Mũi Né is a resort town along the South China Sea in Southeast Vietnam. With a long, palm-lined beach, it has steady wind conditions (in the dry season) that make it a top destination for windsurfing, kite-surfing, sailing and other water sports. It’s also a popular weekend getaway from Saigon with a busy strip of hotels, restaurants and shops.
After arriving by a double Decker sleep in bus I was ready to stretch mi legs and check out the adrenaline junkie town of adventure. I walked up a rather steep grade and checked into Mui Ne Hills hotel perched on the hillside with stunning views overlooking the town and the sea . After checking into mi hotel I was informed I could use their large swimming pool at their new hotel up the hill and adjacent to mi hotel. You almost had to be a billy goat with sharp hooves to traverse straight up the side of the mountain. Flip flops were too slippery especially coming back down so I reverted to bare feet for a better grip.
The sister hotel was luxurious with a great outdoor pool and bar complete with tables for eating and drinking beverages and lounge chairs.After receiving their complimentary drink I figured this is it… lounging in a five star pool and paying the price of a backpacker in your own hotel. I thought to myself maybe I will just stay here…this is incredible. After finishing your complimentary fruit jazzed drink I watched the orange sunset drop dramatically into the azure blue ocean.
After trekking down the hill from the five star hotel I took a quick shower at my hotel and walked about three kilometers to Joe’s Cafe where I was to meet Leo another fellow traveler from Australia. We were invited to the owners table who was an American from New England and shared a few beers and travel stories. As I looked around another American joined us and he told us he farms passion fruit for his livelihood. A local five piece band was tuning up their instruments and started to play Hotel California. Three men were sitting at a table facing the band drinking local beer with the well dressed attentive staff taking care of every detail. Joe’s Cafe is well known to the locals and expats and is a great looking large restaurant with small swimming pool overlooking the sea.
As Leo and I walked the three kilometers we passed retail store after retail store and only saw one customer. I was ready to write my blog entitled: GHOST TOWN OR KITE SURFERS PARADISE…you be the judge. The following morning I walked past three Kite Surfing schools and there was no-one on the ocean kite-surfing…maybe wrong time of the year. This was somewhat of a trend Leo and I discussed throughout Vietnam…all of these magnificent resorts and businesses and no customers. We figured all of these were really tax heavens for the wealthy…since most were certainly not busy enough to make a profit.
The following morning I took a jeep tour where I could spend some quality time and see some interesting sites in and around Mui Ne. Our tour guide pulled off the main road and walked us to The Fairy Stream. We took off our shoes and walked ankle to knee deep along a meandering stream silhouetted by lush green bamboos and over shadowed by red, clay brownish, white cliffs. As we marveled at nature’s landscape we felt like we were entering Jurassic Park or the land of the dinosaurs. I could have easily spent the entire day here photographing nature’s wonders.
We traveled on a scenic route out of town and arrived at the White Sand Dunes recreation area. They had a nice lounge area and restaurant. You could rent quad trikes and head straight up the white sand dunes wind sculpted mountain of sand. As if in a James Bond chase scene in the Sahara Desert you were definitely in the moment and quite a few tourists had some pictures to prove it. Just seeing this wind swept mountain of white sand was almost an illusion and definitely an artists canvas.
Leaving The white Sand Dunes sculpted wind swept mountain we arrived at a fisherman’s hangout village where we witnessed the locals paddling toward shore in small round doughnut boats that they use in their daily pursuit of fresh fish. After meeting the locals and taking some photographs we headed near town to Red Beach Mountain. At Red Beach Mountain you can rent boggy boards and pieces of cardboard from the kids. Tourists and locals alike are sliding down the sand mountain having the time of their life witnessed by their big smiles and lively chatter. All that is left is to drink a glass of chilled wine and watch the sunset explode into the sea yielding the perfect setting for a day in and around Nui Me.
So there you have it! If you want a beach town that has good hotels, good restaurants and water sports then why not book a trip to Mui Ne. Might be only you and the grasshopper unless a bunch of over zealous bloggers open their big mouths about another off the beaten path gem.
QUOTE: “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: One of the most beautiful places of Mui Ne is the arroyo de las hadas, called Suoi Tien in Vietnamese and Fairy Stream in English. A miniature version of the Grand Canyon The Fairy Stream
is a small stream that runs through a forest of bamboo and dunes close to the village to zig-zag mode. The dunes of reddish color, coupled with the erosion of the passage of time look prehistoric and are a geological wonder.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Sand….it has many uses.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: The only two bugs I like are The Travel Bug and the Camera Bug. All of the rest of the bugs can bugger off as far as I am concerned.
From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.