May 23 2012
Everyone needs to get away from the city from time to time and a beach weekend is a great way to escape. The only problem is that once you’ve stayed a couple days at the beach you might get a little bored; if, however, you head to Mui Ne for a beach retreat you’re in luck because there are plenty of things you can do to save yourself from beach boredom.
If you have the time to properly learn, give kite surfing a try. Kite surfing, where your feet are strapped to a small surfboard and your body is harnessed to a large kite that propels you through the water with the power of the wind, is nothing to jump into without the proper preparation.
Several places along Mui Ne beach offer kite surfing lessons; unfortunately, most of these surf schools recommend at least five to 10 hours of training before you can hit the waves by yourself. And this comes with a hefty price tag of as much as 1,000,000 VND an hour — but if you have the time, and cash, kite surfing is probably one of the coolest extreme sports you can get into.
If you’re looking to get off the beach altogether a few places around Mui Ne can be visited by taxi or motorbike. Fairy Stream, or Suoi Tien, is one such popular destination. About a 10-minute drive, depending on where you’re staying on the beach, Fairy Stream sits just off the main road with its access point right next to a fish sauce factory. Immediately upon entering the stream a child will offer their tour guide services at a small price, but there’s no need for a guide (plus paying kids is never a good idea).
Once you get past the children, you are treated to a short, 20-minute hike up the stream to a small waterfall. Along the way you are treated to views that might remind you of a miniature version the Grand Canyon as red sand cliffs surround all sides of the stream. It’s an easy walk, which can be done barefoot, and you can get some cool pictures along the way.
If the red sand has you intrigued you can head off to see some actual dunes. Two dune areas are easily defined by their sand colours, red and white. The red dunes are just outside of the resort strip and easily reached by motorbike or taxi. Once you get to the open, red hillside you can pretend you’re travelling through a great desert as still more small children try to rent you plastic sleds to slide down the sides of the dunes. The red dunes are usually packed with tour groups who have been dropped off out front but if you’ve brought plenty of water you can hike out past the first few dune tops and separate yourself from the pack.
The white dunes are much further out of the resort area and if you have the time and money to visit I would recommend taking one of the jeep tours that you can book through your hotel. The white dunes occupy a much larger area and going by jeep will make it much easier to cover. There are also a couple of cute lakes that are a pleasant place for a late afternoon picnic. If you go to either of the dunes make sure to pack extra water; I’d recommend going in the late afternoon once the heat of the day has passed.
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