We had heard really good things about Mui Ne, it is beach resort 4 hours by bus from Ho Chi Minh, we decided to stop off on our way north. We knew that it is a spot popular with Russians and that there are two sets of sand dunes.
The bus dropped us off outside what we thought was our pre-booked accommodation at about 1:30am. Unfortunately was not our accommodation, we eventually managed to find our hotel after a 30 minute walk further down the road. We thought things were looking up, having learnt our lesson the hard way over the last few months we had emailed the hotel earlier that day to let them know of our planned late arrival time and they had confirmed that would be okay. When we arrived the place was locked with no one in-sight, after 15 minutes of banging the doors and ringing various numbers someone eventually answered. Although they had our details in the booking and had confirmed the time of arrival they seemed like it was the strangest thing in the world that we would possibly want to stay. Eventually we were shown to our room however the guy insisted we complete the whole check in procedure then and there (it was now at 2am and we wanted to sleeepp!!!), when he finally departed we happily passed out cold for the night.
We had intended to spend our time in Mui Ne in that hotel but hadn’t committed to more than the one night which was a blessing because due to the shocking service on arrival we decided to pack up and stay elsewhere. We found a hostel a kilometre down the road which had amazing reviews was beachfront and only cost 75p each a night, there was also the added plus of all you can drink beer between 5 and 6pm for free! How could we say no to that.
Thinking it was too good the be true we arrived at the hostel and it was amazing, a really relaxing place full of travellers and the free beer helped the socialising. The only downside to the place was the beach, I had read in the reviews that the sea washed up a lot of rubbish onto the beach and after Cambodia I thought I knew what that meant I was wrong. The photo below shows how bad it was.
The next day we departed on a tour with some people in the hostel to check out the local attractions, it was great fun. First up we visited the Fairy Stream, a shallow river that runs through a gorge with sand on one side and jungle on the other, ending at a waterfall. We had a lot of fun sinking in sand and kicking water about until we eventually cooled off in the waterfall.
Next up was a visit to a fishing village, this was a bit crap, we have seen our fair share of fishing villages so just sat and watched the local round boats.
The White sand dunes were next on the itinerary and a bit of a drive out from where we were, on the road we passed the notorious police check point where tourists on bikes get pulled and made to pay a bribe to pass. Oddly this is the only known place in Vietnam where the police run this game, most encourage tourists to ride bikes. We had done our research so had avoided the bikes here, others we met hadn’t been so lucky.
To get to the heart of sand dunes you can jump on the back of an ATV which was great fun, we then managed to find a broken slide wedged up against a shrub, we all spent the next hour sand surfing down the dunes, I got sand everywhere, and I mean everywhere….
The final stop was the red sand dunes for sunset, these were cool but not as much fun as the white dunes and due to the cloud which had swept in the sunset wasn’t offering much, as a group we had a difficult decision to make, sit out the sunset in case it got better or call it a day and get back in time to get a few free beers in. You probably guess the outcome of that challenging decision. Sunsets happen every day, free beer is a much rarer occurrence.
The next day we had planned to move on but decided to spend the day planning the rest of our time in Vietnam, booking flights to India and most importantly, having been burnt recently, organising our Indian visas. The following morning it was an early start and a bus into the mountainous town of Da Lat.