There is so much to do in the windy coastal town of Mui Ne: windsurfing, kitesurfing, regular surfing, sailing, hiking the fairy stream, and exploring the red and white sand dunes formed by the dry microclimate in the area. The town, nightlife, and restaurants were a little dead when I went, but it was still a great place for day time outdoor activities.
The first thing I noticed about Mui Ne is all the Russian text on the store signs. That’s because until last year, Russians didn’t have a visa fee to enter Vietnam. A local told me he noticed a significant drop in the Russian tourists after the fee was imposed.
White Sand Dunes
My favorite part of Mui Ne was exploring the white sand dunes. Several of us took a scenic 30 minute jeep ride out to the dunes. It’s 10,000 VND to get into the park and once you’re inside you can rent a four wheeler to get around or just walk around the giant dunes which is what I ended up doing.
The dunes are large and it’s fun to climb up to the top and check out the views of the surrounding area. I wish I had more time to explore, especially around the lake. This park was very clean also, especially compared to the red sand dunes. Plus, there weren’t any kids aggressively trying to sell you a piece of plastic to slide down the dunes.
Red Sand Dunes
The red sand dunes are definitely worth checking out also. It’s more convenient to get to from Mui Ne and there’s a very nice view of the ocean at the top of the dunes, so don’t miss it.
I didn’t realize how much fun the fairy stream would be or what to expect. The tour guide dropped our group off at a very shallow stream (1-5 CM deep) and it doesn’t look very exciting at first, then suddenly you’ll approach large red-orange sand banks, boulders, and cows hanging out near the stream. It’s very stunning and there is plenty to explore, but once again I ran out of time so I had to turn back.
I could have spent all day out here trekking up the sand banks and splashing around in the creek.
On my last day I signed up for kite surfing and got half way through the lesson which I was really enjoying, and a huge storm came through that halted the lesson (downfall of the low season). Fortunately the surf shop had several surfboards to rent so the trainer and I went surfing in the storm. Actually it was more of an attempt to surf because the waves were a little too powerful, so it was tough to stand up, but it was still so much fun to get back out in the waves again 🙂