4D/3N Backpacking Mui Ne Without A Tour (Part 3) : FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines Double-Decker Sleeper Bus From Saigon (HCMC) To Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

         One of the best ways to travel or backpack to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) is to hop on the 4-hour double-decker sleeper bus and just enjoy the ride! Before I visited Mui Ne, Vietnam, I have never been on a double-decker sleeper bus before, therefore I was really looking forward to the experience.

FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines Double Decker Sleeper Bus to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

         After much research, I have decided to travel to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne by FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines double-decker sleeper bus. A visit to their official website available in Vietnamese and very simple English provided me with a list of their terminals’ address, bus schedule and ticket fare applicable for our Mui Ne trip. I did not book the bus tickets in advance, although we could because I was unsure if we would be able to arrive at the bus terminal on time.

         Our taxi dropped my sister and I right in front of FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines terminal in District 1 as requested. To read my cautious Vinasun taxi ride with information on the taxi fare, compulsory airport exit fee and Vietnam’s taxi scam, click here. From there, we proceeded into the ticket counter to buy our bus tickets to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne. For your info, visitors from foreign countries need to present his/her passport for identification purposes in order to purchase the bus tickets.

         Our BX. Mien Tay (TP.HCM) – BX. Mui Ne ticket costs 135,000 dong per personleaving at 3pm. We requested for seats A19 and A20 which are located at the very end of the bus, on the lower deck. That way, we would have more privacy and if we are lucky, have the entire row of seats to ourselves. The tall and lanky should opt for the seats on the upper deck for more head space and room, whereas petites will fit nicely in the seats on the lower deck. Once we had our tickets, we took the opportunity to explore our new surroundings and waited for our bus to arrive at the bus terminal located just beside the bus counter. 20 minutes later, our bus arrived on time and we boarded the bus. Fyi, shoes must be taken off and kept in the plastic bag provided by the bus attendant.

The brightly coloured FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines ticket counter in District 1, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)

The bright orange coloured FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines' signboard makes it stand out from the crowd

Look out for FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines terminal and ticket counter at No. 272 De Tham Street, District 1, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) city

After purchasing your FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines bus tickets, head to the bus terminal located just beside the ticket counter to wait for your bus to arrive

Our FUTA (Phuong Trang) bus tickets to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne, with all details written in Vietnamese

De Tham Street, District 1, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)

You cannot possibly miss FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines' ticket counter and bus terminal because it is located by the corner of the street, opposite of Allez Boo cafe :-)

A Comfortable Ride, But Watch Out For The Cockroaches!

         Our 4-hour bus ride from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne was somewhat comfortable. The seats were quite new and comfortable enough for us. Each passenger was given a bottle of drinking water and a thin blanket. There was a small headrest on every seat too, although my sister’s was nowhere to be seen and we were able to recline the seats. Unfortunately, my sister's seat was not working so well. Once everyone was seated, the bus took off and headed directly for Phan Tiet, Mui Ne.

         I have no complaints for FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines’ service, except for one thing. The bus was crawling with miniature cockroaches – not much, but just enough to make one squeal in horror and disgust as they play peek-a-boo with unlucky passengers! Thankfully, my sister and I are not afraid of cockroaches, so we just flicked them away whenever they were near; neither did the other passengers have a problem with it. You see, passengers are allowed to bring light food onto the bus, so where there is food, insects such as ants and cockroaches will be around. It is basic common sense really. If one has a tremendous fear of cockroaches, it is best to give the sleeper bus a miss, and opt to fly to Mui Ne instead.

         Reviews left by travellers mentioned of reckless drivers, rude attendants, poor bus conditions and bad service by several bus operators. Hanh Cafe express bus is guilty of the above offences, so please avoid them. Generally, day time buses/journeys are much safer as compared to night buses/journeys for several reasons. If you happen to have to take the night bus to Mui Ne, please keep your belongings safe and close to you as there have been reports of things being stolen when one is asleep.

         To avoid a bad experience, choose to travel with these reliable bus operators; FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines, Sinh Tourist or Mai Linh Express. These 3 bus operators received fairly good reviews by many travellers who have used their service. And no, our bus driver did not honk excessively or drove recklessly throughout the entire journey. We felt safe and enjoyed the interesting bus ride.

The back seats on the upper deck of the FUTA (Phuong Trang) sleeper bus from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

My seat numbered A20 on the FUTA (Phuong Trang) sleeper bus from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

Greetings from Eva and Erika from our sleeper bus in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) city

The bus attendant briefing the passengers in Vietnamese, no English translations though...  :-/

Stretching our legs in our seats, on-board the FUTA (Phuong Trang) sleeper bus from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

Snacking on our quick lunch on-board the bus; the typical Vietnamese baguette - a must eat when in Vietnam!

Idyllic Phan Tiet, Mui Ne at Last!

         Throughout the journey, our bus made a total of 2 stops intended for toilet breaks and for food. Each break lasted for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the situation. At both stops, passengers were able to buy drinks and food such as baguettes with various fillings (a staple food for the Vietnamese thanks to the French’s influence in the country during the French occupancy), grilled sausages, ice-cream and snacks.

         When night falls, the bus lit up in a psychedelic of colours, giving it a disco-party-like ambience for us to enjoy. The temperature was not too cold, or too warm, it was just nice. We had ample leg space and used our bags for comfort. Surprisingly enough, English songs were played softly on the bus! My sister and I really enjoyed our bus ride to Mui Ne with FUTA (Phuong Trang) Buslines sleeper bus.

         When we boarded the bus earlier in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), the bus attendant asked the name of our hotel. When we were close to our destination, he notified us to get ready and dropped us off in front of our hotel – Saigon Café.

 The FUTA (Phuong Trang) double-decker sleeper bus travelling from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

A stall selling local Vietnamese drinks, snacks and souvenirs

Of ice-cream, grilled sausages and chilled drinks

Food and snacks sold at one of the two bus stops during the journey to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

Pretty sights and lights on our journey from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

When night falls, the bus lit up in a psychedelic of colours, giving it a disco-party-like ambience for us to enjoy

Up next: A simple yet refreshing Vietnamese home-cooked dinner and a review of our standard double room by a private beach, exclusively at Saigon Café

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