by @kingceejay

fampic collage

Facts about Mui Ne:

If you Google Mui Ne, these are what sites would say about this city:

  • coastal resort town located in Binh Thuan provice-southeastern Vietnam
  • windsurfing and kitesurfing capital of Vietnam
  • where many Russians go and a lot of Russian-owned restos and resorts thrive
  • sunny for most of the year
  • 198km from Saigon or 5 hours by bus/train

And yes, having been in Vietnam for 5 years, last weekend was my first time to ever visit such a beautiful place. The bad news was: most hotels and resorts were fully booked!

Why fully booked

For one obvious reason- it was a long weekend in Vietnam. This means Saturday and Sunday plus two national holidays-30 April (Liberation Day) and 1 May (Labor Day) and an extra day off on the 29th (a Monday) being sandwiched by a couple of non-working days. Good thing wifey had booked us a night in a random hotel, one of the few Agoda.com could offer a few days before that getaway.

poolside

Where we stayed

The first night certainly did not make a very good impression thanks to the unexpected extra charge of a hotel on 24B Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. Plus the unavailability of extra pillows because “the housekeeping staff only works at daytime”. And the worst part was the air conditioner which for me was the weakest and smallest I’ve ever seen in Vietnam! Having bruised our buttocks sitting on the bus for 6 hours, poor ventilation in the hotel room definitely didn’t help. So the first thing we did the following day was look for a better accommodation. Luckily we found Saigon Muine Resort. A few folds more pricey than the hotel but it was the only one that did not have the extra charge during the long weekend. Cultural note: It is customary in Vietnam for hotels and resorts to add 10-30% on tariff during non-working holidays. But this resort did not ‘take advantage’ of the demand. So we checked in and voila, we were in paradise!

What we did

Apart from enjoying the amenities of the resort such as the spa, the gym, the kids-friendly pool, the exclusive white sand beach, and the resto, we spent quality time with the family. When it was too hot at noon, the kids would just play some games on the iPad and PSP; other times, they’d just watch TV while my better-half and I were chilling out at the balcony facing the beach, munching some snacks from Mui Mart and savoring the fresh air which is almost non-existent in Saigon. Sometimes my husband would also play games with our kids or spend his time playing binguez.

fampic 1

For the most part, my kids and I were just swimming in the sea. I loved it the most- clean beaches could hardly be had in Vung Tau or even in  Nha Trang. It was too clean that I got stung by a jellyfish but it didn’t totally ruin our vacay; I did what Nicole Kidman did to Zac Efron in the movie “Paperboy” except I was both characters in the scene.

swing

Kiddos also had a great time building sandcastles. After an hour or two on the beach, we would rinse ourselves and swim in the pool. Alternating between the pool and beach had never been that fun!

gym time

Of course there were other activities available. The resort itself offers water sports activities and we’d been invited by a friend for paragliding. But on that holiday, we opted to just spending time with each other.

Recommendations

  1. Stay at a resort by the beach. Convenience, comfort and security do matter.
  2. Dine at Golden Sand Restaurant for reasonably-priced, fresh and tasty seafood!
  3. Try doing any of the water sports available.

More info on how to get there

We took Futa Buslines in going to Mui Ne. The fare was cheap but it took us 1 hour longer than the normal traveling time thanks to its 3 mini-stop stations. Going back to Saigon was with The Sinh Tourist- a bit pricey but the bus was cleaner and the trip was faster.

You could also get to Mui Ne by train. Leaving Saigon Train Station at both 6:45am and 7:30am during the week, and 5:30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this mode of transport may cost as much as the bus fare at $6.

The resort where we stayed at also offers transit services to Saigon. This should be more expensive though.

kids collage

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