Mui Ne Overviews
Mui Ne is a town and cape located 180 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City (220 kilometers on the current highway). In 1999, the town of Mui Ne, plus the village of Hon Rom and Suoi Nuoc Beach north of Mui Ne were combined into one ward and, along with a number of other communities along the coast, were annexed by Phan Thiet. This annexation nearly doubled the population of Phan Thiet to just under 400,000, thereby allowing it to be registered as a city.
Northeast of the city center of Phan Thiet, the coastal road climbs over the slope of a hill in Phu Hai ward and descends onto the long, sandy crescent of Mui Ne Bay in Ham Tien ward. The formerly little-inhabited beach west of the fishing town and cape of Mui Ne proper has seen some serious development in the last 20 years. Now it is a 10 km long strip of resorts that line up like pearls on Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Huynh Thuc Khang streets, shaded by coconut palms.Given the choice, nature would move the sand around, much to the dismay of some developers. Beach sand tends to migrate up and down the coast seasonally, leaving some (but not all) spots on Rang Beach in Ham Tien ward with just a concrete breakwater rather than the sandy beach. If a sandy beach is important to you, some research is called for before booking a resort in Ham Tien ward.
A few bargain hotels have popped up on the inland side of the road, across from the beach-side resorts in both Mui Ne and Ham Tien wards. If you stay on the inland side, you will need to pass through one of the resorts to reach the beach, which might or might not result in some hassle from the guards. The resorts jealously guard their lounge chairs and palapas, though the beach itself is open to everyone.
Within the past few years, resort development has expanded in Ham Tien and Mui Ne Wards, as well as along the coast south of the Phan Thiet city center in Tien Thanh commune and the area around the Ke Ga lighthouse.
Mui Né ward itself has two beaches; Ganh Beach and Suoi Nuoc Beach, both with an increasing number of resorts, shops and restaurants. Strong sea breezes make all the beaches of Phan Thiet very popular for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
What to see besides hanging on the beach :
• Thap Cham Po Sah Inu (aka Po Shanu Cham Towers) in Phu Hai ward is a remainder of the ancient Cham culture, located on Ba Nai hill overlooking the bay, approximately 7 km northeast of Phan Thiet city. The oldest of the three multi-storeyed square towers was built in the 9th century with few decorations and the base similar to Khmer towers of the Chan Lap era. It is still a place of Shiva worship in use by the local Cham people who also use it for their religious festivals (like Mbang Kate, Ramadan, etc.) and other celebrations.
• Fish Sauce Plants, where the famous nuoc mam (fish sauce) is produced. Big jars harbor the concoction that, after months in the blazing sun, is sold all over Vietnam to add some spice to the food.
• The famous Red Sand Dunes (Doi Cat), are located in Mui Ne on the main coastal road at the intersection with the four lanes (706) highway. The whole region is fairly sandy, with orange sand threatening to blow onto the coastal road in some spots. The red sand dunes that visitors visit are about 50ha (1/2km²) of open sand on a hillside with ten-meter undulations, staffed by dusty children with plastic slides who will offer instruction and assistance if you want to slide on the sand. The dunes also offer nice views of the coast to the north. In all, it’s worth a half-hour visit, especially if you have rented your own motorbike for the day. On the opposite side of the road are a series of small cafes where you can park your motorbike for a small fee if you ride there on your own. Most day tours sold by local tour operators include a stop at the dunes. A number of Mui Ne resorts are within walking distance of the red dunes (Sand Dunes Resort, Pandanus Resort, Nam Chau Resort, Malibu Resort and Blue Shell Resort).
• There are also White Sand Dunes located 24km north of the red dunes. They are much larger than the red dunes, extending up to 20 kilometers along the coast, and vendors offer dune buggies for rent to drive around the dunes. There are also the omnipresent children with plastic sleds to rent, as well as ostriches to ride. The deep blue lake below the entrance to the dunes and the dark green lotus plants on the shore provide stark contrasts to the white sand glistening in the sun, offering photographers delightfully starkly contrasting colors. Plan 1-2 hours for a leisurely stroll including stops for photos.
• Mui Ne Market and Harbor (Lang Chai Mui Ne). Don’t miss out on an excursion to Mui Ne harbor and market. Near the northwest end of town is an overlook with a splendid view of hundreds of colorful fishing boats moored in the bay. Further along into town, just off the main road, there is a small but colorful market. If you take your transport just down to the water, you will reach the fishing harbor, where you can purchase fresh seafood or purchase steamed crabs, shellfish, etc. to eat on the spot from local vendors. Walking along the beach, you’ll pass by fishermen sorting out their catch, ship-wharfs and, at the southern end of town, a section where claims have been stripped of their shells for many years, so the sand on the beach is now substituted with littered shells.
• The Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien) is a little river that winds its way through bamboo forests, boulders and the dunes, in parts resembling a miniature version of the Grand Canyon. Local kids will want to accompany you to show you the way (and of course earn a dollar or so), but since you’re just following the stream, there’s little need. For the most part, the stream is about ankle-deep and no more than knee-deep even at its deepest. It is sandy with few stones and can be walked comfortably barefooted. You can climb up the red sand hills overlooking the river valley and even walk there parallel to the river, however, the sand may be hot on a sunny day, so bring some footwear. Walking upstream for about 20 minutes, you will reach a small waterfall into at most waist-deep water, great to take a refreshing bath before heading back!
• Taku Mountain, (About 30 kilometers west of Phan Thiet off of Highway 1A). An aerial tram takes you most of the way to the largest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. Spectacular views from the top of the mountain.
• Fishermen Show, 360 Nguyen Thong, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, ? 0901111666. Fishermen Show Mui Ne is an epic cultural show about Vietnam fishing village. This show features the two big local rituals: God of Whale worshiping and Cham Kate festival. Fishermen Show is the only show in Vietnam where professional contemporary dancers and local musicians using traditional instruments with live singing, together with flying equipment, LED screen, a flying sand dune, ox and cart, all bring alive the Mui Ne-Phan Thiet “fishing village” culture. The show was conceived as an interactive portrait of Kinh and Cham ethnics inspired by a fishing village in Phan Thiet in 1762. It unfolds the legend of a whale skeleton that drifted through the Phan Thiet sea. The body sacredly honored as South Sea General was worshipped at Van Thuy Tu temple by Phan Thiet people in their annual sea festival. The soul turned into a fisherman living with village people, supporting and saving fishermen at sea.
• Hot Air Balloon flight, ? +841208536828 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 5:00-8:00. Mui Ne is the only place in Vietnam where you can fly hot air balloons. The balloon company has European management, balloons, and pilots. Majority of the time flights take place over famous white sand dunes. When the winds in dunes are too strong, flights take place from Phan Thiet city centre. Both locations are amazing, and balloon ride is probably the most impressive way to celebrate your vacation, birthday, or other special occasion in Mui Ne.
• Kitesurfing is offered by many outfitters and hotels. Peak season is from November through March, with strong winds often occurring on a daily basis from 10-11am until the late evening. Gusty winds are seldom. With strong winds, the waves can be as high as four meters or more. The water is free of rocks, which makes it relatively safe to kite.
• tropical mini golf, 97 Nguyen Dinh Chieu (close to Saigon Mui Ne casino), ? 0084640211720. a nice 18 holes mini golf in a Tropical garden with french restaurant and lounge bar.
Where to eat and drink :
My personal favorites are :
– Backstage : Great and very affordable French food, local and imported beers. Perfect location and very welcoming atmosphere ! Great to BBQ at your own table ! 139D Nguyen Dinh Chieu.
– Joe’s Café : Daily live music, small pool, kids friendly with small playgarden, great food !
– Crown & Anchor : Latest addition to the strip, great sportsbar with extended beer menu, pool table, darts, table football, Sunday roasts, pub grubs, 117c Nguy?n Ðình Chi?u.
– Modjo : The main restaurant area offers a selection of tables and chairs for more formal dining and comfy sofas for something a little more casual and relaxing. Specialized in Swiss food. 139b Nguy?n Ðình Chi?u.
– Jibes : Jibes Beach Club, offering the very best Water Sports, Bar, Restaurant and Shop in Mui Ne. Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Surfing, Catamaran sailing, SUP, Kayaks and Body Boarding. 90 Nguyen Dinh Chieu str.
– Sandals : Sandals in Mia Resort is a good spot for casual lunches by day and quality dining by night. The menu features a mix of Asian and Western dishes in a lovely seaside setting.
– Fresh seafood at the Bo Khe restaurants.
– Ganesh : a dependable stop for a dose of Indian cuisine.
Where to stay :
Mui Ne Hills : Since its opening in October 2010, Mui Ne Hills Hotels have continuously been praised as a rising star in one of the most popular choices of accommodation Mui Ne has to offer. Over the past years they have created 4 different venues as to meet the different expectations of our guests, all located very near to each other, centrally in Mui Ne and a bit up on the dunes which provides excellent views and a peaceful surrounding.
Mui Ne Hills Backpackers is their latest addition which opened end 2017 and offers very comfortable dorms and private rooms for the backpackers who love the luxury of a resort style accommodation with lots of entertainment but set against backpackers prices.
Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel suits perfectly for the budget traveler. Private rooms and dorms and a small private swimming pool with lounge chairs quietly tucked away in a small garden
Mui Ne Hills Villa Hotel is our boutique style hotel with 20 rooms and a very homely intimate surrounding with great views over the ocean. Also equipped with its own private swimming pool and sundeck and a lovely garden full of exotic flowers.
Mui Ne Hills Bliss Hotel opened end 2014 and meets the highest expectations of our guests with very luxurious rooms, some even with private balconies overlooking the whole bay of Mui Ne
Aside of each hotel having its own private swimming pool, we also created ” Mad Monkey Bar” which offers a 5th beautiful swimming pool accessible for guests of all 4 hotels / hostels. It also have a lively vibe with loads of entertainment during the day and night with our resident DJ spinning tunes till late into the night
Xin Chao Hotel : Set up and fully renovated by Paul, his wife, Tien, and their partner, Twan, Xin Chao Hotel is a beautiful little hotel where you will feel at home straight away. Xin Chao means “Hello” in Vietnamese. It is the first thing you will hear when you enter this stunning country—and it is the first thing you hear when you enter our friendly family-run boutique hotel. Xin Chao Hotel is situated by the roadside in the centre of Mui Ne with the beach, shops, and restaurants within minutes of walking.
Joe’s Café Boutique : Elegant seaside bungalows surround small pool. LIVE MUSIC 365! New seaside bar. Budget Café rooms. Two new Seafront rooms. Joe’s has 12 bungalows and rooms surrounding a seaside pool and the famous Joe’s Café Muine. Two bungalows now have new private seafronts. All bungalows have views of the pool, sea and gardens as well as plush sofas and hammock on private balconies. Budget rooms are available near the music stage, closer to the entrance and café and recommended for the real music fans.
Full Moon Beach resort : It lies in a tropical haven of lush gardens right on the magnificent Mui Ne Beach near Phan-Thiet. Full Moon Beach is an ideal holiday destination for every-one looking for a taste of paradise or just a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Our range of accommodation features comfortable and stylish furniture, offering privacy and seclusion for those seeking peace and quiet.
Joe’s Seaside Boutique resort : Joe’s Cafe Seaside Boutique is a new addition to Joe’s Cafe Muine. This tranquil boutique hotel features a large swimming pool, soft green grass, vast lawns and beautiful gardens. This is the ideal choice for families with quiet and large gardens, different sport activities available on site, a large swimming pool and all year round access to the sea. Joe’s Seaside Boutique is in the center, situated right in the heart of Mui Ne’s tourist area, giving the guests easy access to clothes and souvenirs, plenty of cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. Jeep tours are available at Joe’s to the 1300 year old Cham towers, to the Sand Dunes, Fairy Stream, market, fishing village and sleeping Buddha.
Full Moon Village Resort : At Full Moon Village, spend the day on the beach where you can enjoy surfing/boogie boarding. Then return for a meal at one of the resort’s 2 restaurants. All 17 individually furnished Villas feature free WiFi and iPod docks. Kitchenettes with refrigerators and stovetops are standard, and guests will also find flat-screen TVs with digital channels.
Villa deluxe size is 110 square meter, Two Bedroom villa 140 square meter, Tree Bedroom villa 170 square meter. All villas are a minute walk away located from the beach surrounded by tropical gardens with private Jacuzzis. Book a BBQ in your private garden or at the beach. Enjoy a sightseeing tour or discover the sea by catamaran.
Cocobeach Resort : Coco Beach Resort, created in 1995 and managed by Jutta and Daniel, is an idyllic boutique resort – a “little corner of Paradise” – in the center of the Mui Né Bay. The large private beach to a backdrop of tropical gardens and a beautiful pool are coupled with 31 thatched roof bungalows and villas. The contemporary Vietnamese decor combines modern amenities with fragrant woods and present a unique style which reflects the Resorts’ spirit of privacy and well-being. The resorts’ restaurants feature a large selection of local and international cuisines, as well as a complete range of cocktails and drinks which you can sample in various settings. Guests also can enjoy different leisure activities such as massage, excursions, yoga and water sports.
Allezboo Resort and Spa: In this fast-paced world of workplace pressures and life responsibilities, Allezboo Resort and Spa offers an easygoing, reasonably-priced way to decompress with friends and family in deluxe surroundings on one of Vietnam’s most beautiful private beaches on the South China Sea.
The French Colonial-style resort—which boasts swimming pools amid manicured gardens and a restaurant, Catch, specializing in delicious freshly caught seafood from the fishing village down the road—features excellent service and elegantly appointed guest rooms with 24-hour room service. As sea breezes waft into the dining room, guests can enjoy a full breakfast at no extra charge.
A fully-staffed day spa, Lotus Spa, offers Thai, Vietnamese, hot stone and Swedish massages, facials, pedicures, manicures and other services to pamper you from head to toe. Guests with a higher budget can enjoy perfect privacy in two honeymoon villas on the beach, each with their own swimming pools. The crown jewel is the super-luxurious Presidential Villa that comes with its own butler.
Allezboo Resort and Spa is located in a lively, restaurant and resort-dotted neighborhood–a convenient three-hour drive from Saigon
Anantara : Explore Vietnam’s undiscovered coastline of swaying palms and wide golden bays. Anantara Mui Ne is located on a tranquil stretch of beach close to a rustic fishing village. Admire the colourful rolling dunes for which Mui Ne is known from a luxuriously designed sanctuary. Soak up the sun’s rays as you dine on gourmet creations. Explore a wealth of natural attractions whether hiking up scenic mountains or kitesurfing across the waves. Succumb to the slower pace of life in this serene seaside haven.
Blue Ocean resort : Tucked away under the shade of Mui Ne’s coconut trees, Blue Ocean is a haven where the stresses of daily life are left behind. Our rooms and bungalows sit amongst lush, landscaped gardens overlooking the beachfront, offering ample chance to soak up the sun and laze on the sand. Conveniently located in the heart of the shopping and dining area, Mui Ne’s sights and sounds are just outside our doors. Nestled into Vietnam’s south central coastline, far away from the bedlam of city life, Mui Ne is an oasis of calm. Throughout its many years as a small fishing community, life in Mui Ne has thrived on the sea. Nowadays, adventurous travelers, sports lovers, and unhurried holidayers come to relax and rejuvenate on the palm fringed shores that stretch along the beachfront.