On the southern coastline of Vietnam, there is a little fishing village just a 4-hours bus ride away from Saigon. Mũi Né is fast becoming a popular leisure destination with resort-style developments rising along the coastline. Still, the lives of the fishing communities remain unchanged and Mũi Né’s long beach is quiet and serene, a perfect place-to-go to escape from hectic big cities.
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Getting to Mũi Né
There are no lack of buses that run from Saigon to Mũi Né. We highly recommend The Sinh Tourists bus operator to travel around Vietnam. The bus journey is about 4-hours, costing 119,000 VND (US$5) inclusive of a bottle of water and Wi-fi on-board.
Sleeping in Mũi Né
We stayed at Long Son Mũi Né Campgrounds located on Suối Nước Beach, 15-kilometers outside of Mũi Né town. The campgrounds have an east-facing beach, meaning the place is ideal for sunrise views. It is a secluded yet well-located campground resort for travelers who would like to escape from the hustle and bustle of the main tourists spots. We stayed in a double-tent comes with mattress, pillows and blankets. Over here, you get to experience resort-living at backpacker’s prices: $1 menu, $1 cocktails, free Wi-fi, clean beach and lots of activities.
Getting around Mũi Né
There is a frequent local bus (no.1) which stops at red sand dune, fairy stream and fishing village which costs 13,000 VND (US$0.50) per trip. Luckily the bus goes all the way to Long Son Mũi Né Campgrounds which make it very convenient for us!
Free things to do in Mũi Né
Wandering around Red Sand Dune
The Red Sand Dune is a popular tourist spot in Mũi Né. It’s a tiny piece of desert in Vietnam, which gives you a whole different view of the country. Just 20-minutes from the town centre, it is a spectacular place to be during sunset. Honestly, there isn’t too much to do around the Red Sand Dunes. You can, however, rent a plastic sled to slide down the dunes for about 20,000 VND (US$1).
Entrance Fee: Free
Strolling barefooted along Fairy Stream
This stream is tucked between the beaches and the fishing village. You will be impressed by the colors and the limestone formations which look like a mini scale of Grand Canyon. If you enter by the main entrance, there will be local teenagers coming to you asking to be your guide and helping you to take pictures for a fee, just politely refused and walk off. We managed to find a side entrance used by the locals to escape from paying entrance fee.
Entrance Fee: 15,000 VND (if you enter from main entrance or with a tour)
Visiting the Fishing Village
At the north end of Mũi Né, you’ll find stunning views over the bay that is filled with colourful round fishing boats. It is a beautiful place to stop for sunrise and sunset. The fishing village is wonderful to admire from the road as well, which is on top of a hill. You can walk along the shoreline and pick some pretty shells.
Awed at Kite-surfers
Kite-surfing is a big deal in Mũi Né. Locals and travelers enjoy the wind and waves almost all year round. There are a lot of kite-surfing shops where you can rent the equipment or pick up the skill from an instructor. If not, just relax and watch the action by the beach.
Chasing Sunrise and Sunset
Sunsets and sunrises in Mũi Né are among the best in Vietnam due to its location. Choose to sit on the main beach, watch from the fishing village or on top of white or red sand dunes for incredible skies. Even if you’re the type of person who likes to have a drink in hand while watching nature’s beauty, there are plenty of bars lining along the beach.
Hiking up on Random Hill
Yes! We saw a hill at the end of the beach where we were staying…why not take a look up there?
What we didn’t do
Rent a Motorbike
We were being advised by the locals that the police in Mũi Né often organizes “road block” to stop foreigners riding motorbikes. Even if you do have an International Driving Permit, the police will still find an excuse to make sure you pay some money to them. We had witnessed the scene and glad we heeded their advice. The fine is usually about 200,000 VND (US$8-10).
White Sand Dune
The white sand dune is about 25-kilometers away from town center; too far for us to walk, and no public bus to go there. Besides, it’s just another land with sand.
Take a Tour
A standard half-day tour inclusive of white and red sand dunes, and fairy stream will cost US$5 from most hostels. It sounds reasonably-priced, but you may not get to enjoy each attraction at your own pace, and usually the guide will lure you into tourist traps like quad-biking at white sand dune or paying a fee for fairy stream. Since there’s a public bus just outside our hostel, why not make use of it?
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