Famous for its kitesurfing, excellent beach, and relaxed vibe, Mui Ne is a popular stop in Vietnam on the long road between Hanoi and Saigon.
Mui Ne consists mainly of one tourist strip strung along two miles of beach. One end of the strip is dominated by large resorts, while the other end caters more to budget and midrange travelers. Clean sand and good surf make Mui Ne one of the best beaches in Vietnam.
Things to Do Around Mui Ne
Although most travelers are in Mui Ne either for kitesurfing or to break up the long north-south journey with some beach time, a few interesting sites can be found outside of town. Jeep tours can be booked practically anywhere; some sites can be reached by motorbike or bicycle.
- Ta Kou Mountain: Ta Kou Mountain - around 25 miles outside of Mui Ne - provides some excellent views of the coast. A 161-foot-long reclining Buddha - Vietnam's longest - is housed at the top of the mountain.
- White Dunes: Much resembling a desert, the White Dunes are 22 miles northeast of Mui Ne. Children rent plastic sleds for "surfing" down the towering sand dunes at high speed. The mammoth dunes are an oddity not to be missed.
- Red Dunes: The Red Dunes are closer to Nui Ne, however they are not as tall as the White Dunes. The Red Dunes are interesting to explore, but save the sled rental for the more-impressive White Dunes.
- Fairy Spring: Just three miles east of town, the Fairy Spring is little more than a muddy creek turned into tourist attraction. The small canyon and sedimentary rock formations are at least worth a look.
- Thuy Tu Temple: Located in Phan Theit a few miles southwest of town, the Thuy Tu temple houses over 100 whale skeletons - some date to 150 years old. The temple was constructed in 1972 by the local fisherman.
Kite Surfing in Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a top kitesurfing and windsurfing destination in Southeast Asia; colorful kites fill the air between the months of November and April. Numerous schools dotted along the beach offer lessons, rentals, and camaraderie in a variety of languages.
Big resorts - mostly catering to large Russian crowds - tend to be clustered at the eastern end of the main road through Mui Ne. Prices and accommodation standards decline as you move west down the strip. Standards are high even for budget accommodation; rooms starting at $8 per night include satellite television and Wi-Fi in the room.
Thanks to the nearby fishing village, cheap seafood can be found all around Mui Ne.
With simple plastic tables in the sand, Lam Tong - known as the "popular restaurant" - isn't much to look at. However, large portions, low prices, and quick service make Lam Tong the undisputed choice for budget eats. Find Lam Tong west of the tourist strip at #92 Nguyen Dinh Chieu.
For delicious Western food, free Wi-Fi, movies, and a lively social scene, check out American-owned Joe's Art Cafe. Open 24 hours, Joe's is also located on the western end of the tourist strip close to Lam Tong.
Getting Around Mui Ne
Travelers can find anything they need along Nguyen Dinh Chieu - the main road through Mui Ne.
Mui Ne is easily walkable; bicycle rentals are available for visiting attractions outside of town. Street addresses seem to follow very little logic, you are better off using the stone kilometer markers on the sidewalk for directions.
Plan to be attacked by offers from motorbike taxis every time you exit your hotel; a ride anywhere along the tourist strip should cost under $2. Minivan taxis run up and down the main road - always agree on a price before getting inside.
- Read more about haggling prices in Southeast Asia.
Renting Motorbikes in Mui Ne
Many tourists opt to rent a motorbike for getting around Mui Ne. Generally the best bet is to rent from from your accommodation - decline the numerous offers from shady individuals around town. Prices for daily rentals can be as low as $5 per day. Mui Ne is a safe enough place to ride; traffic is typically light.
The local police are adamant about enforcing the use of helmets for both drivers and passengers. Although rarely enforced, drivers are required to possess a driver's license for Vietnam. If stopped, the officer has the option to impound your motorbike for over a month and slap you with a steep fine. You are responsible for covering the daily costs of the rental while it is impounded!
- Read about scams in Southeast Asia to avoid common motorbike rental problems.
Getting to Mui Ne
Mui Ne is located on the eastern coast of Vietnam roughly halfway between Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Nha Trang.
By Bus: Buses from Saigon to Mui Ne (five hours; $5) typically leave early in the morning and drop passengers right in the middle of the tourist strip.
By Train: Mui Ne's nearest train station is located in Phan Thiet - around four miles southwest of the tourist strip in Mui Ne. Depending on the style of carriage booked, travel by train is roughly the same price as taking the bus.
- Read more Vietnam travel information.
Leaving Mui Ne by Bus
Buses stopping in Mui Ne usually originate in either Saigon or Hanoi. Depending on the season, expect your bus to be nearly-full already when it arrives. A small bus stand between the Sea Winds Resort and Joe's Cafe provides some shade while you wait.
- Saigon: Three daily buses (8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 1 a.m.) run the five hours back to Saigon.
- Nha Trang: Two buses (1:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.) make the five-hour run to Nha Trang.
- Dalat: Two buses (7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) run five hours to Dalat in the Central Highlands.