Mui Ne Bay in Phan Thiet province has been well-known for long white sand beaches, the blue sea and ranges of curvy coconut trees. Coming here, tourists will truly stay away from noisy cities and busy workdays so as to refresh themselves and release all the pressure.
In this writing, I’m gonna show you my trip to the bay as a reference for your planning trip. Hope you guys will have a great time on the bay.
- Several attractive peninsulas in Vietnam
- Visiting floating villages and pearl farms in Halong Bay
- The dreamy Tien Beach in Nha Trang
When to Visit the Mui Ne Bay?
Since each season in Mui Ne has different beauty, tourists can visit the bay at any time in a year. The most appropriate time is between April and August when the water is cool and crystal clear. For those who like surfing and extreme sports, the period from August to December is an ideal time for them to experience these activities on the bay.
I chose some days in early December to go to the bay, just to avoid the bitterly cold weather in my country. And the cozy sunshine on the bay made me comfortable.
How to Reach the Bay?
From Ho Chi Minh City, travelers can easily head to the bay by motorbike, bus, or train.
Backpackers often follow the road near the coastal line. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can go in the direction of Cat Lai ferry, through Long Thanh rural district to Ba Ria town. Then, pass Loc An Commune to come to Phan Thiet. The total length of the route is more than 200km.
If you don’t want to drive, go to the Mien Dong Coach Station to buy a ticket to Phan Thiet, which costs about 220.000vnd. It takes about 5 hours to reach the destination.
If you like to travel by train, arrive at the Saigon Station to spend 200.000 vnd buying a ticket and choose a seat on the train which starts in the morning.
If your starting point is in Hanoi, book a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, then head to Phan Thiet, or fly to Cam Ranh (Nha Trang), then catch a bus to Mui Ne (about 200km).
When the project of Dau Giay highway is activated (expectedly by 2021), the travel time from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet will be reduced to 1.5 hours. By 2020, Phan Thiet airport will be activated in phase 1 to make the traffic to Phan Thiet more convenient.
I decided to take a train so as to enjoy the landscape during the journey. There were not many people on the train, maybe they like the plane more, I guest. All I saw was lush forests with tall, green trees, and some traditional houses lying next to modern buildings. The thing impressed me the most is the enormous sea seeming to swallow the whole city. During almost 4 hours on the train, I did not feel exhausted at all, much better than coach and motorbike.
Top 10 Most Famous Tourist Attractions in the Bay
In addition to being a paradise of entertainment with a beautiful long coast, the Mui Ne Bay is renowned for historic relics and the rich Champa culture. I’m going to show you my ten most recommended spots to visit in the bay.
The pristine islet is located in Long Son hamlet, Phan Thiet City. You should come here in the early morning or late afternoon to watch sunrise or sunset. It is also an ideal place to go camping, make a fire camp and contemplate the sky full of stars at night. The beaches in the islet, including Hon Rom 1, Hon Rom 2, and Thuy Trang, are suitable for swimming due to its soft waves, blue water, and more importantly, no reefs.
Cat Hong Hill
Situated near the Rom islet, Cat Hong hill is considered as the most alluring landscape in Mui Ne Bay. Besides the winding long sand beaches, the color of the sand is an interesting characteristic attracting tourists. Sometimes, the sand has up to 18 different colors. You can hire a skateboard (at least 10.000vnd per board) to play with the sand.
At the footage of the hill, there are some fast food and beverage for sales such as coconut, banh bot loc (a type of dumpling), and soybean pudding.
Only about 1km from the bay, the Ghenh island has another name called Lao island and still retains its original. To reach the island, you can rent a boat of fishermen, which costs 200.000vnd per boat containing 10 people, or you can use the service of your resort or hotel.
In the early morning, visitors can come here to catch fish, then diving for coral reefs. When the late afternoon comes, it is the best time to see the sunset on the sea.
Bau Trang and Bau Sen Lake
Bau Trang and Bau Sen are two natural freshwater lakes lying on immense white sandhills. Coming to the Bau Trang lake in summer, you may have a chance to admire thousands of lotus blooming in the white sandhills.
The Bau Trang sandhill is known as a miniature version of Sahara Desert in Vietnam with its extensive and pristine landscape. You can hire a scrambling motorcycle or a Jeep to go around the hill. Each ride lasting for 20 minutes costs around 650.000vnd.
This place has a gorgeous name “Elysium”. It is a small stream lying next to the Rom islet. Near the stream, there are red and white natural stalactites hills in various strange shapes, which are the result of abrasion.
Mui Ne Fishing Village
The village is about 3km from the town. Right at the entrance of the village, numerous colorful fishing boats anchor, there is also a small market with a peaceful living pace.
Although the length of the fishing village is just about 100m, this site brings tourists the clearest vision of the life of the villagers. If you come to the village in the early morning, you may have a chance to buy plenty of fresh seafood as the boats have just come back.
Duc Thanh School
This historical site should be on your list of where-to-go in Mui Ne. The school was established in 1907 by patriotic intellectuals to support the Duy Tan reform movement in Annam. The school was also the place where President Ho Chi Minh taught before heading to Saigon. Until these days, the memorabilia inside the school has remained almost original for nearly a century.
Van Thuy Tu Palace
Constructed in 1762, the palace is a long-lasting relic with its ancient and prim beauty. It also is the symbol of the belief of worshiping Nam Hai god of fishermen in Binh Thuan province. Furthermore, the spot keeps the biggest skeleton of a whale in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
This skeleton has a length of 22m and a weight of up to 65 tons. Each year, the palace takes place formal sacrifices on lunar days, such as Spring sacrifice (20 February), Cau ngu (20 June), Chinh mua (20 July), and Man mua (23 August). During the rituals, there are activities consisting of hat boi (a form of Vietnamese theater), hat ba trao (a kind of folk music performances) of local fishermen, and boat racing.
Mui Ne Bay
Those who are crazy fans of swimming and outdoor activities like me cannot miss this site. Standing along the bay is charming beaches with long white sand beaches. If you want to find somewhere secluded and pristine, why don’t you hire a boat to the Lao island? This deserted island is located near the bay but attracts not many people.
About 7km from the central Phan Thiet, the Poshanu tower belongs to the complex of the remained relics of the old Champa kingdom. The tower reflects the Hoa Lai architecture – one of the ancient artistic Champa designs.
If you have more time, you should visit other spots such as Ba island, Ke Ga lighthouse, Ta Cu Mountain, Hang temple, and Phu Quy island.
Top 5 Must-try Special Food in the Mui Ne Bay
Seafood Delight Salad
Mui Ne is famous for raw fish salad and melo melo delight salad. The fish can be raw deep herrings, silversides, or whitings served with raw vegetables, rice noodles and special fish sauce. Meanwhile, the main ingredient of melo melo delight salad is the sliced melo melo meat mixed with pork meat, raw vegetables, fried peanut, fried onions, and sour and sweet fish sauce.
Dishes of Butterfly Lizards
Not many tourists know that butterfly lizard is a specialty of Mui Ne hill. Its meat is as white as chicken but softer and sweeter. Some dishes of this animal that you can try are grilled lizards, steamed lizards, and porridge lizards. I didn’t dare to try any dish since I saw an alive one which was so ugly and disgusted. Instead, I tried more seafood and snacks.
It is the specialty of Binh Thuan province. The meat is sweet, tough and flavored while its shells are so crispy and soft that you can use your teeth to break it. Although being available all year round, the time when the crab the most delicious is December of the lunar calendar. The seafood is often boiled or steamed to be eaten with salt mixed with pepper and lemon, but the best dish is to be cooked with porridge.
Different Types of Rice Papers
Dishes of rice papers are among popular snacks in Binh Thuan. You can easily find them on pedlars, some places only sell them in the afternoon and evening.
This is a signature dish in Phan Thiet, which attracts countless visitors to try. The main ingredients are often deep herrings, mackerels, sardines, whitings, or red tilapias. They are washed, removed bones and thinly sliced. The vegetables are also grated. The sauce is a mixture of tamarind, fresh chili, garlic, fried peanut, ripe large bananas, all of which are ground and added to fish sauce.
Due to the rapid development of tourism, accommodations in Mui Ne are also diverse, from cheap homestays to luxurious resorts and hotels. The homestays are often far from the sea and served youngsters and foreigners, who want to experience new things.
Hostels are located in deep niches on Huynh Thuc Khang Road to the direction of the Rom islet. Meanwhile, plentiful hotels are mainly on Nguyen Dinh Chieu road.
If you come to Mui Ne to relax, you should stay in resorts. This kind of shelter is various, from affordable to sumptuous. Tourists can select one based on their demand and budget. One of the prime resorts is the Anantara Mui Ne lying next to the long coast with 89 rooms. It looks like a tropical garden facing the immense sea.
Inspired by the East Asian architecture, but the inner resort is fully equipped with luxurious facilities and services such as wine cellars, bars in swimming pools, spas, and fitness rooms. Staying at the resort, you can contemplate the sunset, try international cuisines, discover pretty mountains or surfing on the sea.
Another interesting option for you is the NovaHills Mui Ne Resort & Villa. This resort promises to be a great background of your photos with villas on hills overlooking the sea or villas with swimming pools. From the resort, you can see the whole view of the beautiful Mui Ne Bay.
In addition to the huge conference hall and swimming pools, travelers can use services like spa and health care center, private beach and water sports, BBQ garden outdoor, shopping malls, children playground, big flower fields, as well as a tower to see the bay from a height of 100m.
Some Useful Tips for Your Trip to the Bay
If you go in December, you should bring a umbrella when going out, in case it rains.
The waves may not too big but they are stronger than usual, so you should find beaches with calm waves and have a safety sign to swim.
In the evening, the Rom islet has a night market with grilled seafood at affordable prices, you should try once.
At night, there are a lot of foreigners in Mui Ne. Most of them are Russians and Koreans.
At several hotels, only foreign guests are able to rent vehicles, make sure to check before booking.
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