned into friendly shots with the Vietnamese locals (I’m still not sure what we drunk). Our shots with the locals turned into us buying cheap bottles of vodka and mixer. Eventually, we ended up in a place called ‘Dragon beach’ where we revelled in the loud music, flashing lights and swarms of drunken tourists. Albeit slightly cheesy and tacky, it was a lot of fun!
Have you visited Mui Ne? Are there any hidden gems I’ve missed out on?