4D/3N Backpacking Mui Ne Without A Tour – Grab & Go Travel Itinerary

 I have always been fascinated by the allure of the desert; a vast piece of land so barren, so dry and seems lifeless yet miraculously, life somehow is able to find its way even on the most remote and harshest of deserts around the world. One of my dreams is to visit all the deserts in the world and among the well-known ones are The Sahara Desert, The Namib Desert, The Gobi Desert, The Atacama Desert and The Thar Desert; all located across oceans and continents in the Middle East, Africa, South America and America which mean spending a whole lot of money just to see these amazing landscapes! Yikes!

To my delight, I found one much closer to home in Asia. Technically, it is not a desert but a look alike Saharan sand dunes located not far from the beaches of Mui Ne, Central Vietnam. 😀 Good news is visiting the sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam gave me a taste of the impressive desert landscape without burning a huge hole in my pocket! Fyi, there are the two fascinating sites to explore – the immense white sand dunes and the spectacular red sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam. Both are located not far from each other and getting from Saigon a.k.a Ho Chi Minh City to Mui Ne, Vietnam is relatively easy by public transportation.

And the best part is, not only that my sister and I got to enjoy picturesque views of the desert-like sand dunes, we got to chill and relax by the beach too! 😉 Think swaying coconut tress, the sound of the waves crashing the shore, rustic attap huts, chilled coconut drink and the cool sea breeze…ahhhh…what a life! We even got to watch the locals fishing at sea in their adorable light blue round boats – a sight unique to Mui Ne, Vietnam. As promised, below is my travel itinerary to Mui Ne, Vietnam.


4D/3N Backpacking Mui Ne Without a Tour Travel Itinerary:

DAY 1 : Saigon a.k.a Ho Chi Minh City – Phan Tiet, Mui Ne

– Arrive at Tan Son Nhat Airport, Ho Chi Minh @ 13:00 hours
– Purchase a Vinaphone 3G internet prepaid SIM pack/card
– Purchase bottles of drinking water and a pre-packed baguette for lunch- Take a taxi: Mai Linh (in white/green) OR Vinasun (in white) to De Tham Street, District 1

*Alternative transportation if not rushing for time: Take bus No.152 to District 1 (Ben Than Market bus stop)
– Arrive at Phuong Trang a.k.a FUTA Buslines Terminal (No. 272 De Tham Street, District 1)
*Other reliable express bus operators: Sinh Tourist or Mai Linh Express @ 201 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1
– Take the Phuong Trang a.k.a FUTA express sleeper bus to Phan Tiet, Mui Ne @ 15:00 hours
– Check-in hotel at Saigon Café @ 22:00 hours
– Free and easy


DAY 2 : Sunset Private Tour in Mui Ne

– Morning walk and sunrise by the beach

– Chill and relax under the attap hut, sipping coconut drink on our private beach
– Vegan lunch at Saigon Cafe

– Hire a US Jeep with a driver to take us to the following places @ 14:00 hours:

  • Fairy Springs – Fun walk in the shallow stream and on the bauxite trail
  • Mui Ne Fishing Village – Get to know the locals
  • Lotus Lake – Enjoy the view and photography purposes
  • White Sand Dunes – Ride an ATV and/or sand boarding
  • Red Sand Dunes – Watch the sunset, fly a kite and/or have a picnic
– Dinner at Saigon Cafe
– Rest, relax and sleep

DAY 3 : Phan Tiet, Mui Ne – Saigon a.k.a Ho Chi Minh

– Take Phuong Trang a.k.a FUTA express bus back to Saigon @ 09:30 hours
– Arrive at Saigon a.k.a Ho Chi Minh City @ 13:30 hours
– Check-in hostel @ Eco Backpacker’s Hostel
– A panoramic sightseeing walk in the city to several landmarks:

  • Independence Palace
  • Saigon Notre Dame Basilica
  • Saigon Central Post Office
  • Ho Chi Minh City Hall
  • Ben Than Market
  • Pham Ngu Lao Street


DAY 4 : Saigon a.k.a Ho Chi Minh City (Free & Easy)
– Check-out hostel
– Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional costume) shopping at Ben Than Market
-Take bus No.152 from Ben Than Market bus stop to Tan Son Nhat Airport

Alternative transportation: Take a taxi: Mai Linh (in white/green) OR Vinasun (in white)
– Depart from Tan Son Nhat Airport @ 12:45 hours



Blog posts on 4D/3N Backpacking Mui Ne Without A Tour:

Itinerary & Basic Information



Tours & Sightseeing




2 Comment

  1. Steffi Anne Garcia says: Reply

    Hi! May i know where did you hire the US jeep to bring you around Mui Ne and How much? 🙂

    1. Hi Steffi,

      I booked the US jeep though the accommodation that I was staying at that time. The rent was 600,000 VND (can be divided with four – five people max).

      Hope that helps and safe travels to you. 🙂

      Best regards,

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