Mui Ne Day Trip Itinerary and Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh can be a bit draining (specially for long term traveler), One quick getaway from the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh city is the costal town of Mui Ne. Located at the southern part of central Vietnam, Mui Ne offers beautiful landscapes, cultural experiences and some opportunity to bask under the Sun on the beach.

 

How To Get To Mui Ne

Mui Ne can be reached over land via an over night bus. About three to four hours away from the former capital, one can reach Mui Ne via over night sleeper buses. The buses are pretty comfy that I managed to sleep for a couple of hours until we arrived at our stop. The temperature is freezing so make sure to bring your jacket. Make sure to tell the conductor where or what your hotel is (if you have any) so they can drop you off there.

If you opt to take the same bus we did, you can check out their bus schedule for Mui Ne on the photo below.

Where To Stay In Mui Ne

You can definitely not check in while in Mui Ne if you’ll be strictly on a day trip. Since the over night buses arrives early in the morning you can just stay in one of the cafes in the city (like my friend did on her trip). But if you prefer to have a place ready where you can relax anytime you can get a room at any of the many hostels around the town.

>>> Check Mui Ne Hostels<<<

What To Do In Mui Ne

  • Red White Sand DunesThe sand dunes are just basically sand dunes near the ocean in Mui Ne where you can do various activities such as driving quads or sand buggies,  sliding down the hills or even try out sand boarding. There are two sand dunes formations in Mui Ne. The white sand dunes is where it is best to watch the sunrise while the red sand dunes becomes more beautiful as the sun casts a warm tone to the sands as it sets. I personally opted not to engage in any activity on the red sand dunes during our trip. It was almost mid-day when we arrive and it was sweltering hot. However, if you are doing a sunset tour, I think it would be awesome to take photos at the red sand dunes.
  • Fishing VillageIt was nice to check out the fishing village. If you are an Asian, there’s really nothing special at the village except for the basin like boats they use to transfer their catch to the shore. If you are a bit eeky when it comes to fishy smell, you might want to skip this one or just check the view from the road. It smells really fishy.
  • Fairy StreamThe fairy stream is a small creek  of a fresh water spring. What’s interesting here is the landscape of red and white sand that constantly changes due to erosion. It’s also nice to walk bare footed on the soft sand with refreshing waters flowing through.


  • Beach Bumming 

    Mui Ne is blessed with a beautiful coast line. It is also a great place do kite surfing as it has the best winds during season in Vietnam.

Pro Tips

Check for group tours for most of the destinations. We were able to sign up for a half day group tour from our hostel for just $3.5 per person. The tour took us to the red and white sand dunes, fairy stream and fishing village. There was no tour guide just a bus driver taking us from one site to another. It was a nice air conditioned bus so it wasn’t so hot during the day. The driver also gave more than enough time for everyone to enjoy the destinations.

Not feeling like a people person for a the day? You can also rent motorbikes that will drive you around these spots. No need to worry if you don’t know how to drive. These motorbikes comes with their drivers.

Itinerary

Day 0
11:30 PM Depart for Mui Ne (via Futa Bus)

Day 1
04:30 AM Arrive at Mui Ne // Leave bags at reception
05:15 AM Tour Departs
11:00 AM Return to hostel // Check-in and rest
12:00 PM Eat Lunch // Coffee
13:00 PM Return to hostel freshen up and sleep.
18:00 PM Eat Dinner
20:00 PM Walk around Mui Ne Highway // Buy milk shake
21:30 PM Go to hostel pack things

Day 2
00:00 AM Wait for bus at the highway
05:00 AM Arrive in Ho Chi Minh

Expenses

Round Trip Bus Tickets – 160k VND
Hostel – 66k VND
Tour – 80k VND
Food (whole day)- 182k VND

Notes:

  • There are bus trips earlier than 11pm so if you don’t have a hostel to stay it would be best to take an earlier bus.
  • The bus arrived earlier than expected (4am instead of 6) so we had to wait for the check-in time at the hostel pool area.

Honestly, Mui Ne can be just a quick half day trip for me. Being someone from a tropical country full of beautiful beaches, lazying by the beach was last on my list for this trip.  I heard there are good places to eat as well, but I think Saigon is a better place to experience authentic Vietnamese food. So there, if you want to see the dunes go ahead I’d say it still is worth the trip. We definitely enjoyed our time in Mui Ne it’s just that we didn’t find much to do after the tour. If you find more activities to do in Mui Ne please let us know, we’ll try to give Mui Ne another shot!

Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Probably one of the best cities in Southeast Asia if you are a fan of walking tours. Doing a Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour is relatively easy even for beginners. Most of the attractions are at walking distance from each other. They can also be reached with leisurely walks along the tree lined streets of Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

It is said that the Ho Chi Minh city hall is one of the finest French colonial heritage building there is in Saigon.  Built from 1902-1908 this was originally built as a hotel and was aptly called Hotel De Ville De Saigon. After the Viet Cong recaptures the south the building was later renamed to People’s Committee building.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: No (Outside only)
Fee: N/A

Tip: If you collect starbucks mugs or tumblers, you can buy yours at the starbucks across the city hall.

Nguyen Hue

A beautiful plaza fronting the Ho Chi Minh city hall becomes a venue for people to congregate and relax after a day’s work. The plaza that stretches all the way to the Saigon river comes alive at night full with street food that people can share. Though it is best to visit this plaza at night it still is worth to take a peek and have a photo take with uncle Ho at the back.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Toursource

Public Access: Yes
Fee: N/A

Saigon Opera House

The opera house was built by French architect Eugène Ferret in 1897. The same building was used as a lower house assembly hall of South Vietnam after 1956. This French Colonial heritage building was not used a theater until 1975. We actually didn’t get to see the inside of the theater during our Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour because there were on going performances. So we just took photos outside and in the lobby.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: Show Dependent: Check Show Tickets Here

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

A majestic brick structure, a heritage building left by the French colonizers the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica stands beautifully at the heart of Saigon. This Catholic Church was built in the late 1800’s to serve the spiritual needs of the Catholic French who resides in the city. As you step inside the church you will feel the solemnity of the people’s devotion to Mary the patron saint of the church giving you a respite from the long walks on your Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Saigon Post Office

Next stop in our Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour is a building built by the same architect as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Gustav Eiffel. Yes this amazing french architect was the person behind Saigon’s central post office. The building still functions the same as since it was ‘first built. This heritage building stand just right across the famed Nortre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Independence Palace

Formerly the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam before the invasion/recapture of North Vietnam. The building is symbolic to today’s Vietnam as their reunification palace as this was the last stand of the US backed state of South Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: VND 30k

Turtle Lake

The Turtle lake is popular among locals as the go to place for some street food in the afternoon. The lake is situated a few hundred meters from the Presidential Palace. It gained the name Turtle lake because of its octagonal shape that resembles a turtle.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Benh Than Market

One of the best place to shop if you are looking for bulk purchases of clothing. Benh Than market has a diverse range of merchandise from food, shoes, clothes and other souvenirs. This could be a perfect end to your Ho Chi Minh city walking tour just right before you fly back home.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: None

Tip: If Ho Chi Minh is your last or only stop and want to shop we suggest to go to Nguyen Trai night markets.

War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a place put up by the government to show the horrors of the Vietnam War from the Viet Cong perspective. The museum curates some of the equipment and weaponry of the US forces spread across multiple levels.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Public Access: Yes
Fee: VND 15k

Tip: Try seeing this museum on a separate day. There’s so much to see and learn here. Take everything with a grain of salt though.

The total distance between all of these places (excluding the War Remnants) is 3 kilometers from the Saigon Opera House to Ben Thanh Market. It’s not that bad if you would think about it but if you include all the walking inside the museums and the market it can get tiring. So make sure that you stretch your legs and eat a good breakfast!.

Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour Route/Itinerary

Here’s how I suggest you get around these spots.

  • Start at the Saigon Opera House then proceed to Nguyen Hue and the City Hall. All of these attractions are good enough to be seen from the outside. Also, there is no public access for the Ho Chi Minh City Hall.
  • If you have much time to spend, you can try out one of the cafes in the apartment building facing the plaza.
  • Next stop is the Saigon Post Office. This is a good opportunity for you to buy some post cards and send them back home.
  • After the Saigon Post Office a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is just appropriate. The cathedral basilica is just across the street anyway. If you are a catholic this is a great place to stop and reflect and pray for intercession from Mary.
  • From the Notre Dame Cathedral make your way to the Presidential Palace. You can spend a good hour at this place exploring the former strong hold of South Vietnam.
  • If you finish all of them in the morning (Opera House, city hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Presidential Palace), I suggest that you visit the Lunch Lady. This Lunch Lady was made famous by Anthony Bourdain’s visit where he tasted her meal for the day.
  • After lunch you can visit the War Remnants Museum and just spend some quality time there.
  • Once you are done with the museum a quick visit to the Turtle Lake for some snacks would be awesome.
  • A visit to Ben Thanh market can be arranged if you still have time. However the best time to visit the Market is early in the morning. Vendors have this belief that once a customer inquires it will be lucky for their store for the entire day if the person buys. I tell you  they will give you huge discounts if you come in the morning. Though you need to be equipped with basic bargaining skills still.

There you go! I hope this walking tour guide helped you with the information you need for you trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. If you prefer to have a guided Ho Chi Minh Walking Tour Check Out Here For Rates for great value tours. You can also check out out our “free” food tour in Saigon if you plan to eat taste the dishes of the city.

Travel Guide: How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

Being part of the main land Southeast Asia, Vietnam is one of the usual stops for backpackers. So aside from taking the plane to the country, to save money most travelers actually cross borders via land. If you are wondering how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia via land, you’d be surprised that it’s relatively easy. Let’s check on some things first.

VISA Requirements

If you are a non ASEAN citizen you might want to check Viet Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are needing to secure a visa prior to your arrival. You will also notice when you buy your bus ticket that the staff will ask you some questions. This is to determine if you are aware of your visa situation and that you have secured one if necessary.

On the other hand, if you are an ASEAN citizen, all that you’ll be needing is your passport. ASEAN citizens with passports issued by member countries  are currently afforded visa-free entry into Viet Nam for a period of 21 to 30 days.

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

check on google maps here

How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia (Border Cross)

screen cap from google maps

The Journey To Viet Nam

As you buy your ticket, the staff will actually ask you if you have ever been to Viet Nam. I think this is their soft probing if you are aware of the things that you need to know on how to go to Vietnam from Cambodia. They will also inform you if you need a visa, ergo they will not sell you tickets if you don’t have.

Say, you have your tickets already and its time to board the bus. Before the bus leaves, the steward will collect all passports to double check if you have the right documentation. As soon as you arrive at the Cambodian border, all passports will be redistributed. You will have to get off of the bus and line up for your passports to be stamped out.

After everyone has been stamped out and have boarded back on the bus, you will be taken to the Duty Free shop for dinner. Yeah, It’s a bit over priced but the food isn’t that bad and you have no other choice. After about an hour everyone jumped backed in the bus heading to the Viet Nam side of the border.

On the Vietnam side of the border, the bus steward will be the one to process your passports for you. You will actually be asked to bypass the immigration officers booth after handing you back your passport. As you exit the processing center, an immigration officer will then check your passports one at a time. This is to make sure that everyone was processed accordingly.

Your bus will be waiting at the exit of the processing center. Once everyone is back on the bus you’d be on your way to Ho Chi Minh city! There’s one difference that should be noted between the Cambodian and Vietnam border processing. As you exit, the Cambodian border center will just as yourself to step off the bus without your belongings. On the other hand, the Vietnam border will ask you to unload everything and have everything scanned. I guess the later’s immigration process is a lot stricter since you are entering their country.

Your journey ends at the Pham Ngu Lao street where everyone gets off. If you have not booked a room just yet, you are almost guaranteed to find one along the alleys of Pham Ngu Lao.

hopefully this gives you a good idea of what bus company to take and some insight on How To Go To Vietnam From Cambodia.

Fare: $14 (as of 11/29/2016)

 

If you have any questions, suggestion or inputs please do let us know on the comments section!