Mui Ne Review – Why you shouldn’t visit Mui Ne?

When I was planning my Vietnam trip with my friend, who is a Vietnam expert, I told him that I wanted to go Mui Ne. He asked me why and told me that it was a boring place. I defended immediately: “Mui Ne has so many beautiful sand dunes and is a perfect beach location.” Although he warned me multiple times and suggested me not to go Mui Ne, I still insisted. And I said it so confidently: “We shall see.” Never did I expect Mui Ne to be such a boring place. And most importantly, a place full of tourist traps and thieves. Still wondering why you shouldn’t visit Mui Ne? Read the Mui Ne review and find out why.

Mui Ne Review sea

Mui Ne Review – Where is Mui Ne?

Mui Ne is 200km from Ho Chi Minh City and it usually takes a 4 hour drive to get there. As it’s pretty close to the popular city Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne attracts both the foreigners and the locals. It has a 12-kilometre long sweeping bay that boasts all kinds of sea activities, especially kite-surfing. In my opinion, the fact that it’s so close to Ho Chi Minh brings troubles and tourist traps to the once quiet and peaceful fishing village.

Mui Ne Review – Why you shouldn’t visit Mui Ne?

  • Tourist Trap 1 – Extremely Expensive Jeep Ride at White Sand Dunes

The White Sand Dunes is the most popular attraction in Mui Ne. With the vast desert and the beautiful lake view right beside, it’s easily my favourite place in Mui Ne, if the tour operating companies do not cheat tourists’ monies.

Mui Ne Review sand dune

There are two types of tours you can sign up with your hotel – Sunrise or Sunset tour. We signed up for the Sunrise tour, which enabled us to see sunrise at the White Sand Dunes. When we got there, we were presented with 3 options: jeep tour at 800000 VND ($35 USD), ATV tour at 900000 VND ($40 USD), or you walk around for free. As I travelled together with my parents who weren’t suitable for long-distance walking, we had no choice but to opt for the jeep tour.


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Mui Ne Review jeep ride

To be frank, I don’t mind paying for the price if the service attitude is good. But the attitude of the driver is the worst I’ve ever seen. He basically drove us to the top of the sand dunes to take picture for 45 mins, before driving us to the lake to take pictures for another 45 mins. And that’s their so-called 1.5 hour jeep tour.

Mui Ne Review white sand

Mui Ne Review desert

In total, the jeep ride was less than 10 mins out of 90 mins tour. And there was no exciting stunts whatsoever throughout the ride. You must be thinking: “Are you kidding me?” Yes, no kidding.

My suggestion is don’t bother taking any of the tour if you are capable of walking around by yourself. Do take note that it’ll take at least 30 mins for you to get to the top from the entrance.


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  • Tourist Trap 2 – Teenager Thieves at Red Sand Dunes

Following the sunrise tour, your next destination will be the Red Sand Dunes. It’s a lot smaller than the White Sand Dunes, so you can walk around by yourself. Once you set foot on the desert, you’ll encounter some ladies trying to lend you their sliding broad at a very minimal cost. It’s totally fine if you are interested to have some fun sliding down the sands. But the nightmare starts if you encounter a group of “kind-hearted” teenagers offering their help to teach you the correct sliding techniques.

Mui Ne Review sand slide

Don’t be fooled by their kindness, they are actually trying to steal money from you in the process, by asking you to put your money pouch to the back. As they are “passionately” teaching you, they are taking the money from your pouch without you noting it. We fell prey to this trap and got stolen at least $50 USD, so be very careful!

  • Tourist Trap 3 – Over Hyped Beauty

If you really want to find a place that’s truly peaceful and without any kinds of traps, that must be the Fairy Stream. Over there, you can take pictures that look very vibrant in colors.

Mui Ne Review scenery

But even the Fairy Stream has nothing much to do and all the scenery seems identical. To be frank, Mui Ne isn’t as beautiful as I expected. The beach isn’t that nice either, not to mention about the attractions.

Mui Ne Review fairy streams


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  • Tourist Trap 4 – Expansive Hotel or Resort

The resorts or hotels around Mui Ne are generally more expensive (at least $60 USD per night), especially those situated right next to the main beach. In order to save cost, we decided to stay further away from the main beach and chose Mui Ne Sports Hotel. Overall, I felt the hotel was comfortable, modern and reasonably priced ($30 USD per night).

Mui Ne Review room

There’s a pretty good restaurant right outside the hotel too, which offers a variety of food. As Mui Ne is right by the sea, the seafood is a lot cheaper than many other places in Vietnam. What’s more, it is very fresh and delicious.

Mui Ne Review food

Mui Ne Review – Final Thoughts

I hope this Mui Ne review has heightened your awareness about the existing tourist traps in Mui Ne. Of course Mui Ne is not just about bad things. If you haven’t seen desert before, or if you are a fan of kite-surfing and seafood, this place is still suitable for you. You just have to be more careful not to fall for those traps. Have a safe trip!

 

 

  • Thanks so much for your honest review! I’ve been debating if I should go see Mui Ne or not and your post was really good to help me think of factors I may not have considered – since I haven’t seen a dessert, I think I will go 🙂 How long did you stay in Mui Ne?

    • Hey Nancy glad you find my advice useful. I only went there for 3D2N and I thought the duration was just nice for me. I’m sure you’ll still enjoy the scenery and have a lot of fun taking photos at the desert. 🙂 Have a safe trip!

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  • Thanks for the info because when it comes to beach, I might not be thunking about 🇻🇳 Vietnam. And the sand sliding reminded me of Lancelin, a sand dune in Western Australia. It was fun!! @ knycx.journeying

    • I will definitely check it out when I’m in Western Australia 🙂 Thanks for the advice!

  • Haven’t been to Mui me but it’s always good to be aware of tourist traps and scams. If we ever visit this city we’ll remember your tips!

  • I imagine the pick pocket scam will be going on for quite some time so that is very good to be aware of. It’s a shame too, because playing with kind hearted children really should be a highlight of the trip.

    If 30-60 USD for a hotel room doesn’t sound abhorrent but it might be higher than the market average.

    At least you came away with some beautiful pictures from the experience.

    • You are right I’m glad I took many beautiful pictures there. The whole experience also gave me a different kind of memory.
      Thanks for reading my journey. Your articles are so beautifully written too!

  • The pictures are great!! We were in Vietnam but didn’t visit Mui ne. It’s good to know the tourist traps 🙂

    • It’s always good to research on the good and bad. I’ve learnt my lesson. ;p

  • Looks like a great place. Those sand dunes look awesome!

    • Thanks Cindy! Glad you like it. They do make great photos, but you need to be mindful of the traps.