You'll want to get out to the long, sprawling, sandy stretch of Mui Ne beach to the east which is a popular weekend getaway from nearby Saigon.
Mui Ne is an isolated coastal town that is recognized by those who have visited as being so picturesque that one cannot help but admire its beauty. Mui Ne has now become a land where one can discover some of the most beautiful and romantic resorts in Vietnam. Most of the resorts in Mui Ne are built low surrounded by fruit gardens and facing the sea. Mui Ne today remains a traditional fishing village to this day and attracts a large number of tourists each year.
Things to do in Phan Thiet - Mui Ne:
Where to go in Phan Thiet - Mui Ne:
Some 20km northeast of town are Cape Mui Ne's sprawling sand dunes, and a trip out this way brings you through lots of quaint seaside villages that are well worth a wander. Coming from Mui Ne Beach, you'll first reach a small fishing town and can explore its fine little rural market, great in the early morning. Heading inland away from the beach, you'll first come to the towering Red Dunes. A walk to the top offers great views of the town and surrounding countryside. From the Red Dunes, if you have time, the unique Silver Lake is reached only after a long bumpy ride, but the views of the coast are dynamic and this unique little verdant lake in the large, parched silver dune makes the trip worth it.
At the highest point on the road between Phan Thiet Town and Mui Ne Beach, you won't miss Cham Tower, an impressive spire of crumbling brick. The tower dates from the end of the 13th century and is worth a stop if you weren't able to catch any of the Cham sites near Hoi An and Danang.
Mui Ne has quickly been transformed from an isolated stretch of beautiful white sand to one long row of resorts. While there’s still a fishing village at the east end of the beach, it’s tourists that make up most of the population. The boom in top-end resorts hasn’t killed the chilled surfie vibe, although it has brought an increasing number of up-market restaurants and souvenir shops. It’s an unusual set up, as everything is spread along one 10km stretch of road – the accommodation is on the beach side and the restaurants and bars mainly on the other.
Po Shanu Cham Towers Heading west from the dunes, Po Shanu Cham Towers occupy a hill near Phan Thiet, with sweeping views of the town and a cemetery filled with candy-like tombstones. Dating from the 9th century, this complex consists of the ruins of three towers, none of which are in very good shape. There's a small pagoda on the site, as well as a gallery and shop.
Whale Museum The denizens of Phan Thiet have made their living for centuries off the sea. It was believed that in bad weather, whales would guide fishermen to safety, so a local practice arose over the years of paying homage to 'Mr. Whale,' and a temple was built in 'his' honor in 1762. In the back of the temple is a glass box stuffed with various whale bones, but the real attraction is the 22-metre-long whale skeleton on display in a separate building alongside the temple. It's well-mounted, impressively large, and worth a look.
How to get to Phan Thiet - Mui Ne:
By Bus or Car: Phan Thiet is just 3 hours from Saigon. The buses from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet depart from Mien Dong Bus Station.
By train: The nearest train station to Phan Thiet is 12km west of town. The Reunification Express train between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City stops here.
The weather in Phan Thiet is roughly the same all year – hot and dry with an average temperature of around 27 degrees. The rainy season begins in May and runs through October, but the rain is often light and sporadic. The waves are best from August to December, and the wind is best from November to April, so never really a bad time to go.
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