The Beach

Mui Ne Beach GuysMui Ne’s main beach is along the wind-swept 10km short of Mui Ne village, and 10km or so east of Phan Thiet town. In recent years, wind erosion has taken chunks of the beaches – and many resorts are sandbagging it to protect the priceless strip of golden sand. (Victoria Hotel, just west of the main crescent, remains more protected, so it’s beach is a little wider.)

If you’re looking for crystal-clear water to bathe in, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang are better. The water is a little rougher, from all the wind, too. Mui Ne’s crafty response is KITE SURFING, and many places offer kite-surfing rental and lessons – using the wind to their own advantage. The best place to ask about it is at Airwaves at the Sailing Club resort; wind wasn’t behaving when I visited, but a Sailing Club instructor there told me, ‘It’s like Donkey Kong – once you’ve mastred the controls, it’s a breeze.’ There is also a school at Full Moon Bay Resort.

A two-hour lesson is pricey though — $100 per person. Kite hire is $30 per hour. WIND SURFING is $10 per hour.

Mui Ne’s water is not clear enough for snorkeling or scuba diving.

The Dunes

Mui Ne Dunes2Other than the beach, the sand dunes east of Mui Ne village are the two top draws. The first, a couple kilometers east of Mui Ne, is a red-sand dune, where kids will greet you with blue slides and offer to push you down the rising gold-sand banks. It’s better to press on to the white-sand dune, another 24 miles (40km) south.

Hotels and travel agents arrange half-day jeep tours that drop by both, and a ‘red canyon’ 10 miles (16km) south of Mui Ne, for about US$12 to US$15 per person. It’s cheaper, and doable, to go on your own with a rented motorcycle (about US$6.50 per day).

MUI NE VILLAGE in the morning, with the road passing high above a boat-filled harbor can be quite a scene to see, as half of Mui Ne comes to head off for fishing or to watch folks do so.