This was our first stop. Fyi, the Fairy Springs
is actually a shallow stream that flows and cuts across the bauxite-laden terrain, leaving behind exposed earth and interesting rock formations in vivid colours of red, orange, yellow and white. It is supposed to be free, but the locals will try many ways to charge and part you of your precious VND by imposing either a parking fee, an entrance fee or even tour guide service fee
depending on the situation.
In our case, our driver parked the jeep by the roadside and instructed us to walk along a narrow path that will bring us to the entrance of the stream. We followed his instructions and arrived at the entrance of the stream, but several young men were waiting when we arrived. In an instance, they approached and demanded 10,000 VND (5,000 VND per person) from us
for admission. Seeing how persistent those men were and fearing for our safety as there were only the two of us that time, my sister and I decided to give it a miss.
The narrow path to the Fairy Springs, Mui Ne
The sign/entrance to the Fairy Springs, Mui Ne
We discovered a fish sauce factory on our way to the Fairy Springs, Mui Ne
We continued our journey on the road, this time driving by the coastal area of Mui Ne, Vietnam. The wind was blowing very hard. The weather was not looking good and it was not long before we had light shower of rain over us. Thankfully, the rain stopped raining and gave us just enough time to explore a small section of the fishing village of Mui Ne, Vietnam.
Since the weather was unfavourable and the sea was rough, not many fishing boats were seen at sea. On a bright, sunny day where the sea is much calmer, this coastal area will be filled with boats and fishermen going about their business. The women on the other hand, will be sorting out the catch of the day while chatting to each other on the beach.
After taking several photographs, it started to rain again and we ran towards our jeep for shelter. Thus, we bid farewell to the fishing village and continued our journey to the famous white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam.
The fishing village of Mui Ne, Vietnam
The unique circular fishing boats of Mui Ne, Vietnam
Fishing boats at the fishing village of Mui Ne, Vietnam
The steps used to access the beach from the main road
On a good day, this coastal area will be filled with boats and fishermen going about their business
The coastal road, also the main road in Mui Ne, Vietnam
Our driver made a stop halfway through the journey for us to enjoy the scenic view of the Lotus Lake along with the white sand dunes in the background. The fact that we were close to the sand dunes made excited and happy. Besides that, we also encountered a herd of cows crossing the road to our amusement. Moo…moo!!
The Lotus Lake of Mui Ne, Vietnam
Encountering a herd of cows crossing the road is a common thing in Mui Ne, Vietnam
Journey to the White Sand Dunes
Here is something that you should know when visiting the white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam. The journey to the white sand dunes can get rather dusty and painful to a certain extent, especially during a windy day when there are strong winds blowing from the direction of the sand dunes, creating a mini sandstorm.
Being showered by particles of sand travelling at high speed is not a fun thing at all! The feeling is akin to having millions of sharp needles pricking the skin simultaneously. Ouch, ouch and OUCH!! I bet getting a tattoo will not be as painful, not to mention the significant amount of sand that went into our mouths, noses and ears too! Therefore, it is wise to wear a face mask, a pair of sunglasses and keep yourself properly covered especially when strong winds are blowing.
Most of the roads to the sand dunes in Mui Ne are a straight drive, but do not have any lights
A fun, windy and scenic ride in the US Jeep, Mui Ne
White Sand Dunes
Finally, we arrived safely at the white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam. The white sand dunes cover a huge area, spreading as far as the eyes can see. It looked like the Sahara desert, minus the scorching heat and scattered bones. The sand particles in which the white dunes are made of are rough and hard. Walking on the sand dunes was a challenge. It was easier to walk barefooted than with shoes or slippers.
It was just our luck that we had strong winds or a sandstorm when we visited the white sand dunes. Not wanting it to spoil our visit, we stubbornly endured the sandstorm, explored the sand dunes and took several worthy photographs. Before I forget, there is a compulsory entrance fee of 10,000 VND per person to the white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam.
Among the activities that one can do at the white sand dunes are riding an ATV (300,000 VND for 20 minutes) or sand boarding (1 USD rent for a sand board). We did neither of those because we were experiencing a sandstorm. Now, having the presence of the ATVs in the vicinity does disrupt the peace and tranquillity of the place. Loud ATVs zoomed past us countless times as we were trying to take photographs or enjoy the view to a point that it got rather annoying, but there was nothing we could do about it.
Our memorable experience at the white sand dunes would have to be the time when we lost our direction (no kidding because we wondered out too far and every direction looked the same to us, so we can’t find our way back, also because we were already tired of walking) and our intuitive driver sent an ATV to our rescue. So, in the end, my sister and I got to ride on the ATV for free thanks to our episode! Wee…lucky us!
Erika at the white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam - travel bucket list, checked!
The white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam
The Lotus Lake in the background of the white sand dunes
Fun activity - rent and ride an ATV at the white sand dunes of Mui Ne
The wondering traveller...who got lost at the white sand dunes and was rescued by a man on the ATV! :-P
The paved road to the white sand dunes, Mui Ne
Red Sand Dunes
After spending a whole lot of time at the white sand dunes, we hurried off to the red sand dunes of Mui Ne to catch the sunset. Unlike the white sand dunes, admission to the red sand dunes is free of charge. The red sand dunes cover a smaller area as compared to the white sand dunes, and are located by the coast of Mui Ne, Vietnam. In fact, we passed it on our way to the white sand dunes, but decided to visit it later for the sunset.
In contrast, the sand particles in which the red dunes are made of are soft and smooth, just like the texture of flour. It was enjoyable to walk barefooted on the red sand dunes. I could just roll over it but that will soil my dress, so the thought was dismissed. The red sand dunes are a popular spot for picnics and watching the sunset thanks to its picturesque view.
Wasting no time, my sister and I explored the area and took several memorable photographs. Then, we sat down and enjoyed the beautiful sunset overlooking the sea and the red sand dunes before making our way back to the jeep parked on the opposite of the road. From there, we made our way back to the guesthouse.
Erika at the red sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam - travel bucket list, checked!
The undisturbed part of the red sand dunes, Mui Ne
The red sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam
Sunset at the red sand dunes, Mui Ne
"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints." - Chief Seattle
Up next: Buying bus tickets back to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) city, a simple Vietnamese dinner and our last day in Mui Ne