Mui Ne Beach & Sand Dunes

Mui Ne Travel Blog

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Let's go fly a kite

Everything goes on the back of a motorbike in Vietnam: caskets of fruit, beer, computer monitors, fridges and generations of families. Due to my own cowardice or, perhaps, sensibility, everything apart from me, it seemed. Until now. Yes, I know I said I wouldn't do it, due to the lack of helmets, the hectic roads and a general will to live, but I have.

I was awaiting pick-up from a bus company to take me to Mui Ne beach, and had been told a driver would come at 8:00 to take me to the bus. It turns out he was coming at 7:30, and the bus was leaving at 8:00. No big problem; I just ate breakfast quickly. But when I ran down to see the guy there, there was a motorbike in front of me.

Yellow Sand Dunes
So I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to make the bus - and I had to do it with 20+ kilos on my back as well - so in at the deep end. As it turned out, it wouldn't be the last of the day.

Upon arriving at Mui Ne, after a four-hour trip, we were dropped off at a resort that was out of town and obviously going to get a cut from the bus company if we took the rooms. The rooms weren't great so I chose to turn the offer down and head into town, but the only way I could was via bike. Then after being dropped off and walking up a road where all the hostels were, I hadn't really found anyway. I think I was hoping to get a room as nice as the one I had in Ho Chi Minh, which was awesome, and was slightly deluded that I might find one of a similar standard.

Fairy stream
God knows how many moto drivers tried to get me on the back of their bikes as I walked along on a hot and sweaty day. Soon I started to realise that they might be right, that all the hostels were the opposite way to the direction I was walking. So I ended up having moto journey number three to take me to a place that I could have easily settled for an hour and 2-3 kilometres walking earlier.

After all that, I could wind down by taking a stroll along Mui Ne beach. It's a very picturesque, quiet beach - partly due to it being low season and partly because it's not been hammered by tourism (yet) as much as, say, the south of Thailand. Not really a typical sunbathers beach - the winds are too strong for that - it is famous for its kite surfing and kite-flying schools. I walked past these to see how long the beach went on for.

Red Canyon
Past some rocks I found a secluded spot with only locals, no resorts, where I was novel enough to warrant them coming closer for a second look and say hi. I could also sit and watch the locals fishing in the ocean. Feeling sun-baked, I headed back to my hostel. I passed some kids playing footy who asked if I wanted to play. I now know why, despite being a country of over 85 million and being fanatical about the sport, Vietnam's team are so poor; they all think they're Cristiano Ronaldo. Language difficulties prevented me from telling them that they need to stop with the Hollywood football and double step-over lollipops and start watching some players who have mastered their all-round game first - like your Phil Nevilles, Carlton Palmers and Steffen Freunds of this world. So, instead, I left the kids of half my age, size and weight with a couple of Stuart Pearce-esque reducings before heading on my way.
Yellow sand dunes and lake

Part of the attractions of Mui Ne are the sand dunes that lie near the coastline. I signed up for a jeep-trip to take me out to see them. The guide had no infectious personality like the guys on the Mekong and Cu Chi tunnels trip, often leaving us with kids who tried to make money by forcing themselves as guides upon you - to the point that, after the second lot of (pretty useless) kids leading us along, I lied and said I had no money. Of course they disappeared after that.

I got a bigger scare than on any of the moto rides while in the jeep when the door sprung open when we were going round the bend, leaving me staring at the fast-moving road below while trying to pull the flapping door shut. Besides that drama and our pretty useless guide who kept playing cards with his mates, the dunes trip was definitely worth it. The yellow dunes are a distance better than the red, who have restaurants opposite and have been ruined by foot marks in the sand. Other highlights were the nearby Fairy Spring - a stream through dunes with some Star Trek-like rock formations - and the Red Canyon, a red sandy rock formation that led to an awesome view of the ocean from up top.

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Lets go fly a kite
Let's go fly a kite
Yellow Sand Dunes
Yellow Sand Dunes
Fairy stream
Fairy stream
Red Canyon
Red Canyon
Yellow sand dunes and lake
Yellow sand dunes and lake
Yellow sand dunes
Yellow sand dunes
Two cheeky little monkeys
Two cheeky little monkeys
Fishing village
Fishing village
Rocks at Fairy Stream
Rocks at Fairy Stream
Sand crab says hi
Sand crab says hi
A fisherman collects his haul
A fisherman collects his haul
The rocks at Mui Ne beach
The rocks at Mui Ne beach
Red Sand Dunes
Red Sand Dunes
Mui Ne
photo by: TrudyNRonnie