the Vietnam Story – Meet the Exquisite Mui Ne

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The second day in Vietnam was spent in Mui Ne. Mui Ne is a part of area in Bình Thuận Province in which since mid 90s has become one of the most developed beach area in Vietnam, marked by the establishment of many resorts. Up until now, along Mui Ne stretched about 50km ahead of the town, there are hundreds of resorts/beach resorts, along with cafes, restaurants and bars. Many people/tourists visited this area for the solar eclipse on October 24, 1995, is believed to be the first impact of the development.

sleep all the highway
sleep all the highway

Bus tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne is available in most of the hotels in the city. Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne takes 5-6 hours, but they provided us sleeping bus, so no worry of carsick.

We took the earliest schedule, so the bus departed on 8/8.30AM, which arrived at around 12.00-01.00pm. Mui Ne has many interesting tourist destinations, with tourists come from all over the world. Do not worry of having breakfast/lunch/dinner in Mui Ne, plenty of restaurants are stand by along the way, with price fairly ranging from VND 50,000 – VND 300,000.

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Travel agents offices are available throughout the area, just pick the one the most suitable and affordable. We found one, paying VND 900,000/jeep and it was a half day tour, starting from 2pm – sunset. Plus, we had a driver who was likely having a bad mood all day long. Grumpy, fussy and unfriendly (and he spoke english a little bit too confusing). Shit like this happens when you’re on your fun time.

We met fairy stream, a landscape which is the mix of limestones/rocks and clay, resulting an impressive color combination. For a while, I thought it was a miniature of America’s Grand Canyon. Anyway, the tourists will be encouraged to take off their shoes, and lead the way by walking in the creek. They offer to keep the shoes in the entrance, of course with a fee. It wasn’t a long walk, so I chose to carry my shoes on my own. In several parts of the limestone, I found them in various shape, one of them, which I found fascinating, was resembling a stalagtit. For the girls, the place must be a very nice spot to do photo session.

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the mixture of rocks and clays delivering stunning color combination of Fairy Stream

Due to the limited time of the tour, we only spent 30 mins in Fairy Stream, short but it was enough to cure the curiosity. The driver waited outside, lustfully and hardly waited to take us riding his 80s jeep.  On the go, we were riding the old classic jeep to Fishing Village.

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keep on shining in the 80s jeep

Fishing Village, literally like its name, a village located in the seashore, about 6 km from Fairy Stream, most of the population works in fishing. Fishing Village is a great place to taste local fresh seafood, and learn about local life. Fishing boats, lots of them, scattered around the sea. I managed to capture some of the best scenes on the sea, the local kids, local activities, local people selling seafood at the corner of the road, and anything out of the ordinary in my daily life. My most favorite? Fishing boats on the sea.

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on the sea boat-parking

At noon to afternon, some of the fisherman were embroiding nets manually, with their hands (!). All day. I cannot imagine doing that under the shiny sun, in patience.

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different way in fighting for the sake of life, the fisherman knitted the net before the fishing

Anyway, did I tell you that Mui Ne is famous for its sand dunes? Yeah, the two last attraction we chased to see is Red Sand Dunes and White Sand Dunes. Red first, white followed. The red sand dunes is not too far from the last scene we visited. It is a stretch of a red sands, feels like a red desert. The sun was very bright, and its ray of lights coalesced with the red element of the sand, the scene was perfect. I took pics, the girls doing poses. We were drowning in pleasure, savoring the admiration, until the driver shouted from a distance, warning that we were running out of time. Geez.

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The footsteps were left in the red of the sand dune.

What could we do other than following his orders, rode the jeep, and he drove it like there’s no tomorrow.

Every single corner is your spots to be memorized in Red Sand Dunes
Every single corner is your spots to be memorized in Red Sand Dunes

White Sand Dunes awaiting. It is wider than Red Sand Dunes, and its located on the northern of Mui Ne. About 10km from the red, all I could see all the way to the location was the ocean and the cliff. 30 minures later, there it was. White sand is spreading from edge to edge, dead end. On location, desert jeeps are available for rentals, to wander around the sand. We didnt use it. We just kept walking to the farthest point, and take a breather and just waited for the sun to set. The driver actually gave us time limit untl 6pm. But, which sun is set at such hour?

The whiteness of the sand dunes turns to gray when the sun meets its clash
The whiteness of the sand dunes turns to gray when the sun returns to its clash

When I walk my feet to the ground made of sands, the admiration hit its limit. It was very beautiful. Like, I couldnt say anything but to learn with my subconciousness. Camera is able to capture the best scene with the best quality and the best techniques, but eyes work better that any hi-tech man-made. But I didnt say that I wouldnt take any picture. This is one of the best moment, especially that I get to know with my own eyes the life outside my country. The best point of Mui Ne exploration is the sunset in the White Sand Dunes. I dont think I should explain, nor it explainable with words. Picture speaks volumes.

To get to the peak of the dunes, visitors are able to rent desert jeep onsite
To get to the peak of the dunes, visitors are able to rent desert jeep onsite

Even if it was only less than 5 hours of exploring some of the best spots in Mui Ne, it was worth the exhaustion. Everything Mui Ne offered (literally, there are some other beautiful parts of it) was enough to make me feel that this trip will be remembered as one of my best ones. Which, the other best ones is going to be recalled and written in another post.

When the sun is set, our hearts melted
When the sun is set, our hearts melted

 

Notes:

  • Bus tickets: USD 15 return (sleeping bus)
  • Jeep to destinations: VND 900,000 (until 6pm)
  • Fee entrance to each destinations: Lost in memory
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