Things To Do In Mui Ne
Red Sand Dunes:
White Sand Dunes:
Restaurants & Cafes:
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Yeah!!! I was thrilled to learn about the Vietnam Sand Dunes in Mui Ne. At first, I thought it would be a small portion of the land which will be covered with sand. But, my thought soon vanished when I reached the place. I booked a trip from my hostel, it was an early morning trip as I wanted to watch a sunrise. The cab or jeep was historical in itself. The vehicle model was pretty vintage. The thrill of sitting on such a vehicle is something. I sat in the front & out journey to the sand dunes started. The driver had to pick a couple from a hotel. However, there was a huge miscommunication & we lost valuable time. It was 5:45 am & we were yet to start from the place. Finally, we were able to find the couple & started our journey. The sun was ready to break the shatters & sun in full flow. We could see light taking its course from the far. We rode till 40 mins before we took a left turn to the site. The red sand was just in front of us.
Red Sand covered the place for miles it seems. The light has totally muscled the darkness. However, the sun was yet to come out of the horizon. But, we have to walk to the hill to watch the beautiful sunrise. The distance itself was about 1 Km. First time in my life I touched the sand dunes with my bare foot. The softness of the sand can only be experienced & one more thing I experienced was walking on the sand which is a tough job. The power to climb the small hills is tough. After a difficult walk of 10 to 15 mins. I realized that walking on the already made path by other people is a better option than walking on a new path. So, I tried to walk on the footprints left by the other people. So, at least for this particular instance, the quote which states travel the untraveled route was not true :D. I continued walking & soon reached a relatively high point compared to the landscape. And just in the time, I was able to witness the sun shining fully. The image of sunrise is one of the beautiful sites one can ever imagine. Further, the location added to the beauty of the place. The redness of the sand can now be felt & its color was only getting bright. I sat there silently & enjoyed the view. I clicked few photos but I mostly sat quietly at the place & enjoyed the sceneries. After watching the sunrise, it was time to head back to the other points.
Red sand dunes are the prime attraction of the place. After that, we headed towards the white sand dunes, it got its name due to its color. No guessing required here. The place is not as big as red sand dunes. But, one thing is worth remembering which both these places are located a few km’s apart. So, one can say that nature has its way of showing magic & saying, Humans, you still need to grow. After the white sand dunes, it was time for the fairy stream. A walk over the flowing water, first I thought that it would be only for few meters only. But, once I started walking it took at least half an hour to reach the end of the stream. The stream crossed several beautiful places. It might seem childish at first to walk on the stream. However, after a few meters, you will start to enjoy it. The constant tickles of the water & beautiful surrounding landscapes add to the beauty of the place. After all these activities, I felt walking on stream & watching a sunrise from the red sand dunes are the things worth doing while staying in Mui Ne.
I only stayed here for one night, hence I can’t write much about it. However, like every coastal city, there are hardly any pubs or clubs here. But, one thing that keeps night happening is the live music. The restro on the beach, where people sit & enjoy the music in slow music. Live music in an open area has its charm, especially in the place like this where the city gets silent at 8 or 9 pm. These bars are the best options available to the tourists. Apart from these experience, there is nothing much to do. I went to one place, which had beach access & live music. The guy who was singing was perfect in his art. The songs he chose were of the best qualities & I enjoyed the place.
Sandy beaches don’t have much of a say here. As most part of the coastline is covered with concrete. However, there are few patches of sandy beaches which can be accessed by anyone. It is worth noting that most of the sandy beach has private access. The water is muddy & maybe not appropriate for a dip. But, don’t get disheartened as there are other places where one can swim.
Mui Ne is one of the towns which is perfect to relax. No rush, not crowded & coastline. A perfect getaway from the hustling & bustling city like Ho Chi Minh. The calmness in the air is much appreciated. This was my experience of the place.
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Safety of the place is a concern before traveling to a new place. If the place is not safe one is reluctant to travel to that place. For eg. Lots of people conveyed to me that Vietnam is not safe for the solo tourist. So, I wanted to check this fact, Hence I decided to write a post on Is Ho Chi Minh Safe for solo traveling?
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh is basically a safe destination for the tourists. There are hardly any violent activities against the tourists. However, there are few points which should be engraved in the mind before traveling to Ho Chi Minh. Some of these are as follows:
The most common form of crime is snatching. However, the account of such incidents is fairly on a lower side compared to some of the other Vietnam cities. Ho Chi Minh is one of those cities which is pretty safe to travel to. But, there are few such incidents hence one needs to be careful.
Taxi or motorbike taxis are common forms of commutation in Ho Chi Minh. It has been observed the driver tries to ask for a higher price than the actual price; if the price is not pre-registered. This happens is most of the travel. I would recommend to fix the price first & then start your journey or go by meter. Apart from this, there is one app “Grab” which is kind of uber of Vietnam & can be used for commutation.
Parties often run till late hours & when one is drunk & with little conscious. It is hard to maintain a stable condition. Sometimes the situation goes out of the hand & it is very obvious that people will support locals compared to the tourists. Thus, the best would be to follow the rule & avoid any mishaps. If you are getting the feeling that something bad will happen then best would be to avoid the situation & move ahead. Don’t try to fight back until & unless it is a must. But, these incidents are very rare still worth remembering.
These are some of the things one should be kept in mind while traveling to Ho Chi Minh for being safe. As being safe is the most important part of solo traveling.
This was my first time in Vietnam. I was nervous at the start of the trip as many people asked me about the safety in the city & I was like why there is so much ambiguity about the city’s safety, as I have had not heard anything ill about the place. For me, Ho Chi Minh city was perfectly safe (touchwood). I traveled by public transport & strolled at the night in not so lively streets surrounded by supporting people. The best way to have a smiling face & greet everyone. This has worked perfectly with me in all my travels & I hope it remains so for the future endeavor as well.
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam & managing activities is often necessary to fully utilize the time. As people usually visit one place for one time (until & unless is worth going again & again), thus shortlisting the activities is important. To cater to this need, here is the guide to THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH.
The following activities are based on my experience & my knowledge; if someone differs it’s totally cool.
The foremost activity in Ho Chi Minh is surely the Cu Chi Tunnels. If you wanna taste the conditions during the war & what all it takes to fight a war. Then, this place is perfect. The tunnels are engineering marvel & should be on the list of every traveler visiting Ho Chi Minh. A half day tour to this place is worth visiting & if you have enough braveness in you; do try crawling in the tunnels I bet it will surprise you beyond your expectations. Click here to know more about Cu Chi Tunnels.
Vietnam has to suffer a lot due to invasions from the western countries. At one point during the time they were struggling to stay afloat. However, with the focused mission, the people of Vietnam were able to overcome one of the mightiest powers of the world. But, every war has its side effects & it is the people who feel them. War Remnant is one such museum which will present the war. I personally was emotional while walking through the sections. I would recommend visiting this place to get the feel of the war.
South Vietnam was ruled by Republican party while North Vietnam was ruled by a communist party. The war was raged due to the difference in the ideologies of the two groups. Reunification Palace or Independence palace was the place for the president of South Vietnam. While proving the dominance over the population North Vietnamese crashed the gates of this Palace to put the final nail on the coffin. The tank is still placed in the garden & is a major tourist attraction.
One of the architectural attractions of the city is the Cathedral Notre dam which is a copy of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. However, the version is a bit minuscule in front of the real Notre Dam. Just adjacent to this place is National Post Office of Ho Chi Minh. One of the oldest post offices, which is still functional. If you want to fancy to send a post to any part of the world. This is your place. A great place for a half day tour.
Ben Thanh Market is probably the most visited market in the Ho Chi Minh city. A place which holds hundreds of shops is a place to go for a local shopping. There are shops for literary everything. The market is open even in the night & night shopping is one of the activities promoted by the local people. Along the market, there is a small street to comfort your tasting buds. A street food market. The variety of foods & tastes are explicit. A haven for the foodies a must place to visit.
A vibrant place for the young souls. This place is a must visit for parties. Based on the theme of Khao San Road in Bangkok. On either side of the road, there are numbers of restaurants, bars, pubs & what not. A place which starts to party at 11 pm at night. Get your dancing shoes on & visit this evergreen street.
Ho Chi Minh is in love affair with coffees. Coffees are sold at every corner or literary at every shop. There are tons of shops with varieties in the taste. Once in Ho Chi Minh tasting a coffee is often essential. Do try some of the best coffee shops & sip your worries away ;).
These are a bit luxurious outing for the most. Climbing to the top of the building & enjoying few drinks during the evening is one of the most done activities by the travelers. If you have enough cash in hand. This activity should be on your list.
These are some of the things to do in Ho Chi Minh from Mark My Adventure to help you plan your trip in a better way. Apart from the above-mentioned activities, one can also try Mekong Delta which is at some distance from Ho Chi Minh (roughly 5 hours journey).
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Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the major attraction in Ho Chi Minh city. It is a half day tour & is must visit place. These tiny tunnels were used by Vietnamese forces to tame down American forces. A complex network of tunnels running across 250 Km underground is an engineering marvel of those times. Currently, only 100 Mt long route is open for the tourists, which are made taller & wider deliberately to accommodate tourists. Here is the guide to this fascinating place “Cu Chi Tunnels”. It is astonishing to even imagine that at one point of time whole community used to reside below the earth. There were rooms for kitchen, bedroom etc & all these below the earth surface. Therefore, it became much more important to visit this place.
Cu Chi Tunnels is located some 40 odd km from Ho Chi Minh city. The best way to reach this place is through a tour agency or via self-driving motorbike. I chose to take the option of tour agency as they arranged everything from pick up to drop & a guide. The amount I paid for the services was 1,50,000 VND which was excluding entrance fees which was approx 90,000 VND.
Your guide will take care of everything for you. He will start the tour from the famous entry or lookout point. An opening big enough only to accommodate one person & that too in a particular way. I tried to enter this opening & was successful. However, it is very compact inside & one can’t move freely inside the chamber. This is just one small opening perfectly camouflaged with the leaves & dust. After showing this guide will cover various other points & showing things like booby traps, ventilation techniques (which by the way is brilliant). There is one tank stationed at the site for the tourists. It is said that this tank was left behind by the Amercian forces.
There are also some automated models to show various aspects of people life during the war times. Walking past all these points often take you to the past or more precisely to the war days. It is tough to imagine how Vietnamese force survived in such harsh conditions.
Anyone who is interested in some shooting will be overwhelmed by the fact that there is one shooting range which has guns like AK 47, M-16 & Machine Gun. One just needs to pay for the bullets which is a bit pricey to the liking. However, if you are adventurous enough, you should try it once.
To give the taste of the place, there is one tunnel opened for the tourists. A 100 Mt tunnel constructed little wider & taller to accommodate tourists is open for testing skills. I tried my hand on the same. For the start the path seems to be easy, I could walk with a little bend & after a few meters, the place got narrower & the height reduced. Now I had to sit & walk (one of the toughest part of the route). After 50 meters the going gets tough, I rested quite a few times before I could see the end of the tunnel & after completing this difficult route I could take a sigh of relief.
The moment I saw that pit, I was sure that people of Vietnamese had a very tough time during the war days. It is heartbreaking to see the impact the people have on their lives during such horrendous time. I was stunned to see the model where people used to sleep, a bunker with beds one above the other & all inside the earth. One can only imagine how tough it was during wars.
These tunnels run approx 250 Km & connect to Saigon river on one part. The engineering by the Vietnamese people was surely ahead of its time. Right from using rubber shoes, to ventilating tunnels, provisions for high & low tide & also booby traps. They thought possibly everything which could have impacted their glory. A must place to visit.
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