Mui Ne Travel Guide
Mui Ne Beach is located in southern Vietnam and stretches nearly 12 km that includes beachfront resorts and a long sweeping bay. It is only a four hour journey from Ho Chi Minh City; making it a great destination for those in search of a short-stay beach holiday.
Most of the resorts on the coastal strip are set amid pretty gardens and mercifully low-rise. The old and original fishing villages are still there, but there are a lot more tourists in the local area than locals. Mui Ne is starting to establish itself as a more upmarket destination with a variety of swish and exclusive shops and restaurants open. However, the beach setting still means there is a notable kite-surfer vibe to the town, while windsurfing is also popular on the Vietnam family vacation from October to April.
The rainfall in Mui Ne is quite limited with nearly 50% less than experienced in nearby Phan Thiet. It is the many sand dunes that help to protect the distinctive microclimate, and even when the rainfall does arrive (June to September) it is still quite sporadic and light.
One issue that Mui Ne Beach is experiencing relates to the slowly creeping issue of coastal erosion. There are plenty of resort areas that are relying on sandbagging in an effort to protect their beaches.
Also, for those travellers on the Vietnam adventure tour planning to hire a motorbike or bicycle, there is an issue with road safety. The main coastal road has no traffic-calming measures in place which can lead to speeding trucks and cars.
Most of the places to visit in Mui Ne are along the 10 km stretch of the highway with shops and restaurants on one side and guesthouses and hotels on the other (beach side).
The climate in Mui Ne is a tropical monsoon with a dry season that lasts from November to March and a rainy season that runs from April to October. Plus, this coastal region is quite close to the Binh Thuan Desert which means it is prone to drought and one of the driest areas in Southeast Asia.
But, this unique climate helps to attract visitors on the Vietnam beach holiday to see the matchless geological formations such as the Sand Dunes and Fairy Stream.
On average, the temperature is a warm and comfortable 27° C throughout the dry season, which makes it perfect for engaging in a variety of recreational activities.
How to get there
The closest airport to Mui Ne is located in Da Lat (Lien Khuong Airport) which is in the region of 130 km away. Alternative airports in the region include Tan Son Nhat International (200 km away) or Cam Ranh International Airport (191 km away).
Mui Ne is also without a train station with the closest in the northwest region of Phan Thiet. This train line has a limited service with one train ride per day between Ho Chi Minh City (leaving early in the morning) and Phan Thiet. A ticket for the soft seats with air-con cost in the region of $8.50 and soft berth with air-con cost about $11.50.
There is a regular open-tour bus service to Mui Ne with departures from Da Lat, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. The cost of the bus ride costs in the region of $3.50 to $4.50.
The most convenient method to get around in Mui Ne is by motorbike with daily rentals costing in the region of $3.50 to $6.50. But, the reliability of the bikes can vary greatly, so it is essetnail to find something that appears to be well maintained. Most of the tourist strip is quite flat and extends along a single road. But, this road has plenty of heavy vehicle traffic, so it helps to play safe with the type of vehicle hired.
The taxi is a practical choice for the longer distance travel which is often found clustered outside the larger resorts or a guesthouse or hotel can help to call one.
Where to stay
The majority of the guesthouses and hotels are located on the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street which is a 10 km stretch of coastal road. The places to stay are available on both sides of the street with the ocean side giving great views. There are plenty of opportunities to get low season rates if travelling outside the busy season (varies from February to October).
Most of the accommodation is great value, but for the highest quality beachfront places it will be necessary to have a quite big budget.
A stay at the family-run Cat Sen Auberge on the Vietnam tour packages is perfect for the travellers in search of a gorgeous retreat that is surrounded with lofty coconut trees. Most of the cottages and rooms have a French style influence with great features inside and out. The simple, yet elegant rooms are kept well maintained and comfortable. Standard features include Wi-Fi, kettle, safety box, a mini-fridge and ceiling fan or air-con. Plus, the bathrooms are a nice size with a separate sink and shower. The Cat Sen Auberge is quickly booked up in the high season, so it makes sense to book early to avoid disappointment. The cost per night is in the region of $20 to $50 per person.
Coco Beach is one of the longest established resorts to set up in Mui Ne. It is well located in the centre of Mui Ne and resembles a family-friendly holiday town. This resort has 3 villas and 28 bungalows with the well maintained outside that include plenty of coconut trees. The cost to stay in one of the luxury bungalows is in the region of $115 to $145 per night.
The Cocosand Hotel offers great value for the budget travellers ($10 to $20 per night). The outside space is nice with a few picnic tables and hammocks for guests to use. The clean and comfortable rooms include the standard features like a mini-fridge, desk, wardrobe, TV, air-con and Wi-Fi. Plus, the rooms include a private bathroom.
Eat and drink
Mui Ne has a few true local eateries, but the food can be pricey and not always of the highest quality.
A great place to stop for lunch on the beach is Lam Tong which serves up a varied diet consisting of typical Vietnamese staples, grilled fish with lemon, fresh fruit options, and plenty of good noodle dishes. The markets are great for daytime soups like fish pho.
Alternative cuisine options include a visit to Sindbad Kebab which has a very Mediterranean influence for its dishes, with the menu consisting of kebabs, sweet potato fries, tsatziki and hummus salads.
Chi Em is a great seafood joint which is family owned and serves a range of delicious meals that include fish stuffed with herbs, ginger, lemongrass, or chilli, as well as scallops and tamarind crab.
Most of the shopping scene on Mui Ne relates to the small boutique stores selling ceramics, handbags, scarves, lacquerware, paintings and embroidery. Most of the handmade items are created with an ancient Cham style which makes them a perfect gift or souvenir for family or friends back home.
A visit to one of the local markets makes it possible to witness and learn more about the local lifestyle, while buying fresh produce and sampling authentic Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls, banh xeo and fish pho. The markets are great for experiencing the more relaxed time.
Mui Ne Handicraft is a great place to visit to watch deaf children create a wide range of Cham pattern inspired textiles. Once the hand-woven textiles are complete, a tailor can transform it into a great piece of clothing at a very reasonable price.
Things to see and do
Mui Ne is a great place to visit for things to see and do with plenty of activities taking place in the surrounding area.
Observe the local fisherman
Visit Mui Ne harbour to see the fisherman in action as they bring in the day’s catch. An early morning visit is essential to see the most activity – before 10 am. This fishing community is well-known for the colourful fishing boats that are witnessed throughout the harbour. This can make a great backdrop for those travellers that want to snap the more unique and memorable photographs. Plus, there are is a great market nearby that can serve up a delicious bowl of fresh fish pho.
Visit the sand dunes
For the travellers on the Vietnam private holidays that want to see something a little different to the rice paddies and jungles in Vietnam, it is well worth visiting the white sand dunes at sunrise or sunset. This area is easily reached by local taxi or riding a scooter. Plus, there is always the opportunity to try Sand boarding down one of the highest sand dunes for added fun.
Red Canyon walk
A short trek of the Red Canyon walk is certain to provide a pleasant experience and takes about an hour and a half to complete (return journey). This is an easy trek that can be completed without a local guide. It has a well marked path that passes alongside a small river upstream until reaching a charming little waterfall.