Once you’re in Mui Ne, about 6 hours north of Saigon, you’ll probably end up doing nothing and enjoying the beaches. At least, that’s what we heard about the little village of Mui Ne. Curiously, we didn’t find the oh-so-beautiful beaches. Instead, we did a pretty crazy tour to Ta Cu Mountain with our own scooter. We stayed in the Backpacker Village in Mui Ne, which is not directly located at the sea. There is a road running between the sea and the hostel, so no swimming in the sea for us. Instead, Backpacker village offers a pool that cools you down after a long day on the scooter. We rented our scooter via the hostel and were pretty satisfied with it. As you cannot buy local SIM cards in Vietnam (or only with a lot of hustle and someone who is willing to give you his or her local home adress), we didn’t have google maps available, either. We wanted to visit Ta Cu Mountain with its lying Buddha, anyway. We searched the internet for an adress but there is none, unfortunately.
We headed to Phan Thiet, the next town west of Mui Ne. The road there is pretty nice as it is a coastal road and not many cars using it. Once in Phan Thiet, you simply follow the main road straight. We stopped at a little shop to asked for the way. The owners couldn’t speak any English and so we used the time to rest a little bit and to drink a delicious sugar cane juice. At that point, we weren’t sure if we ever find the mountain. The family tried to explain something to us, which sounded like bus. The woman wrote “xe1” on my hand which is the local bus that is going to Ta Cu mountain. Xe is Vietnamese for bus. Shortly after, the exact bus is passing by, we hopped on our motorbike and the wild chase began. Bus stops- we stop- bus drives- we drive…The road resembles a highway and it was pretty hard to keep pace with the bus. But- we made it! We arrived at Ta Cu mountain. You can see the mountain from the highway (there is nothing else that is of this heigh there) and then take a left turn. Here are the GPS coordinates if you want to visit Ta Cu mountain on your own, as well:
Latitude: 10° 48′ 48.5994″ Longitude: 107° 53′ 38.04″
We decided to take the gondola as it was too hot to climb up the mountain. The ride takes about 10 minutes and you get a pretty good view of the hinterland. To reach the reclined Buddha, you have to walk another 10 minutes. You’ll pass several other Buddhas and some pagodas on your way up.
As it became unbearably hot, we decided to take the gondola again. There is a hiking trail which could have been nice I guess but we knew that we had another long ride ahead of us.
We took another route back as we wanted to avoid the traffic on the highway. We can highly recommend this route as the road is pretty much empty and you’ll be driving next to the ocean until Phan Tiet. Just make a sharp left turn before you reach the highway. You’ll be driving in the hinterland of Vietnam. There is a gas station in the first village that you pass. We didn’t see any other so we recommend to fill up your tank there. You cannot miss it, it is on the left side.
Back in Mui Ne, we had a delicious meal at Sindbad that serves kebap. Kebap in Vietnam? Yes- and it was sooo good! Highly recommend it! They have good Wifi, as well. It’s only a small shak and is located on the left side when you’re coming from Phan Tiet.