Vietnam may be famous for its picturesque rice fields and exotic rivers, but there is more that meets the eye. In the southern part of the Vietnam, just a 212km away from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh, the tranquil province offers an amazing experience. It is best to travel to Mui Ne Beach, where you can relax by the beach and head to the desert afterwards.
The road to Mui Ne Beach is in good condition, compared to other roads in the country, but be aware of the various motorbike riders that will pass you from all sides, and sometimes will drive towards you, without minding the direction of the traffic. If you are a novice at the whole motorbike travelling business in Vietnam, you will need around 5 hours (without the coffee brakes) to get to Mui Ne Beach. It is recommended to wear sunglasses and a mask. This will not only help you avoid the dust in the air (and believe me there is a lot), but also will disguise you as one of the locals, and the police may not stop you. It is illegal to drive with any other kind of license, except for the Vietnamese, but the local police will only ask you for money. The reasonable and most common amount is around 200 000 dong or $9.
Mui Ne Beach is a relatively small town and offers luxurious resorts as well as budget guesthouses. There are various seafood stalls situated along the road, but don’t imagine anything fancy. There you can even order snake, mice or crocodile meat.
The beach that stretches for few kilometers attracts surfers and sun seekers from all over the world. The South China Sea’s waves are washing away beautiful an exotic sea shells on the sand. But the biggest attraction around here is not the beach, or the seafood, but the stunning sand dunes that spread from Mui Ne to tt. Cho Lau.
The first formation closer to Mui Ne Beach is the Red Sand Dunes. There you will find red and yellow sand dunes that stretches for few kilometers along the coastline and few meters deep into the county. Depending on the part of the day, you re visiting, you will be greeted by various local people who will try to sell you a souvenir or to rent you a sleigh, for the very popular sand skating.
Continuing North, passing by pristine, untouched beaches (sea shells lovers will love them) and small unpaved roads, we get to the White Sand dunes.
Much larger that its relatives, the beautiful dunes are situated next to the relatively big lake Bau Trang. Enthusiast can rent an ATV to enjoy drifting in the sand. The entry fee is only 10.000 dong per person and there are many restaurants that sell local food and souvenirs.
Off the beaten track: If you loved the sand dunes, then you will love this experience too. If you are headed to Phan Rang or Nha Trang, then take the less known road (check map). Be aware that the road is not paved, but is giving you a stunning view of the desert from one side, and pristine untouched beaches from the other. The road is passing by various dunes, with sand that changes its colour, from white, to grey and brown. There are few small villages along the way, filled with cheerful locals and colourful buildings.