Mui Ne – Beaches and Sand Dunes!
Since we survived the Sapa motorbike ride we rolled the dice and hired another motorbike to drive out to the sand dunes around Mui Ne. This time however, I donned a bandanna over my face and sunglasses in addition to the helmet so that I looked like a local, which some people thought I was till I took off my helmet and unleashed the hawk. The roads around Mui Ne are mostly flat and in good condition so I felt pretty comfortable on the road. The weather was surprisingly nice today and there were actually some people out on the beach; this time of year is not the best time to come to the beaches of Vietnam. It normally rains everyday and the sea is quite rough this time of year.
We drove east a few km and came upon the traditional fishing village of Mui Ne. There were loads of boats docked in the harbor so we stopped off and took some photos from the road and along the beach before moving on towards the sand dunes.
As we drove further east the road ran along the coastline and culminated in beautiful pristine beaches and the sounds of waves breaking upon them. I was driving at nearly 75kph so I only took a few glances so as to not kill myself. The red sand dunes are about 5km east of the main drag in Mui Ne Beach and make for a lovely place to picnic, walk around, or slide down the dunes. At sunset and sunrise they make for great photos but considering the overcast rainy weather I don’t think there’ll be any good sunrises or sunsets. We tried to hire a sand sled but the local boys renting them wouldn’t budge on price (40000VND) so we skipped on it.
After taking lunch at a restaurant across the street we drove onward to the white sand dunes. We both ordered noodle soup with squid which was really fresh and delicious. It was quite possibly the best noodle soup I’ve had in all of Vietnam so far. And the daughter of the family running the place was adorable and loved being photographed.
We walked up to the top of the sand dunes, took a bunch of photos, and took in the lovely views. It was a really peaceful place and we enjoyed spending some time there. But soon the rain started coming down again so we started to head back. I did a better job of navigating the sand dune road this time resulting in zero crashes. We got pretty lucky earlier to have fallen into a soft patch of sand. It was pissing down rain the entire time as we drove back to town but we made it back safely and in one piece. The white sand dunes weren’t exactly white but they were really cool nonetheless. There’s a big lake fronting the dunes as you drive up along the dangerous dirt road. We nearly had a few accidents as we drove along the road due to the mud and large rocks on the road. I was definitely of the tourists who ponied up for a jeep to take them to the dunes. The road eventually got the best of us as we got stuck in some sand and crashed. Well, it was more like we came to a complete stop and tipped over. But it still counts as a crash. Thankfully we fell into a very soft patch of sand and we both came away unscathed.
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