Sand dunes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the wonderful landscapes of Vietnam, but the south of the region is actually a popular sandboarding spot where you can enjoy surfing on stunning red dunes. Formerly a fishing village, the seaside town of Mui Ne has transformed into a touristy beach resort that offers a handy retreat from the madness of Ho Chi Minh City. Mui Ne offers golden sand beaches with plenty of opportunities for relaxing, kitesurfing and hiking, as well as two spectacular sets of red and white sand dunes and the surreal Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien).
Sandboarding at Mui Ne Sand Dunes
You can visit the dunes on your own or on a guided tour; Jeep tours are especially popular and less expensive than renting a motorcycle. Sand sledding is practiced on the red sand dunes, located 11 kilometers from the tourist center, although the white dunes up north are the main tourist attraction. The most ideal time to visit is at sunset, when the sand turns an intense red dust, creating a stunning effect. For a complete experience, don’t miss a visit to the Fairy Stream: you can drop your shoes at the site and walk barefoot in the clean, shallow waters up to the waterfall and back. It’s a very charming and relaxing activity especially loved by kids.
There is no official sandboard rental at the site, but don’t despair. As soon as you approach the dunes you’ll be surrounded by scores of women and kids trying to sell you plastic sleds and toboggans for sliding down the dunes.
Jeep tours are a cost-effective option to visit both dunes at once. The trip normally takes half a day, either early in the morning for dawn or late in the afternoon for sunset. Mui Ne’s fishing villages will be visited at some point.