White sand dunes, a lighthouse and a solitary beach experience

Nga Do
Viet Nam’s famous crystal clear blue waters draw millions of tourists, so finding a quiet beach in the middle of a hot summer is a tall order.

Welcome to Mui Dinh (Dinh Headland) in Ninh Thuan Province where the rare pleasure of ocean-side solitude awaits you. Backpackers “discovered” the headland just three years ago, and the difficult-to-reach beach remains pristine and unspoiled.

Getting there

Mui Dinh lies in Phuoc Dinh Commune, Thuan Nam District, 30km away from Phan Rang City and about 300km northeast of HCM City. To get there, board an air-conditioned sleeper train from Ha Noi to Thap Cham Station in Phan Rang City. The trip is long at 27 hours, but provides a great opportunity to see some beautiful countryside. From HCM City, the trip takes about seven hours by train.

From Phan Rang City, National Highway 1A winds its way for 15kms to Van Lam Village. Another 15km on the road takes you to Son Hai, and you can drive straight to a sand dune. Park your bike (tourists can hire a bike from a hotel on 16/4 Street) at the last milestone and walk 1km to the Mui Dinh Lighthouse.

Cheap digs

Many hotels and guesthouses are located on 16/4 Street near Ninh Chu beach, offering rooms for VND200,000 to 250,000 ($9-12). Try bargaining to get the price down to VND180,000. The standard room is relatively fine for the price. Receptionists can help you hire a bike for VND150,000 a day, and tourists can take a taxi or an Uber to reach the hotel and hire a bike from the hotel.

In Mui Dinh, catering services are not diverse. Most of the time, tourists ask local residents to provide food for them. Aunt Sau is quite famous for her seafood and grilled spring rolls at favorable prices.

Mui Dinh entertains

The Mui Dinh sand dune is fabulously amazing. Strong winds blow constantly, creating different shapes and lines. Right at the foot of the sand hills are immense, untouched grass fields.

Mui Dinh has two different beaches. The water is clear blue, the sand white. You can easily see fish swimming in the water. Even if you come here on a Friday, you are unlikely to see more than a few people. Here, there is only you, the wind, the sea and the sand. If you go in a small group, try camping on the beach and enjoying a quiet night on the water.

Not far from Mui Dinh, the Cham Temple Tower beckons to history buffs, a relic of Ninh Thuan’s typical style of Cham art and architecture. Nearby, the Ba Moi Grape Garden offers apples, grapes and grape syrup. Last but not least, An Hoa Sheep Farm, the largest in Ninh Thuan, provides a glimpse into the sheep herding nomadic lifestyle.

For those wanting a quiet beach getaway, or even a birthday party on the beach, Mui Dinh is an ideal destination. It will be a trip to remember.

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