To avoid spending an extra night at a hotel or hostel, just take the early morning bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne. The ride will be about five hours long, and the bus has reclining chairs that you can nap in. Around lunch time you will be dropped off at either the Mui Ne town or at your hotel. Once you check in to your accommodation, take a quick break, freshen up, and head for lunch either in the premises or out. There will be many roadside restaurants lined up on the Mui Ne strip, or you can ask your concierge for some recommendations. After lunch, rent a motorcycle and get to exploring the city. You can ask your hotel to arrange a rental for you.
Mui Ne may be a small fishing village, but it has its fair share of temples. Head over to Po Sah Inu, the Mui ne equivalent of the Po Nagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang. These towers are remnants of the Cham culture that once flourished in Vietnam, and are fun to explore. Just around a 100 yards (90 metres) south of Po Sah Inu, is the Prince’s Castle, a rather new addition to Mui Ne’s historical spots having been built in 1911 by a French Prince known as Duke De Montpeiser. Nearby is also Phuoc Thien pagoda and together these three sites can easily take an hour or two off your day. Thanks to their hillside locations, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the coastline as well.
The best part about driving around on a motorbike in Mui Ne is that you can explore areas you otherwise can not. Don’t be afraid to go off the map and drive through alleys that may end up in secluded areas of the coast. Even in parts of the main Mui Ne strip you will be able to find some part of the beach with no one else around. Enjoy going for a dip if the area isn’t too rocky, or just play around in the sand for a while and watch the sunset.
End the night with some delicious seafood. You have a plethora of options to choose from. There are plenty of roadside shacks, or more upscale options, depending on your mood. The Mui Ne Deli Restaurant shaped like a giant boat is a good choice and is famous for its lobster porridge. If seafood is not your thing, there are plenty of restaurants serving international cuisine, whether it be Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, or Japanese – you name it. Joe’s Cafe, Sindbad, and Ganesh are spots you may want to check out in this case.
Wake up early, a little before sunrise, and head to the Mui Ne Fishing Village to get a glimpse of the local fishing life. The smell won’t be pleasant at first, but you will get used to it as you spend a few minutes staring out into the horizon and watching the majestic sunrise. Your view will also include colourful fishing boats moored in the water, and fishermen throwing around their nets. It’s great for photos.
In the market area, you will see the fish being sold off to traders, restaurant owners, and other customers. There are also some stalls you will see selling oodles of delicious fish noodles, crab cakes, and shrimp rolls. Have a local breakfast here before you carry on with your day. Don’t forget to try the fish sauce, nuoc mam.
Get a little active in the morning and do some kitesurfing. Mui Ne is actually a really popular spot in all of Asia for kitesurfing, so if you’ve never tried it before, here’s a good place to start. There are many kitesurfing schools offering lessons for beginners at affordable prices. You can check out Mui Ne Kitesurfing School to see what they offer.
As mentioned before, there are a plethora of options for you to dine in, with many serving various cuisines from around the world. We suggest heading to Jibe’s Beach Club as they offer kitesurfing lessons here, too, so it will be convenient for you to remain in the same venue for a few hours. This beachside restaurant is as cosy as it gets and is known to have one of the best menus in town. You have a choice of local dishes including ones full of fresh seafood, or Western options such as burgers and pizza. Fill up well and relax a little as you continue to listen to the sound of the waves crashing softly on the shore.
Jibe’s Beach Club, 90 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Phan Thiet, Vietnam, +84 252 3847 405
This stream looks a little out of a fairytale, hence its name. On both sides, the stream is surrounded by colourful (mostly orange and white) limestone formations and greenery. At the end you will find its source – a small waterfall. The best part is you have to wade through it barefoot, and this is a rather calming and almost therapeutic experience as the mud and sand wash over your feet.
59 Huynh Thuc Khang, Phan Thiet, Bình Thuan, Vietnam, +84 90 810 98 25
These two are the main attractions of Mui Ne. At the Saharan-like White Sand Dunes you can rent a quad bike for 30 minutes or an hour and speed through the hilly dunes in style. If the thought of a quad bike is too intimidating, you can opt for a jeep.
At the Red Sand Dunes, you will find children running after you, trying to get you to rent their sandboards at different prices. It will not cost you more than US$1-2 to rent one for 30 minutes. Slide down a few dunes and once you feel you’re covered with enough sand, sit down for the sunset and enjoy the moment.
End your night (and your whole stay) with a delicious seafood dinner at a beachside restaurant. Head over to Pogo Bar and Grill, a bar and restaurant that has been around for the past nine years. After a hard day of driving around and sightseeing, you can relax here with a good beer, delicious food, and play some board games as the final hours of the day tick away.
Pogo Beach Bar & Grill, 138 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Phan Thiet, Vietnam, +84 90 738 76 00