Many travelers come to Mui Ne for the beaches and quaint fishing village, but the word is quickly getting out about the area’s White Sand Dunes, a beautiful and unique natural environment. These rolling hills of pristine powder are an excellent place to explore when you’re looking to take a day trip that offers some of the most original views in the country.
Even though there is lots of sand at the beach, the mounds at the dunes will create some everlasting memories and incredible photo opportunities.
The White Sand Dunes, locally known as Doi Cat Trang, are more significant and further north than the Red Sand Dunes. With some planning, both are accomplishable on the same day, but you will have to decide where you want your first and last stops to be and whether or not to go solo or with a tour.
How to Get There
The White Sand Dunes are roughly 25km (15.5 mi) from Mui Ne’s city center, so they don’t take long to ride out to. Depending on what type of experience you’re looking for, there are a few choices to make on how to get there.
Motorbike – Many tourists like renting motorbikes and exploring the dunes at their own pace. If you plan to go early in the morning, note that many tours will be in the area for sunrise and sunset, making it more crowded. Also, if you’re traveling by motorbike or visiting at dusk, keep in mind the road back to town is dimly lit and gets very dark and dangerous in the evening.
Jeep Tour – Group jeep tours that go out to the White Sand Dunes are popular, inexpensive, and quickly arranged from hotels. Tourists often opt to be there for sunrise, which can be a hectic time of day at the dunes, however, the sun rays glistening on the sand makes for stunning photographs.
For those interested in this option, know that going on a group tour will restrict how much time you have at each place and that you will be waiting on lots of other people who hopefully won’t hold up the rest of the group. It’s also important to inquire about any extra fees as some tourists have said they were asked to pay more for some stops on the itinerary.
Private Tour – A private jeep tour is slightly more expensive than a group jeep tour, but they are still pretty reasonably priced and allow you some more freedom on your trip. Going in your own vehicle means you get to pick what time you leave for the dunes and how long you’d like to spend there.
There’s also the added benefit of more room in the vehicle for your party, and you won’t have to wait for stragglers to return to the jeep before your next stop.
Aside from a nice ride out to the scenic dunes, there are a few activities that you might enjoy doing during your visit. From exploring the dunes on foot to riding a dune buggy, shredding some sand on a sled, or enjoying a picnic, the White Sand Dunes are a great place to enjoy being outdoors.
Dune Buggies and Sleds
By far, the most popular activity at the White Sand Dunes is renting a dune buggy and exploring the hillsides on four wheels. If you plan on renting one of these vehicles, keep in mind that the area is more crowded during sunrise and sunset. The best time to use them is later in the morning through about mid-day.
Additionally, many visitors enjoy tumbling down these soft hills, either by running or on a plastic sled. Locals rent sleds out on-site.
If you are going on a private jeep tour or renting a motorbike to ride out to the dunes, it can be a fun experience to pack a lunch to bring and enjoy a meal with this majestic scenery. The White Sand Dunes are also known for hosting many food trucks and vendors that sell snacks as you approach them. Just remember to clean up after yourself.
No matter what time of day you visit the dunes, the ever-changing shifting sands will create some fantastic and dramatic photography. Bring your camera and start snapping away photos of the steep sand-cliffs and wavy patterns as you trek through the dunes.
Best Time to Visit
While the dunes are best enjoyed during the dry season, they are open year-round. There isn’t a particular season that’s better than another, but as mentioned previously, it’s better to save visiting them for a day that isn’t rainy.
The most popular times of day to go are sunrise and sunset, as that’s when the group jeep tours head out to the dunes too. If you opt to do a private tour or visit by motorbike, you can go mid-day when almost no other people are there.
Address: Hoa Thang, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam
Season: Year-Round | Best during the dry season
Cost: None | Fees for sleds, dune buggies, or tours