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Getting there & away
Mui Ne Beach is one of the most popular destinations for Vietnam Tours. It’s easy to getting there. From Ho Chi Minh City, travel East for 198 kilometers on Highway 1 to the city of Phan Thiet. Then take Route 706 East for another 22 kilometers to Mui Ne Beach (Ham Tien Ward). Mui Ne Beach and Phan Thiet may be easily reached by car or bus and is now about a 5 hour ride. Nha Trang is about 5 hours away, and Dalat is 3-5 hours, depending upon the highways taken. All major tour operators visit Mui Ne. There is no local airport.
Normal bus tickets between HCMC and Mui Ne OR Mui Ne and Nha Trang cost just under $5. Sleeper bus tickets cost $6-$8. Unethical ticket sellers may raise the ticket price for individual customers and pocket the difference.
Most overseas visitors reach Mui Ne via "open tour" buses that run between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Nha Trang. Most depart from HCMC between 07:30 and 09:00 (07:30 for Sinh Cafe's air conditioned bus) and arrive at Mui Ne at about 13:00. In the opposite direction, buses typically depart from Mui Ne around either 14:00 or 02:00 and arrive in HCMC ~ 5 hours later. Joe's Cafe is a good place to catch an outgoing night bus as it offers full service all night and you never know how late the bus will be. Outside HCMC, the coach will stop at a petrol station with a large shop and stalls selling snacks, drinks, and fruit.
Additionally, Tam Hanh has a bus at 1.30pm. The trip to Mui Ne once took only 3hrs but now lasts between 5 and 6hrs, due to increased traffic, poor vehicle maintenance and police roadblocks. Like HCMC, buses depart from Nha Trang around 7:30am and 8pm, arriving in Mui Ne 5 to 6hrs later.
Most open tour busses depart from Mui Ne at 2pm and arrive in HCMC or Nha Trang around 7pm. In high season, busses also depart from Mui Ne at 2am and arrive in both cities between 6am and 7am. Warning: drivers are notorious for skipping this 2am stop if you have already paid for your ticket at the head office. The reason is because the stop adds extra time to the route between HCMC and Nha Trang--and they have nothing to gain if you have already paid and they can not pocket (steal) your ticket money.
Despite a new road to cut transport time down between Dalat and Mui Ne, most companies still use the older, longer route through Phan Rang in order to cut down the number of busses needed to service Nha Trang, Dalat and Mui Ne.
The buses stop in the heart of the tourist strip in Mui Ne, so there is no need to take a taxi. The cost is about 105,000 dong each way, and tickets are sold all over the tourist districts of both HCMC and Nha Trang. If you are traveling to HCMC from Mui Ne, you will most likely be put on an already full bus traveling from Nha Trang. As you are not assigned a seat, you may not be able to sit with any traveling companions, and at some of the less scrupulous travel agents you may not even get a real seat. You might get a mat at the back of the bus with four other people.
Public buses from both destinations also travel to Mui Ne, though finding the departure stations and figuring out the schedule is difficult for visitors. It's not worth the trouble unless you have a strong need to depart at a different time of day other than when the open tour bus leaves. Travel agencies play dumb because they don't earn anything from helping you find a public bus.
Mui Ne - Phan Thiet shuttles
Busses between Mui Ne and Phan Thiet run every 15 minutes, stopping at all the green bus signs along the beach. They head to The Coop Mart Shopping Center and Central Market in Phan Thiet. The ticket is around 8,000 VND. Please note: We have received several reports that drivers have refused to pick-up foreign passengers.
Taxis & shuttles
Saigon 2 Mui Ne
Door 2 Door
Private Taxi & Shuttle.
HCMC, Vung Tau, Dalat, Nha Trang & Mui Ne.
VN: [+84] 0126 552 0065
Intl: [+852] 8127 7557
Tel: +84-(062) 3 89 89 89
Recommended bus companies
88 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Tel: +84-(062) 384-7560
199 Pham Ngu Lao street, HCMC
97 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Tel: +84-(062) 374-3113
274-276 De Tham street, HCMC
A train runs daily from HCMC to Phan Thiet, departing around 06:30 and arriving five hours later. The return trip leaves Phan Thiet around 13:30. The cost is quite modest at around 60,000 dong per person each way (similar to the bus). The train station in HCMC (Saigon Railway Station) is in District 3, about 3 km from the centre. The railway station in Phan Thiet is about 5 km (80,000 dong taxi ride) from the beginning of the Mui Ne resort strip, and taxis are abundant to take you there. The railway also sometimes runs a mid-sized bus from the station to Mui Ne for 25,000 dong per person. Tickets are sold on the train, though the announcement might be made in Vietnamese only, and you need to watch carefully for the ticket sellers to pass by.
The train has regular carriages operated by the state railways, and sometimes other carriages booked and operated by private companies. The latter have somewhat larger seats for a higher price, but fall short of luxury. The regular carriages are a bit cramped for the Western-sized body. When the train is not full, railway staff usually packs everyone into one carriage, leaving another one empty, and then run a side business selling "upgrades" to the quiet, empty carriage. The entire train will be jammed on holidays.
Overall, the train is probably less comfortable and convenient than the open-tour bus, though it has some advantages. You get a better view of the countryside and avoid the endless honking of horns and lunatic driving of the bus drivers.
Train schedule & information
Trains depart from the Saigon Train Station at both 6:45am and 7:30am during the week, and 5:30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; arriving in Phan Thiet in just under 5hrs. Trains usually depart from Phan Thiet at 1:40pm during the week, and 11:25pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; arriving in Saigon about 5.5hrs later. The original ticket price sold in Phan Thiet is $4.75. Booking through a tour company will at minimum, double the price, thanks to both high commissions and dishonest ticket sellers. Hotels can arrange pick-ups from the train station, or you can catch any of the many Mai Linh Taxis waiting there for at least $8.
The train station in Muong Man, 45 minutes northwest of Phan Thiet, has connecting trains to all locations serviced by Vietnam Railways. See www.vr.com.vn for a complete schedule and prices (but you may not be able to book online).
You might consider coming to Mui Ne from Saigon by taxi, instead of open bus. The departure times of the open buses might not suit your schedule. They are also slow sometimes, because the driver makes stops at rather bad restaurants where he receives commission. The ride by taxi takes 4-5 hours, depending on road conditions, and will cost US$70-100, depending on your ability to bargain. Talk to taxi drivers in the airport to get best prices.
There are dozens of small travel agencies along the Mui Ne strip that sell daily excursions around Mui Ne, as well as airline, rail, or open tour bus tickets to other cities. Be sure to shop around since some agents will overcharge the unwary buyer.
Warning: Victor Tourist Co (Victor Cafe) sells cheap tickets, 300,000-340,000 dong, to Hoi An. However, the overnight bus could be severely overloaded with people sleeping on the floors and on makeshift beds placed over the bathroom. Not what you get from other tourist companies.
The bus journey to Nha Trang takes about 5 hours. Day and night departures for Nha Trang are at about 13:00 and 01:00