A Tour of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne
Welcome to Mui Ne Beach, the sunniest place in Vietnam! Here you can enjoy fine dining and fresh local seafood; spend an exciting day windsurfing or a reclusive morning at the White Sand Dunes; shop at the Mui Ne Village Markets for cheap clothing, local produce, and traditional crafts; explore ancient ruins of the Champa Kingdom; or have a night on the town in Phan Thiet City.
Mui Ne Beach and the surrounding Binh Thuan province have everything to offer. We have beautiful tropical beaches lined with groves of swaying palm trees; immense saharan dunes meandering through kilometers of red, yellow and white sands. We have winding rivers teeming with fresh fish and crabs; tall mountains with bamboo rainforests and pristine waterfalls. There are deep, red canyons parted by twisting streams and echoed by the sounds of tropical birds... we have everything you could ever want.
Much of the resort areas of Mui Ne are less than 10 years old. Mui Ne is relatively new community and is much more relaxed than other costal areas in Vietnam. It's on of the friendliest spots in the country--and you won't be pestered by touts and scam artists here! However you spend your vacation, you will find it to be one of the most relaxing yet memorable yet.
Banks can issue cash advances on credit cards (Visa and Mastercard). The Industrial and Commerical Bank is next to the Wind Champ Resort (has a 24-hour ATM on site) and the other bank is near the Swiss Village Resort--are usually closed Saturday and Sunday. There's a new 24-hour Vietcom ATM now next to the Saigon Mui Ne Resort. The Industrial and Commercial Bank in Phan Thiet (261 Tran Hung Dao St.) may be open Saturday Mornings. Banks close at 4 or 5 pm. This means that if you arrive in Mui Ne on a Friday, well it sucks to be you. Actually, tour offices like Hanh Cafe can give cash advances for higher rates.
America Dollars are generally accepted in Mui Ne, but you usually get a better bargain using Vietnam Dong. It is nearly impossible to get change for something bigger than a $20 US. Try to carry lots of $10, $5 and $1 bills. The larger the bill--the more it is scrutinized. Counterfeit money is very common in Vietnam. Locally, coins are often not accepted. Merchants prefer paper bills.
There is a small post office in Mui Ne, east of the Ham Tien Market. You are probably better to go to the large post office on
Nguyen Tat Thanh St. in Phan Thiet. It is probably easier to send than receive. Packages received in Vietnam are highly taxed, regardless of the method they are shipped. Fedex is the most "reliable" and fastest method but still leaves a lot to be desired. Fedex will often drop off packages with neighbors or leave them at the provincial post office, rather than the specified address. If you use the postal service to send or receive, your package will be opened and thoroughly inspected. In Vietnam, the post office handles the phone systems, and all public phones are available there. Internet cafes now offer overseas calls as well.
Phan Thiet and Mui Ne have lots of new shops, and more popping up every day. Highlights of shopping here include:
Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
Coconut Cakes (Banh Trung Thu & Banh Dua)
Banana, Sesame and Cashew Candies
Local Produce (especially Dragon Fruit)
Embroidery, Paintings and Lacquer
Cham Textiles (blankets, scarves, hand bags)
Binh Thuan Authentic CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Unique local items (exclusively made in Binh Thuan Province) include Pure Cashew Flower Honey, Wildflower Honey and Coffee Flower Honey; Minority baskets (backpacks) from the K'ho, Rai, Rag Lai and Churu tribes; Cham ethnic costumes, textiles and pottery; Minority language-learning materials, local candies and more!
Souvenirs (General) & Convenience
Kim's Shop 2
53 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
(062) 741-338 Kim's two stylish shops (on either end of the beach) have a broad selection of quality souvenirs and everyday items that every traveler needs like snacks, toiletries and sunscreen.
29 Nguyen Dinh Chieu (062) 741-267 Selling virtually every popular trinket and craft item from all over the country. Rigorous haggling is necessary. The marked prices are bit high.
Across from Full Moon 121A Nguyen Dinh Chieu
(098) 959-1599 This tour company located at Coco Café (internet cafe) has the first and largest used book selection in town.
Golden Sand Saloon Resort
81BIS Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Crocodile, Snake and stingray bags, wallets, belts and keychains
Minh Nhung Crocodile Shop 34 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
Crocodile and snake bags, wallets, belts and other items. The fixed prices are a little high but the merchandise is high-quality.
The Rock Shop 12.5km (062) 743-086 This in-house gift shop at The Hot Rock carries an eclectic selection of locally inspired hand bags and jewelry, using local fabrics and traditional designs.
Thinh & Sabine 79a Nguyen Dinh Chieu 090 993-1192
Handmade jewelry, especially sapphires in gold and silver settings.
On the corner of Nguyen Tat Thanh and Tran Hung Dao in Phan Thiet, the 3 floors include a grocery store, numerous bakeries, souvenir and jewelry shops, a Fahasa book store, food court, and Lotteria fast food restaurant. A new movie theater screening American films in English is planned for 2009.
Mui Ne Village Market
The market at Mui Ne Cape sells lots of fresh fruit and inexpensive clothing. Best times to visit are early in the morning.
Phan Thiet Central Market
This market is the largest in Binh Thuan province. You’ll find some of the best fish sauce and cheapest dragon fruit in the country here. Other specialties include cashew and coconut candies, dried seafood, and sand paintings.
This little market at the center of Mui Ne Beach serves the community of Ham Tien, and is open from sunrise to 10.30am. It’s a great place to eat breakfast and buy fresh fruit, locally made banana and sesame candies, coconut cakes and peanut brittle.
Minh Hung Optics Perscription Glasses, Sunglasses, Contact Lenses and Eye exams at four locations: 33 Tran Quoc Toan St, Phan Thiet City.
tel: (062) 3 820 707 52 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, Phan Thiet City.
tel: (062) 3 720 008 19 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien (Mui Ne Beach).
tel: (062) 3 847 937 147 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien (Mui Ne Beach).
tel: (062) 3 743 743 Click Here for more Information
The Beach Shop Swiss Village Resort Carries bathing suits, sunglasses, sandals, shorts and shirts.
Mellow 117C Nguyen Dinh Chieu (062) 743-086 Selling Ozone kite-boarding equipment and clothing. Lessons with Ozone instructors are also available.
What NOT to Buy Here
There are some products which you may find for sale here which you should avoid. These may be illegal in Vietnam or your home country, or simply may encourage destruction of the environment and harm to the local people. These include:
Coral and coral products. Buying these products encourages destruction to Vietnam's irreplaceable coral reefs.
Sea Turtle products. You may find lacquered sea turtles in shops. This should be obvious--but sea turtles are endangered and all products made from them are illegal.
Rice wine containing whole animals or animal products. Wildlife populations have been decimated in Vietnam. Many of the animals and animal parts used as ingredients in rice wine are globally threatened and endangered - including the snakes.