Mui Ne is a peninsula, on which you find Phan Thiet town and several remarkable beaches. It may not yet rank as one of Asia’s most famous resorts, but the fine stretches of white-sand compare favourably with the best in Phuket and Bali. Recent development has been mostly low rise and, consequently, there are some excellent resorts and restaurants dotted along the coast. It’s a perfectly agreeable spot for several days relaxation.
In the early 1990s there wasn’t a single development on Mui Ne beach – it was merely a small fishing enclave and the beaches were bereft of everything but palm trees. However, by the mid-90s it was ‘discovered’ by beach starved Saigon expats, who started making regular weekend pilgrimages to a handful of low-key resorts. Nowadays, it is still popular with these sun-seeking expats, as well as kite surfers and, most notably, local Vietnamese looking for a beach within striking distance of Saigon.
This is where the fabled round wicker-basket boats originate. How fishermen manage to get to sea – and back – in these contraptions with a single paddle, God only knows. Equally strange are the soaring sand dunes – the view from the summit of each is amazing, as the changing winds guarantee that each visit is unlike any other. Its so pristine, you end up regreting the footprints you leave. Take it slow on your way back down or bring a plastic sheet for an exhilarating slide.