The sand dunes in Mui Ne are one of its biggest attractions. Most tours will offer the ride to the Fairy Stream, Fishing Village, White Sand Dunes and Red Sand Dunes at sunrise (4-5 a.m. start) or sunset (1-2 p.m. start). We booked ours with our hostel for 5 USD as long as six people signed up. It comes with a small water bottle and Saigon beer.
We opted for the sunset tour because we didn't want to wake up early. Our tour started at 1:20 p.m. and lasted until sunset. When we went, it was quite busy. Our jeep was overpacked since it can only hold six people, but we had nine people that day.
If your accommodation doesn't offer the tour, many tour agencies will offer this package for around 7 USD.
Fairy Stream (1 hour)
At first, you'll be extremely confused when they drop you off here. You'll need to head down the stairs and you'll see a stream. Walk down the muddy stream for about a kilometre, and you'll understand why it's a worthwhile visit.
Along the way, you'll see a an ostrich ride farm (which I don't condone) and a restaurant. Keep going and you'll start to see beautiful red and white cliffs. The contrast is quite beautiful, especially on a clear day with the blue sky.
If you keep going, you'll end up at a small waterfall. We never saw it, but we heard it was underwhelming.
Fishing Village (10 minutes)
The fishing village is the next stop, and it's quite a short one. You don't really need more than a few minutes there. You'll see the village from the top of the stairs, which offers the best view. If you head down the stairs to the shore, you won't be able to see as much.
The boats are quite colourful and it's interesting to see the tubs that the fisherman use.
White Sand Dunes (40 minutes)
The white sand dunes are about 30 minutes from the city. Once you get there, you'll need to pay an entrance fee of 10,000 dong. You'll have the option of renting a jeep or quad. The jeep costs 500,000-600,000 for the whole jeep which can fit 5-6 people. The quad costs 300,000 total, which fits two people.
We didn't bother with either of these options and just decided to walk up the sand dunes. It doesn't take too long to walk up and you still get the view!
However, if you're up for it, we heard the quad was quite fun. Just be careful, since it sometimes flips over.
Red Sand Dunes (Until sunset)
The red sand dunes are closer to town, so it's more popular. The moment we arrived, we were bombarded by children asking if we want to rent a thin, plastic toboggan from them. The toboggans aren't that great, since it's hard to slide down if you're not super light. We watched a few people only get halfway down the dune.
The dunes aren't exactly red in colouring like the Fairy Stream. It's more of a light orange colour. The red dunes are also more crowded, since there's tons of locals walking around the dunes trying to get you to rent a toboggan.
- You don't get too much time at each attraction, but I personally found it to be enough. We read reviews where people wanted more time to explore. So if you do like to take your time at the attractions, it might be better to rent a taxi, a private tour or ride a motorbike there.
- Purchasing the tour with a hostel is actually quite nice since you'll get to meet people you're staying with. Even if you're not staying at a hostel, it's a great way to meet like-minded people.
- We got our water bottle and beer at the end of the tour, which seemed a little weird. It definitely seemed better to get the water before you leave, since it's hot on the dunes.