Sun, Sea and Kite Surfing at White Sands, Mui Ne, Vietnam

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After Christmas, my brother Christer and his girlfriend, who both live in Oslo, wanted to get away from the cold snowy Norwegian winter and come and meet us somewhere in South East Asia. All they wanted was a relaxing warm place with a nice beach. First we considered Thailand, but Thailand in the beginning of January turned out to be expensive for our budget.

After some research on the internet, we decided on Mui Ne in Vietnam which seemed like a nice place with a beautiful beach. Before we knew it, we had booked flights on the 1st of January, transport from Saigon and a hotel for three weeks in Mui Ne! We were all so excited, our first holiday together! Yeaiiii!!!! 🙂

The first part of the trip went fine, all the flights were on schedule and we all met up on the flight from Bangkok to Saigon. We arrived at Saigon airport in the evening, and our driver waited for us at the gate. Well, from there it all went wrong.

It turned out that the suitcases from Oslo had been stuck in Bangkok! One of them were scheduled to come to Saigon with a flight late that evening, and the last suitcase would probably not arrive until the next day. We explained this to our driver, and asked if he could wait for us a couple of hours until the first suitcase arrived, and that we would pay him extra for the wait. He said yes, and we thought everything was OK.

When the suitcase finally showed up it was 11 p.m. in the evening, and as we came out of the airport terminal our driver was gone! After several calls and a lot of pleading with the transport company where we had booked and prepaid for the transport to Mui Ne, the driver finally came back and picked us up! We were so relived! But it was now past midnight, and we had a long drive in front of us.

The car trip from Saigon to Mui Ne turned out to be hell! The roads were terrible, and full of big cargo trucks, driving incredibly slow. We later found out that the reason everybody was driving in 20 km/h some places, was that the police had intensified their checkpoints due to the upcoming Chinese New Year. This is the biggest holiday in Vietnam, and the police want to have some “extra” cash in their pockets. Our driver was so tired he actually fell a sleep a few times while driving! We had to feed him candy and red bulls to help him stay awake! Pretty scary! The drive took about 5 hours, but felt like forever!

Finally we arrived at White Sands Resort, around 5 a.m.

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We were all really tired and exhausted, especially the two from Oslo who had traveled more than 24 hours all the way from Norway! Well our “problems” did not stop here, it turned out that the internet booking site we had used had accidentally overbooked the hotel, and there were no rooms available. But as a compensation the two managers at White Sands had given us their house! Wow, it was so nice of Jordan and Harry! They totally saved our day, eh, night! 🙂

We stayed two nights in this big house, which were also located on the hotels property, before we could move in to our rooms. And wow, the rooms we got were perfect! Right on the beach! We loved it!

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View from our room balcony!
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The rooms/ bungalows at White Sands. Perfectly located right by the beach!

We enjoyed almost three relaxing weeks at White Sands Resort, a really nice hotel with a stunning beach! The beach at White Sand is easily the best part of the beach in Mui Ne. The main Mui Ne beach in the center is very crowded and packed with kite surfers and kite schools. The beach there is not nearly as nice as White Sand Beach!

Before we arrived we were a little concerned that White Sands Resort would be to remote, but it turned out to be easy to get to Mui Ne Center from White Sands. You can either take a taxi (takes 5 minutes), or walk along the beach. There are very few restaurants, shops or pubs around White Sands Resort, but in Mui Ne Center you can find it all. The hotel do however have a restaurant and a beach bar, with great food and drinks, where they serve both western and Vietnamese food. The hotel also has a gym.

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The amazing White Sand Beach.
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The stunning White Sand Beach in front of our hotel.
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A small empty bay next to White Sands Resort.
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Local kids fishing from the mole.

beach

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Mui Ne Center in the distance.
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Big waves at White Sands some of the days.
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White Sands Resort.

In the afternoon, kite surfers came surfing by White Sand Beach.

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Kite surfers.
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White Sands Beach is great for walking and running.
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Lovely golden soft sand.

We really enjoyed our days at White Sands Resort. Especially the managers Jordan and Harry were fantastic! They did everything to make our stay absolutely perfect!

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Beach bar at the White Sands Resort.
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Views from the beach bar.
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Lovely swimming pool at the hotel.
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The reception.
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The hotel is surrounded by a beautiful garden full of flowers and trees.

Due to our not so nice experience with driving from Saigon to Mui Ne, we decided to take the train back to Saigon. Unfortunately, there had been an accident on the train tracks, so our train got delayed by more than two hours! We were pretty stressed out about whether or not we would miss our flight to Cambodia. Luckily we did catch the flight, but we had to skip our planned visit to the war museum in Saigon. Apparently, we did not have luck on our side regarding transportation on this Mui Ne trip….. 🙂

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Mui Ne train station.

 

Our stay at White Sands Resort, despite getting off to a rocky start, turned out great in the end! A huge thank you to the managers, Jordan and Harry, for doing everything in their power to make our stay memorable! One night they even threw a barbecue party for all the guests staying at the White Sands Resort. It was really nice, with a live band from Singapore playing, and delicious Vietnamese barbecue! We got what we wanted, a stunning beach, with a relaxing and quiet atmosphere, situated not too far from a city center with restaurants, pubs, and shops.

It has to be said that Mui Ne town itself is not that great, a typical busy charmless touristy place. It is extremely popular among Russian tourists, Mui Ne Vietnam is actually packed with Russians! There were not that many at the hotel where we stayed, but in town, they were in the majority. Most of the restaurants and pubs have menus and signs in Russian, and some of the waiters know more Russian words than English. Also, a few of the kite surfing schools will only teach Russians. We were told the reason is because there are cheap direct flights from Moskva to Saigon, and a lot of very affordable package deals are available for Russian tourists.


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Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Vietnam travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:

Vietnam Lonely Planet   Vietnam Guide Book   Vietnam Rough Guide   Vietnam LP


Have you ever been to Vietnam and Mui Ne? Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you like this blog post, and find it useful, please share and like in social media! Thank you! 🙂

 

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Photo of author

Written by Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

17 Comments

  1. My luggage has been lost so many times that I now only take a carry on and do laundry when I’m there. The beach there looks so beautiful, and White Sands seems like the perfect place to get away from things and relax! I loved your honesty about Mui Ne town. I’m hoping to make it to Vietnam one day!

    Reply
    • Good idea to only bring a carry on, Katie! Lost luggage can almost ruin ones vacation. I am terrible at packing, and always overpack and overshop along the way. Maybe I should start bringing only a carry on too, that limits my space so I don’t bring too much 🙂

      All places have their pros and cons. I think it’s important to write about both, so people get the full picture of what to expect. Vietnam is great, definitely worth a visit! We traveled the whole country some years back, this time we were only at this one place, Mui Ne.

      Reply
  2. Wow, I missed out my skipping Mui Ne in favour of Nha Trang. Driving with a person falling asleep behind the wheel in that country must have been so nervewracking…!

    Reply
    • Hi James,

      Thank you for commenting! 🙂

      Yes, far from an ideal situation. Thankfully there were almost no other vehicles on the roads since it was so late. And he was so afraid of the police that we did about 30 km/t most of the way. Off course that also meant the drive took forever!

      I would definitely recommend taking the train! 🙂

      By the way, we went to Nha Trang a few years ago. Unfortunately it was raining the entire time we were there 🙁 But the city is definitely more authentic Vietnamese than Mui Ne.

      Reply
    • It sure was the worst start of our Vietnam trip! We were so afraid, and though we were going to crash anytime! But it got better once we arrived. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Hi Maria,

    it is very nice blog, thanks for all information 🙂
    i would like to stay in White sands resosts to next year… can you tell me how much is taxi to Mui Ne center pls?
    thakns for your reply and have nice time 🙂

    Michelle

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      Thank you, so happy to hear that you like our blog! 🙂

      White Sands Resort is 3 km from the main street of Mui Ne. The taxi ride is only about 5 minutes, and cost 2-3 dollars.

      Have a great time in Mui Ne and enjoy your stay at White Sands Resort!

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  4. I traveled to Mui Ne once and have special love with this place. You are really a good photographer. Mui Ne is so beautiful but you make it even more stunning in the photos. Great job!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Kim! Mui Ne is a beautiful place, especially White Sand beach. We started kite surfing here, which we had never tried before, so Mui Ne brings out good memories for us too.

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  5. Hello Maria,

    I have only just found this on the internet, thank you so much for writing it it really put a smile on my face was awesome having you guys stay here.

    Best Regards,
    Harry Baker

    Reply
    • Hi Harry,

      Thank you so much for commenting! We loved staying at your hotel, and you and Jordan are the best! 🙂 We would love to be back some day.

      Have a great Christmas!

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  6. Great article! Mui Ne is an amazing place. It is actually a place where you can visit anytime during the year. From May to October is raining seasons, so the ocean might not be as clear. Best time to visit is from November to April where there will be easy and pleasant winds 🙂

    Reply
  7. In Mui Ne, I liked Fairy Stream and sand dunes the most. It is a pity that there is so much rubbish. I hope they will pay more attention to cleaning.

    Reply
    • Hi Greg,

      Thank you so much for your comment! We sadly visited neither the Fairy Stream nor the sand dunes. They both look fantastic so a good reason for us to head back to Mui Ne some day. Yeah, it is a shame with all the rubbish, they really should clean the beaches so it is more pleasant to go swimming.

      Happy traveling! 🙂

      -Maria-

      Reply

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