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Mui Ne is Vietnam's Premier
Looking north from Pandanus Resort
Beach Resort Destination
View the summer and all-inclusive packages for Pandanus Resort.
New Guidebooks for Vietnam,
Cambodia and Thailand
The owner of MuiNeBeach.net has personally updated and contributed essays to the following new guidebooks for Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Order them now on Amazon.com for your vacation in Southeast Asia!
A New Restaurant in Town!
Welcome to The Buttered Monkey, your restaurant for home-cooked meals with heart, and a good sense of humor. We are open from 8am till midnight and serve fresh seafood, sandwiches, spagetti, and a large variety of special delights. We serve carnivores and vegetarians! So please come see us, and bring your appetite! We are located at: 81/4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street. Phone: 090.4434.895 (English).
A New Restaurant in Town
16.04.14 Visit the new "A. Quan" restaurant located in Phan Thiet City for popular noodle dishes including Bun Bo Hue (Hue-style Beef Noodles) and Bun Thit Nuong (BBQ Pork with spicy noodles)!
CNN Features Binh Thuan's Phu Quy Island
15.03.14 In an article this week titled “9 top beach resorts in the South China Sea” CNN Travel’s Adam Bray listed Phu Quy Island among the great island resort destinations of China's South Sea. Although the Spratlys and Paracel Islands at the centre of the small ocean are largely controlled by China, many islands off the coast of Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines remain safe and exotic holiday destinations. Phu Quy Island is reachable by a 5-hour ferry ride from Phan Thiet port and suitable for short getaways.
Work in Mui Ne
01.03.14 People are facing high unemployment going into 2013, living in the and around HCM City. Why not live and work on the beach in the best weather in Vietnam, in what has rapidly become the Resort Capital of Vietnam? Mui Ne has a drastic continuing shortage of staff at all levels, from gardening and cleaning through office management. English-speaking or not does not matter; trained or untrained. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dragon Dancing at this week's
Nghinh Ong Festival in Phan Thiet.
See more Nghinh Ong photos at our blog
21.08.13 Mui Ne will be hosting its first International Balloon Festival from August 29 - September 3. The government-sponsored event commemorations National Day on September 2, when Communist Hanoi first declared Independence. The festival will take place beside Sealinks Golf Course. We presume the festival is open to the public, but in the past most new government-organized festivals have been for VIPs only. The event is advertised to include hot-air balloons from 20 participating countries, with races, rides and shows each day.
Phan Thiet will be hosting its famous Nghinh Ong – Quan Thanh Festival from September 4-6. The festival occurs once every two years and blends traditions of local Vietnamese whale-worshipping cults and ethnic Chinese culture. Most festivities are held downtown in the vicinity of the central market. The first day usually includes dragon and lion dancing at the Quan Thanh temple. The second day normally features martial arts shows at various Chinese assembly halls around the market. Day 3 concludes with a grand parade around the city. More than 1000 participants march in costume, with lion and dragon dancing, traditional music, drama, stilt-walkers, martial arts, and concluding the largest Ky Lan dance in Southeast Asia. Visitors are advised to show up early each day (7am) so as not to miss the show (unless instructed otherwise). Find more information about the festival in our Culture Section and Festivals Page. Schedules often change without notice—check with your hotel for confirmation on times and places.
New Cultural Performances at Cham Towers
16.06.13 The local government has announced that beginning today, there will be daily performances at the Thap Po Sha Nu Cham Temple (towers). Performances will be held 6-8 times each day, for a duration of 45 minutes for each performance. The type of performance has not been specified, although we expect it will be some sort of costumed song-and-dance show. An outdoor performance area with covered roof has been constructed, at a stated cost of US$14,000, and apparently seats 200 guests. It's a rather ambitious new program, particularly to begin during the rainy season (low tourism season) but a welcome new attraction, presuming it gets off the ground.
Mui Ne: Explore Off The Beach
Dueling Mudskippers have a kissing fight in the shallows of the Phan Thiet River. At low tide the small fish crawl around on the shore and defend their mating territory on dry land.
06.06.13 Phan Thiet City's Ham Tien Ward, known to tourism as "Mui Ne," is well known for its vast, Saharan dunes and white, sandy beach, peppered with Saigon expats, wealthy Vietnamese, kiteboarding backpackers and herds of Russian tourists. There's no mystery why Mui Ne Beach (the traditional name of the beach itself is actually "Rang") has drawn so much attention. Mui Ne has the driest climate and the sunniest weather in the country—which not only draws lots of tourist but also generates strong afternoon winds as cool ocean air moves across the hot sands—creating perfect conditions for water sports. The ideal climate has made Mui Ne one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the country and sheltered it from the depressed world economy that has caused tourism slumps in other parts of Vietnam.
While the beach is certain splendid, the kiteboarding is heart-pounding, and watching Russians frolicking in their unusual beach attire can be amusing, these things have all distracted visitors from the treasures beyond the beach. Mui Ne's greatest assets include its culinary delights, ancient temples, ethnic minorities, historical monuments and other very literal "hidden gems."
It's easy to assume, as one stands along Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street and gazes from resort to resort, that the area is void of any indigenous culture. While tourism development has certainly pushed much of the original community to the periphery, numerous villages inhabited by a variety of ethnic minorities are located within one and a half hours drive from Mui Ne.
The 8th century Thap Poshanu Cham Towers in Phu Hai Ward overlook Phan Thiet City, serving both as a southern boundary marker for the ancient Champa kingdom, and a symbol of the modern local Cham community. These are not the only vestiges of the Champa Kingdom in the area however. Somewhere buried in the famous White Sand Dunes north of Mui Ne is a legendary temple that once stood on the shores of Bau Trang, or White Lake.
The Forest Restaurant was the first venue to capitalize on the wealth of Cham heritage in the area, offering nightly live music and dance shows with Cham performers. Now some resorts also offer similar shows. While Cham history and culture is an amazing treasure well worth the attention, it's surprising that the local hill tribes, particularly K'ho, Churu, and Jarai (all living in the foothills north of Phan Thiet) have been entirely overlooked.
Cham temples are not the only notable architecture in the area. Phan Thiet is home to the Van Thuy Thu Temple, devoted to a whale-worshipping cult followed by fisherman all along Vietnam's southern coast. Van Thuy Thu is the oldest remaining temple in the religion, built in 1762, and houses a whale skeleton measuring 22 meters long, along with more than 100 other whale and dolphin specimens worshipped by local fishermen.
Phan Thiet also has a few monuments with national political significance. Ho Chi Minh himself taught at the Duc Thanh School by the central market in 1910, before "finding the road to national salvation." Across the Ca Ty River, the Phan Thiet Water Tower, symbol of the city, was built by the "Red Prince" Souphanouvong of Laos in the 1930's. He later became the first president of Laos under the present communist government.
A true measure of a modern, thriving culture, however, is undoubtedly its food rather than historic architecture. Before the onslaught of tourism development, locals who didn't subsist on fishing instead raised goats. For that reason, goat hot pot (lau de), and even more delicious—grilled goat (de nuong) dipped in stinky tofu sauce, are local specialties. A number of restaurants serving these dished are located East of Rang Market in Mui Ne. Another local specialty, banh canh, is a tasty soup served with thick rice noodles bathed in a light broth and topped off with sliced, fried fish patties and boiled quail eggs. It's a dish normally sold on the curbsides of rural neighborhoods in the evenings.
Within Phan Thiet, it's no surprise that seafood is popular, particularly grilled clams with onions and pork rinds, grilled shrimp on skewers, and lau hai san (seafood hotpot). Tuyen Quang Street is national famous for its banh xeo restaurants, serving seafood pancakes in a tasty broth of nuoc cham. Phan Thiet is famous for its food products: dragon fruit, nuoc mam (fish sauce), and plentiful seafood.
Next time you come to Mui Ne, by all means—enjoy the glorious beach. But if you have some extra time to break away from the area's luxurious resorts, you'll discover why Mui Ne and the greater Phan Thiet city deserves to be included among Vietnam's truly great destinations.
Read more: Mui Ne News.