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Mui Ne, Such a Paradise
Pack your stuff and get your trip started!
Being about 193 kilometers far away from Ho Chi Minh City to the northeast, there lies a strip of sandy and windy beach named Mui Ne (Mũi Né in Vietnamese). Since the astronomical event called the Total Solar Eclipse occurring on October 24, 1995 - as both domestic and abroad tourists altogether flocked there to see, Mui Ne has owned its reputation as an excellent vacation destination. This prominence has since then increased a great deal of tourist infrastructure vigorously. There are plenty of famous glamorous resorts around there so as to serve the haves who can financially bear the luxury and costly elegance. However, as an office guy who ekes out a meager living, I cannot afford to rest at such a comfortable resort, so I choose to visit Mui Ne with more experiences and in a low-cost way. Just follow me hereinafter to get something for your reference.
Of course, it's easier for you to book a tour to this travel paradise. Or else, you can grasp a bus ticket whose price is around VND140k, you then end up sitting on a coach and heading to the east. It takes you nearly 5 hours to get there by coach on the national highway A01. The only thing you do is to sit for a while taking a nap, and there you are in a resort. It's no fun, right?
Well, it's suggested to take a trip by motorcycle. As staying in Ho Chi Minh City, you come to book a hotel in Mui Ne on the Internet, and then hire a motorbike which charges roughly VND80k - VND150k per day. Fueling the vehicle, you then find yourself running on the A-1 highway bound for Binh Thuan Province. You can carry on the road to get there in 5 hours, but it gives you no more fun. You'd better turn right at Vung Tau Crossroads to the east, follow the road through Ba Ria Town in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province, to Lagi Town in Binh Thuan Province.
Along the way through Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve which hosts several natural landscapes such as Binh Chau Hot Springs (Suối nước nóng Bình Châu) or Coc Lake (Hồ Cốc), you can stop by to take scenic photos or even bathe in a hot spring. The other end of the national road 55 is joined by the national highway A-1 as it bends westward at La Gi Town. If you have a lot of time to spare, well, don't forget to pass by La Gi Coastal Town for sightseeing. Otherwise, just stick to the highway that leads you to Phan Thiet, the capital of Binh Thuan Province, from which Mui Ne is about 10 kilometers away to the east.
What to do there
Once being holed up at a hotel, you then look for a place to lunch. There are several local eateries along Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street. You're concerned about being charged an arm and a leg, aren't you? Don't worry! The locals are friendly and honest, you're gonna fill your empty stomach up with a bunch of local dishes. The price per dish costs around VND30k - VND50k (approximately 2 or 3 bucks). Most dishes involve sea fish, so remember to try them out. Actually I love the sour and sweet soup (or canh chua in Vietnamese) whose fish is fresh and tasty.
In the afternoon, you must go for some water sports like windsurfing or kitesurfing. The climate there is so hospitable with brilliant sunshine in daylight and fresh coolness at night. Especially, the sea is little 'naughty' as winds constantly come up and stir waves up toward the shore. Moderately high waves allow you to surf around on a board or even to fly you up high into the navy blue sky as you hover above the endless sea under a colorful surfing kite. The beach covers a strip of white soft sand to which ocean waves continually roll over, and finally burst into thousands of white bubbles. Or you can go canoeing or, simply, swimming in the turquoise water. Each of them may cost you several bucks to have a ride.
After coming back the hotel for a freshwater bath and dressing yourself, you wind up hanging around the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street at dusk. Actually there isn't much to do at Mui Ne since most bars and pubs stay at the downtown of Phan Thiet City. You, however, get engaged in some relaxing activities at night after a whole day traveling and playing sport. It's high time to wine and dine! Just make your way to the Curb (Bờ Kè), a popular sidewalk which abounds in seafood. You must try some lobsters there. They are fresh and 'delish'. Or you give it a go for local delicacies, including the giant mud-skippers (cá lòi) that are broiled and dressed with cooking oil and chili, or crabs, oysters (hàu) or snails. And for Vietnamese people, partially-dried quids that are broiled always become the first choice ever for a drinking party. Just browse seafood stands around there, then pick what you like for dinner and then enjoy your night.
Apart from dining out, you can shop for souvenirs along the street where some gift stalls stand with a battery of jewel and jade. Yeah, you can both take photos and buy some gifts for friends and family. The prices seem reasonable, though you can try bargaining.
After stuffing your bag with indigenous souvenirs, you should pass by one of cafés for a drink and relax with music. There's loads of coffee shops spotted on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, several of which are run by foreigners. Also, if you like funky music, just drop by one of bars and pubs there to have some beer and meet other foreigners.
And after all, you're tired of walking, well, get your bike and have a ride around Mui Ne. Especially, in the middle of a lunar month when the moon rises and shines brightly over the coastal town, you can tour around on Vo Van Kiet Street through sand dunes and end up at a dock to watch the sea twinkle under the moon. If you don't want to ride anymore, don't mind hailing a taxi which doesn't cost you much to travel. Then get back to the hotel and rest yourself for a joy-filled day to come.
Anything else interesting to do
As having some comfortable sleep in the hotel, you're now full of energy and ready for another day with heaps of activities. Wrap up some essentials for an outdoor tour, then get out for breakfast. You can have something to bite at the hotel, for example, bread and omelet. Or else, ride your bike to a nearby eatery for some fish noodle. It's just worth about VND20k. Now energize the motorbike, and go for a ride!
There are several tourist destinations you must pay a visit to. First you can ride along Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, then follow on Huynh Thuc Khang Street to see a fair number of spectacular landscapes. That Mui Ne is a curly stretch of beach, offers you plenty of picturesque beauty for sightseeing. You can feel a distinctive touch of the sea over your skin as running along the beach. Then you go under shades of coconut trees fringing the main streets, looking over the sidewalk toward the seemingly endless sea curbed by a broad band of sand. Surly, you will never forget such fantastic scenery.
You must visit Fairy Stream (or Suối Tiên in Vietnamese) that is located nearly to Hon Rom Resort (Hòn Rơm). There you end up walking barefoot through a natural shadow stream that starts somewhere deep inside reddish hills. Along the stream, the nature looks amazing as the dark orange of sand hills clashes with the lush green of coconut trees and leafy bushes. Walking some distance deep onto the stream, you're gonna see these hills change their shapes and colors, and you can feel as if walking in heaven. Anyway, don't forget to take some photos there.
You're looking for some adventure, huh? Alright! Now ready yourself for a slide on a steep sandy slope. Come to the Flying Sand Hill (Đồi cát bay) that is also near the Fairy Stream and Hon Rom Resort. To start you must hire a canvas board that is sold around by cute local kids with only VND10k. Then clamber up to the top of a sand hill where you sit down and let yourself slide downward on the board. As winds rise bringing the coast smell and, of course, tiny pieces of sand altogether caressing your face. Well, you'd better wear a pair sunglasses or even goggles. Otherwise, just close your eyes and enjoy the slide.
Climb and Slide
The aforementioned places can bring you lots of terrific fun and exhilarating experiences. Still, there remain other places you can decide to visit. Some of them are located in the downtown of Phan Thiet City, some are quite far away. For instance, you can make it to Cham temple to learn more about Champa Civilization. Or you can pay a visit to Lotus Swamp (Bàu Sen) to admire such breathtaking beauty of nature which highlights fragrant lotus in full blossom. Then you should travel to Ke Ga Cape that is about 30 kilometers far away to the south. Remember to visit this place and take a boat tour to the lighthouse to welcome the sunrise and bid farwell to the sunset. You just make a day trip, then come back to Phan Thiet City or Mui Ne at twilight.
It doesn't matter if you have free time to pass, just ride to those places and let your ambitious eyes roam about.
Other surrounding destinations
Entrance fee (Y/N)
Fairy Stream (Suối tiên)
Flying Sandy Hill (Đồi cát bay)
Must see, but you have to pay for a surfing board
Duc Thanh School
Po Sah Inư Cham Temple
Lotus Swamp (Bàu Sen)
Van Thuy Tu Temple (Dinh Vạn Thủy Tú)
Ke Ga Lighthouse
Must see, especially at dawn and dusk
Rock Water Bay
Champa Civilization and Ke Ga Cape
You have a good time, don't you?
For 2 days or so at Mui Ne, you will have had a host of sheer joys and unforgettable memories. It's true to say that Mui Ne is such a fabulous paradise to visit, isn't it? Now, I guess it's time for you to write your experiences down here. Drop me some lines if you have already made it to this coastal town, or just share your feelings after reading this article. 'hope you will have a lot of fun here and there.
Mui Ne, Binh Thuan
Thanks for attention.
Some pictures employed in the writing were downloaded from the Internet.
The rest of the photos belongs to the author. They were taken in 3 times as the author first went on a business trip 3 years ago, then made another one on vacation with family and, finally visited this place during Tet Holiday.
For further information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other articles of the author, please check them out:
Tay Ninh Province at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Thu Duc Town at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thu-Duc-Saigon-A-joyful-suburb
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun
Ta Dung at https://hubpages.com/travel/Ta-Dung-Vietnam-A-Pearl-of-The-Highlands