We left Da Lat at 7am on Wednesday 17th January 2018 to go to the beach resort town of Mui Ne. We didn’t really know what to expect as we had been receiving mixed reviews from people we had met or things we had read so went with an open mind. The journey took around 5 hours and was pretty uneventful. We had a breakfast stop which was at a very pretty lake and had a really cute puppy and kitten who were playing with each other. Not much but it kept us entertained for the half an hour stop we had here and the journey had been really bumpy with a lot of unfinished roads so we were glad of the break. We couldn’t check in to our hostel, Mui Ne Backpackers Village, until 1pm giving us an hour to kill and get some lunch.
The first thing we noticed was the amount of fruit stands and we were able to get a fruit juice for 15,000 dong (50p) and the same for a Bahn Mi (sandwich) so that was a nice surprise. The juices aren’t the biggest but, really, for that size you can’t complain. Plus we were able to put our new fruit knowledge to name all the different fruits on offer and it was cool to be able to know what all the exotic looking fruit tasted like!
We only booked a night here with the option to extend if we wanted to but we decided against it. We had primarily chosen the place to get some heat and some sun. Although we got some hotter weather it was overcast and was forecast to rain the following day so wasn’t the ideal scenario for some tanning days. The beach wasn’t bad but wasn’t very clean with lots of black sand particles (oil I think) along the whole beach. I even saw a young girl that was playing in the sand have black stained knees from the sand so this definitely isn’t the untouched beach you can get in other parts of Asia! A section of the beach was already swallowed up by the tide so we had to walk quite a bit further down from our hostel to find a beach high enough that wasn’t under the water. It was a nice temperature to relax and people watch for a bit though so once we found some sand that’s what we did.
Mui Ne beach at this time of year is great for kitesurfing. You can get lessons here and there were loads of people out in the water. It was cool to watch but looked like a lot of hard work as it was very windy with some people fully out of the water from the strength of the wind! It was a wonder they all weren’t getting tangled up with one another but I guess perspective was making it look like they were all closer than they actually were.
Mui Ne pretty much consists of one street where there are bars, restaurants, travel shops and hotels all the way along it. The main thing to do in the area is chill on the beach, kitesurf or visit the sand dunes. We have seen sand dunes in Australia and New Zealand so weren’t bothered about seeing any here which is the only reason we didn’t go as it meant we saved a bit of money. One thing I found very surprising about the area was that every restaurant and shop had the signs in Vietnamese, English and Russian. Restaurants would have fully Russian menus because of the massive Russian holiday population that comes to Mui Ne. I’m not sure why but you noticed it straight away more than I’ve ever noticed a population of a particular tourist nationality before (and being a Brit means I’m from one of the most common tourists you’re likely to see in South East Asia!).
Street art on the way to the beach
We booked a bus to Ho Chi Minh for the next afternoon. Of course this ended up being a beautiful blue sky, hot day that would have been excellent for sunbathing. Regardless, it wasn’t the end of the world to be leaving. Mui Ne didn’t really rate highly with us. We just weren’t bothered by it at all and it wasn’t somewhere I was desperate to stay even when the sun did come out. If we had had blue skies and sun when we had arrived we may have spent a day or two to sunbathe and relax but even then, I don’t think we would have fallen in love with the place. I think it just has a vibe we weren’t really into but that may just be us as I have met people who really enjoy it here.
Great mango and passion fruit juice for 50p!
Saying all of this, I’m glad we stopped by so that at least we knew and it was good to break up the journey to Ho Chi Minh and start getting some warmer temperatures again and be back in shorts!
Next, to our final stop in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh
Sending Love x