White Dunes in Mui Ne
Hidden among all the diversity of Vietnam is a small piece of the Sahara, which is a must visit.
Vietnam is an amazing, mysterious, sunny country. We can describe it for a long time. She has survived the worst wars, rebuilt her cities and created countless resorts in the world. One of the famous places is the village of Mui Ne, which is most popular among Russian tourists. It is located near the town of Phan Thiet.
More than 15 years ago this place was a pristine beach. And now there is a huge resort area, stretching for 7 kilometers. Here you will find numerous bars, restaurants, stores, banks, hotels and much more.
But if you get bored, tired of lying on the beach all the time, then immediately rent a vehicle and go to the White Dunes.
It’s best to take a scooter, which will cost between $5 and $10 for a full day’s rent. It is best to take a new, not worn out bike for a couple of days, do not spare the money. There are a lot of interesting places outside of Mui Ne.
Be careful, the traffic in Vietnam is terrible. All traffic moves according to its own special laws. Try not to exceed the speed limit and take care.
The dunes can be seen north of Mui Ne. But do not rush to the wind on the coast, otherwise you will not avoid meeting with the police, who love to catch tourists immediately at the exit of the village. They want, as you have already realized, to earn a little money. No safety helmet or scooter permit? Then get ready for a long explanation with the authorities. But do not get upset, as not even all locals have the right documents.
Sadly, the international driving license is not valid here, so you should be careful.
If you do get caught, you know the law is not on your side. You’ll have to pay a fine of approximately $10 to $25. In the worst case, you will lose the scooter, and then you will have to explain with the one who rented it to you and pay a large sum to return the vehicle.
On the upper road turn right. Then we drive a few kilometers and turn under the bridge, which I don’t think you’ll miss. And eventually you hit a sandy road.
The main reference point will be the local kids, who for a fee will help you get to the dunes. Do not neglect their services, because they cost only one dollar. For this price they will show you everything, tell you everything and even park your bike.
The first point of interest is the red creek. There is a cafeteria next to it that serves delicious mango shake. Here you will both relax and admire the surrounding sights. It is worth coming here just for the beautiful scenery and gorgeous photos.
In addition to the cafes, along the road runs along the coast, where you can admire the ocean, listen to the sound of the surf and even swim, if you have a desire. Almost every morning a lot of surfers gather here, waiting for their wave.
There are cafes on the shore, too, where you’ll have a delicious Vietnamese coffee and try the local seafood.
On average, a hearty snack costs about $3.
Next on the course are the Red Dunes. They are distinguished by their bright brick color and a great many boys offering large sheets to roll off the dune. But it’s best to decline, as they are completely useless. It’s best to bypass the kids and just take a quiet walk through the dunes. The most important thing on the trip is not to miss the turnoff to the White Dunes. Since it is completely unnoticeable, the landmark is a wide entrance to the dirt road and numerous jeeps, standing in a long row.
And here is the final straight, it is only worth passing a few kilometers. The main thing again is not to miss the turn. Finally, you are there.
If you come by scooter, it is better to leave it in the parking lot, having paid 7-8 rubles. They always keep a good eye on the vehicles here, so you can not fear theft.
If you make your way across the lake you will find a cozy little park with a cafe and an ostrich farm. If it works, you can stop and ride ostriches. The good mood is guaranteed.
On the way to the dunes will offer quad bikes. If you have extra money, feel free to rent one and enjoy the ride. The cost of renting will be about $20 for twenty minutes. For Vietnam is a bit expensive, but the service is very popular among tourists.
After driving a few hundred meters, you will enter the kingdom of White dunes. They could be compared to the vast Sahara Desert, if it were not for the ennobled fields in the immediate vicinity. And so the dunes will plunge you into a world of fantasy and otherworldly reality.
Be sure to walk on the soft, velvet sand barefoot. You will definitely like it.
Even go to the top of the dune, and your eyes open a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape, and the pictures will please. It is highly recommended to come here in the morning or evening to meet the sunsets and sunrises. An extraordinary spectacle that will not leave anyone indifferent.
And finally, sit on the warm sand, close your eyes and you will hear the music of the dunes. This is exactly what a tired traveler needs after a long journey. It is an amazing place with an amazing atmosphere.
The white and red dunes: the majesty of Lotus Lake in the desert
Mui Ne is a small fishing village in South Vietnam. The resort attracts tourists with its clean beach, pleasant winds that allow water sports, and sights. Worth seeing places in Mui Ne are red and white dunes, lotus lake and red canyon. It is about them that we will tell you in our article.
Right behind the village of Mui Ne, if you drive on the main road, begin the Red Dunes (doi hong). You can reach them by cab (it’s only 5 km) or by city buses #1 and #9.
If you’ve never been to the desert, the view will take you by surprise. The majestic sands take on different colors during the day: pink in the morning, orange or yellow in the afternoon, depending on the presence of clouds, and turning scarlet in the evening.
But first of all, there are too many people here at this time, and secondly, agreeing to an evening tour, you need to be careful with the guide or guide, so he does not take you into the heat. It’s very hot during the day.
The sand hills of the Red Dunes are 50 meters high and constantly change their shape because of the wind. There are local kids everywhere, who obsessively offer a ride on an improvised plastic sled on the dunes “only” for 100 thousand dong per person. Be sure to haggle, and the children will reduce the price in half or more. The entertainment is fascinating, and if you loved to go down the slide on a sled as a child, you will love it. Lie on the plastic tape with your belly, push off, and race at high speed down the sandy hill.
Red Canyon is a stopover for anyone driving to the White Dunes.
Visible from afar, the ethereal landscape – a combination of bright red clay sand and green vegetation that makes its way here and there – is impossible to miss. Against this Martian landscape with cacti everyone loves to take pictures, and walking below, you can imagine yourself on another planet.
If we go from Mui Ne by the main road, then after 24 kilometers begins the territory of white dunes (doi cat trang). Their total length of more than ten kilometers, and they are really impressive for their size and shining whiteness.
There are almost no tourists here, only special tours, wheeling on open jeeps, and a few singles, who came on bikes. This place is as if created to experience the depth and solitude of the desert. And the pictures on the background of the dunes are just amazing.
Entrance to the White Dune is paid and free. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Free entrance is not equipped, and leave your vehicle here is risky, you can puncture the tires or twist a wheel.
- Paid entrance is equipped with tents with food, parking and is located to the south. For 200 thousand dong there you can park your bike and not worry about it. At the entrance you can buy a tour of the dunes on quad bikes, it will cost 200 to 400 thousand VND, depending on how you bargain.
A little lower and further inland is a lake.
Hidden in the middle of the white majestic hills is a blue lake, all covered with lotuses. This nice cool place in the sands is especially beautiful when the pink lotuses bloom, each up to 35 cm in diameter.
Tips for visiting the dunes
- Wear a hat to protect your ears and nose from the sand.
- Goggles suitable for skiing and snowboarding should be worn to protect your eyes from tiny particles of sand and dust.
- Put photo equipment in a protective case or use a cheap soapbox. Small particles from the wind damage cameras.
- Bring a bottle of water, there are vendors at the entrance, but their prices are very high.
- Put on your hiking boots or comfortable closed shoes. Barefoot can walk in the desert only in the morning and late evening, when the temperature of the sand decreases.
The area around Mui Ne is worth a visit. It is enough in one day to see as Red dunes with a canyon, and White dunes with a lotus lake. You can come here on your own or by ordering a tour, for example, jeep or other form of transport. The main thing is to be well prepared, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and take plenty of water, and, of course, a camera to capture these extraordinary colorful desert landscapes.
Since 2013, I have been living with my wife in different countries, including China, the Philippines, the USA, and Vietnam. I photograph and write about travel blogs.