Mui Ne Vietnam
- Mui Ne is a town and cape located 180 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City (220 kilometers on the current highway). In 1999, the town of Mui Ne, plus the village of Hon Rom and Suoi Nuoc Beach north of Mui Ne were combined into one ward and, along with a number of other communities along the coast, were annexed by Phan Thiet. This annexation nearly doubled the population of Phan Thiet to just under 400,000, thereby allowing it to be registered as a city.
Northeast of the city center of Phan Thiet, the coastal road climbs over the slope of a hill in Phu Hai ward and descends onto the long, sandy crescent of Mui Ne Bay in Ham Tien ward. The formerly little-inhabited beach west of the fishing town and cape of Mui Ne proper has seen some serious development in the last 20 years. Now it is a 10 km long strip of resorts that line up like pearls on Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Huynh Thuc Khang streets, shaded by coconut palms.
- Thap Cham Po Sah Inu (aka Po Shanu Cham Towers) in Phu Hai ward is a remainder of the ancient Cham culture, located on Ba Nai hill overlooking the bay, approximately 7 km northeast of Phan Thiet city. The oldest of the three multi-storeyed square towers was built in the 9th century with few decorations and the base similar to Khmer towers of the Chan Lap era. It is still a place of Shiva worship in use by the local Cham people who also use it for their religious festivals (like Mbang Kate, Ramadan, etc.) and other celebrations.
- Fish Sauce Plants, where the famous nuoc mam (fish sauce) is produced. Big jars harbor the concoction that, after months in the blazing sun, is sold all over Vietnam to add some spice to the food.
- The famous Red Sand Dunes (Doi Cat), are located in Mui Ne on the main coastal road at the intersection with the four lanes (706) highway. The whole region is fairly sandy, with orange sand threatening to blow onto the coastal road in some spots. The red sand dunes that visitors visit are about 50ha (1/2km²) of open sand on a hillside with ten-meter undulations, staffed by dusty children with plastic slides who will offer instruction and assistance if you want to slide on the sand. Be careful of these children as they will offer to carry your bag for you as you go sliding, then steal your phone or wallet. There are so many boys that you won't be able to tell who did it. The dunes also offer nice views of the coast to the north. In all, it's worth a half-hour visit, especially if you have rented your own motorbike for the day. On the opposite side of the road are a series of small cafes where you can park your motorbike for a small fee if you ride there on your own. Most day tours sold by local tour operators include a stop at the dunes. A number of Mui Ne resorts are within walking distance of the red dunes (Sand Dunes Resort, Pandanus Resort, Nam Chau Resort, Malibu Resort and Blue Shell Resort). The trip by taxi from the middle of the Ham Tien resort strip would be about 150,000VND each way, and less by xe om. It is reachable by bicycle in 30-45 minutes, passing the Fairy Stream on the way.
- There are also White Sand Dunes located 24km north of the red dunes. They are much larger than the red dunes, extending up to 20 kilometers along the coast, and vendors offer dune buggies for rent to drive around the dunes. There are also the omnipresent children with plastic sleds to rent, as well as ostriches to ride. The deep blue lake below the entrance to the dunes and the dark green lotus plants on the shore provide stark contrasts to the white sand glistening in the sun, offering photographers delightfully starkly contrasting colors. Plan 1-2 hours for a leisurely stroll including stops for photos.
- Mui Ne Market and Harbor (Lang Chai Mui Ne). Don't miss out on an excursion to Mui Ne harbor and market. Near the northwest end of town is an overlook with a splendid view of hundreds of colorful fishing boats moored in the bay. Further along into town, just off the main road, there is a small but colorful market. If you take your transport just down to the water, you will reach the fishing harbor, where you can purchase fresh seafood or purchase steamed crabs, shellfish, etc. to eat on the spot from local vendors. Walking along the beach, you'll pass by fishermen sorting out their catch, ship-wharfs and, at the southern end of town, a section where claims have been stripped of their shells for many years, so the sand on the beach is now substituted with littered shells.
- The Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien) is a little river that winds its way through bamboo forests, boulders and the dunes, in parts resembling a miniature version of the Grand Canyon. Local kids will want to accompany you to show you the way (and of course earn a dollar or so), but since you're just following the stream, there's little need. For the most part, the stream is about ankle-deep and no more than knee-deep even at its deepest. It is sandy with few stones and can be walked comfortably barefooted. You can climb up the red sand hills overlooking the river valley and even walk there parallel to the river, however, the sand may be hot on a sunny day, so bring some footwear. Walking upstream for about 20 minutes, you will reach a small waterfall into at most waist-deep water, great to take a refreshing bath before heading back! To reach the stream from Ham Tien market, pass the intersection of the road heading up to the four lanes divided highway. At this point, the name of the road changes from Nguyen Dinh Chieu to Huynh Thuc Khang. Continue east until you cross a small bridge. Coming from Mui Ne, the bridge is about two kilometers west of the town. The stream is underneath, you will see a sign pointing towards a path to the left, go that way to reach an easy place to enter the stream. If the boys at the entrance asking for payment, do not pay; all beaches and rivers are free to access in Vietnam.
- Taku Mountain, (About 30 kilometers west of Phan Thiet off of Highway 1A). An aerial tram takes you most of the way to the largest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. Spectacular views from the top of the mountain.
- Fishermen Show: Fishermen Show Mui Ne is an epic cultural show about Vietnam fishing village. This show features the two big local rituals: God of Whale worshiping and Cham Kate festival.
- Fishermen Show, 360 Nguyen Thong, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, ☎ 0901111666, . Fishermen Show is the only show in Vietnam where professional contemporary dancers and local musicians using traditional instruments with live singing, together with flying equipment, LED screen, a flying sand dune, ox and cart, all bring alive the Mui Ne-Phan Thiet "fishing village" culture. The show was conceived as an interactive portrait of Kinh and Cham ethnics inspired by a fishing village in Phan Thiet in 1762. It unfolds the legend of a whale skeleton that drifted through the Phan Thiet sea. The body sacredly honored as South Sea General was worshipped at Van Thuy Tu temple by Phan Thiet people in their annual sea festival. The soul turned into a fisherman living with village people, supporting and saving fishermen at sea. The detailed schedule of the show can be found at Fishermen Show Facebook
- Hot Air Balloon flight: Mui Ne is the only place in Vietnam where you can fly hot air balloons. The balloon company has European management, balloons, and pilots. Majority of the time flights take place over famous white sand dunes. When the winds in dunes are too strong, flights take place from Phan Thiet city centre. Both locations are amazing, and balloon ride is probably the most impressive way to celebrate your vacation, birthday, or other special occasion in Mui Ne.