We depart from Dalat to spend two nights in Mui Né. We inquired with different tour bus companies around town for their prices and schedules. Buses from Dalat to Mui Né cost between 130,000-140,000VND ($6.50-$7) and are scheduled between 6:30-7am or 1-1:30pm. Since we booked it too late, we were scheduled to depart at 1:30 in the afternoon for a 4hr ride to the coast.
Mui Né was our beach stop since we didn’t stay in Nha Trang. Also, we were looking forward to some sand dunes sights. We hopped on a mini van at 1:15pm and said good-bye to Dalat. The ride was a bit longer than expected. We had a 15 mins break about halfway.
We arrived in Mui Né right before sunset. You could smell the salt in the air and feel the wind from the sea. We arrived right on Nguyen Dinh Chieu street in the touristy area. We were lucky the bus driver agreed to drop us off at our hotel which was about 3-4km further down that road, towards the fairy stream. We picked the Sunrise Village Hotel, which is 20m from the beach. We headed straight for the beach and got a gorgeous sunset to welcome us with all the fishing boats parked against the palm trees. We were quite happy to actually be away from the crowd. The beach, hotel and street were extremely quiet. Only the sounds of the waves could be heard. The only downside in this touristy town is that street food is harder to find. There were local barbecue restaurants serving goat meat and okra to be wrapped in rice paper, lettuce and vegetables. We paid 100,000VND ($5) for a plate of seasoned meat, which is a little more than what we usually pay for dinner and the meal left us asking for a bit more – though delicious!
Our hotel offered automatic motorbikes for rent for $6 for 24hrs. A jeep to go to the white & red sand dunes cost roughly $5 per person. The streets of Mui Né are pretty empty, unlike Hanoi, so we decided to use the motorbikes so we could stop along the way for any picture taking, witness the fish sauce production, check out the fishing villages and end at the fairy stream – all the worthy activities of Mui Né (except for all the water/wind sports, which we did not get to try). We spread all of these activities into two days.
First day is for the white sand dunes. They are breathtakingly beautiful, we spent all afternoon there. Make sure your camera is charged and prepare sunblock and beverages – though you can purchase it there as well. You will see many locals trying to sell you “slides” to go down the dunes or driving/flying around on their 4WD. The red sand dunes, are also beautiful, but after seeing the white dunes, it didn’t appear as magical (how spoiled are we?!). The local children are all located on the side of the road of the red dunes waiting for tourists to come by to sell them their slides. They will run after the jeeps to be the first ones to offer their service to the newcomers.
The second day we toured the fishing village, where we saw all the dried fish used for the potent yet flavorful sauce. Entire families are working by the docks drying the fish. We drove around town and ended the touring day at the fairy stream. We were pleasantly surprised! After a hot day in the sun, you get to take off your shoes and walk barefoot along this little refreshing stream which leads you to beautiful sceneries. Perfect to end your day!
We decided to have dinner towards Phan Tieth, right on the water and had a set plate of grilled squid for 40,000VND ($2) per person but most customers buy seafood per kilo which comes out more expensive. Very tasty and a good intro to seafood in this fishing town.
We left that same night at 1am with Hanh Tour bus (Open Tour) which picked us up at the hotel. The ride was about 6 hours to Ho Chi Minh and cost about 147,000VND, about $7 per person for a sleeping seat ($6 for a regular seat).