Mui Ne (Phan Thiet)

Cute little town surrounded by beach resorts and sand dunes, Mui Ne was our first stop after Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on our way up north. We traveled from a city to an other using Futa bus, which was cosy and felt safe. In Mui Ne we booked 2 nights in real chill hotel (our rooms were actually tents!) located directly on the beach, promise of a really happy hippy vibe. It didn’t disappoint. The crowd of backpackers in their 20’s makes the place really lively and fun to hang around. Although I have to say I haven’t found anything exciting to do outside of the resort. The dunes are somehow entertaining for an hour, but generally packed with tourists. It is still a good stop to make if you intend to relax and get a tan, but nothing you haven’t seen before.

Police control & corruption 

On our first morning in town, my travel bud’ Francis and I rented a motorbike to reach the sand dunes without a tour. Big mistake: F only holds on a Canadian driving licence (not an international one)- which we tought was fine – until we got controlled by policemen on our way back to the hotel. Corrupted to the bones, their deal was clear: either they kept our motorbike for a week – either they get 1 million dong ($60CAD$) out of our pockets and let us go free. I played cute-dumb hard enough to make them drop their price in half, and long enough for a miracle to happen. Indeed, an other driver got pulled over and got all of the officers attention, resulting by us leaving without paying a single dong. I’ve found out later that the town has a really bad reputation for police control, which doesn’t really happen anywhere else in Vietnam. Pro tips : If police officers wave at you for a control, you might just want to keep driving straight and pretend you haven’t seen them… worked well for my friend.

Scam to avoid : Our hotel staff told us it was impossible find a bus to Hoi An leaving the next morning. We really wanted to leave on that day so we went to town and tried the travel agencies along the street. Turned out they all had seats to offer us. Was the hotel trying to keep us an extra night $? Who knows!

recommended hotel : LongSon Mui Ne beach Resort – Very good location (directly on the beach) / food / bars / good vibes. Private rooms, dorms or tents.