Patterns in sand on Red Sand Dunes.

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Sand Dunes

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is famous for its enormous red and white sand dunes. The 'red dunes' (doi hong) are conveniently located north of the main strip, but the 'white dunes' (doi cat trang), 24km northeast, are the more impressive – the near-constant oceanic winds sculpt the pale-yellow sands into wonderful Saharaesque formations. But as this is Vietnam (not deepest Mali) there's little chance of experiencing the silence of the desert.

Prepare yourself for the hard sell as children press you to hire a plastic sledge to ride the dunes. Unless you're very light, it can be tricky to travel for more than a few metres this way.

Quad bikes and dune buggies also destroy the peace. Expect some litter, too; periodically there's a clean-up, but the tide of plastic keeps returning.

If you're booking a sand dune tour be careful to agree on an itinerary, preferably in writing. We hear complaints, particularly about ‘sunset tours’ that are cut short with the sun high in the sky.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mui Ne attractions

1. Fairy Spring

14.16 MILES

This stream flows through a patch of dunes and past some interesting sand and rock formations. It’s a pleasant walk wading from the sea up the creek to…

2. Market

14.72 MILES

Mui Ne's main market is a traditional nontouristy affair where locals shop for food and essentials.

3. Hoi Tinh Pagoda

15.09 MILES

This Buddhist pagoda is above the road on the eastern end of the Mui Ne strip.

5. Fishing Village Museum

20.04 MILES

This new attraction is dedicated to the fishing industry in the Mui Ne and Phan Thiet region, and has 14 interactive exhibits depicting its 300-year…

6. Po Shanu Cham Towers

21.28 MILES

Around 6km west of Mui Ne, these Cham towers occupy a hillside with sweeping views of nearby Phan Thiet and a cemetery filled with candy-like tombstones…

7. Van Thuy Tu Temple

24.47 MILES

Vietnam's whale-worship cult is thought to have originated in early Cham times. Fishing communities in southern Vietnam revere whales as near-divine…