I had never been to sand dunes before. So when I first saw pictures of Mui Ne’s sand dunes, I knew I had to go!
Mui Ne, Vietnam. A five hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where the land meets the sea. The cost of the bus ride in April 2017 was $7usd in a nice sleeper bus.
The town of Mui Ne has beaches but they are not the prettiest. Most people come to Mui Ne for kite surfing and the sand dunes. I stayed at Mui Ne Backpacker Village & they offered a tour package of the red sand dunes, the white sand dunes, the fishing village, and the fairy streams. The cost of the tour was $5usd. Way worth it!
First stop: fairy stream
The fairy stream was blah. It’s a tourist trap. But hey, it was free/included with my sand dunes tour. It's basically just a walk through red mud to kind of cool looking sand mountains. When I went it was hot af so I wasn’t into it.
Second stop: fishing village
Kind of cool to see all the fisherman in the little round boats, but also sad to see how full of trash it was. This stop was short; like 10 minutes. Just to see it and take a picture.
Third stop: white sand dunes
This one was really cool. It was bigger than I imagined. You can rent a big ATV for about $20usd, rent a small ATV for about $10, or you can just walk. I decided to walk. Being a backpacker, we try to save as much as we can. You got pick and chose your luxuries. I was glad I did because I would have went with the small ATV and moments later we noticed the small ATV can’t even make it up the big dune I wanted to go up. So if you rent an ATV, you’ll want the big one.
Last stop: red sand dunes for sunset
At first glance, I’d say the white dunes are better. The red sand dunes one had a lot more tourists here. But when you walk deeper into the dunes, past where all the tourists stop, it’s beautiful! The untouched sand with the lighting of the sunset in the ripples, freaking gorg. You’ll have an option for the tour to be sunrise or sunset. I was very happy with choosing sunset. Not only does the dreadful 4am alarm clock sound like bloody hell, but the colors of sunset was astounding. Book the $5 sunset tour, you won’t regret it! ;)
I went to the dunes in April 2017 and it was hot affffff. The sand was burning my feet and I was sweating balls. If you’re going in the hot season, wear a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and dress light.
Some people rent motor bikes and bike to the sand dunes (which is almost an hour away). I wouldn’t recommend this bc the town is full of corrupt cops that have checkpoints on the way to the sand dunes. I’ve heard of so many people getting pulled over and getting fined up to one million dong (about $44usd) for not having an international drivers license. Save yourself the trouble and book the $5 tour.
SUMMARY OF COSTS IN MUI NE
DAY 1: $28
$7 bus from Saigon to Mui Ne
$1 taxi from bus stop to hostel
DAY 2: $20
$5 Sand dunes tour
$1 fruit shake