Red Sand Dunes
Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, VietnamMore information Prices
Entrance fee: Adult/child: 10,000 VND/free
Ostrich riding (from 100,000d)
All year round. Best time to visit is either early in the morning or late afternoon as the sand can get very hot during the day. Take lots of water.
Many visitors enjoy a trip to these surprisingly Saharan-like sand dunes located not far from Mui Ne’s important beaches. There are the two fascinating spots to check out; the white and the red sand dunes.
Not as spectacular as the White Sand Dunes, but their proximity to the resorts and the ocean views make up for it. Trudging up the dunes is an experience reminiscent of being in an African or Middle Eastern desert. Kids with plastic slides are everywhere, experts in the art of charm and squeezing money out of tourists.
Time flies extremely quickly and after realizing you’ve been playing Lawrence of Arabia for about two hours, you’ll head off to the red dunes. Same concept, only with smaller, (obviously red-sand) dunes, more tourists and less awe.
Basically, the red dunes are “OK.” You can sled here, too, as the busloads of Vietnamese and Chinese tourists do, but perhaps the most notable feature of the red dunes is that they are located on the coast. It makes for a unique backdrop for photos, although the sun at this point will 45 degrees in the sky above the water and nearby island, making photography tricky.
The Red Sand Dunes, as the name suggests, features reddish-brown sand that makes them a more popular place for photography. Smaller than White Dunes, they are easier to reach. Sand-sledding is a common (and fun) activity here, but it is hard to nail down where the best location to do so is as the sands shift from season to season so it’s best to look around. Dry sand is much more enjoyable to sled on.
Visitors can rent plastic sleds and it is a wise idea to check the price and agree on it beforehand. Some travelers have had unpleasant experiences with the youngsters renting them out so be alert and keep cool. Another interesting activity is kite flying as well as catching the beautiful sunset here. These dunes are a popular picnic place for locals too.
The Red dunes cover an area desert 50 hectares, more characteristic of Arabia to Southeast Asia. Although the average temperature is 27°C, the Sun and sand can play a dirty trick, so we recommend that you go to the dunes first thing in the morning or in the afternoon (between 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm).
It is very normal to find us to children playing with plastic slide down the dunes, as if they were snow sleds. These children kindly offer us plastics that can slide us us also by the dunes, kindly us ensenarnan technique to slide down on the sand and also ask us money in return, usually half a euro.
As a recommendation we will tell you to watch out your backpacks, because if we neglect these chavalines can leave us without moving and without portfolio. Taking basic precautions and above all without leaving our belongings in their hands, we can enjoy together for an interesting day tour of the red dunes.
How to get to the red sand dunes of Mui Ne?
Getting to the red sand dunes is relatively simple, it can bike, motorbike, taxi, jeep or even walk.
Depending on where you start along the tourist strip, the Red Sand Dunes are around six miles away - an enjoyable cycling trip for anyone moderately fit. The Fairy Stream, at about three miles from the tourist strip, is along the way.
Directions to the Mui Ne Sand Dunes
Most of the free tourist maps found around Mui Ne are an excuse to kill trees and print ads. Much to the delight of tour operators, few maps have accurate directions to the White Sand Dunes. Getting there is fairly straightforward, however a lack of signs can throw you off with one wrong turn.
Saddle up, strap on a helmet, and prepare for a ride to remember!
Begin your trip heading southwest - the beach will be on your right - along the tourist stretch into Mui Ne fishing village; pass Joe's Art Cafe on the left and Pogo Club farther down on the right. If signs start turning to a mix of Russian and English, you have gone the wrong way on the strip!
Easy to miss, the Fairy Stream is reached by a rough path on the left side of the first small bridge that you cross. Continue past the charismatic fishing port on the right, then turn left at the large Christian church on the left; there is a traffic signal.
Drive to the end of the road, then turn left at the traffic signal. You will quickly reach a large traffic roundabout; take the first exit to the right. The photogenic Red Sand Dunes will come into view on your left; you must pay 25 cents or buy a drink to park at one of the cafes across the street.
Continue past the Red Sand Dunes on the long, coastal road for a bulk of your journey; go straight through the small town and past newly-constructed resorts. When the stretch of coastal road ends, turn left and continue up the hill ignoring what looks like grassy sand dunes on your right.
Pass the only petrol station on the right, then take the first red-clay road on your right; a sign indicates that you are near the White Sand Dunes. The dirt road is rocky and unfinished - everything a motorbike driver doesn't enjoy. Continue bouncing along for some time with the sprawling lake on your left side. Do not worry about the White Sand Dunes appearing so far away on the left, the road eventually wraps around the lake and brings you to the parking area.
Parking for the White Sand Dunes costs a flat 25 cents; always lock up your motorbike! A small footpath leaves the left side of the parking area taking you through a park with cafes, beautiful strands of pine trees, and eventually to where the sand starts.
If you wish to try your luck, grab a sled rental for under $1 before leaving the area; there are no options once in the dunes.
If you still wind up lost, try asking a local for Bau Trang which means "White Lake" in Vietnamese; good luck with the tones!
Visiting the Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien)
Sometimes called the Fairy Springs, most people tack on a visit to the Fairy Steam when going to the Mui Ne Sand Dunes. A small, inconspicuous bridge along the main road to town - far before the fishing port - marks the entrance to the attraction.
Park your motorbike or bicycle at the cafe on the left for 25 cents, then proceed down the unfinished path. The fascinating smell comes from large, clay pots of fermenting fish sauce - a Mui Ne specialty - on the right. The small footpath weaves between houses where children will offer to guide you for a fee. No guide needed, just continue to where the path ends into a muddy stream.
Here you can either walk right up the ankle-deep stream or take the steeper path to the right. Many people choose to make a circle and return via walking in the soft sand of the stream. Despite the magical name, a few interesting rock formations and a tiny canyon are the only highlights of the Fairy Steam.