This post was last updated on February 20th, 2020 at 09:54 pm
Mui Ne used to be a sleepy fishing village until the first travelers settled here. Now, Mui Ne is a special seaside resort and has everything to offer for every traveler. First, there are wonderful beaches, but also for water sports enthusiasts, Mui Ne is the place to go. It is a famous place for kite surfing so this is the place to get active and catch those waves.
Just outside Mui Ne you will find the famous red sand dunes and the interesting fish market. If you go further into the region then you can visit the white sand dunes and imagine yourself to be in the desert. Furthermore, a visit to Mui Ne is not complete without a walk through the striking landscape of the fairy stream.
The Best Time to Visit Mui Ne
In Mui Ne it is nice and warm all year round with plenty of sunshine. The best time to visit Mui Ne is from mid-November to the end of May, during the dry season. The rainy season in this area of Vietnam runs from June to November, but this usually means that it rains heavily at the end of the afternoon.
This province is one of the driest in Vietnam and sees less rain than other provinces.
Mui Ne is located in southern Vietnam, 225 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City in the Binh Thuan Province and 25 kilometers from the provincial capital Phan Thiet.
Best Things to Do in Mui Ne
Mui Ne is famous for the nearby red sand dunes and the somewhat further away white sand dunes. Sledding on the dunes is a very fun activity to do. The sand dunes are an excellent place for photographers to take the most beautiful pictures. And if you fancy sports then you can go kitesurfing in Mui Ne as well.
For early risers, the nearby Mui Ne fish market is a very interesting attraction. End your day with a walk through the striking landscape of the fairy stream.
It will not surprise you that the sand dunes are very touristy. Fortunately, most tourists are also very lazy so if you make an effort and walk a bit further into the dunes it is still very quiet. Except for the white dunes, you can easily reach everything by bike. Of course you can also book different tours to discover the area around Mui Ne.
The Red Sand Dunes
The Red Sand Dunes are the landmark of Mui Ne. You can take beautiful pictures here and enjoy a range of activities. The dunes are three kilometers north of Mui Ne and have reddish-brown sand with small slopes reminiscent of a small desert in the Middle East. When you stand on the highest mountain, you will be greeted with a beautiful view of the ocean.
Here you can, just like at the White Dunes, go sand boarding, a common (and fun) activity. You will go down the sandy hills with a kind of sled. Renting such a sled will cost you between 10,000 and 20,000 VND (US $0.45 to $0.90), depending on your negotiating skills. And you will need it here!
TIP – The best time to visit the red sand dunes is during a sunrise or sunset.
Visit the White Sand Dunes
The White Sand Dunes or Bau Trang (White Lake) are, as the name suggests, beautiful white sand dunes that descend to a small lagoon full of lotus flowers. It is really a beautiful place and we definitely recommend visiting it! You will also find a small pine forest that provides much-needed shade.
This is one of the few desert areas in Southeast Asia so it is quite popular. There are various things to do such as ATV trips and sand boarding over the dunes. Something you would normally expect in Huacachina in Peru, for example. You can slide down the White Sand Dunes for around 20,000 dong ($0.90).
You can also rent a quad to ride through the dunes. The best time to visit the white sand dunes is during a sunrise or sunset.
TIP – You can go there yourself, but you can also arrange a tour at your accommodation or with a tour operator.
Walk Through the Fairy Stream
This landscape, caused by erosion, is remarkably beautiful and is perfect for a walk. Leave your shoes in the hotel and only bring your slippers. You can almost do the entire walk barefoot. The Fairy Stream is a popular place for photographers.
This is one of the most relaxing walks we have taken in Vietnam and you will be amazed by the striking landscape. If you are hungry there are several food stalls along the way while the bars and restaurants are upstream. At the end of the stream you will find a small waterfall for the necessary refreshment.
If you want to avoid the largest groups, you can do the walk around noon. It may be very hot, but there are quite a few parts with shadow. A good hat is not an unnecessary luxury.
TIP – Don’t leave your slippers at the start of the stream, but take them with you. Ours were gone when we came back!
The Prince’s Castle
The Prince’s Castle is located on top of Ong Hoang Hill and offers breathtaking views of the historic buildings of Mui Ne, the surrounding hills, coastline and countryside. You will find ancient ruins such as the Cham Towers and an old French estate here.
Visit the Cham Towers
The Cham Towers, or Po Shanu, consists of three ancient towers dedicated to Hindu gods Shiva, Agni, and Nandi. The Cham Towers of Po Shanu were built in the 8th century and were part of the Champa Empire. You will find these impressive towers on a hill 7 kilometers west of Mui Ne.
From the hill you also have a beautiful view of the coast and the nearby Phan Thiet. The largest city in this region. If you prefer not to drive yourself, consider booking a tour.
If you walk past the towers, you will also see a fortress that used to be used by French and South Vietnamese troops.
TIP – The Cham Towers are reachable with a 15-minute drive from Mui Ne. You have to pay a 10,000 dong (US $0.45) entrance fee.
Relaxing on Mui Ne Beach
Mui Ne has 15 kilometers of sandy beaches, with beautiful waves, luxury resorts, and guesthouses on the beach. The north end of Mui Ne Beach is home to a traditional fishing village, while the south focuses on recreational activities such as swimming and water sports.
Thanks to the clean and warm water, kite surfing is the most popular activity on Mui Ne Beach. The best time for kite surfing is between November and March.
TIP – A 3-hour lesson will cost about US$150. Check this site for more info.
Mui Ne Fishing Village
There are actually two parts to the city. The part where travelers come and stay and the Mui Ne Fishing Village, where the locals live. This town offers a beautiful view over a vast coastline full of waving palm trees and colorful fishing boats.
Located at the northern end of Mui Ne Bay, make sure you come here early in the morning as local fishermen sort out their day’s catch such as crabs, scallops, groupers, and stingrays.
Visit the Phan Thiet Central Market
The Phan Thiet Central Market is a must for travelers who want to experience the daily life of the locals. Phan Thiet is the first big city that you encounter on the way to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Here you will also find the train station if you want to come by train.
The market is busiest in the early morning, with many locals and sellers selling fresh fruit, spices, nuts, meat, dried foods, and household products. Phan Thiet and Mui Ne are known for their fresh and cheap seafood. You will find the tastiest fish here!
TIP – The market is open every day from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ta Cu Mountain
Ta Cu Mountain consists of a large area with lush rain forests, rare flora and fauna, limestone caves and ornate Buddhist buildings. You can opt for a two-hour walk through the green rainforest or 10 minutes with the cable car to reach the top of the mountain.
Kite Surfing in Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a mecca for wind and kite surfers. The city is even considered as one of the best places in Asia for kite surfing. You can practice the sport here almost all year round but the best time is between October and March with December and January as the high season.
It comes as no surprise that you will find a large number of schools in Mui Ne that can teach you kite surfing.
However, there are only a limited number of schools in Mui Ne that bear the IKO seal of approval. That of course does not mean that the other kite surfing schools aren’t any good, but it is something to take into consideration when making a choice. It is also advisable to view the experiences of other surfers.
In addition to Mui Ne, the more northerly located Phan Rang is also becoming increasingly popular among kite surfers. A beginner’s course will take two to three days on average. Expect around 4 hours a day.
The Best Beaches in Mui Ne
In and around Mui Ne you will find some great beaches but there are a number of things to keep in mind. For example, some parts of the beaches suffer from erosion, as a result of which some areas of sand can disappear completely during the high tide.
Furthermore, the majority of beaches lie next to hotels and restaurants. The managers of these hotels have appropriated the beach, so you will sometimes have to pay to stay there. Good places to spend a day are at the Coco Beach Resort and Jibes Beach Club.
Just north of Mui Ne there are a number of beaches that are worth going to. There’s Hon Rom Beach near the red sand dunes. This beach is very popular with local tourists and you will also find a large number of fish restaurants there.
We have been there both on weekends and during the week and we recommend avoiding the weekends. The level of mass tourism was quite high during the weekend; not a great experience.
If you go even further north of Mui Ne you will be rewarded with beautiful empty beaches. You will have to arrange your own transportation. Suoi Nuoc Beach is a must. Kilometers of empty white sand and a clear sea are waiting for you here. Jibes has opened a second beach club here and is a great place to spend the day.
Food and Drinks
Mui Ne has an extensive range of restaurants and bars, from French and Indian to Vietnamese. As expected from a tourist resort, the prices are a lot higher than elsewhere and there is less choice of simple local restaurants.
We have good experiences with one of the many Vietnamese Seafood restaurants along the strip of Mui Ne. These can be recognized by the aquariums and bins with fresh fish and shellfish. Always ask for the price per kilo and weigh everything you want to eat in advance. This way there can be no uncertainty about the price.
Mui Ne Nightlife
Most of the Mui Ne nightlife scene can be found fairly close together. The nightlife consits of bars, restaurants, lounges and (small) parties on the beach. Some of the more famous venues have dancing shows, evenings dedicated to culture, and even movie nights. Here are some of the best venues you can visit during the late hours:
- Dragon Beach Bar: This is the most famous bar in the Mui Ne nightlife scene. Many locals, tourists and expats come here. It has everything from pole dancing to fire breathing shows!
- Joe’s Café: Situated in a cozy location on the beach. You can do many activities here such as swimming, foosball, playing pool, eat delicious food and for the children there’s a playground.
- Line Up Bar & Grill: After the Dragon Beach Bar, this is the second busiest bar to visit in the evening. There’s (live) music, fire breathing shows and plenty of tasty drinks to try.
- Ratinger Löwe: A great selection of authentic German beers.
- Déjà Vu Bar and Restaurant: This bar and restaurant is for the romantic couples. It has an open roof which gives a great view of the night sky, a beautiful garden and for the children there’s a playground. Every wednesday you can take in the Vietnamese culture by attending several different shows.
- Jibe’s Beach Club: This beach club is located on a private beach. You can get drinks here from 5 to 8 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Mui Ne Hotel, Hostel & Homestay Guide
The choice of accommodation in Mui Ne is huge, from backpacker hostels with swimming pools to luxury resorts. Excellent places can be found in every price range.
For an overview of the best hotels, hostels & homestays in Mui Ne you can look at our recommendations below. We have selected the best options to spend the night here.
Best Budget Hostels & Homestays in Mui Ne
- Vietnam Backpacker Hostels – US $6 a night
- MuiNe Hills Backpackers – US $6 a night
- EVA HUT MuiNe Beach Hostel – US $13 a night
- Connect – US $13 a night
- Bot Bien Homestay – US $12 a night
Best Mid-Range Hotels in Mui Ne
- MiNhon Hotel – US $35 a night
- Le Huynh Hotel – US $25 a night
- MuiNe Hills Bliss Hotel – US $32 a night
- Riva Resort – US $55 a night
- Muine Sports Hotel – US $85 a night
Best Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Mui Ne
- Sea Links Beach Resort & Golf – US $125 a night
- TTC Hotel Phan Thiet – US $125 a night
- AHA Monaco Hotel Phan Thiet – US $320 a night
How to Get to Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a popular destination on the tourist routes through Vietnam. Most travelers visit the city from the northern Nha Trang and Da Lat or from the southern major travel destination; Ho Chi Minh City. It is fairly easy to reach. The easiest and fastest ways are by bus/minivan and by scooter.
With the bus
The easiest way to get around in Vietnam is using an open bus ticket. Buses run daily between Ho Chi Minh City and Mui Ne. The journey takes approximately 6 hours and you have to pay around 90,000 Dong ($3.85). Night buses also depart from Ho Chi Minh City (160,000 Dong). The local buses only run to Phan Thiet. A scooter taxi from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne will cost around 60,000 Dong ($2.60).
With the scooter
Easy Riders drive (on request) between Nha Trang, Da Lat, and Mui Ne. Ask about the possibilities in one of these cities.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne
If you travel from Ho Chi Minh City, you have various transportation options.
- Taxi or private car
- Limousine minibus
- Sleeping bus
- Train to Phan Thiet, last part by taxi
You can book tickets at your hotel or directly at the transport company. It is about 4 hours.
From Da Lat to Mui Ne
If you travel from the mountain town of Da Lat in the direction of Mui Ne, count on about four hours of driving if you catch the bus. A tour is also a nice option, sitting on the back of an Easy rider. This is possible as a nice two-day tour. It’s a great way to see something while driving.
From Nha Trang to Mui Ne
Bus tickets can be booked at almost any hotel or travel agency in Nha Trang. In most cases you will be picked up at your hotel by a mini van and taken to the bus. The journey takes around 5 hours.
Book Transport to Mui Ne Online
An easy way to get bus or train tickets is via 12GoAsia. You can pick the city you leave from and the city where you’re going. The website will give you all possible means of transport with current prices.