Mui Ne Beach & Sand Dunes
Mui Ne Travel Blog› entry 71 of 117 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.