In Vietnam, most of the backpackers buy either the 4 stop or 5 stop open tour ticket. Given the three week time frame that I have, I bought the 5 stop open bus ticket stopping at major cities and an extra city of my choice. My choice was to cut the long trip from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City with a stopover in Mui Ne.
Our group in Vietnam all had a five stop ticket, but the group decided to cut the trip short and went straight to Saigon. The weird thing was that they were charged more for deciding to skip a stop, where in fact they should be refunded. But then again this is Vietnam. As for me, I decided to go to Mui Ne by myself and I’m so glad I did. Mui Ne is pretty nice.
Mui Ne Coast
Where to Stay
Mui Ne is a coastal town located in Southern Vietnam, 6 hours drive away from Nha Trang in the north and 4 hours drive away from Saigon. The town is situated in a long strip that can be easily navigated and impossible to get lost in. It is filled with hotels, resorts, bungalows and guesthouses for different types of budget. I wanted to stay at the Austrian’s backpacker’s hostel, which is a lovely hostel that has a swimming pool but unfortunately they didn’t have any dorm bed left. Luckily, I found a nice guesthouse called Friendly’s Guesthouse that is close to the hostel. So, I negotiated with the friendly owners and got a room for $8 a night, which I thought was a real bargain.
My room at Friendly’s guesthouse Mui Ne
For $8 a night- a $1.50 more expensive than the dorm room at the backpackers house, I got an air-conditioned room, a very spacious bedroom with two queen beds, TV, western toilet with hot water and a desk and chair for writing. They also have their own restaurant in front of the guesthouse.
It was a blessing in disguise that the hostel was full and so for the first time in Vietnam, I wasn’t staying at a hostel and had my own room. This is one of the many reasons why I love solo travel because I can mix things up by traveling with other people or just being by myself and when I’m by myself I can find really good spots.
Choosing to stop by Mui Ne is one of the best decisions I made because it was the only time I got to do solo travel in Vietnam. However, I wasn’t really traveling alone because I met other travelers on the bus from Nha Trang and so we decided to take a jeep tour to the sand dunes the following day to catch the sunrise in the dunes.
The Main Attractions
1. White Sand Dunes
Mui Ne is a popular stop over to and from Ho Chi Minh City because of one reason- The Sand dunes. There are two options on which you can best experience the dunes. One is during sunrise and the other during sunset. You can also either join a jeep tour to the dunes which costs $8 per person or rent your own bike, which is the way to go for most people and drive all the way to the dunes. The white sand dunes are about an hour away north of Mui Ne. Pick up time for the tour is at 4:30 am in which you arrive at the white sand dunes just in time for sunrise.
Sunrise in Mui Ne white sand dunes
White sand dunes in the early morning
A Vietnamese vendor bright and early for the tourists in the dunes
2. Red Sand Dunes
After exploring the white sand dunes, the next stop is the red sand dunes. The red sand dunes aren’t as nice as the white sand dunes and are more crowded and more polluted too. However, it’s still a good place to stop by and take jump shots. Why not?
Mui Ne red sand dunes is a good stop
One of my many fail jumpshots
3. Mui Ne Fishermen’s Village
On the way back, there is another stop where you can see and experience Vietnamese day-to-day lives in a small fisherman’s village. Here are a few of what I’ve seen:
Mui Ne fishing village
A lady in the market preparing breakfast
4. Mui Ne’s Fairy stream
Among all the attractions in Mui Ne, the fairy stream was one place I was surprised to find out simply because it was unexpected and I’ve never heard about it but it was so beautiful.
It is a bit of a walk from the main street to go all the way to the back inside the small road that leads to the stream. Once you get there, you can walk on the stream and see the natural wonders. It’s no surprise that the fairy stream is also compared as a miniature Grand Canyon.
The fairy stream is just an ankle deep
Vietnam’s miniature grand canyon
Overall, my quick stopover and 1 night stay in Mui Ne has been truly relaxing and great in many ways for nature sightseeing.
Up next: My last stop in Vietnam and the end of my Vietnam series. Woohoo!
Wrapping up Vietnam,