“Exploring” the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam; Southeast Asia

“Exploring” the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam; Southeast Asia

“Exploring” the Red Sand Dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam; Southeast Asia

I finally made Flickr Explore with my last post!

I have reached the zenith of my Flickr career and with that folks I am official retiring from Flickr and putting up my Canon 5D Mark II for sale on eBay.

Okay, I am not going that far.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out from Flickr members that I had made Explore from their comments in my last post. After doing some research I found out that this was my third time I made Explore. I have always wondered what it took to make the coveted Explore page, in the end I think it comes down dumb luck. In reality, I could careless about Explore since it is the community of Flickr members that make my day. I appreciate all your faves and wonderful comments and for that reason I have stuck with Flickr, even though some photographers whom I highly respect, have left since the new design launch.

For all the three people and my mother who have been following my Southeast Asia journey from last year, allow me to give you an update. I spent six months traveling through that part of the world landing in Singapore then continuing through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and then back to Thailand.

I have now concluded posting photos from my Laos portion of the trip and I continue with my journey as we enter the country of Vietnam. I realized that that I only posted about seven photos from Laos. Over the course of a month that I was in the country I took thousands of photos, but the majority of the photos were from my Apple iPhone 4s. Laos is such a laid back country, that most of the time I was there I put away my Canon 5D Mark II for “serious photography” and just took fun snapshots with my iPhone. It was hard to motivate myself to take photos with my heavy DSLR as I spent the majority of the day laying down in a hammock drinking Beerlao. Yes, life can be so hard!


When you mention the name Vietnam images of jungles, pho noodles and the Vietnam War as portrayed in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic movie “Apocalypse Now,” and Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” come to mind. So what does two Vietnamese women walking through sand dunes have to do with Vietnam?

This is the Red Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam. Mui Ne is a beautiful beach resort that looks nothing like the rest of Vietnam. Inundated with backpackers, boutique resorts and tons of Russian tourists (where’s John Rambo when you need him), this is where you go if you don’t want a slice of the real Vietnam. I came here for some welcome relief from the madness otherwise known as Saigon otherwise known as Ho Chi Minh City. Besides the beach, Mui Ne is famous for windsurfing and their white and red sand dunes.

Walking through the dunes was a surreal experience. It reminded me of a mini Death Valley National Park and at other times I had my “Lawrence of Arabia” moments.

After walking through the dunes for an hour or so in the hot sun I wasn’t feeling the inspiration for a great shot. So I walked back to the cafe across the street where I parked my motorbike to get a cold beer. I met this young woman and an older woman in the cafe who were models for a photo shoot earlier in the day. I asked them to be my models and in return I would send them copies of my photographs. They agreed and we headed back out to the dunes.

The sun was setting quickly so I had only about ten minutes to photograph them. Under the time constraints and changing lens in between shots (not a good idea with so much blowing sand around you), I took a number of shots of which of which a handful were keepers.

Check back for more of my adventures in Vietnam!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

Facebook | Google + | Twitter | Pinterest | Photography Blog | Travel Photography Gallery

Taken on: 12th April, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Sam Antonio Photography's page of Flickr

Read more about Phan Thiet

The capital of Binh Thuan province, Phan Thiet, is a small-but-thriving Vietnamese city, and would be a decent destination for tourists in its own right, but for one small problem: it's a stone's throw from Mui Ne, and there's no good reason for the foreign tourist to dally here when a prime beach-town is beckoning just over the horizon.

That being the case, Phan Thiet sees very few foreign faces, save those visiting on a day trip from Mui Ne or belting through on an Open Tour minibus.

For the Vietnamese tourist however, Phan Thiet is a good compromise -- they don't have to choose between expensive resorts and low-rent guest houses like in Mui Ne, good, reasonably-priced seafood restaurants line the water, and the beach is just as fine as Mui Ne -- there's just less of it. ... Read our complete Phan Thiet travel guide

More images