Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLocated in Southern Vietnam, Mũi Né is about a 4-5 hours' drive from Ho Chi Minh City and has become the premier kitesurfing beach town in Vietnam. Vietnam is a country lined with beautiful beaches but from October throughout April, the offshore winds make it the destination of kite boarders from around the world. When Northern Vietnam is getting the rains, travelers flock to the southern beaches in Vietnam, like Mũi Né.
HistoryBefore Mũi Né's recent popularity for kiteboarding, this sleepy village was devoted to fishing. This can still be seen today with the fishing boats lining the sea and also smelled from the nuoc mam (fish sauce) which is still produced here. Mũi Né's ancient history can be seen in the Cham towers that are just outside of town and date from the 8th century.
SightseeingMũi Né is now officially a touristy beach town and so it has all of the normal things a beach town would have but its unique nature surrounding the strip of hotels and restaurants is actually very beautiful. There are sand dunes just out of town and they come in a few different colors.
The DunesDozens of tour operators with big 4x4 Jeeps will take you to see the dunes surrounding Mui Ne for reasonable prices starting around $10 a head but another way to see them is to rent a moped and go exploring on your own. The red dunes sit only about six miles outside of Mui Ne and can be reached quickly even by bicycle. The white dunes are a much farther trek, sitting about twenty-two miles outside of the city. Although there are not a lot of street signs guiding the way to the sets of dunes, both are easy to find. You probably saw the red dunes just a few minutes before you arrived in to Mui Ne on the ride in if you came from the north. Driving to the white dunes is also north past the red dunes and is complimented by the beautiful costal drive along the way. Try some of the activities at the dunes like sliding on a board down the steep soft slopes or a blood pumping ride on the back of a four-wheeler. The dunes might make up some of the best photos you take on your entire trip to Vietnam.
There is also a beautifully eroding cliff-side along a river that has been weirdly nicknamed ‘fairytale stream’. The different colors of dirt that fall away into the stream create large moon-like structures. The Cham culture left behind large towers that where built in the 8th century and provide a great day-trip to explore Vietnam's pre-colonial history.
Today Mũi Né has leaped forward and become a town that is devoted to kitesurfing from the months of October to April as the winds that bring typhoons to the north bring steady winds and adventure seekers. It is normal to see dozens of large kites pulling surfers that are hopping over endless waves. The fishing boats are still in use as well and provide a contrast of the new and old economies of the sea.
ShoppingThe shopping in Mũi Né is not as diverse as the larger cities but you can find just about everything you need at the local markets. There is a large Russian population here and many of the shops, restaurants, and hotels are Russian owned so there is a noticeable amount of Russian "style" added to the clothing and goods at the shops. Most shops carry the same things and you will have no problem fining a floppy hat or sunscreen. The town is famous for its fish sauce and it is used in most Vietnamese cooking so if you like fish sauce then this might be a good place to pick up some authentic Vietnamese fish sauce.
DiningThe dining options in Mũi Né are excellent. The seafood BBQ restaurants are reasonably priced and the catch is as fresh as it gets. Many of the seafood BBQ restaurants only sell what they have bought that day from the local fishermen and the options are laid out on ice in front of the grills. Heaps of scallops, fillets of tuna, and mounds of calamari are competitively priced and the locals can be seen dining alongside tourists at every seaside table. One can find many pub-style and pizza joint places that provide the right balance that every touristy beach town should have for restaurant options. There are also a few places that fry up scorpions if you are feeling daring. The Russian fare is fairly represented and the menus come in several different languages.
Nightlife is very much existent in Mũi Né and it is easily broken down into a few clubs that seem to alternate party nights and have the standard drink list and happy hour specials.
Hotels in Mũi NéHotel prices and standards vary a lot in Mũi Né and depending on what end of the beach and how the sand has decided to move over the season, a room can be had from the very lowest end of the budget to the very highest end. There have been quite a few hotels springing up on the side of the road opposite to the beach and you'll find a few more options on the budget end.
Transportation and SafetyBuses come and go every morning and evening to and from Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. The bus companies are all selling the same seats on the same buses so the prices tend to be the same no matter what vendor you buy them from. There are motorcycle taxis passing by every minute or so and almost every hotel offers moped rental for competitive prices. Be careful when renting a moped since the maintenance is sparse at best and the local cops like to give tickets to foreigners. It is safe at night to go along the main strip of hotels and shops but everything closes early and then it is only the bars and clubs that have any activity.
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Author: 30literbackpack. Last updated: Mar 04, 2015