4 Ways to Take in the Sand, Sun and Surf on Vietnam's Southern Coast
Karryn Miller takes a look at the best ways to enjoy the sun, sand and surf in Vietnam’s southern coastal town of Phan Thiet
1 GET HIGH
The sandy beach at Mui Ne, near Phan Thiet, is the launch pad for Southeast Asia’s kitesurfing enthusiasts. With steady onshore winds and Vietnam’s lowest rainfall, the fishing town offers some of the best kite and windsurfing in the region. Along the waterfront are dozens of watersport schools with an eclectic crew of teachers from around the world. Try KNS (+84 128 601 3101; kite-n-surf.com) for lessons with knowledgeable International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certified instructors.
2 HIT THE LINKS
The views at Vietnamese golf courses don’t disappoint. From Sea Links Golf and Country Club’s cliff-top tee At Sea Links Golf and Country Club's cliff-top tree box, golfers hit towards the South China Sea’s crisp blue waters. With its rolling landscape, this 18-hole links-style course not only has impressive views, but is also said to be one of Asia’s most challenging. Choose to play during Phan Thiet’s windiest seasons (May to November and December to April) and you’ll add even more excitement to the game (+84 62 374 1741; golfthebeachvn.com/sea-links).
3 BUG OUT
Cascading mountains of sand aren’t limited to the desert. Phan Thiet’s Saharan-like White Sand Dunes (a 45-minute drive from the city) feature peaks and troughs of powdery sand surrounding a deep blue lagoon. Four-wheeled dune buggies are available for rent at the entrance and visitors have free reign on the hills. If you’re after a perfect photo op, visit early before traffic destroys the artistic sand ripples. The dunes are in Hong Lam village, Hoa Thang Commune, Bac Binh District (62 kilometers from Phan Thiet).
4 COOK LIKE A LOCAL
The honking scooters transporting the morning’s catch and locals scouring the produce stalls at Phan Thiet’s central market provide a starkly different experience than supermarket shopping in the West. Anantara Resort and Spa runs market tours as part of their cooking lessons, which include whipping up typical Vietnamese dishes such as shrimp spring rolls and banh chung (savory rice cakes). Head chef Alain Nguyen’s past makes for interesting discussion during each session. He trained under Alain Ducasse in Paris and has travelled all over Vietnam to learn more about his nation’s cuisine (+84 62 374 1888; mui-ne.anantara.com).