Welcome to Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam. Here you can enjoy the finest weather in Vietnam (Mui Ne has the lowest annual rainfall in the entire country). Enjoy fine dining or local street food. Spend an exciting day of windsurfing or a reclusive morning at the White Sand Dunes. Shop at the Mui Ne Village Markets for cheap clothing and local produce, or visit the Phan thiet City to shop for traditional Vietnamese arts and crafts.
Mui Ne Beach and the surrounding Binh Thuan province have everything to offer. We have beautiful tropical beaches lined with groves of swaying palm trees; immense saharan sand dunes meandering for kilometers through colors of red, yellow and white. We have winding rivers teeming with fresh fish and crabs; tall mountains with bamboo rainforests and pristine waterfalls. There are deep red canyons parted by twisting streams and echoed by the sounds of tropical birds... we have everything you could ever want.
Mui Ne is quickly becoming known as the kiteboarding and windsurfing capitol of Vietnam. Likewise, neighboring Phan Thiet has one of the finest golf courses in the country. Development continues on a number of new and exciting venues for the area as well.
Mui Ne is a relatively new community. Phan Thiet is said to be less than 100 years old. In contrast, much of the resort areas of Mui Ne are less than 5 years old. Mui Ne is relatively "undiscovered" and is much more relaxed than other costal areas in Vietnam, and perhaps the friendliest. You won't be pestered by street venders here.
However you spend your vacation, you will find it to be one of the most relaxing yet memorable yet. Come to the friendliest beach in Vietnam.
Flora and Fauna
At the beach itself you will not find a lot of wildlife. However, in the dunes are a variety of birds, snakes, lizards, insects, frogs and crabs. Of note are the giant milipedes and cobras! the Fairy Springs offers a glimps of wild flowers, butterflies, freshwater fish and crabs. At the water's edge, you can watch fishermen pull in their nets full of squid, octopus, cuddle fish, jellifish, fish, crabs, and on rare occasions, sea snakes.
History, Culture and Economy
Mui Ne means "sheltered peninsula," and indeed, is used as a seasonal harbor by local fisherman.This area was previous occupied by the Cham Kingdom, as testified to by the Cham Towers overlooking Phan Thiet. The towers were built in the 8th century to worship Shiva, and are said to be among the oldest in Vietnam. Beside these three towers, there was once a temple, but it has been buried in the ground for more than 300 years. There is now a modern pagoda beside them. Inside the main tower is an altar, on which a couple of Liga-Yoni sit. In Binh Thuan Province (where Mui Ne is situated) in 1306, King Tran Nhan Tong agreed to the marriage of princess Huyen Chan to King Jaya Sinhavarman III of the Cham Kingdom. The area is rich in local lore and superstition, with many stories of ghosts, fairies, local gods, monsters, magic and miracles, both ancient and recent.
In 1692, Nguyen Phuc Chu captured the area and named it Binh Thuan Dinh. The city of Phan Thiet is very new however, and the modern occupation of this area is only within the last century. Phan Thiet is the provincial capitol, and Mui Ne is more or less a suburb.
The Lonely Planet Travel Guide states that during the French colonial period, Europeans lived in a segregated area North of the Ca Ti River (Phan Thiet River), while Vietnamese, Cham, Southern Chinese, Malaysians and Indonesians lived on the southern side. We have not independently verified this information yet. While certainly individuals still remain or have immigrated recently from these groups (particularly Cham and Chinese) and others, there are not currently any ghettos or active minority communities within Phan Thiet. However, just outside the city there are several little-known ethnic minority villages.
Binh Thuan province has 27 ethnic groups living together, including Kin, Cham, K'ho, Rai, Chan Ro, Nung, Tay. Minority peoples total nearly 76,000 persons and account for over 7% of the province's population. The ethnic minority people mainly inhabit 15 separate communes and 20 mixed villages. Eleven of the fifteen are mountainous groups with 2,669 households and 14,044 persons, and the remaining four are Cham with 3,623 households and 20,714 persons.
The ethnic K'ho, Rai and Chan Ro today carry out intensive farming. The average family works 1.5 ha Crops also include cashew, rubber trees, coffee, mango, lichee, orange, lemon, banana and dragon fruit. Binh Thuan has 6,500 ha of wet rice fields, 1,000 ha of corn fields and 3,000 ha of orchards. The electronic age has come to Vietnam's minorities as well. Among the minority groups, 68% of the households having radios and televisions.
Ho Chi Minh spent a year in neighboring Phan Thiet City. Duc Thanh School, cultural and historical relic, situated at Number 39, Trung Nhi Street, was built in 1907. In 1910, teacher Nguyen Tat Thanh (later President Ho Chi Minh) stayed and taught at Duc Thanh School for one year. Presently, the School has preserved many objects that relate to the life of life of Ho Chi Minh, such as a writing table, an ink-slab, and a wooden bed. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is next door.
Several military installations have existed throughout the province, inluding those at Thap Cham (the Prince's Castle) as well as a nearby hill, Whiskey Moutnain, LZ Judy near Muong Man, and the largest; the LZ Betty, held first by the French, later the Americans during the recent war. The LZ Betty was located on the bluffs SouthWest of Phan Thiet near present Ganh Son. There was an active air field at the base. LZ Betty was attacked during the Tet Offensive, and later a large battle was waged at the base on May 3 (See Our Links section for more information).
The city of Phan Thiet is the provincial capitol of Binh Thuan, with an estimated population of nearly 100,000 people. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1998 and was officially upgraded from a town to a city in 1999. Phan Thiet is situated between mountains, rivers, sand dunes and the ocean. It has the lowest annual rainfall of just about anywhere in the country and a true desert region. Due to the low rainfall and cool ocean breezes, Mui Ne has some of the best weather in all of SE Asia. Mui Ne is just "over the ridge" from Phan Thiet, locked behind the sand dunes and pressed up against the sea.
The local economy depends upon Fishing (and most notably fish sauce or "nuoc mam"), agriculture (mostly green dragon fruit), and tourism. In what it does, it excels! Binh Thuan province is the world capitol of dragon fruit, produces the country's most prized fish sauce, and has 70% of the country's total resorts sitting on its beaches. According to local statistics, nearly 100 different varieties of fish are harvested here with an annual yield of more than 70,000 tons. Phan Thiet also produces about 16-17 million liters of fish sauce each year. Products are shipped not only around Vietnam, but throughout Asia, and may even find their way to your home country. Salt is also an important product (you can see may salt fields in Phan Thiet and South of Khe Ga). You'll find prices much cheaper than Siagon or Nha Trang here. People are also much more poor in this area.
On October 24, 1995, thousands rushed to Phan Thiet and Mui Ne, after scientists announced Binh Thuan would be the only place in Vietnam where people can perfectly observe a full solar eclipse. It is said that this is the day the tourist industry in Binh Thuan began. On the tenth anniversary of this event the "Binh Thuan Tourism Festival" was born.
Mui Ne and Phan Thiet are quickly developing. All the resorts and restaurants in Mui Ne are less than 10 years old. Mui Ne Bay is quickly becoming a new mecha for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts in South East Asia. With perfect weather, lots of sunshine and wind year-round, Mui Ne Bay is perhaps the best spot for kiting in the region. There are a number of new and exciting projects in development that will change not only this area permanently, but will also benefit the entire country and this region. Stay tuned to this website to learn about these projects.
Kite boarding & Windsurfing in Mui Ne Bay
Mui Ne is quickly becoming a South East Asian Mecca for kite boarding and windsurfing. Mui Ne has the best conditions in all of Asia for water sports because it has Asia's strongest and most consistent cross-onshore winds and the lowest rainfall in Vietnam. Every day is a perfect day. You may ask why you haven't heard of it, if it's so great? The reason is the tourism industry has only existed for about 10 years in this province. The development is new, and this best-kept secret has only just been discovered.
The area is often referred to by the water sports industry as "Mui Ne Bay," although the bay is more correctly the "Bay of Phan Thiet" (Phan Thiet is the provincial capital of Binh Thuan Province and lies in the center of the bay). Depths in the bay are irregular, and a bank with depths of less than 5.5 m, extends 1.5 miles west of Mui Ne. The true name of Mui Ne Beach is actually "Rang" but the tourist industry refers to it as Mui Ne, after the village on the point.
There are currently 4 certified Kitesurfing schools* at Mui Ne, and the competition is fierce. Resorts have taken note of the popularity of the sport, and new teaching centers are bound to pop up all over the beach. Just a few years ago you might see just a couple of kites and sails on the water during an afternoon. These days it can be quite a spectacle.
Mui Ne Kite Centers
Airwaves KiteboardingAirwaves. Australians Campbell and Tricia Derrick opened Airwaves Kitesurfing and Water sports in 2002. Campbell is a certified IKO Kitesurf instructor and AYF windsurf instructor. Airwaves offers kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, surfing and water skiing. Airwaves is located at The Sailing Club Resort, near Good Morning Vietnam Restaurant.
SIK Center KiteboardingS.I.K. Center. The S.I.K. Center is operated by Skatoor and Louis Rouaze at the Sunshine Beach Resort and was opened in 2004. Skatoor also teaches in The Hamptons, New York. Skatoor is a Naish-Sponsored Master Instructor and K.I.S.S. certified. The center offers surfing or kitesurfing and is conveniently located near the Coco Internet Cafe and both Hanh Cafe and TM Brothers tour companies.
Wind Chimes KiteboardingWind Chimes. Wind Chimes was opened by Trang Tran in 2004, and is located at the Saigon-Mui Ne Resort in central Mui Ne Beach, as well as the Swiss Village and Pandanus Resort at Suoi Hong . Trang's background in wind sports includes 17 years windsurfing and 4 years kiteboarding. He was the first instructor teaching in Mui Ne, in 2002. Trang has been a PASA certified instructor since 2004. Trang's partner Tien is IKO certified. Both are Vietnamese Americans and use both foreign and Vietnamese instructors.
Jibes KiteboardingJibes/Full Moon Beach. Jibes opened in 2001 and is first and the best known Kitesurfing school in Mui Ne. Jibes and Full Moon Beach Resort are owned by Frenchmen Pascal Lefebvre and his wife, and have appeared in numerous articles in Vietnam and internationally. Jibes was the first real bar on the beach and thus drew the backpacker crowd. The Full Moon Beach Kitesurfing school is IKO certified, and boasts that its instructors can teach in nine languages. Jibes is famous for the annual Kiteboarding-Windsurfing Vietnam Fun Cup competition held at the club. The center offers a variety of water sports and is conveniently located near the Coco Internet Cafe and both Hanh Cafe and TM Brothers tour companies.
*A fifth school now operates at the Tropico (Rach Dua) Resort, catering mainly to Russians.
A Note on Safety & Mui Ne Conditions
Medical Emergencies. The nearest hospital is in Phan Thiet, which is about 20 minutes from Mui Ne. Keep in mind, the further away you go to play, the further you are from medical facilities. There are no medical airlifts or speedboats. Kite centers may not have insurance or adequate first aid supplies and training. Don't assume you "they got you covered." Ask questions before you sign up! Serious injuries do happen here.
Swimming. Unfortunately some water sports enthusiasts are careless and ignore the safety of swimmers. Swimmers should not assume that kitesurfers can see or avoid them. Stay clear of launch and landing areas for your own safety. The best time to swim is early hours of the morning or early evening (usually when there are no windsurfers or kiteboarders in the water).
Caution: It should be noted that Mui Ne is otherwise a very safe beach for watersports. However, some other out-of-the-way beaches in this province, that are being recommeded by certain tour companies, are not safe for certain types of activity. An area near Khe Ga island is reported to be mined. Visitors should also not wander in the bush or canyons at the abondoned airstrip (the LZ Betty) on the way to Khe Ga, as it is known to contain unexploded ordnances and quicksand. Ganh Beach (near Mui Ne Village) has notoriously strong rip currents. Phu Quy Island is dangerous for water sports due to coral reefs, shallow water, and high populations of sharks.