Little Buddha Surfing Spot in Mui Ne
Little Buddha Surfing Spot in Mui Ne

Top Things To Do in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet

Mui Ne is the perfect place for a beach getaway. It’s only 4 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City and offers great kitesurfing, surfing and many other activities.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

How to get to Mui Ne

Mui Ne is located in Phan Thiet, around 220km and 4 and a half hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. As it has no airport close, your best bet is the bus or train.

Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne

There are plenty of buses going to Mui Ne, but the one we chose for both of the times we went there, was the Phuong Trang – FUTA Bus Lines. You can book online or go to the office to buy tickets on the spot.

Sleeper bus: 150.000 VND ($6.50)
Limousine/van: 250.000 VND ($11)

Train from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet and Taxi from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne

Catch a train from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet (around 4 hours) and on arrival, take a metered taxi or local bus to Mui Ne (30 min). This combination is a bit more time consuming and expensive, but far more comfortable.

Train: 120.000 VND ($5) soft seat or 220.000 VND bed ($9.50)
Taxi: 300.000 – 350.000 VND ($13-$15)
Local bus from Phan Thiet to Mui Ne: around 20.000 VND ($0.90)

Tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui NeTickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne

How to get around Mui Ne

Mui Ne and the area as any place in Vietnam is best explored on a motorbike. Be careful though, if you’re not legally driving as this is the place where the police WILL check your papers. This might not happen if you stick to the main Mui Ne strip along the coast, but if you venture out towards the White Sand Dunes, you will most likely get stopped at the main police checkpoint.

Somehow we were very lucky the first time we went to the White Sand Dunes as we weren’t stopped and didn’t see police at all. The second time was in the COVID times, so we don’t count that as now there’s probably no check point.

What to do in Mui Ne

There’s plenty to do in Mui Ne and around Phan Thiet, so here’s a list of most, but definitely not all of the things to do.

White Sand Dunes – Đồi Cát Trắng

Sunrise at White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne

Mui Ne area is unique because of its interesting landscape. You’re able to see dunes everywhere. One of the most famous ones are the White Sand Dunes. They’re pretty big, compared to the Red ones, and are about a 40 minute drive away and the best time to visit is for sunrise.

Best time to visit: sunrise
How to get there: follow the road along the coast to the north-east for 40 minutes
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: free

Tips: If you stay a tiny bit longer after sunrise, you will have the whole place for yourself, as all the tours will leave. That is also the time when you can enjoy the dunes without countless super-loud quads tearing them up.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to ride a quad to explore the dunes. You can easily do it on foot and also get some exercise in.

Quads are many times in bad condition and you are not allowed to drive them yourself, so you essentially pay a lot for someone to take you around on one.

Red Sand Dunes – Đồi Cát Đỏ

The Red Sand Dunes are the smaller of the two unique geological sites. They are only a 15 minute drive away from the main strip and the best time to visit is for sunset as the colors of the dunes and sunset combine.

Best time to visit: sunset
How to get there: follow the road east for 15 minutes
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: free
Tips: You can rent a plastic “sled” to slide down the dunes. We didn’t do it as it didn’t seem as fun to us, and the sellers were a bit pushy and rude. On top of that, the Red Dunes are a bit trashy, and you can see a lot of plastic parts from the sledes in the sand. The quality of the sleds is really bad, so once they fall apart or break they just leave it there.

Fairy Stream

Aerial view of Fairy Stream in Mui Ne
Aerial view of Fairy Stream in Mui Ne

The Fairy Stream is a shallow, ankle-deep water stream where you can observe the incredible natural formations that were formed by water from the red sand. You’ll be surrounded by palm trees and greenery on one and red sand dunes with white rocks on the other side. It doesn’t take long to explore this place, so it can be added to any itinerary, although it’s not the most exciting place to see in Mui Ne.

Best time to visit: anytime, but to avoid crowds, sunrise
How to get there: walk/ride to the entrance, which is just off the main road
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: 15k per person + 10k scooter ($0.65 + $0.40)

Duration: 1 hour is more than enough

Tips: Come early, as this spot is the easiest to access and will be crowded.

You have to take your shoes off as you’re walking through the water, so take some bag for carrying your shoes.

There are some restaurants on both sides of the stream (before the official entrance), where you can have a drink or get some food, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of that part.

Please don’t support the small ZOO you’ll pass at one point. Luckily it wasn’t operational when we visited due to lack of tourism, and hopefully it will stay that way.

Ke Ga Lighthouse – Hải đăng Kê Gà

Aerial view of Ke Ga Lighthouse
Aerial view of Ke Ga Lighthouse

The Ke Ga Lighthouse is situated on a rocky island just off the coast of the Ke Ga Cape, an hour drive south along the coast from Phan Thiet.

The whole area is gorgeous, so if you have time make sure to explore a bit around too. Unfortunately, don’t be surprised by big amounts of trash you might see around here. A bit further from the Lighthouse was one stunning beach, but its shore was more like a garbage dump which was so sad to see. We enjoyed our time here nonetheless.

Best time to visit: sunrise & sunset
How to get there: drive south from Phan Thiet for an hour along the coast
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: free
Tips: You can take a boat (price varies) to the island, or just walk over during low-tide. As far as we know, climbing the lighthouse is no longer possible.

Sunrise at Ke Ga Cape
Sunrise at Ke Ga Cape

Po Shanu Cham Towers – Tháp Po Sah Inu

Po Shanu Cham Towers of Phan Thiet were built in the 15th century and dedicated to the princess Po Shanu. The towers are still an important religious site for the local Cham community.

The area of Phan Thiet and the coastline up towards Da Nang was once part of the Champa Kingdom, and thankfully, some of these towers and temples are still around.

Best time to visit: early morning, late afternoon
How to get there: on the road towards Phan Thiet, reachable in 10 minutes
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: 15k + parking (total around $1)
Tips: Climb up the hill behind the towers where you can find an old fortress and bunkers that boast an amazing view of Phan Thiet and the bay.

Mui Ne Fishing Village & Market

Locals at Mui Ne Fishing Village

Mui Ne is traditionally a fishing village and you can still enjoy a part of it’s history and traditions in the daily morning fish market. It’s the place where you can witness the local life and enjoy the view of hundreds of boats just off the shore. Pretty amazing sight.

Best time to visit: early morning for the market
How to get there: drive along the coast east for about 10 minutes
Find on Google Maps
Entrance fee: free
Tips: The best time is to come early in the morning when fishermen come with their catch and sell it to others. However, don’t come too early. When we first visited we went for the sunrise, and there was just a small group of people there. You can witness a stunning sunrise here, but if you’re limited with time you’ll miss the market. So try to time your visit right.

This market isn’t that special if you compare it to some others in Vietnam, but it’s worth a stop if you’re nearby.

Surfing and kitesurfing

Arijana Tkalčec surfing at Little Buddha surf spot in Mui Ne
Arijana surfing at Little Buddha surf spot in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is the Vietnamese capital of kitesurfing and also offers some great spots for surfing. It’s the perfect spot to take part in these activities. The kitesurfing lessons are done all along the coast and the best surf is at the Little Buddha surf spot, just before the main strip.

For surfing lessons and surfboard rental hit up Mui Ne Local Surf School, they will help you start out and catch waves in no time.

Best time to visit Mui Ne

The best time to visit Mui Ne depends on what you would like from it.

If you’re looking for good waves to surf, the time would be in winter, from October to April.

If you’re coming to just enjoy the beach and explore around, anytime of the year should be enjoyable.

Rainy season: April – October (high humidity, a lot of rainfall)

Windiest months: January – March

Where to eat in Mui Ne

As we eat vegetarian/vegan (except when Arijana craves some European food), we didn’t eat at that many different restaurants.

For the classical local chay food, check out Phap duyen vegetarian restaurant, for a homely meal and laid-back vibe close to the shore, check YoYo Vegetarian Food.

We also ate at Anantara Mui Ne’s L’Anmien Restaurant during our stay and the chef prepared amazing vegan and vegetarian food! A bit more expensive than the previous two, but oh so worth it! Make sure to try their pizza or pasta (not vegetarian), it’s amazing!

A few times we dropped by EL Cafe Vegan Vegetarian Food to have same falafel, hummus and pita bread. They have a large menu with many different cuisines and dishes from mentioned falafel, to curry, to bowls, burritos and local food.

EL Cafe Vegan Restaurant in Mui Ne

There are two food courts in Mui Ne. The old food court was hit hard by the pandemic and many businesses closed down. One of them was the Indian stall where we had the possibly best curry in Vietnam. The new food court concept PIT STOP Mui Ne offers a few different cuisines, like Mexican and Hungarian and also cocktails and amazing cakes.

Honorable mention: Swiss House, the place where we had the biggest portion of fries ever. If you seek some European food and possibly love cheese, this is the spot for you.

Where to stay in Mui Ne

We stayed at 3 different accomodations during our two visits to Mui Ne.

Anantara Mui Ne

We loved our stay at this amazing beach resort. We were there for 4 nights and it was just what we needed. The infinity pool, flow bar and beach accessibility made it really enjoyable. The staff were incredibly friendly and accomodating and we felt at home.

Read more about our stay at Anantara Mui Ne.

La Marina Boutique Hotel & Spa

They offer really nice rooms with big comfortable beds and a shared pool.

Mui Ne Hills Bliss Hotel

This Hotel is part of a bigger group of hotels and hostels just up from the main road on a hill above Mui Ne. We were in the Hotel, which has bigger rooms with more amenities, but they also have a hostel and even a private villa that you can rent.

Vietnam
Arijana & Matej

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Arijana & Matej

Thank you for reading!

If you like and find value in what we do and would like to support 💁‍♂️ our work to
enable us to fully dedicate ourselves to our cause and vision, now you can.

Buy Us a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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