Mui Ne was a bit of an odd one for us, and we didn’t really know what to think about it. I for one enjoyed myself while we were there, but T on the other hand would ‘never go back’. If you are short on time, it is a place that could be missed, but if you have all the time in the world and want to witness beautiful sunrises and walk up stream to some natural clay cliffs, then check out this post on how to spend 48 hours in Mui Ne!
Mui Ne is a lot quieter than most of the other places we visited in Vietnam. We stayed on the main strip, but up towards the Fairy Streams (the “clay cliffs”). I suspect we were on the edge of the town, as there were only a few restaurants and shops nearby. Mui Ne is typically known as a traditional fishing village but it is slowly becoming more popular among tourists.
In Mui Ne, the main attractions are the Fairy Streams, the White Sand Dunes, the Red Sand Dunes, and of course the beach. The beach is a long, beautiful stretch of sand with very few people in sight. It is great for a wander, and it’s a lovely spot to watch the sunset. When we were there it rained the majority of the time however, so unfortunately we couldn’t take advantage of everything it had to offer.
Visiting the Fairy Streams in Mui Ne
Visiting the Fairy Streams was a unique experience and we decided to go without a tour guide. It is very easy to access by yourself so I would highly recommend you avoid the tourist trap and visit it at your own pace. If it is possible, go early morning or late afternoon to avoid the groups of tourists.
The fairy streams are definitely a cool thing to do while you are in Mui Ne. You have to walk up-stream to get to the natural clay cliffs. It takes around 15 minutes walking through the water to arrive at the main spot. There is a restaurant which sells refreshments and a few snacks if you get hungry on your trip.
The clay cliffs are quite surreal. They are very slippy if you try to climb up them, and in some spots you even begin to sink. The colours are incredible and it is not something you see everyday.
TIP! Just be careful if you decide to go for sunset. It gets dark QUICK and there are no lights on your way back.
Of course T and I managed to mess this up, as we do. But you learn from experiences, and then pass on your tips to others to prevent it from happening to them. We are good Samaritans hey! Lets just say it was a good phone we had our Iphone torches.
Sunrise at the White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne
Who doesn’t love a good sunrise!?
Of course the 4am alarm never goes down too well, but it’s nearly always worth it! Watching the sunrise over the White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne is a must do while you are there. You need to book a tour so that somebody can take you up there as it’s quite a journey.
The tour packages usually include the White Sand Dunes, the Red Sand Dunes, the Fairy Streams and a stop in a Fishing Village.
Now this totally depends on what suits you. You can choose to buy a package and be taken to all 4 spots, or you can choose a few and do the rest yourself [or not at all]. We had already visited the streams on our own accord, and wanted to skip the red dunes. We had heard many people say they were no where near as good as the white ones, and not to bother. Whether you want to give it a shot or not, that’s totally up to you!
So, what we ended up doing is negotiating a price with the driver to make him pick us up, take us to the White Dunes and bring us back to our hotel once the sun was up. I think we paid half of the expected price.
We were picked up at 4am sharp in a Jeep. The driver couldn’t speak a word of English so we made no conversation the entire trip. The journey was around 40 minutes, in the pitch black.
WATCH OUT, SCAM ALERT!
Once we arrived, we had to sit down for half an hour before heading out on to the dunes. We didn’t really understand what we were waiting for but now I can tell you from experience. It is a tactical move by the locals. What they do is make you wait until the sun is about 10-15 minutes from coming up. To get to the top of the dunes it takes about 10-15 minutes walking. Ironically, the locals are waiting at the bottom of the dunes with Buggies and Quad bikes, insisting you take one to the top, at an extra charge. You have already paid money to visit the dunes, so this is a slight con. The price is also ridiculous, considering you could easily walk it.
Luckily, we had read previous reviews about avoiding the locals, and simply walking up the dunes yourself, because quite frankly, we weren’t made to feel like it was even an option. We walked straight passed them, and a few of them began to shout ‘you won’t make it in time’, ‘you need a quad’ etc etc. After giving them a little smile, and telling them we’d manage, we carried on walking. We made it up the dunes in a about 7 minutes, and found own our little spot away from the crowds.
Although you don’t feel like you have a choice, don’t be pressured into paying more if you don’t feel it is necessary. Just walk 🙂
The Sunrise is beautiful from the Dunes and it shouldn’t be missed!
Visit the Local Markets
The owner of our hotel was lovely and she let us borrow her scooter so we could go to the markets. It took us around 10 minutes to drive to them from our accommodation. As we arrived, we parked up and headed inside a huge hall where the markets are held. Markets for me are always a fantastic experience, as you get to truly witness the everyday lives of the local people. You learn to appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into their daily routines. The markets in Mui Ne are another example of a great place to visit. There is a wide variety of food available and an incredibly cheap price. It is a great way to sample a few products and not break the bank.
As I said before, Mui Ne is a town that could most probably be missed but if you do happen to be in the area, there are definitely things to do to keep you occupied.
How to Spend 48 hours in Mui Ne
On your first day visit the Fairy streams then get an early night ready for your 4am wake up! Once you have experienced an incredible sunrise the following morning, spend the rest of the day exploring the local markets and lounging on the beach. It is a great little town for getting some down time, so take advantage 🙂
If you have been to Mui Ne and did something that we didn’t, please let us know in the comments! 🙂