Happy and High at the White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam

One of the best spots I visited in Vietnam was the White Sand Dunes located in Mui Ne, 5 hours from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon: old name). After walking barefoot at the fairy stream and a quick stop at the fishing village, we proceeded to this beautiful destination and welcomed all the dust along the way. hehe.

White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam
February 8, 2012

mui ne white sand dunesBeautiful White Sand Dunes

It was a hot and dusty road to the white sand dunes so better be prepared with sunblock (if you plan to hire a motorbike instead of a jeep) and a scarf or headware to cover your nose and mouth. Other than that, just enjoy the view along the way. The ride went on for about 45 minutes. At the back of my head, I thought wouldn’t it be nice to go on a road trip here.

4x4 jeep mui neroad to the White Sand Dunes

Bunch of Cows

I came across Ron & Monette’s blog post about the White Sand Dunes and I knew I wanted to visit this tourist spot when the opportunity came. Aside from the sand dunes being an attraction itself, I wanted to see herds of cows on the road.

cattle mui ne vietnamMui Ne cows

True enough, we passed by cows along the way and I wondered how the sun, the sand, and the dust made it look like scenes from Africa. There were areas of pure soil and the sun intensified the color of the sand. The animals walking together felt like we were in a safari.

cows mui ne vietnamcattle on the road in Mui Ne

Cemetery and Swastikas

Still on the road, I spotted cemented figures from afar. When the jeep was getting close, we found out that this was a cemetery and these figures were graves. I was confused because these tombs had what seemed like Swastika symbols on them. I became curious what a Nazi sign was doing on the graves. I’m not good with History, but I sort of knew that carrying a swastika symbol is taboo because of it being associated with the infamous Hitler and World War II.

swastika cemetery mui negraves with swastikas

I consulted my best friend and found out that the symbols on the graves represent eternity and Buddhism – Swastika | Wikipedia.

To easily distinguish, these symbols on the cemetery are the swastikas of which arms are bent 90 degrees whereas the infamous symbol is tilted a few degrees to the right. Dunno if I explained it clearly but I’m trying to wipe my nose from blood just by explaining it. haha.

cemetery mui nedusty road and a cemetery

Lotus Lake

On with the trip. You can rent a motorbike if you have more time, but be careful as it can get tough in some areas especially where there are lots of sand. I’m glad we took the jeep as it was more convenient and comfortable.

Tour Fee of the Half-Day Tour
45 USD – 4×4 jeep
10 USD/person – motorbike with driver (you can also rent motorcycles by yourselves (I just don’t know how much)

tourists mui ne motorbike2 girls, 1 scotter – stuck in the sand

Near the white sand dunes, there’s a lake where you can also stop by to take photos. It is sometimes called the Lotus Lake because of so many lotus flowers on the water. We didn’t bother stopping by though, as we knew we were running out of time.

mui ne white sand dunes vietnam

there’s a lake and pine trees too! Reminds me of Anawangin Cove in Zambales, Philippines

Finally Arrived!

The White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne was really gorgeous. Upon arrival, I was jumping around and rolling on the ground because the space is really huge! I’ve been to the Suba Sand Dunes in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, but this was different because of the color of the sand.

white sand dunes headstand
excited? haha

It’s very wide and might I say, very clean. You can rent ATVs and motorbikes and ride on the vast open area, but I forgot to ask the cost of renting these four-wheelers.

mui ne sand dunes
Mui Ne, White Sand Dunes


Be careful when you’re on the higher portion! Short sandstorms occur and they hurt badly! Tiny particles of sand, millions of them hitting your bare skin is really painful. Better if you bring a scarf or something for cover. Also, be careful with your cameras as the dust particles might go inside these devices.

white sand dunes mui ne
notice their feet covered by the sandy wind?

Sandboarding is Not Fun as it Looks!

You will notice kids carrying thin metallic or plastic sheets for sandboarding. I didn’t rent one thinking that the sheets were flimsy and too expensive to use for a few minutes.

Basically, you’re just going to use the sheet as you glide your way from a hill. Sounds fun eh? I had this image of myself gliding really fast while shouting to show how much I enjoyed the ride.

sandboarding mui ne
a used sandboard left by a tourist

I saw a few tourists who were trying it out and somehow just left their sandboard behind. I asked one of them if I could borrow it and he told me to just get it from the sand. I was happy that I didn’t have to pay for it since it was already used by someone else – or that’s what I thought at the beginning.

sandboarders of vietnam
other tourists climbing while covering themselves from the sandstorm, looks tiresome eh?

The image of riding the board was fulfilled, but I only glided a few meters down. It’s funny because after sliding down, you have to climb your way back up which was a little tedious considering that your feet will sink in the sand. I tried a couple more times but still I didn’t slide fast enough. I gave up afterwards.

sand board white sand dunes mui ne
I may look like I was having a grand time but this was not fun at all. hehe

Angry Kid Seller

One of the kid sellers appeared out of nowhere and demanded that I pay up. I was taken aback, since I used a board that was already paid for by another tourist and who just left it on the sand. But he wouldn’t budge. Scary that he was charging towards me fuming mad. He was already shouting “Money! Pay Me!”, as if those were the only English words he knew. Instead of trying to argue that the sandboard I used was from another tourist, I gave him a few thousand Vietnamese Dongs just to calm him down.

So be careful guys, those kids can get annoyingly aggressive!

vietnam white sand dunes

more photos of the vast landscape

Going Back

We headed back as it was getting late. I couldn’t help but admire the landscape that I still took a few more photos. This is such a beautiful place! You have enough space to have your “footprints in the sand” emo shots here. hehe

vietnam mui ne
vast space

Also, here’s a short video of combined clips I took of the place. Pardon the bad editing – I didn’t have much time or I was too lazy. haha. Notice how strong the wind is.

Clip 1: view of the sand dunes
Clip 2: a tourist sandboarding
Clip 3: jumping around and rolling on the ground
Clip 4: shouting and laughing in pain because of the sand hitting my skin

I always recommend checking out the White Sand Dunes whenever people ask me about places to visit in Vietnam. If you booked a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the 5 hour drive to Mui Ne may be a bit long; but I tell you that it’s truly worth it!

sand dunes of vietnam

shadows on the sand

At the entrance, our driver said that we needed to proceed to the last stop if we still wanted to catch the sunset. Knowing that we took the afternoon tour for the sunset, we quickly got back to the 4×4 jeep to head to the Red Sand Dunes.


Mui Ne is five hour by bus from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Check out my other stories of Mui Ne here:

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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26 thoughts on “Happy and High at the White Sand Dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam”

  1. Beautiful sand dunes. I passed through here but did not have enough enthusiasm to see all the sand fields. Haha. About the swastika, just think of it this way, the symbol has been used in Hinduism and Buddhism long before, way before the Nazi party adopted it and gave it an extremely negative connotation. 😉

  2. @Paul: Would've been nice if you dropped by. Oh well, at least Mui Ne's a lot nearer from where you're based! Thanks for the swastika tip! haha. 

    @vkeat: Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! 🙂

  3. holy cow! sand boarding for free! saan ka pa! ang husay! 😀
    i thought those symbols on the grave were nazi's *no pun intended*
    off topic : walang tulak kabigin sa akin ang mga nominees sa skyscanner bloscars. i met ferdz, oggie,estan, dom of eskapo and nina a few times already. congratulations to all of you! 😀

  4. I wonder if the color changes depending on time of day? Sand dunes I visited in Morocco & Chile do change their hues.
    Sandboarding is fun although eating sand itself isn't hahaha!

  5. @pajama peejay: wala namang scorpions etc.. hehe. 

    @docgelo: yeah me too! yan yung misconception ko about the symbols. hehe. thanks for supporting the bloscars doc! met them too, very friendly people. 🙂

    @Marianne: you should check it out once you visit Vietnam again marianne.

    @Dennis: Makes me want to check it out in the morning if that's the case! Haha, eating sand is truly not nice. sunglasses are also important. those crazy sandstorms!

    @GayE: hahaha, project lang. lol

    @killerfillers: yep, mga 5 hours, but this is not the only attraction there. you can read my other posts and you can visit all these spots in just half a day! 🙂

  6. asus! kunwari ka pa. kahit naman wala ang sand dunes happyng happy ka pa rin e. yiiikiiih! ang kulit nung isa mong picture. kailangan nakataas talaga ang kamay? ano to Nora Aunor?! Walang Himala?!?! hahah!
    gusto ko rin ma-experience yung sa ilocos. kahit ilocos lang happy na ko. sabi nila worth it din naman. lalo na yung 4×4 ride.

  7. @melvin:you should check it out if you drop by Vietnam! 🙂

    @traveling morion: thanks a lot! 🙂

    @kura: bwahahahha, was thinking na ikaw magcocomment nang ganun kura. haha. yeah, check out the sand dunes sa ilocos din! 🙂

    @dylan: haha, yes. can't wait to get there! 🙂

    @Micamyx: lol. hahaha. daanan mo ang white sand dunes. 

  8. hi just discovered your blog by browsing to where to go next in Asia. this seems fun and exciting.
    but i wonder how the heat was when you were sandboarding? 

  9. Majestic dunes! =) Didn't know there was a place like this in Vietnam until I saw your post.
    The entry I'm waiting for, though, is your new adventure after that 9 months of backpacking – travel or otherwise. =)

  10. Thats a Hindu cemetéry and the Svastika (auspiciousness) is a religious symbol similar to a cross. Most of the Cham people are Hindus.
    The Nazis turned it 45 degrees and called it Hakenkreuz or Winkelkreuz. Google Hakenkreuz.
    The Buddhist svastika is inverted or mirror image.
    Before reaching the main road for Red sands sandboarding, turn right and u will find a Russian kite surfer village.


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