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Mui Ne

A Quick Guide to Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a popular weekend escape for locals and expats from Saigon, thanks to its expanse of white sand beaches. Mui Ne has a laid-back vibe with resorts and beach clubs, but also enough activities to keep adventure-seekers happy. It’s become the surfing hub of Vietnam, and since learning to surf at the start of 2021 it’s easily my favourite weekend getaway. This travel guide to Mui Ne will help you to plan your own beach escape.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, all marked with * Booking through these links generates a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

Mui Ne at a glance

Mui Ne is a coastal town about 4 and a half hours north of Saigon, and a quick 20-minute drive from the nearest city of Phan Thiet. Originally a fishing village, the white sand beaches lured tourism to the area and transformed the town into a resort destination. The windy weather makes conditions perfect for kitesurfing, and many surf schools dot the shoreline. Aside from the beaches, the town is known for its sand dunes, a rather unique feature in the otherwise very lush Vietnam.

How long to stay – You can easily see the attractions of Mui Ne in a day. I recommend spending 1-2 days, depending on how interested you are in lying by the beach.

Best time of year – Mui Ne follows the southern wet and dry seasons, with temperatures remaining in the mid-high 20°C all year. Nov to Mar is the driest and best time to visit. Apr to Oct is monsoon season, with daily afternoon showers.

Things to see in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a great spot if you are into adrenaline based activities, like surfing, dune surfing and driving ATVs. Most of the things to do in Mui Ne can be seen and done in 1 day, especially if you opt for a jeep tour like I’ve done.

Ride ATVs on the dunes

Mui Ne is famous in Vietnam for its sand dunes, an unusual sight amid the tropical climate. There are two different sets of dunes in Mui Ne; The red sand dunes, only big enough to walk up, and the white sand dunes, where you can drive an ATV to the top.

💰 200 – 400k depending on how extreme a tour you take. 1 mil+ to drive around yourself (not as a passenger).

The Fairy Stream

The Fairy Stream is an interesting geological site that has turned into a popular tourist attraction in Mui Ne. Essentially, it is a sand-bed stream, flanked on both sides by weathered sand dunes. At the fairy stream, you take your shoes off and wade through the ankle-deep water. There is a small waterfall at the end of the stream.

💰 15k entry

travel guide to mui ne phan thiet vietnam

Learn to surf

The combination of a long stretch of sandy beach and windy weather has made Mui Ne a popular spot for surfing and kitesurfing. There are many surf schools along the beach where you can learn both variations of the sport, but my favourite is Mui Ne Local Surf, who offer lesson and rentals. The instructors are amazing and it’s a great little community they have.

As I’ve never kitesurfed, I recommend checking out Kitesurfing Mui Ne, an independent site that shares information about the conditions and reputable schools in the town.

You can check out the surf report here to see what the waves are going to be like during your visit.

Nov – Mar (dry season) is the windiest and best time to visit Mui Ne for surfing.

How to get to Mui Ne

Getting to Mui Ne is not a challenge as it is well serviced with buses and trains. I personally recommend the train as it is faster and more reliable than buses. I’ve found the easiest way to book transport in Vietnam is through Baolau*, a search engine that compares all travel options to find the best one for you.

travel guide to mui ne phan thiet vietnam

From Saigon

The nearest train station to Mui Ne is in Phan Thiet city, 50km away from the Mui Ne strip. Phan Thiet train station is only connected to Saigon. It is not connected to destinations north of Phan Thiet, like Nha Trang. From Phan Thiet train station you will need to take a taxi to Mui Ne (~250k) or you can take the public bus to Mui Ne detailed in this post.

⏰ 3 – 4 hrs
💰 150-250k

From Nha Trang

If travelling from Nha Trang, the train will stop at Binh Thuan train station from which you will need to take a taxi to Phan Thiet (~400k) and then a further taxi into Mui Ne (~250k). I recommend taking the bus if you are planning to visit Mui Ne from Nha Trang.

⏰ 4 hrs
💰 100-200k

Mui Ne is well serviced by buses from all directions. You can find and see all the bus option on Baolau*, a search engine that compares travel options to help you find the best one for you.

From Saigon

⏰ 5-6 hours
💰 150k

From Nha Trang

⏰ 5 hours
💰 160k – 200k

From Dalat

⏰ 4 hrs
💰 180k

From Saigon to Mui Ne

There are two main routes to drive yourself to Mui Ne from Saigon; the scenic coastal route and the direct route (inland on the highway, with some scenic segments). Both routes take around 4 and a half hours. I’ve driven both routes and find the coastal route nice, though I would recommend breaking up the drive with a stop in Vung Tau. The inland roads are a bit more direct and because of the quality of the road will get you there faster.

Motorbiking to Mui Ne comes with the risk of being pulled over by the police and I do not recommend it for drivers who are not legal on the road. If you are looking to bypass Mui Ne, I suggest driving via the central highlands (Dalat and Bao Loc) instead.

✍️ For more information on motorbiking in Vietnam, check out my Complete Guide to Motorbiking Vietnam.

Getting around Mui Ne

Mui Ne is relatively small, though it is very spread out along the beachfront which can make exploring a challenge. Within Mui Ne, there are little-to-no grab drivers as they mostly stay in the nearby town of Phan Thiet. There are taxis and motorbike drivers along the main road that are easy to hail. For exploring, I recommend joining a bus or jeep tour, as renting motorbikes in Mui Ne comes with the risk of being pulled over by the police.

Mui Ne is notorious for police traps, designed to catch tourists out for driving illegally. Sometimes you can get away by paying a bribe, but there are more and more cases of riders having their bike confiscated (this happened to an old roommate of mine). If you can, I recommend you avoid driving along the coastal section of the road from the Mui Ne strip to the white sand dunes. Read more here.

Where to eat in Mui Ne

Along the main strip of Mui Ne, there are many places to eat for all budgets. If you head off the main streets and down some of the hems (alleys) you will find cheap local food options. I actually really recommend heading to the Khu ẩm thực Đông Vui food court for dinner as they have many different cuisines on offer, which is perfect if you’re travelling as a group. Some other places that I can recommend are:

📍 Mr Crab (fresh seafood)
📍 Sinbad (Greek kebabs)
📍 Jibe’s Beach Club
(fresh pasta)
📍 Backstage Bar and Grill (only had breakfast but it was good)

Where to stay in Mui Ne

As a popular beach escape from Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne has hundreds of accommodation options* to pick from. If you are planning to stay at a resort, I recommend going for one with a beachfront, as there are no loungers for rent along the beach, only those owned by resorts.

If you’re looking for a social backpacker vibe then I recommend staying at either the Mui Ne Hills complex* or iHome*. They both offer dorms and privates, with a swimming pool, bar and restaurant on site.

Daily budget

Mui Ne is one of those destinations that can be done within any budget; the biggest expense is definitely accommodation but there are many hostels available with beds as cheap as 50k a night. This budget is to give you an idea of how cheaply you could travel to Mui Ne.

🚗 ~ $10

Getting to Mui Ne is relatively easy and can be done super cheap. I recommend taking the train for efficiency and cost. You book all types of transport through Baolau*.

🛏 ~$3.00

Mui Ne has accommodation to suit every budget and you can search here for all accommodation options*. For a fun budget-friendly place to stay, I recommend iHome*.

🍜 ~$6.50

Food pricing is pretty standard for Vietnam, with street food between 50k – 100k, and restaurant meals around 300k. Be prepared to spend more for fresh seafood.

📸 ~ $25

If you plan to simply relax by the beach then Mui Ne will be very cheap, but the more adventurous activities can add up. One great way to explore is to via a Jeep tour that takes you around all sites, and it comes to be very budget-friendly when split among a group.

Surfing lesson 💰 500k/hr
Kitesurfing lesson 💰 1 mil/hr
Surfboard rental 💰 300k/day
ATV ride 💰 400k
Jeep tour 💰 700k per Jeep
Fairy Stream 💰 15k

Daily budget: $45

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Meet Frances; Scottish lass turned Vietnam expat, and creator of this space. She can be found sippin’ ice tea’s and writing about her adventures from her sunny base of Saigon, Vietnam’s southern metropolis. All with a healthy side of researching her next road trip. With 5 years of living, travelling and scooting around Asia under her belt – let Frances be your guide to travelling the region.

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