Less than two decades ago, Mui Ne Beach was a secluded Vietnamese fishing village, but today there are more tourists than fishermen. Today, it is a laid-back resort with restaurants, shops and white sand to occupy visitors.

The beaches are open to public access, though individual resorts reserve amenities like beach chairs and shower facilities for guests. The water is warm year-round with occasionally rough surf. Sports like windsurfing, paddle surfing and kite surfing are popular pursuits.

Follow the beach north to the actual fishing village and marina. Local merchants sell fresh seafood from hawker stalls while fishermen in the background sort through the day’s catch. There’s also a traditional Vietnamese market here that feels like it is miles away from the resort boutiques.

Another local attraction is the Fairy Stream. This little creek winds through stands of bamboo and cuts through the dunes that back the resorts. An easy hike involves crossing the dunes, catching an overlook of Fairy Stream and then following it back to its outlet at the sea.

The sand dunes are the most unusual feature of the beach. They follow the coastline for miles, whisked around by the wind. Drive along the coast and you will have the opportunity to climb the dunes for a great view of the sea. Local children speed down the 30-foot slopes on plastic slides. The dunes also hold the rain back, with Mui Ne receiving half the precipitation of nearby Phan Thiet.

The downside to development is the destruction of the dunes. When the winds pick up in late summer, the sand flees the coast and leaves some of the resorts with bare beaches. Sandbagging has cut down on this, but it is still best to visit early in the New Year when the winds have calmed.

Getting There & Away

In the old days it was hard to get to Mui Ne Beach, but all the development in recent years has strengthened transportation links. A new road opened recently that connects the resort community to National Highway 1A as it approaches Ca Na. Coaches ply this road, connecting to Ca Na (1 hour, 30 minutes), Dalat (5 hours, 30 minutes) and Nha Trang (5 hours). The latter has the largest airport.