Mui Ne was pictured as a stunning beach with giant white and red sand dunes nearby that you were able to rent quads and drive on. We arrived at our hotel, which was beautiful and checked out the beach which was… not. I am not sure where the pictures were taken that we found on google, but the water was good enough, definitely not as blue as we saw online or anywhere near the Thai beaches we had visited just a couple short weeks ago. The sand was, although soft and white, covered in trash. Rob came across an entire toilet bowl sitting on the sand. Needless to say we didn’t spend much time on the beach. The hotel pool though, surrounded by palms provided quite the sanctuary with superb sunsets each evening.
A rented motorbike proved useful as we began our hunt for the famous local sand dunes. We went to the White Dunes first and for $15 rented a quad. If you have ever ridden a quad with two people through the sand, you will know it is quite difficult in comparison to riding through the woods. We managed to get most of the way up one steep dune and then headed straight down the hill into a valley of dunes. We then realized that we were not able to get out and were digging ourselves into a ditch by spinning our tires. Finally a young man who waited for people to do just that, came and helped us out (of course, not without asking for a tip). We then got stuck at least 3 more times while we watch other people go up the hills with ease. We concluded that we got a crummy quad and resorted to just doing doughnuts on the flat area before heading back. We hit the red sand dunes as well, and while they were an interesting aberration and something to look at, the attraction didn’t hold our interest too long. Some people hire a plastic sheet to do some sand sledding… but that sounded a bit too messy for our liking. The color of the sand was a red very similar to that of Georgia clay, and the dunes backed up to one of Mui Ne’s other attractions…
A short trek near our hotel called the Fairy Stream was touted one of the most beautiful walks in Vietnam. It is a cool, refreshing stream that runs along backside of the red sand dunes .You walk in and along the stream until you get tired of walking. All along the sides of you are green trees, red dunes and huge white rocks. On a day with a blue sky, the color contrast is beautiful. It was absolutely the most beautiful thing we saw in Mui Ne. On our way back, Rob used up the rest of his energy for the day by sprinting to the top of a sand hill and then running back down. While draining, the run back down actually did look like a good bit of fun.
Rob and I are always on the hunt for good food anywhere we go. I had read about a soup stand that was well known by the locals in this area but was a little difficult to find. After reading about it on two different websites I knew we would have to make an attempt to find it. We followed the instructions exactly… looking up and down every street nearby and saw no soup stand. After about 20 minutes we made an attempt to ask a local and to our surprise, he seemed to know about this no name soup stand. He directed us down a street that was in the opposite direction, which we were a little skeptical about but he seemed so confident that we decided to trust him. Another 30 minutes of searching and still no soup stand. We asked a guy in the tourist center if he had heard of it or if he knew where the surrounding landmarks we had were, he had no clue of the stand and instructed us that the landmarks we had been searching for are closed down. We were so frustrated and hungry that we went on the search for a seafood place we had read about that had a legitimate address. Of course when we got there – we couldn’t find this place either. We spent about 10 minutes driving up and down the street before we gave up and ate at the first seafood place we saw. It ended up being quite delicious so we were happy. On our way back to the hotel, we drove RIGHT past the initial seafood restaurant we had been looking for, it was just a little further down the street. We had heard so many rave reviews that we couldn’t pass up trying it, so we stopped and ate a second dinner and it was totally worth it. Best scallops I have ever had.