Mui Ne. Home of the kite surfer. Land of the sand dunes. Food of the sea.
We spent two nights in this coastal beach town catered to kite surfers and Russians. Here and Natrang are where a lot of Russians like to holiday with more people speaking Russian than English. We stayed in a bungalow next to the beach so you could hear the waves at night.
The next day we hired bicycles (as neither of us were feeling confident enough to get mopeds and they were cheaper) to find the sandunes with. There are red and white sandunes with the red being closest but the white being most spectacular. When we asked for a map and directions they said it was a half an hour cycle. Fine, we could do that.
An hour later there were still no sand dunes in sight, and as the bicycles had no gears at all to speak off every slight bump felt like Mount Everest. Eventually and I’m talking closer to 2 hours, we reached the red sand dunes hot and sticky. We haggled a sand board down from 50 000 dong to 10 000 dong as apparently sand boarding is the thing to do here.
Excited at last to reach the sand dunes we started to climb through the sand to reach the ridges. Once at the top we did witness an impressive sight. Sand dunes stretching out in every direction with either forest or ocean bordering them. It was also really quiet so we didn’t have to share the dunes with a lot of other people.
Next it was to test out the board which was a bendy piece of thick plastic with a rope looped through at one end to form a handle. We selected what we thought was a good place to start and Zorro had a go. Or she would of had a go if it actually worked. The sand boarding in a word was disappointing. I managed to go about 2 feet at snails pace. It was not the rush we were expecting. Thoroughly disheartening to have pedalled all this way and knowing we have to go back again! We made the most of it though trying out different techniques and slopes. The funniest thing is trying to get back to the top with the sand board against very strong winds whipping sand everywhere. And if you let go off the board accidently you best run after it or it will be gone before you know it.
The rest of the time in Mui Ne we spent on the beach watching the kite surfers in awe. The waves were so rough I couldn’t even swim in it, and the wind was so consistently strong. But that’s what makes this a top destination for the sport. Some of the excellent surfers were pulling tricks left right and centre it was hard to keep up with the spins, jumps and kicks. A very exciting sport which I would love to try someday but perhaps in calmer conditions.
Next destination was Hoi An, we were skipping Natrang and Dalat to go straight to the central part of Vietnam. It was in an effort to get north before the weather got too bad and also to catch up with friends we left in Laos.