I’ve been living in Vietnam for two years now and I could say it’s not enough time to travel to all the major and picturesque cities and towns in this country. Vietnam, indeed has too much to offer.
I have work on weekdays and weekends are just too short for a travel stint so I just usually take advantage of holidays or a one-day leave just to get away from the bustling Saigon.
And that rare chance I took advantage of last weekend to visit Mui Ne. My friend, Joey, flew in from the Philippines for a quick vacation so I have another reason to pack my bag and go to another place to explore.
Getting to Mui Ne:
Mui Ne is originally a fishing village located in Binh Thuan province of Vietnam. It is approximately 4-5 hours bus ride away from Ho Chi Minh city. It’s easy to get to this hushed village since there are a lot of bus tours available that you can find along Bui Vien and De Tham street in Saigon particularly. I always book my tours with Sinh Tourist so I did just that with this Mui Ne Trip. The fare is just 109,000 VND per person for a sleeper bus. We left Saigon around 7am and we arrived in Mui Ne proper around 11:30 am. There are other bus schedules available but we just chose the earlier one so we can arrive in Mui Ne before noon.
The bus fare from Mui Ne to Saigon was 150,000 VND since we booked it in our hotel and we rode the Hanh Cafe bus, which is not really recommendable. I’d say Sinh Tourist is still pretty much the most reliable one.
Where to stay:
I was actually expecting a Nha Trang-like scene in Mui Ne. But it was different. While Nha Trang is more festive and maybe more Miami-like (though I haven’t been to Miami, but just the feels!), Mui Ne I could say is more reserved and peaceful. I think the central beach area is the Nguyen Dinh Chieu street since it’s where most resorts are situated. It’s a long road where you could see resorts, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and even residential houses on both sides. You couldn’t really see the beach since the resorts are covering the view. Nevertheless, I’d say it gave Mui Ne a different feel.
We checked in at Thao Ha Hotel and even if it’s not beach front, I’d say it’s a good choice. The place is clean and well-maintained and the staff are nice and very helpful. We only paid for roughly 45usd for a 3 days/2 nights stay with breakfast. I like it that they clean the room everyday and they replenish the toiletries daily as well.
There are a lot of options for accommodations along Nguyen Dinh Chieu street. You can opt to walk-in or book ahead, but I think it’s better to book ahead since the price is slightly different when you just walk-in. Room rates also vary depends on the type of the hotel or resort you will book, but I think it’s still pretty cheap and won’t eat much in your budget.
What to do:
If there’s one thing I didn’t like much about Mui Ne, it’s the beach. Sadly, it’s the beach. It’s not as nice as I thought it to be. We weren’t even able to swim on the beach because there were a lot of huge jellyfishes and the waves were too big. The shoreline is not as wide as compared to Nha Trang as well. So, I’d say I prefer the beach in Nha Trang better. Or maybe, it was the season of the jellyfishes going out of the sea? If there’s such a thing as that.
But anyway, even if the beach was not too nice to us, we were still able to enjoy Mui Ne through some sightseeing trip we did. We availed of the group tour package offered by our hotel which was only 140,000 VND per person for a group of 5. It’s a jeep ride tour of the four famous tourist spots in Mui Ne such as the White Sand Dunes, Red Sand Dunes, Fairy Stream and the Fishing Village.
This is actually a pretty good deal! Imagine being able to go around the main spots of this village for just less than 10usd!? And I like that we did the tour early morning (we started around 4:30am), so it’s not too hot and we were able to catch the sunrise at the White Sand Dunes:-)
The tour finished at around 9am so we still had enough time to stroll around the area. Another fun way to do in Mui Ne is to learn Kite Surfing, which I didn’t dare try because I’m not much of a water sports fan. But hey! It looks pretty exciting!
No frills, spontaneous getaway.
That weekend in Mui Ne was pretty remarkable since we were able to just relax and enjoy the feeling of not doing anything or not be pressured to do something. We just did what we thought of doing at the moment. We slept, we ate, we swam, we watched KDrama to our hearts’ content, and I even almost finished a book during this quick getaway. I’m not sure if it comes with age but these are just the things I’m looking forward to in a vacation. I don’t like the hurried, let-us-visit-all-the-tourist-spots-at-once kind of trips anymore. So yes, maybe I am really becoming a member of the #titasofmanila now. Or an ahjumma? Oh please!
Nonetheless, it was a trip worth remembering. I could say it was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever had. And I’m glad that my friend, Joey, also felt the same way:-)