“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli
There wasn’t much to see during my stay in Mũi Né, Vietnam. It’s not a town known for much more than than the resorts and beaches. There were only two attractions that I found while searching before my trip: sand dunes and the Fairy Stream, which also includes a bit of desert.
I missed out on the Fairy Stream, which looked like a colorful destination that wasn’t far from the resort. The group I was with made a plan to head to the sand dunes.
As we pulled up to the Red Sand Dunes, I watched tourists sledding down the dunes on cardboard with string attached as handles. The group decided that this spot was too crowded and the hawkers renting the cardboard sleds were overpriced, so we drove on in the hopes that we’d reach our destination before the heat rolled in.
The idea was to be at the sand dunes just after sunrise, but we got a late start and drove farther than the original plan to the White Sand Dunes — it was a slower trip as we got delayed by a herd of cows crossing the road. These are much larger than the Red Sand Dunes, and as they’re farther from the center of town, much less crowded. There was, however, no sledding on cardboard.
They had ATVs and some larger jeeps for groups to ride around the dunes. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough people to share the remaining ATV and the two jeeps were already full. I was the odd man out. I was told that if I waited another half hour or so I could join another group as other tourists were coming. Rather than wait, I wandered the sand dunes.
It was peaceful and beautiful, especially as I turned toward the fields in the opposite direction. I watched everyone in their rides farther out on the dunes where they could get a better view of the landscape, but I was content in walking in the sand.
I did not know how long the rides would be or how soon afterwards we’d get back on the bus — my friend had already departed on one of the first jeeps, so she couldn’t tell me, and most of the group didn’t speak English. I could’ve wandered around longer, but I probably would’ve gotten lost as there were no indicators of directions back to where I began (only a vague direction toward a bit of greenery).
Even though I didn’t walk too far, I still managed to take a turn that happened to not be in the right direction. I followed a path that I thought would take me back, but it led to the main road instead.
I still made it back with plenty of time to spare before the bus back to the resort and lunch, followed by a long afternoon on the beach (but not the one occupied by cows).