Awesome things to do in Mui Ne, Vietnam
White Sand Dunes
The most popular Mui Ne attraction is about 25 kilometers north-east of the town. The Mui Ne sand dunes – who knew there were sand dunes in Vietnam! The white sand dunes aren’t strictly snow white but they are whiter than your average sand dune.
The appeal is that they dip right down to a lotus lake surrounded by greenery which is a beautiful contrast.
Quad Biking White Dunes
There’s no charge to visit the white dunes and you can walk through them although, if you’ve ever tried walking up a sand dune, you’ll know it’s pretty hard work.
But, there’s a small snack bar by the entrance where you can rent quad bikes. For around $25 an hour you can dip up and dive down the dunes spraying white sand as you go. It’s a lot of fun. It gets a bit blowy on the dunes and I nearly didn’t get my DSLR out but the cloud formations were amazing that day so I took a chance…
Red Sand Dunes
The red sand dunes are about 20 minutes drive from the town. As soon as we reached the top a bunch of kids ran over to ply us with plastic surf mats but I was more than happy to stay upright that day. The sand was a lot coarser than the white dunes and squeaked as we trudged our way to the top. Although the red dunes aren’t as impressive as the white dunes there are some wonderful views out to the ocean. I’m guessing the sunsets here are spectacular. There’s no charge to visit the Red Dunes.
Our third stop was at Mui Ne fishing village. We pulled up by the busy main road and Tuan even stopped the traffic for us to cross! There’s a steep concrete slope with steps set into it which lead down to the sea and a small beach filled with piles of empty scallop shells. The night’s catch is landed early each morning and sorted right there on the beach.
Views of the brightly coloured boats stretch out across the water and you can see locals sitting in them mending their nets and gear. There were lots of small round basket boats that you see all over Vietnam including some of the original boats woven from bamboo. Nowadays the majority are made from coloured fiber-glass. Fishing is one of the main industries here and the seafood in Mui Ne is impressive.
The Fairy Stream
At the far end of Mui Ne beach was our last stop of the day; the fairy spring in Mui Ne. I was a little dubious about this and thought it would consist of a few meters of muddy stream and be a bit of a tourist trap. I was happily surprised. It was actually a really pretty area with over 500m of rippling stream which had carved its way through rust coloured dunes, limestone rock formations and lush bamboo groves.
Near the fairy stream entrance is a place where fish sauce is made. Not one of the top things to do in Mui Ne but if you fancy filling your face with the smell of anchovies fermented in brine for eight months then dip your nose in. Mui Ne is fish sauce central and where most of Vietnam’s fish sauce is fermented and produced.
You’ll smell it before you see it but despite its pong it does have the most delicious flavor and gives Vietnamese food its authentic taste.
If you want to learn more about Vietnamese food, Mui Ne has its own street food festival three times a year usually taking place in January, April and July on the main street.
Kite Surf in Mui Ne
Kite-surfing is a big Mui Ne attraction. The area has a good breeze which is perfect for kitesurfing plus there are plenty of kite surfing schools along the beach.
Some of the best sunsets I’ve seen were on the beach at Mui Ne. We’d take a walk each evening and have a Tiger Beer at a small bar about a kilometer away and watch the sun go down as the die-hard kite-surfers made the most of the waves before dusk.
Mui Ne Sea Links championship golf course is just a few minutes from the town and it’s a fabulous course with some gorgeous views. We played 18 holes while we were there. Club hire is available as are golf carts which is advisable in the heat. We had a lot of fun with our two caddies and a really enjoyable afternoon on the course.
Translated by Bich Huong