Van Thuy Tu Temple is the largest and oldest whale temple in Phan Thiet, displaying skeletal remains of whales, fishing boats, conical hats, and authentic artefacts from the Nguyen Dynasty. Built in 1762 to commemorate Ca Ong (Lord Whale), locals believe that whales are benevolent creatures that protect fisherman from bad weather and the dangers at sea. Today, this small temple houses the skeletal remains of more than 500 whales that are over 100 years old, including a 22-metre long whale skeleton that’s believed to have been the biggest in Southeast Asia. Numerous artefacts from the Nguyen Dynasty are also displayed within the main hall of the temple, such as written decrees by 24 former kings, terracotta statues, incense table, lacquered boards, and an antique bronze bell.
The Sand Dunes of Mui Ne are two geological wonders no visitor should ever miss out on their travel itinerary. There are numerous tour operators in Mui Ne that organise daytrips to these Saharan-like red and white sand dunes, but you can easily make your way to both locales if you prefer exploring according to your own pace. Visitors can rent plastic sleds and it is a wise idea to check the price and agree on it beforehand. Some travelers have had unpleasant experiences with the youngsters renting them out so be alert and keep cool. Another interesting activity is kite flying as well as catching the beautiful sunset here. These dunes are a popular picnic place for locals too.
The Prince’s Castle, set atop Ong Hoang Hill, offers breathtaking views of Mui Ne’s historical structures, surrounding hills, coastline and countryside. Its name was given by the locals after French Duke De Montpensier had taken a liking to the hilltop and built a massive estate house in 1911. The villa originally spanned 536 square metres but due to a lack of restoration efforts, all that’s left today is its stone foundations as well as an old watchtower and several military bunkers that were used during the French occupation of Vietnam.
Ta Cu Mountain in Phan Thiet comprises 250,000 square metres of lush rainforests, rare wildlife, limestone caves, and ornate Buddhist structures. Accessible within an hour’s drive from Mui Ne Town, travellers can opt for a two-hour hike through the verdant rainforest or a 10-minute cable-car ride to reach the top of the mountain. The former option is best suited for travellers with relatively good stamina as they need to climb a rather steep stairway followed by a winding footpath in the middle of the forest to get to the main pagoda. Along the way, there are several smaller shrines and a local restaurant to stop by for snacks and refreshments.
The Po Shanu Cham Towers are located atop Ong Hoang (Mr Heaven) Hill, comprising three ancient worship towers built during the late 8th century. Together with Po Dam Towers and My Son Sanctuary, these ruins are regarded as important cultural landmarks of the ancient Champa Kingdom. Located seven kilometres northeast of Phan Thiet City, the Po Shanu Cham Towers were built to honour Hindu deities Lord Shiva, Agni and Nandi. The main tower measures 15 metres in height, featuring an altar with several lingams of Lord Shiva while the other two stand at 12 metres and five metres respectively.
Mui Ne Fishing Village is a great place to witness local life and enjoy fresh seafood during your holiday in Mui Ne. Set at the northern end of Mui Ne Bay, this quaint village also offers a splendid view of an expansive coastline lined with swaying palm trees and colourful fishing boats moored on the water. We highly recommend making your way to the fishing harbour in the early morning that’s when the fishermen return from sea with their massive haul of live crabs, scallops, groupers, and stingrays. Once you’ve reached the southern end of Mui Ne Fishing Village, there’s a small inhabited site that’s covered by colourful seashells that have washed up on the beach over the years.
Mui Ne is Phan Thiet’s most prominent coastal resort town, spanning 15 kilometres of sandy beaches that are lined with an array of dining and shopping venues as well as luxurious beachfront resorts. Great for experiencing the daily lives of the local population, the northern end of Mui Ne Bay is home to a traditional fishing village which also offers a picturesque view of the coastline lined with swaying palm trees and colourful fishing boats moored on the water. Visiting the fishing harbour at dawn is a must-do as you’ll see local fishermen sorting out hundreds of fresh seafood such as crabs, scallops, groupers, and stingrays. While it remains relatively authentic, the growing numbers of visitors to Mui Ne Fishing Village has resulted in a number of gift shops and affordable seafood restaurants.
Fairy Stream is a photography hotspot in Phan Thiet and Mui Ne due to its dramatic landscape of reds, whites, oranges and pinks. Located 18 km northeast of Phan Thiet City, this geological formation is actually a water fissure nearby Rom Island that’s flanked by a mix of white and red sand dunes on one side while the other is an expansive field of verdant trees, blossoming flowers, and coconut palms. Visitors are encouraged to take off their shoes and wade through the water during their visit to Fairy Stream as the shore can get rather hot to walk on, especially in the summer. With water flowing from Ham Tien’s Dinh Mountain, the stream is about ankle-deep for the most part and doesn’t get past your knees at its deepest.
Jibe’s Suoi Nuoc Mui Ne is set along a private beach within Full Moon Village Phan Thiet, hosting rooftop parties and barbecue buffets every night. Open daily, this stylish two-storey venue is fitted with traditional Vietnamese architecture, cosy cushioned seats, and a breezy terrace overlooking the East Sea. Offering potent cocktails, shots, beers and wines, buy-one-free-one promotions are held twice every night, from 17:00 till 20:00 and 22:00 and 24:00. Jibe’s Suoi Nuoc Mui Ne hosts an impressive BBQ buffet every Saturday, where diners can enjoy an array of fresh seafood and meat, tropical fruits, and local desserts.
Dragon Beach Bar is arguably one of the most popular nightlife venues on Mui Ne Beach, attracting a crowd of locals, tourists and expats during weekends. Set along Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dragon Beach Bar is a 10-minute drive from Mui Ne Fishing Village. Open daily, it features a spacious nightclub that’s fitted with a massive dancefloor and open-air swimming pool. Guests who prefer to relax after a day of exploring Mui Ne can head to the open-air lounge section, which is fitted with cosy daybeds and beanbags with breathtaking ocean views.
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