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Mui Ne, sleeping beauty awakened

13 December 2010 | 03:29:00 PM

Mui Ne is called “capital of resorts” with over 200 three to four-star resorts.

Mui Ne
 Twenty years ago, Mui Ne in Binh Thuan Province was like a sleeping beauty that nobody knew about.  It wasn’t until October 1995 when throngs of curious people came to Mui Ne to watch the solar eclipse that the tourism potential of this magnificent area was discovered and developed.  On Thursday, Mui Ne is called “capital of resorts” with over 200 three to four-star resorts.  It has become a favourite weekend retreat for foreign and local tourists.
The booming tourism area Mui Ne is a 10km stretch of road with resorts lining the seafront, while shops and restaurants fill the other side.  Bamboo Village is a four-star resort landscaped with coconut trees and waterlily ponds.  According to Mr. Tran Trong Tuan, resort manager, Bamboo Village is very popular with tourists for its natural, rural environment and friendly service.  He says all the resort’s 140 rooms were almost fully booked on weekends. The bungalows and buildings in the resort have thatched roofs and earthen or bamboo walls and there’s a golf course nearby. 
Ta Cu mountain is worth a visit. Cable cars go up the mountain to where a huge statue of Buddha reclines. There are temples and Buddha statues on the way for locals to make offerings, from burning incense to offering fresh fruit.
The majority of foreign tourists to Mui Ne come from Russia so a lot of shops have signs written in Russian. Seafood dominates the local menu. In addition to the Russian restaurant “Snow”, restaurants with Indian, Italian and South Korean food also have a presence there to cater for the holiday tastes of tourists. Local people like the Vietnamese food at “Cay Bang” or “Ngoc Suong” while foreigners prefer to dine at Hoa Vien or Forest, an Italian restaurant. 
Hoa Vien restaurant is in an open area with ocean views at one side. It is surrounded by an elongated green pond at the other side.  This breezy, romantic restaurant is another one in a restaurant chain which has a brewery in HCMC producing fresh Czechoslovakian beer.
The marvellous flying sand dunes about 15km from the main tourist street are an endless source of inspiration for photographers. The best time to go there is at 5 a.m. when there are few footprints and the full beauty of the golden dunes gradually reveals during sunrise. The wavy dunes – the photographer’s dream - are also great for climbing and kite surfing. The favourite game there is to slide down the dunes on a sledge made of plastic that local boys rent out for VND10,000 each.
Fish sauce and dried squid are highly regarded products of Mui Ne fishing village that Saigonese love to bring home as gifts.  With mild weather of 27-32 C elcius degree all year round and little rain, Mui Ne is a perfect spot for tourists. Its natural beauty and many resorts promise a highly satisfying vacation for pleasure seekers.
 Minh Anh
(MONRE, 9/12/2010)

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