The lush forests of Vietnam are symbolic of South East Asia, and the warm beaches of Mui Ne are your typical sand and swaying trees. But hidden beyond the seafaring town are several hectares of sand dunes, a surprise for any traveller to the region.
The Mui Ne cape lay a long five hours to the south of Ho Chi Ming City, largely undiscovered and unspoiled by tourists. However, the recent years have seen development projects creating a 15 km stretch of coast for visitors to enjoy. The generally windy conditions of the area make rather rough seas but also great conditions for windsurfing. The constant wind shifting sands may be the source of the desert landscape about forty-five minutes from the city.
Locally known as Bao Trang, the dunes are around 10 meters in height. You can climb up the hills and slide down using the readily available plastic slides. There will be plenty of local boys along to help and instruct you for a small payment, but it isn’t wise to trust your valuables with them. The reddish sands provide a striking backdrop to the blue skies and the distant view of the sea. It’s a calm and peaceful place when the tourists and tour buses are gone. New additions to the area are the dune buggies- a noisy, yet exciting way to get around the desert. Hire a motorbike from the city for a half-day tour to Bao Trang and if you time it right, you can catch the sunset over the dunes as the sun dips into the sand. The temperatures may be hot and the sand even hotter, so be prepared for the climate.
Nearby is a small lagoon filled lotus flowers, surrounded by a small pine forest. Take your own time to discover such hidden gems and fishing heritage of the Mui Ne region, and you will not be disappointed. Opt for a resort in Mui Ne to allow yourself an early start and late end to a day of sightseeing. Along with its beach side location, the Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa adopts a relaxing yet elegant style. Mixing traditional spa elements with modern amenities, this South Vietnam hotel has captured the essence of the areas.