BootsnAll Travel Network

Mui Ne: Easyrider

Mui Ne is only a few hours north of Saigon. We estimated this from the south-Vietnam map we’d photocopied from an old guidebook months earlier. It is situated on the coast, near some huge sand dunes (well, huge by Asian standards). But this was all we knew of Mui Ne. We were travelling aorund southern Vietnam with no real guidebook to speak of – just some random photocopied pages from a guidebook that I’d scraped together back when we were in Scotland.

The bus we were riding crested over a rise in the road, and we spotted the warm water off the coast, glinting in the bright sunshine. The road led alongside the water’s edge – past guesthouses and restaurants and kite-surfing rental places that dotted the shore next to the endless palm trees. Mui Ne was, essentially, a town consisting of one single, long road running along the beach.

The bus pulled to a stop, and after collecting our bags, we soon agreed to check out some beachside bunglaows with a couple of moto riders. They were perfect. We were nearing the end of 6 months of straight travel, and, with our money situation looking healthy, were not averse to spending a little extra money for a better room. And so a private bungalow with 2 double beds, a private bathroom, and just a 10 second walk to a private beach with hammocks hanging under a thatched patio – yeah, that was worth the $12 per night.

We only spent 2 nights there, due to our time starting to become limited, but could’ve easily spent another couple of nights, just lazing about, swimming and reading books.

We hired a moto on our sole full day there – something we’d wanted to do for months but hadn’t got around to. Being in control of your own bike wasn’t all that appealing in places like Saigon and Phnom Penh, not unless you had a death wish, anyway, and the road in Mui Ne was surprisingly quiet given the town’s brilliant location and seemingly endless line of guesthouses and restaurants.

After receiving a quick course in starting the bike (something which took the owner a few goes to do – not the most reassuring sign you want to receive before riding out into some remote sand dunes) and changing gears, I took the bike for a quick spin up the road, and promptly stalled it when I pulled over to do a u-turn. Starting it again was impossible – I tried the push-button start; no good. I tried the kick-start, but my girlie little legs packed not the slightest punch. I kept trying as Bec looked on from the guesthouse back down the road, until a local stopped to help me out. He brushed me aside and kicked the thing into life, and I was back off to pick up Bec.

Riding along the curving, sweeping road that hugged the coast line was brilliant. The sun was beating down, kids waved and smiled as we drove past, adults generally just looked – raising their heads from the woven baskets of small fish drying out in the sun for a quick glance, faces expressionless. My hat flew off my head just once, as we zoomed down a hill.

We rode past sand dunes of brilliant colours; sandy yellows and creams, and vibrant deep red colours remeniscent of Australia. In fact, the whole landscape brought back memories of growing up in the deserts of north-western Victoria and playing in the sand dunes outside our tiny farming town.

Stopping in a fishing village, we gazed out at the water, where hundreds of boats were moored, bobbing up and down slowly on the gently moving water. As we stood with hands up to shield our faces from the sun, 4 young kids beckoned us to come over to them. We sat down on the dusty hill on the edge of the water at their request, and they introduced themselves. We chatted for a bit, and Bec played hand-clapping games with one of the girls. They smiled and laughed. It was great – the Vietnam we’d been hoping for.

And despite getting some severely sunburnt knees, the entire day was fantastic – finished off with a swim, and a delicious meal of fried squid and spring rolls and cheap beer.

What more could you ask for?

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2 Responses to “Mui Ne: Easyrider”

  1. sean Says:

    Looks like Friends episodes in Vang Vieng weren’t just a one-time thing :

    Though the opening paragraphs read like they stole em directly from you.

    Hope all is well.

  2. Posted from United States United States
  3. Adam in Mui Ne Says:

    Speaking of Guide Books, there’s a great site for mui ne at

  4. Posted from United States United States

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