a VirtualTourist member from Singapore
do you need a 4WD to checkout the sand dunes
Sand dunes in Phan Thiet were a big disappointment. I only saw sand with patches of weeds scattered everywhere. Didn't even bother taking one photo. We drove around the dunes looking for the picturesque views in the tourism photos and couldn't find it. Maybe it's somewhere but we couldn't find it and no one could give us directions to it. Not sure if you can even rent a 4WD anywhere in the country. The only thing I can say about Pha Thiet (Mui Ne) is the seafood was fresh, but it's fresh most anywhere in Vietnam. Beaches were a disappointment as well. Water was dirty and beach sand was full of sharp seashells. And that was along the main hotel and boutique hotel side. I went there several times and the beach boutique hotels we stayed at were very beautiful and well maintained. We stayed at the Cham Villa, the Bamboo Village and a couple others I can't recall. Each had very good accomodations. We did see a Cham temple and parasailing service. I hope you have a better experience and can let us know your opinion.
We were in Mui Ne in February 08. Although we are coming from a land which does not lack sand and sand dunes (Israel), we did enjoy the red sand dunes of Mui Ne.
The sand dunes are easily accessible on foot from a point on the main road. You can reach this departure point by public bus, xe om (motorbike taxi) or regular taxi; there is no need for a 4WD vehicle.
Try to time your visit towards sunset, it's very pretty then. Part of the scene is also the columns of visitors (locals and tourists alike) trudging along the dunes like columns of ants, with long shadows under the setting sun. You can watch the video I uploaded (Phan Thiet page). I'll upload some photos as well later today.
If you want solitude, don't come at sunset but at sunrise: it's supposed to be very pretty, with hardly any tourists then!
Have a good trip,
Now I have to go back and finally find these red sand dunes. We drove in by car circles looking for them during the day between noon and 2pm.
We were in Mui Ne a couple years ago and stayed at the Mui Ne Beach Resort. Very nice pool and flower gardens. Great outside open restaurant. We did go see the yellow sandunes "YELLOW" never saw any red sandunes? There were a couple young kids there that wanted you to rent there plastic sleds. This was very close to a small fishing resort. Everything was picture taking beautiful!!!!