A truly stellar stretch of beach, something like 15 km long, flat white sand, with a smattering of shells, a continuous light breeze, and not many people. Mui Ne is a good choice for such a beach, not too far from HCMC, about 4 hours via train.
I left HCMC (Saigon) at 1:10 on the train, and promptly, too, arriving after a taxi ride from the station near dark. My first hotel choice, thanks to LP and RG was Thai Hoa Resort, well past the very high-end spots, where I was offered a seaview bungalow for USD 95, or USD 50 for one with a garden view. A very charming place, as you can see from the pics below, but I had no interest in paying that kind of money for "seaview" that was behind a fence and behind the lounge chair umbrellas. On the plus side, a very good buffet breakfast was included, with made-to-order omelettes, fresh fruit, various kinds of pork products, and smooth Vietnamese coffee.
I had only two mornings, two evenings, and one afternoon at the beach, and I feel I used them fully--if by 'fully' one means laying on the beach in a sunlounger, reading a book. The lone afternoon I went for a five minute walk along the road to the "Fairy Stream", which I had heard was a colorful stream cut (of interest to a rockhound like me), but this is not what I expected:
Just kidding (sort of). Go further down the stream, and you get some very nice tream cuts going down from unconglomerated materials, mostly red clay, to gray limestone and perhaps dolostone. Other than me, no fossils were evident so the age can't be determined without more information, like geological service maps.
Before I had got very far, I was self-appointed a triad of diminutive tour guides, about age 10 to 12. Now, a guide is not necessary, since it's just a matter of going upstream, but they did point out the safest footings, and when we got to the location below, they all pronounced some variation on, "Three colors of sand." I let the oldest one take my picture:
They were cute, energetic and charming in their "Vinglish" skills, and insisted that their 'tour guide fee' would be used for going to school. The same nonsense you hear from the child hucksters in Bangkok shilling flowers or Saigon with the fans. Ah, well. I gave them five bucks, figuring they would lie to their families about half of it, and get some candy or a couple of sodas.
Sadly, I had to return to Saigon the next day around noon, assuming I would do a Cu Chi tunnels tour, and I have to say I made pretty good use of the time I had in Vietnam, and enjoyed it a lot!