Mui Ne, a famous tourist destination in Phan Thiet, always leaves a lasting impression on every tourist. You can explore the breathtaking natural landscapes, immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Cham and Chinese communities, and experience the delicious local cuisine. Follow this guide to explore Mui Ne completely.
1. Is Mui Ne worth visiting? How to get there from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City?
Mui Ne is a coastal fishing town in the south-central Binh Thuan Province. Interestingly, the name 'Mui Ne' stems from its association with the fishing community of the past. These individuals frequently encountered sea storms and sought refuge in a cape, referred to as 'Mui' in Vietnamese, while 'Ne' denoted hiding.
Whether you want to relax on pristine sandy beaches, indulge in fresh seafood, explore the local fishing village, or witness mesmerizing sunsets, Mui Ne guarantees an unforgettable experience.
Travelers from Ho Chi Minh City have multiple transportation options to reach Mui Ne. The scenic coastal route, covering around 230 kilometers, is a popular choice for motorbike enthusiasts. Bus tickets can be purchased at the Eastern Bus Station, offering a 5-hour journey. SPT1/SPT4 trains are also available from Saigon Railway Station. From Hanoi, flights to Ho Chi Minh City or Cam Ranh, followed by a bus ride, are convenient alternatives. The recently opened Dau Giay - Phan Thiet expressway has reduced travel time, and the upcoming Phan Thiet Airport will further enhance accessibility to Mui Ne.
2. When is the best time to visit Mui Ne?
With a year-round tropical climate and being one of the driest locations in the country, Mui Ne offers an ideal holiday destination regardless of the season. However, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with certain weather patterns to prepare thoroughly for your trip. Here are some guidelines for Mui Ne weather:
- April to August stands out as the prime time to visit this beach resort town, as the tranquil water and consistent wind conditions create the perfect setting for both relaxation and exciting activities such as windsurfing, Mui Ne kitesurfing, jet-skiing, and kayaking.
- From September to the end of the year, Mui Ne experiences regular rainfall, causing the seawater to become less clear and tinged with red sediment due to the influx of red sand.
3. 10 of the best tourist attractions to visit in Mui Ne Vietnam
3.1. Rom Island
Rom Island is located approximately 5 kilometers from Mui Ne market and about 27 kilometers from the city of Phan Thiet, making it easily accessible for tourists. If you want to explore the natural landscapes along the way, you can go by motorcycle.
The best time to visit Rom Island in Mui Ne Vietnam is probably from January to May. During this period, it is the dry season, with plenty of sunshine, clear weather, and refreshing air.
Outside activities that you would love to try:
- Watching the sunrise at the beach
- Engaging in sports activities
- Squid fishing at sea
- Swimming at Rom Island’s beach
3.2. Red Sand Dunes
Spanning from Binh Thuan to Ninh Thuan, these red sand dunes Mui Ne are among the most popular attractions for tourists. In particular, the sand dunes are located on the way to Mui Ne, directly opposite Tien Spring.
The Hong Sand Dunes are quite extensive, but the overall terrain consists of relatively low sand hills that connect to form a series of overlapping sand ridges.
When visiting the Hong Sand Dunes, tourists should come between 5:00 AM and 8:00 AM, or after 4:00 PM. During these times, the sand dunes are cooler compared to the rest of the day.
One popular activity that many tourists choose to partake in is sand sliding. All you need is a thin rectangular piece of mica to join in the fun. The more people involved in the game, the more enjoyable it becomes.
3.3. Fairy Stream
The stream originates from the village of Dua in Thien Nghiep Commune, flows through Ham Tien Ward, and eventually empties into the sea. It is rare to come across swirling currents in this area. Besides the main stream, there are numerous smaller tributaries that blend harmoniously into it. As a result, the water here is shallow, gently flowing, and never runs dry.
The ideal time to visit Fairy Stream Mui Ne is in March or November each year. During this time, the natural scenery is vibrant, and the weather is favorable, making it convenient for exploration and travel.
You can take stunning check-in photos, go for a leisurely walk to explore the upstream area, and even set up a camp by the stream.
3.4. Mui Ne Fishing Village
Mui Ne fishing village is located on Huynh Thuc Khang Street. It is approximately 23 kilometers away from the city center, 1 kilometer from Mui Ne market, and 200 meters from Mui Ne bus station.
The best time to visit is from June to August every year. During this time, the scenery of the fishing village is beautiful, with clear skies, calm waves, and a tranquil sea. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to witness the fishing activities of the local fishermen in the fishing village.
In Mui Ne's fishing village, you will not find fancy amusement parks or luxury attractions. Instead, you will discover a vibrant natural setting with picturesque coastlines, a string of boats, and charming houses nestled under coconut trees. Additionally, you can observe the bustling activity of collecting the night's catch from the fishing boats and even purchase affordable seafood as gifts.
3.5. Hon Ghenh Island
Hon Ghenh Island is located approximately 1 kilometer from Mui Ne, Vietnam, and stands 30 meters above sea level, creating a world of wilderness and fascination. You can see the beautiful and captivating coral reefs lying beneath the surface. Surrounding the island are various sizes of rocky cliffs stacked on top of each other. To reach the top of the island, you have to overcome these rocky cliffs. When "hopping" on these cliffs, visitors need to be cautious, as some rocks near the water's edge are sharp and can easily cut the feet.
You can experience the below fun activities:
- Climbing to the top of the island: Standing atop Hon Ghenh, you can breathe in the fresh, invigorating air while enjoying the generous ocean breeze.
- Watching the sunset: The best time to visit is in the afternoon, as you will be captivated by the stunning moment of twilight over the sea.
- Fishing at Hon Ghenh: It is recommended to go in the morning and prepare your fishing rods and bait.
3.6. White Sand Dunes Mui Ne
White Sand Dunes Mui Ne is a freshwater lake nestled amidst vast stretches of sand dunes. In the past, White Sand Dunes used to be a large body of water, but due to sand barriers created by the locals, it has been divided into two smaller lakes, namely Bau Ong and Bau Ba.
Tourists can try the following activities:
- Experience a high-speed Jeep tour Mui Ne: The cost of renting a Jeep and exploring the terrain at Bau Trang ranges from 300,000 to 800,000 VND per vehicle for 20-30 minutes.
- Sandboarding: This game gives you the sensation of sliding on a giant sand slide. The rental price for a sandboard is 15,000 to 20,000 VND for 30-60 minutes.
- Boat Rowing on Bau Trang: The feeling of gliding among the blooming lotus flowers with the white sand dunes stretching around is a rare and unique experience. The price for the boat rowing service is 100,000 VND per person.
3.7. Mui Ne Bay
This is an attractive destination if you enjoy beach bathing and outdoor activities. Along Mui Ne Bay are beautiful beaches with long stretches of white sand. If you want to find secluded and uncrowded Mui Ne beaches, you can rent a boat to Hon Lao Island. It is a secluded island near Mui Ne Bay with fewer visitors.
3.8. Van Thuy Tu
Apart from its long history and unique architecture, Dinh Van Thuy Tu is also famous for housing the largest set of whale bones in Southeast Asia. These whale bones are identified as belonging to a gray whale species, measuring 22 meters in length and weighing 65 tons. They have been preserved intact without any missing bones for over a century. In addition to the gigantic whale skeleton, the Dinh also preserves over 100 sets of whale bones, large and small, with ages exceeding 150 years.
3.9. Poshanu Cham Tower
The Thap Poshanu Towers, also known as the Towers of Cham, are the most notable historical landmark in the Mui Ne resort area. These towers were constructed in the eighth century as part of a large temple complex by the Cham Kingdom in honor of the worship of the god Shiva.
Unfortunately, the temple suffered significant destruction over 300 years ago, and only three towers have survived to this day. However, extensive restoration work carried out between 1990 and 2000 has greatly improved their appearance.
3.10. Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum
Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum is the first and only fish sauce museum in Vietnam. The museum is divided into 14 small spaces with separate themes, vividly reenacting the 300-year history of the old fishing village of Phan Thiet, from the Champa era, the Nguyen dynasty, the French colonial period, and the 1940s–1960s. Visitors to the museum not only admire artifacts but also interact and immerse themselves in the roles of fishermen casting nets and salt field workers and explore the 300-year-old Phan Thiet ancient town.
4. What to eat in Mui Ne? TOP 7 must-try specialties
4.1. Lau tha
Lau tha is a signature dish in Phan Thiet that many tourists seek to enjoy. The main ingredients often include fish leaves, tuna, mackerel, carp, herring, and other types of fish. These ingredients are cleaned, filleted, and thinly sliced. The accompanying vegetables are finely shredded. Lau tha is eaten with a dipping sauce made from a mixture of sour tamarind, chili peppers, garlic, roasted peanuts, and ripe bananas (some places use fermented bean paste), which are finely ground and blended with pure fish sauce.
4.2. Seafood Salad
Mui Ne is famous for its fish salad and conch salad. Fish salad is made from fresh fish such as white sardine, silversides, or smelt-whiting, served with raw vegetables, vermicelli noodles, and a special dipping sauce. Conch salad consists mainly of sliced conch meat, pork, vegetables, roasted peanuts, and fried shallots, all mixed together and served with a sweet and sour fish sauce dressing.
4.3. Sand Lizard
The specialty of the sand dunes in Mui Ne is "dong" (also known as sandworm). The flesh of the dong is white like chicken meat but sweeter, firmer, and more tender. There are various delicious dishes made from dong, such as grilled dong, stir-fried dong with lemongrass, steamed dong, dong sausage, dong salad, dong porridge, and dong cooked with pickled mustard greens.
4.4. Spanner Crab
This is a specialty of Tuy Phong, Binh Thuan Province. The meat of the crab is sweet, tender, and fragrant, while the crab shell is crispy and easily broken with a bite. The Huynh De crab in Tuy Phong is available year-round, but the best time to enjoy it is during the lunar month of Chapp. Huynh De crabs are often grilled or steamed and served with salt, pepper, and lime, but the most delicious way to enjoy them is in a crab congee.
4.5. Banh Quai Vac
Banh quai vac, a popular and familiar dish, is widely sold in all markets or street food stalls around famous tourist attractions. The cake has a light and crispy outer shell with a filling of delicious shrimp, meat, or steamed mung beans. It is steamed to perfection, ensuring it is not greasy. The cake is enjoyed with a mild fish sauce and a touch of fragrant scallion oil, creating an addictive flavor.
4.6. Banh Re
From simple ingredients such as sweet potatoes and cassava, the chefs prepare and grate them into long and small strands, then mix them with a hint of vanilla to enhance the aroma. Next, the grated potatoes are shaped into small round pieces, deep-fried until golden and dipped in sugar syrup, and finally sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. The result is a crispy and slightly sweet cake that pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea.
4.7. Rice paper served with shrimp paste
Rice paper served with shrimp paste is a popular and traditional food in Phan Thiet. The dish is made with grilled rice paper, fresh herbs like Vietnamese coriander, pickled cucumbers, tart green mangoes, and mashed quail eggs. To eat, you roll all the ingredients in the rice paper and dip it in the flavorful shrimp sauce.
5. Where to stay in Mui Ne Vietnam?
As tourism develops rapidly in Mui Ne, the range of accommodation options has become diverse. Travelers can choose from budget-friendly homestays to high-end hotels and resorts. Homestays are often located away from the beach and cater mainly to young travelers and foreign groups seeking unique experiences, with an average price of 500,000 VND per night.
Guesthouses are usually tucked away in alleys, primarily concentrated along Huynh Thuc Khang street, extending towards Hon Rom. There are numerous hotels in Mui Ne, mainly situated along Nguyen Dinh Chieu street, with an average price ranging from 700,000 to 1 million VND per night.
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Mui Ne stands as a vibrant coastal destination and the resort capital of Vietnam. With its stunning beaches, thrilling water sports, and picturesque sand dunes, it offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking relaxation and adventure. The journey becomes even more delightful with the region's rich culinary scene, which features a diverse selection of fresh seafood and unique local dishes. Whether you are looking for luxurious resorts or budget-friendly accommodations, Mui Ne welcomes visitors with its warm hospitality and promises unforgettable memories in the heart of Vietnam's resort paradise.