Situated on Vietnam’s sunny eastern Phan Thiet coast, Mui Ne is a blissful escape from the mayhem of Saigon. It’s packed with fun things to do year round, located 250 kilometres north of Saigon in Binh Thuan Province.
The city’s main drag, Nguyen Dinh Chieu (NDC), stretches up and down the small coastal town of around 25,000 people. The tourist-catered street features every kind of hotel, gift shop and an array of local and foreign restaurants.
In addition to its beautiful, white sandy beaches, Mui Ne is known for its other natural landmarks. Sandstone cliffs line the Fairy Stream and two sets of gigantic sand dunes hover off the coast, a photographer’s dream locale.
Mui Ne’s best things to do
Fans of water sports will love what Mui Ne’s ocean provides. From surfing to to jet skis, you’ll be find here. The nightlife consists of a few after-dinner bars and clubs, but no where near what you’d find in larger Nha Trang. For the lack of nightlife, you’ll gain quiet, empty beaches.
Mui Ne is a lovely beach town with fun activities centered around the ocean. From kite surfing and jet skis to sandy beaches and posh resorts, Mui Ne’s got it. Anytime of year is a good time to visit this southern hot spot. Remember to pack your bathing suit.
The beaches are quiet and clean, perfect for relaxing, chilling, and of course, getting some sun. Most hotels are beachside and feature their own lounge chairs and amenities.
Activities on the beach include volleyball, bars, restaurants and sunbathing. The water is quite warm, but refreshing, and not too deep near the shore, so you can walk out quite far. Sunsets along the beach are picturesque.
2. Water Sports
With its year round warm waters, Mui Ne is a perfect place to play. Little Buddha Surfing Zone is where you want to be to catch that gnarly wave. Further upcoast is the Kitesurfing Zone and next the Windsurfing Zone. Lastly there’s another surfing zone, Malibu. All in between you can swim, jet ski, boat and splash around.
You can find local vendors and guides for any of the above mentioned activities. They will rent you whatever gear you need and sell guided lessons and tours in whichever sport you please, including snorkeling and scuba. Go on a boat tour or rent your own. Fishing is great here too.
3. Fairy Stream
The Fairy Stream is a must-visit while in Mui Ne. It’s located in the center of town if you follow the main Nguyen Dinh Trieu street, you can see right around a bridge with signs marked. The entry is free and it takes an hour or two to see and appreciate the attraction.
The tranquil stream runs ankle-high, allowing you to feel the flow of very fine sand around your toes. On the outside of the stream, you’ll see many Vietnamese ladies selling coconuts and soft drinks, which is very cheap around 20 thousand dong for each. Every place has little table seating down at the water’s edge and even some on the water. Enjoy the drink on cute hammocks for you to rest.
Following the stream along the two sides are sandstone cliff, like stalactites. There are so many beautiful places always around every bend. For the more adventurous and those in need of a wild story, you can do an ostrich ride. This fun costs 100 thousand dong.
Also along the stream you’ll find the Vita Garden Mini Zoo, a little mini zoo cafe. It’s free to visit if you purchase something like a beer. Also in the mini zoo cafe they have fish massage, another unusual thing to do. Place your feet in a shin-high fish tank and feel as tiny sucker fish swarm to your toes. Afterward walk the remaining 800 km to the finish where you’ll see a beautiful waterfall upstream.
4. Red Sand Dunes
If you visit Mui Ne, this is another place you should not miss. Big sand dunes and beautiful views, what more do you need.The best time to visit is the morning and evening, otherwise the sand gets hot. Just bury your feet a little to feel really cool.
Sand sliding is super fun here. You should not rent the board below the dune because you will not know how to slide long and far. Instead you should walk up the dune, then there you will see many ladies and kids trying to sell a plastic sled. You should rent them so they will guide you on how to slide and prepare for you the place to slide. The rental price is a range of 20 thousand dong.
5. White Sand Dunes
The White Sand Dunes are pretty different then the Red Sand Dunes. It’s about 20 km further away from the Mui Ne center. It also features two very large lakes. The local people called the pond Bau trang, which is covered by the white sand hills. On the surface of the lake there is a lot of lotus flowers. If it’s right season lotus will be very beautiful.
The sand dunes here are very white, vast and expansive. You should rent a Jeep or an ATV so you can drive yourself on these massive sand hills. It’s a really super fun adventure. Many local said Bau Trang is the most beautiful road in Vietnam. If you not afraid of sunshine and want to go to the wilderness , it’s a natural place to be.
Right in the Mui Ne center, on Nguyen Dinh Chieu road, there are many bars by the beach, with killer views, good drinks and reasonable prices. The town doesn’t rage late into the night like Ho Chi Minh, but if you’re looking for a beer and some music, you’ll be okay.
Fishermen Show: Catch amazing dancers and acrobatics at the Fishermen Show. This year round water theatre has evening performances, lasting 1-2 hours. Kids love it.
Tropical Mini Golf: Play miniature golf on late into the evening, right on the main street, NDC. There’s a bar at this 18-hole mini golf course, so you can stay loose and drain a putt.
Sankara : It’s a beach bar and restaurant with the largest floor space in Mui Ne. There’s both an indoor and outdoor bar, with a swimming pool, lounging pavilions and a global menu.
Dragon Beach: A ten minute drive from town leads you to one of the most popular bar’s for locals, tourists and expats alike. Dragon Beach Bar showcases a sprawling dance floor and an outdoor swimming pool.
Line Up : One of the only clubs in town, Line Up has a daily happy hour for drink specials, a smooth dance floor, live DJ, food and shisha.
Super Bar : Roadside bar that’s a fan favorite in Mui Ne. Super Bar has great tunes, crafty cocktails, friendly bartenders and reasonable prices .
Portside Pub: It’s a super chill bar overlooking the ocean. If the music bothers you at Line Up next door, relax here with shisha, billiards and ocean breezes.
7. Hot Spring Center
Enter a state of pure relaxation at the Hot Spring Center. Soothing mud baths attracts an earnest crowd of visitors and locals. There are several large pools for swimming and plenty of shaded seating.
Start your journey in a mud filled bath for thirty minutes or so. Then rinse off in clear mineral water for another 30 minutes or more. Afterward relax in the peaceful pool area, eating and drinking.
113 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, khu phố 1, Hàm Tiến, Tp. Phan Thiết, Bình Thuận (Map) | +84 62 3743 481
8. Sand Sculptures
The Forgetting Land Sand Sculpture Park showcases two acres of stunning sand art. It’s located in nearby Phan Thiet. It’s perfect for all ages, especially children.
Artists from all over the world contributed to the sand sculptures inside the park. There are over twenty sculptures based on the fairy tales of Vietnam and around the world.
9. Bike Tours
With or without a motor, a bike’s the perfect open-air form of transportation for a beach town. Luckily, if you’re bicycling the main street in Mui Ne is relatively flat and easy to follow.
Both motorbikes and bicycles can be rented across town. Ask your hotel who they recommended, perhaps they have rentals themselves. Or just walk down NDC street until your find a shop.
10. Balloon Rides
What better way to unwind and capture an aerial of Vietnam’s southern coast than aboard a hot air balloon. There are a few choices for soaring high in a hot air balloon in Mui Nay.
Hai Tuan Travel offers two hot air balloon tours around Mui Ne. The first departs from Phan Thiet city centre, right in the central squire. It lands 15 kilometers away. The second airborne adventure flies over the White Sand Dunes, the driest place in Vietnam.
11 Cham Tower
Hidden on the summit of Ong Hoang (Mr Heaven) Hill are the Po Shanu Cham Towers. During the late 8th century, these three worship towers were built, measuring between 12 and 15 meters in height, 5 meters across. They’re located 7 km from Phan Thiet city centre.
An old fortress, previously used by the South Vietnamese and French troops, is another ruin tucked away atop Mr Heaven Hill. The towers are still used today by the Cham community, who holds religious festivals there, including the Kate Festival. It’s a 15 minute drive from Mui Ne and a minimal fee to visit. You can drive to the top.
12. Ke Ga Light House
Stashed away 30 kilometers south of Phan Thiet on a tiny island just off the coast, lies Ke Ga Light House. Built in 1897 by a Frenchman named Chnavet, the top reaches 64 meters high. It’s known throughout Southeast Asia as one of prettiest lighthouses.
A quick canoe or boat ride leads you over to the island. Once there spend a couple hours soaking in the scenery. Camping is available on the island too.
13. Ta Ku Mountain
Wake up early for a hike and head to Ta Ku Mountain, 28 miles west of Phan Thiet. From the start of the path up, you’ll travel 2290 meters to reach its its peak at 649 meters above sea level.
Or sleep in late, skip the hike and take the 1600-meter Austrian aerial tram. Once atop Ta Ku Mountain, look for the reclining Gautama Buddha, at 49 meters long, he’s hard to miss. Then enjoy the 360 degree views of gorgeous Vietnam, including colorful dragon fruit farms and rice paddies.
14. Phan Thiet City
You most likely passed through Phan Thiet just when you thought you getting to Mui Ne. At just 10 minutes outside Mui Ne, Phan Thiet holds its gems, which tourists often overlook. It’s another coastal city, so you’ll still be close to a beach if the mood should strike.
If you’re looking for a bigger city than Mui Ne offers, you’ll find it here amongst over 300,000 residents. There are countless restaurants and bars, more entertainment, and a chance to visit with a whole bunch of locals. Hail a Taxi and head over to the Phan Thiet city centre. While you’re here, check out the sand sculptures.
15. Ham Tien Market
From farm fresh vegetables to crafty handmade souvenirs, the Ham Tien Market is a worthwhile visit. Come during its busiest morning hours to see a mass of locals bargaining over anything and everything.
Take Nguyen Dinh Chieu out of Mui Ne to Phan Theit to reach this market. The majority of the fresh fare is on the ground floor, with everything from produce and seafood to desserts and beverages. A range of stuff for the home can be found on the second level.
Daily 05:00-19:30 | Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Phan Thiet – Mui Ne
16. Mui Ne Port
Situated down a steep set of stairs from the town’s main road, Mui Ne Port is a colorful place to pass the time. It’s easy to reach off NDC street. Snap a few photographs, chat up the locals, then grab a coconut and enjoy the view.
You really can’t buy fresher seafood than directly at the harbor. Buy cheap lobster and crab from the fishermen and they’ll even cook it up for you. There’s also a lot of seafood restaurants with all kinds of fish. It’s best to visit between early morning and before sunset, or around 5pm.
How to Get to Mui Ne from Saigon
Mui Ne has no airport, so your best bet is to depart from Ho Chi Minh City. Drive a car or motorbike, you can rent one, or take the longer, but cheaper option of a bus.
Drive to Mui Ne
You can rent car or motor bike. It’s 3 hour drive. Be careful when you drive on highway there are many big trucks, whom are not always following the rules. Motorists pass you often, often at nerve-racking times, and the roads can be busy and chaotic.
Watch your speed because there are a lot of police hiding with cameras and will ticket you for only a few kilometers over. Even if you obey the traffic laws, expect police might pull you over and demand money, up to millions of dong, just for driving. It’s corrupt! Best way to handle this is to pretend you understand nothing he says. Don’t speak english.
Bus to Mui Ne
You can take for a motorbus for only 130,000 VND one way (about $7). Book with FUTA Bus Lines on Phuong Trang bus in District 1 Quận, 1 Backpacker St, 272 Duong Đề Thám, Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh. It’s a large bus company available everywhere in Vietnam.
There are two choices you can have seating bus and laying bus. The spacious buses are very comfortable with good AC and Wifi. The driver and staff are also known to be very friendly. The ride is bumpy and noisy because of the bus horn, which is a necessity when driving in Vietnam.
The trip takes 5.5 hours one-way withe bus from Saigon to Mui Ne. In route the bus will stop two times on the way there and back, for around 15 minutes, so you get some food, drink or go to the restroom. The Sleeper Bus has reclining seats that nearly go all the way back, allowing you to rest along the way. It has two floors, however, it’s really one floor with bunk-bed style seating. The bus will drop off right to your hotel.
Where to Stay in Mui Ne
There are many hotel choices, from budget backpacker friendly to 5 star beach resort. Most accommodations are located along the main street, NDC, which runs parallel to the gorgeous beaches of Mui Ne. I use booking.com to find the lowest prices:
OUR PICK = Mia Resort
After 5 hours and 30 minutes in the bus we arrived in beautiful Mui Ne, staying in Mia Resort. We arrived at 7 o’clock in the evening and were welcomed with a fresh drink and ice cream.
Mia resort features very beautiful nature bungalows with a lot of green trees around it, so it looks so cozy outside and in. Walking around feels like a tropical rainforest. The breakfast provides a lot of choices by the pool with its magnificent beach view, a mere step from the resort. We got free bicycles to explore the city too!
Where to Eat in Mui Ne
There are many seafood restaurants and local Vietnamese cuisine in Mui Ne, especially Lang Chai, a beachside eatery with cheap fare. Many local people come to have good food and good times here. If you’re not looking for that you can also get pizza, German, Italian, Indian fare, among others. Prices are typically a little lower than in Ho Chi Minh.