Mui Ne Beach
Mui Ne Beach is about 300km from Ho Chi Minh City and can only
be reached by road at present. It's composed of soft light grey
sand and backed with trees and hotels facing a road that runs
the length of the beach, with restaurants on the inland side.
The hotels range from
small ‘backpacker’ establishments to Deluxe standard resorts.
development has been well handled: all the hotels are low-rise,
and many have wooden or bamboo bungalows on the edge of the beach.
Most have good to excellent gardens and tree screening, which
gives a sense of seclusion. The beach is safe for most of the
year, and the facilities are good.
During the period between
July and October, the fishing season is at its pinnacle in Phan
Thiet as fishermen go out to sea. These boats form a magnificent
display of lights at night and can be seen from shore.
On the northern side
of the road there is a string of restaurants
offering Vietnamese and international menus at a variety of prices.
The local seafood is excellent. You'll also find a few places
At the far end of the beach, Mui Ne fishing village and several
hectares of massive rolling sand dunes make a pleasant diversion
from relaxing on the beach, swimming and windsurfing.
village is worth a visit for three reasons – firstly, very few
tourists go further than the dunes, and secondly, the small harbour
is picturesque (there's an excellent view from where the dunes
road turns off).
Thirdly, there's an
interesting pagoda where followers of Vietnam’s whale
cult hold services and store skeletons of the massive sea
The dunes are remarkable,
but don't venture on to them during the full sun - the sand gets
Mui Ne is frequently subject to onshore winds from the East
Sea. From November to May, the wind blows in a north-northeast
direction often reaching a30mph
strong breeze, sometimes gusting to a moderate gale. For the rest
of the year there's a pleasant south-southwest moderate (10mph)
to fresh (25mph) breeze, ideal for wind surfing.
Entering the water during
the windy season is not advisable unless you're a strong swimmer.
However, the weather conditions on Mui Ne beach are often ideal
for water sports, especially board and kite surfing.
For large waves during
the windy season, Hon Rom beach (10km from Mui Ne) offers even
better surfing opportunities.
A word of warning
several new hotels have sprung up on the far side of the promontory
where the fishing village is located . However, the gradient of
the beach in the sheltered area is much reduced thus making swimming
At low tide, the locals
use the wide sand flats for football and other games.
The local fishing fleet
also uses the sheltered area - the boats anchor near the shore.
It's a picturesque
scene, but there's a pungent fishy smell in some resorts on the
other side of the village from May to October, and an invasion
of flies during May, June and July.
Unless you don't mind
a fishy smell and wading a couple of a kilometres to get enough
water to swim at low tide, you'd be wise to stick to the Phan
Thiet side of Mui Ne Beach.