Mui Ne waves: Enough to satisfy the surfer inside

Happy to say, I had a good surf recently in Mui Ne. This time of year there’s no rideable waves on the back beach there but I was told there’s some small swells on the front beach.

These swells last until October when the wind changes and favors early morning waves on the back beach.

I actually rode a monstrous sail board – well over ten foot long, almost too wide too paddle – and hard to turn. But what it lacked in maneuverability it made up in sheer speed and ease to get on the wave. As a result I hardly missed a single one that I went for and caught dozens of little two foot waves right to the beach.

Despite the sad amount of plastic bags in the water it was great to get wet and have a play on the board. I found these waves on a strip of beach near the terraces where the all the fishing boats dock at the northern end of the tourist strip. There is a decent beach there and I was able to get some quite long rides and even show a few Vietnamese teenagers how to do it – standing up on a surfboard the size of an oil tanker is not hard – even for beginners. They loved it.

I surfed early in the morning thinking that the waves would get blown out, so I better get in early. But it didn’t happen; I had a surf in the morning, and again in the afternoon, both high tide and low tide were ok.

As a keen longboarder from the Gold Coast in Australia, when I came to Vietnam I had no information about whether or not there was surf here so I left my eight footer in  a mate’s shed.

A few months after I arrived in 2007, I body-surfed some two foot waves on a sandbank in Vung Tau and judged it to be quite acceptable for a longboard. Unfortunately the closest thing to a malibu for hire on the beach was a tire tube or a cocktail, so the idea was shelved for a while until I scored a board off a mate of mine, who told me he’d had a few waves at Long Hai.

As it turns out there’s quite a history of surfing in Vung Tau, going back about 40 years and there’s even a surf shack up there and an online surf report called Vung Tau Beach Club on the Globalsurfers website. What’s great about Vung Tau is it is easy to get to on the hydrofoil with the surfboard. From Saigon I can go there for a morning surf and be back in the afternoon. A few crabs, a few waves and I’m a happy chappy.

Mui Ne is not so easy to get to. It’s only 200km but it’s not Australia so there’s no way you can do it in two hours. The quickest I could manage was four and a half hours on the motorbike. There are a few decent long boards for rent at Jibes restaurant but I didn’t see any motorbikes for rent with board racks like you can get in Bali, so it’s got to be taxis or brave the wind on the back of a xe om with a nine footer poking out front and back.

Another way to get there that I was recommended by someone – head to Mien Dong bus station in Binh Thanh district at about 3 a.m. (you can chuck the board in the luggage compartment underneath). Catch a bus and wake up in Mui Ne. It’s probably a bit safer than fanging a 100cc step-through motorbike along Hanoi Highway and has the added advantage of being able to take your own board. By Michael Smith in Mui Ne of SGT

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