Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

It's been 7 months but I finally made it to Mui Ne. Then I went back a week later. When I do something I do it hardcore. Twice. Apparently.

Mui Ne is an idyllic, quiet beach town about 5 hours by bus from Saigon. It's one of the best places to go, in my opinion, if you need a quick getaway because while Vung Tau is only an hour away by hydrofoil it's actually a nice place to visit.

My friend Aubrey, who I had not seen since 2004, decided on a last minute trip to Vietnam because her boyfriend Paul was doing a month and a half backpacking through Southeast Asia. She only had a week and decided to visit me in Vietnam and meet Paul as he ended his trip. I picked her up at the airport and we spent a really good first day after so many years together. It was like nothing had changed. Always the sign of a good friendship. We met up with Paul after he got off the bus from Cambodia. We did all the touristy things, made sure they were sufficiently impressed and fed. They were both impressed and fed when I took them to my favorite Pho place. The next day she and Paul flew to Hanoi and then headed to Ha Long Bay for a two night stay on a boat in the middle of the bay. I absolutely cannot wait to do that. She then had a few days to kill and as I wanted her to see enough of Vietnam without being too rushed I suggested Da Lat (a gorgeous mountain town) and Nha Trang (a really beautiful beach/party town) but in the end we ended up in Mui Ne. I think I made the right decision in the end. Mui Ne is a smaller beach town near the larger town of Phan Thiet. They have some pretty amazing resorts, which I'll mention more in another post, but I chose to stay in a backpackers lodge for my first night. I left Monday morning, spent the first night with my friend Matt and his super amazing parents, Jan and Kevin, and then met up with Aubrey and Paul the following evening. They flew back from Hanoi on Tuesday morning and then caught the bus to Mui Ne. Lots of travelling but it was so worth it.

I digress. My first night I spent at the Mui Ne Lodge Resort. It's not a resort and for $20usd/night it was a bit pricey considering it didn't have a pool or comfortable beds. It was, however, extremely gorgeous, right on the beach. LIKE right on the beach. And it was on the quieter end of the strip which I appreciated a lot. I arrived Monday afternoon and immediately met up with my friend Matt who was visiting with his aforementioned amazing parents. I spent the afternoon/evening in their lovely company at their amazing resort, Allezboo Resort. I highly recommend that place.

The next day I decided to rent a bicycle, because I couldn't work up the nerve to ride a motorcycle just yet. I had so much fun riding down the strip towards Matt's hotel and I'm sure I would have had even more fun if my tire hadn't popped. The worst part was that it was the middle of the day. Do you know what noon sun feels like? It feels like what I imagine the hottest part of hell to feel like. Actually the worst part was that no cabs would take me and the bike back to the hotel. Such bs. So I had to walk the bike back. I'm sure it was an interesting sight. It did give me a chance to stop at other hotels and inquire about rates because I couldn't stay at the same place I was at when Aubrey and Paul showed up. They just didn't have any rooms that were big enough. I found a pretty nice one with an awesome pool for $55usd/night with three beds. Jackpot!

After I found a new hotel I packed up my stuff and moved in, but had to head back to the old place because I booked a tour and they jeep was supposed to pick me up there. Mui Ne is full of sand dunes. I know that doesn't seem like anything but in reality, these sand dunes are amazing. It's amazing that there is so much sand so far away from the shore and it's amazing that they're piled so high. It's almost like a mini desert. Really cool thing actually. Matt, his parents and I did a jeep tour of the red, yellow and white sand dunes, the Fairy Stream and waterfall (so not as cool as it sounds, feel free to skip over it), Mui Ne fishing village and we watched the sunset from one of the sand dunes. It was an amazing day. After I got back to the hotel I washed about 5 lbs worth of sand off my body. I was completely covered in a thin layer of super soft sand. I was actually finding sand even after I thoroughly washed off (trust me I was thorough) and jumped into the pool. My ears, belly button, nose, etc. That sand gets everywhere.

Paul and Aubrey arrived that evening and I took them to a restaurant that Matt's mom suggested for dinner the night before. It's called Bamboo Bamboo and if you're ever in Mui Ne, please please please please do yourself a favor and have dinner there. It's so reasonably priced and everything  I ate that night was delicious and scrumptious and savory and mouthwatering and...well I'm running out of adjectives to describe how amazing that food really is.

We stuffed ourselves silly on grilled sea bass and seafood fried rice...well I did...and we turned in early. We made plans to watch the sunrise and by golly we were going to do it. We did it and it was totally worth it. We figured we could catch up on sleep by the pool afterwards, which we did. All. Day. Long. It was so relaxing. That day I did get a bit sick but I'm pretty sure it was just food poisoning and nothing seriously detrimental because after sleeping it off in the room and 2 cups of green tea I was right as rain. I managed to make it out to dinner. That's when we ate tons of seafood and Aubrey made a new friend. See pictures below. I then had to head back soon after because of that thing called a job, but it was SUCH a memorable time.

Kite surfing is HUGE in Mui Ne.


  1. Beautiful photos! You have a lovely blog. I had food poisoning when I was in my 20's, over 30 years ago and it is horrible. Take care of yourself. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you for the lovely words! Glad my words are making it up to Montreal. :D

      Food poisoning was one of the worst experiences of my life and it was a common occurrence in SE Asia.

      Cheers from DC!