For a small place, the Phan Thiet area has its fair share of sights. Those looking for cultural enlightenment will find it in and around the city centre at Van Thuy Tu Temple and the school where Ho Chi Minh used to teach.

In Phu Hai, the remains of the Cham civilization are on display at a series of still standing towers set against the sea. The distinctive ruins pale in comparison to My Son or Angkor Wat, but they remain impressive nonetheless.

In Ham Tien, the major destination is the Fairy Spring, a 30 minute hike up a babbling creek bed. Cut through the canyon and up to the waterfall, splashing upward progress and admiring the surrounding red clay canyon as you do.

Past Mui Ne, the area’s most famous attractions, the Red and White Sand Dunes, allow travellers to imagine the Sahara and ride down the slopes on rickety homemade sleds. Local children will be happy to assist in the fun, earning themselves a nice tip in the process.

Further out, climb Ta Cu Mountain to see the gigantic sleeping Buddha, on its side with a look of eternal contentment. 

What to See in Phan Thiet/Mui Ne

White Sand Dunes

White Sand Dunes

A favourite photo opportunity spot for couples and pop music moguls in Vietnam. Countless music videos are made and photos are taken. The backdrop sees dramatic white sand dunes plunging towards a lake lined with lotuses. Venture across the dunes and marvel at this bizarre landscape. Slide down the dunes with local children on a plastic sheet; going down is ...

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Red Sand Dunes

Red Sand Dunes

Not as spectacular as the White Sand Dunes, but their proximity to the resorts and the ocean views make up for it. Trudging up the dunes is an experience reminiscent of being in an African or Middle Eastern desert. Kids with plastic slides are everywhere, experts in the art of charm and squeezing money out of tourists.

Read More
Fairy Spring

Fairy Spring

An aptly named spot, because coming here is a magical experience. The stream has carved its way through dramatic dunes on either side and meanders through a fantastical landscape that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi film. The result is a spectacular array of reds, whites, oranges and pinks.

Read More
Mui Ne Fishing Village

Mui Ne Fishing Village

Essentially a congregation of fishing boats, the location of this floating village differs according to the season and when the winds change direction. From around May to October, the wind comes from the North and the fishing boats move to avoid the waves. Here, you can glimpse small basket boats bringing produce to shore from larger fishing boats harboured out ...

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Dragon Fruit Farms

Dragon Fruit Farms

Binh Thuan Province is synonymous with dragon fruit. The A1 highway just west of Phan Thiet is lined with dragon fruit vendors and many tour companies make a stop here for visitors to have a look. Initially the fruit was grown for ancestral offerings and décor, but entrepreneurial Vietnamese recognised its economic potential and now farms cover thousands of hectares ...

Read More
Poshanu Cham Towers

Poshanu Cham Towers

Once a hallmark of the prosperous Champa kingdom that thrived in this region from around the 7th century to 1832, the Poshanu Cham Towers from the late 8th to early 9th century are perched on a hilltop with views of Phan Thiet and the distant coastline. On site are three towers. Inside the main one is a linga and yoni ...

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Phan Thiet Market

Phan Thiet Market

This market is a hive of activity where women hack away at fish and meat, stall owners sit atop tables and surfaces are piled high with exotic fruits and other goods. As a foreigner, it is impossible to pass by unnoticed but the attention is unobtrusive. To see the action at its peak, get down to the market as the ...

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More What to See Venues

Ke Ga Lighthouse

Ke Ga Lighthouse

Built in 1899 to warn shipping of nearby reefs, this structure 30km south of Phan Thiet stands just off the beach on a small rocky promontory, which can be reached on foot at low tide. Visitors can explore the lighthouse and climb to a viewing platform near the top for great views of the coastline.

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White Sand Dunes

White Sand Dunes

A favourite photo opportunity spot for couples and pop music moguls in Vietnam. Countless music videos are made and photos are taken. The backdrop sees dramatic white sand dunes plunging towards a lake lined with lotuses. Venture across the dunes and marvel at this bizarre landscape. Slide down the dunes with local children on a plastic sheet; going down is ...

Read More
Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce

Phan Thiet is famed for its fish sauce (nuoc mam). This overpoweringly pungent condiment is quintessential to Vietnamese cuisine. The production process is lengthy and complex. Anchovy-like fish are cleaned and then placed in large vats of brine with layers of salt. Left for eight months to a year, the by-product is drained and then bottled. The annual nuoc mam ...

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Ta Cu Mountain

Ta Cu Mountain

The focal point of the mountain is the spectacular statue of Buddha entering a state of paranirvana, the final nirvana of enlightened beings. Built in 1963, the statue is 11 metres high and extends for 49 metres. The statue is located in the Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda.

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Mui Ne Fishing Village

Mui Ne Fishing Village

Essentially a congregation of fishing boats, the location of this floating village differs according to the season and when the winds change direction. From around May to October, the wind comes from the North and the fishing boats move to avoid the waves. Here, you can glimpse small basket boats bringing produce to shore from larger fishing boats harboured out ...

Read More
Red Sand Dunes

Red Sand Dunes

Not as spectacular as the White Sand Dunes, but their proximity to the resorts and the ocean views make up for it. Trudging up the dunes is an experience reminiscent of being in an African or Middle Eastern desert. Kids with plastic slides are everywhere, experts in the art of charm and squeezing money out of tourists.

Read More
Duc Thanh School

Duc Thanh School

This was once a regular haunt of Nguyen Tat Thanh who went on to be immortalised as Ho Chi Minh. Uncle Ho taught here in 1911 before he left for Saigon and his travels abroad. Built at the end of 1907, the school closed in 1912 and was reopened in 1986. There's not much of great interest here, simply a ...

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Lizard Farm

Lizard Farm

These lizards, a local species of gecko called con dong, are a local speciality and quite tasty. One kilogramme is sold for around VND300,000 and they can be barbecued with lemongrass and chili or prepared in a soup with tamarind and noodles. You can visit one of the many farms dedicated to the upkeep and sale of lizards in Hoa ...

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Fairy Spring

Fairy Spring

An aptly named spot, because coming here is a magical experience. The stream has carved its way through dramatic dunes on either side and meanders through a fantastical landscape that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi film. The result is a spectacular array of reds, whites, oranges and pinks.

Read More
Van Thuy Tu Temple

Van Thuy Tu Temple

This temple was built in 1762 to honour a legendary whale, which was believed to save fishermen caught in bad weather at sea. The main attraction is the 22-metre long whale skeleton thought to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. Whale worship is said to have originated in Khmer and Cham cultures, but it is still practised in Vietnam today. ...

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Hon Rom

Hon Rom

The deserted Hon Rom beach is almost an island as it is only connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sand. For some reason, the beach is not included on the main tourist circuit. But don’t let this put you off. It’s well worth a visit. It’s hard to put into words the beauty of the place. The ...

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Phan Thiet Water Tower

Phan Thiet Water Tower

Next to the Tran Hung Dao Bridge, this iconic symbol of Binh Thuan Province was designed by Prince Suphanouvong of Laos, who was then employed as chief engineer of the Nha Trang Public Works Bureau. He went on to become the first president of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The tower was completed in 1934 and is 32 metres tall.

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Salt Fields

Salt Fields

Vietnam’s extensive coastline is a valuable source of salt, a major part of the local economy with an annual production of around 737,000 tonnes. Tending to the salt fields is both strenuous and painstaking. Salt water is directed into fields and left for 10 days to evaporate. The white mineral composition is then moved and left to dry in the ...

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Noodle Workshops

Noodle Workshops

Here, you can see locals making one of the main staples of the Vietnamese diet. Rice is soaked for a few hours in water before the liquid is drained away. The rice is then stored in cloth bags underneath heavy stones for two days. The resulting solid concoction is mixed with hot water and then placed into a machine that ...

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Mui Ne Market

Mui Ne Market

This small, mainly outdoor market just doesn’t compare to the majestic ones in the larger cities. However, it definitely has a charm of its own, especially when you try to manoeuvre through the frenetic early morning shopping rush. The displays of fish, vegetables and clothes are impressive. Before plunging into the action though, stand back and take in the sight ...

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Dragon Fruit Farms

Dragon Fruit Farms

Binh Thuan Province is synonymous with dragon fruit. The A1 highway just west of Phan Thiet is lined with dragon fruit vendors and many tour companies make a stop here for visitors to have a look. Initially the fruit was grown for ancestral offerings and décor, but entrepreneurial Vietnamese recognised its economic potential and now farms cover thousands of hectares ...

Read More
Phan Thiet Canyon

Phan Thiet Canyon

The red canyon in Mui Ne was opened again in 2016, and is not operated by Sea Links. This lesser known version is perhaps more impressive. From Phan Thiet, take the road to Tien Thanh Beach. Around 10km later, on your left-hand side, you have a view of forested treetops stretching down to the sea in the distance and dramatic ...

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Ho Chi Minh Museum

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Located near Duc Thanh School, on the banks of Ca Ty River, this museum displays objects relating to Ho Chi Minh’s life, as well as the history of Phan Thiet. Visitors can stroll around the memorial flower gardens, but the bulk of the attractions is set indoors. Inside the rather forbidding, monolithic building, visitors can retrace Ho Chi Minh’s life ...

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Phan Thiet Market

Phan Thiet Market

This market is a hive of activity where women hack away at fish and meat, stall owners sit atop tables and surfaces are piled high with exotic fruits and other goods. As a foreigner, it is impossible to pass by unnoticed but the attention is unobtrusive. To see the action at its peak, get down to the market as the ...

Read More
Poshanu Cham Towers

Poshanu Cham Towers

Once a hallmark of the prosperous Champa kingdom that thrived in this region from around the 7th century to 1832, the Poshanu Cham Towers from the late 8th to early 9th century are perched on a hilltop with views of Phan Thiet and the distant coastline. On site are three towers. Inside the main one is a linga and yoni ...

Read More

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Phan Thiet Will Become a Dump - Unless We Do This

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