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Vietnam's site listed among world top destinations for hot air balloon rides
Jenna Duong 08:10, 2023/04/01
The wild beauty of red sand dunes stretching indefinitely in Mui Ne Cape in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, captivates visitors who love to explore nature from above.

The accommodation booking platform Booking.com has recommended Mui Ne Cape as a perfect place to make unforgettable travel experiences from a 360-degree aerial view on a hot air balloon ride in 2023 for locals and international travelers who wish to experience 'out of comfort zone' travel that pushes them to their limits.

Mui Ne is among five of the finest locations for a magical hot air balloon ride that will motivate travelers to soar to new heights out of more than 28 million listings in over 160,000 destinations worldwide. As summer approaches, travelers can escape the crowds and see spectacular sights from a different perspective by drifting where the wind takes them, it stated. 

Red sand dunes at Mui Ne Cape in coastal city of Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan, Vietnam. Photo: Hai Tuan Travel 

Mui Ne Cape, located 22 kilometers from Phan Thiet City in the southern province of Binh Thuan, is renowned for its unspoiled beauty of the "flying sand dunes." Sand dunes get their names because they can change form several times in a single day due to wind direction, leaving beautiful sand waves or sand prints.

The sand dunes here are said to be very special because the sand color is mostly red, which is a totally natural color, not caused by sunlight reflection or human influence.

Cape Mui Ne is perfect for kite flying and windsurfing due to its long beaches winding along the East Sea. It is the only place in Vietnam where you can take a hot air balloon flight over the province's desert.

According to a tour guide from Hai Tuan Travel, the hot air balloon ride begins as early as 5 a.m. for the early birds to capture the magnificent scene that is as red as if visitors are on Mars.

The marvelous red sand dunes in Mui Ne Cape from the bird-eye view. Photo: Duy Vo

"From the air, hot-air balloon flyers will be able to see local farmers working hard in their fields while the cattle graze on dry grass," he said.

"The landscape's Mars-like color will soon be contrasted by white sand dunes with a shining diamond in the middle: a lake," he added.

During this travel agent's one-hour balloon journey, travelers may be amazed by a huge statue of Buddha rising from the earth, as well as a magnificent scene of other hot air balloons hovering over the red sand dunes. All of this, combined with the nearing seashore, gives the sense of a most unusual location as if they are on a different planet.

Back on the ground, Booking.com suggests travelers do not miss out on one of the must-try activities in Mui Ne by taking a Half-day Sand Dunes Jeep Tour with lots of exciting activities on the red sand dunes, and a visit to a fishing village to explore the local way of life in Mui Ne.

Besides the immense sand dunes and soaring coconut trees surrounding the sun-drenched sea, a wide range of interesting water sports, local cuisine, historical sites, and rich Champa culture make this place even more attractive and interesting.

 A funky mobile bar in Mui Ne Cape. Photo: Nguyen Thanh Sang

A four-hour hot air balloon trip in Mui Ne Cape costs approximately US$165 per person, which includes transportation from and to a hotel or other location in the city, the flight, a light meal after landing, champagne, and a Certificate of the Hot Air Balloon flyer.

Booking.com also suggests another intriguing hot air balloon destination in Southeast Asia: Cambodia's Siem Reap. Other tourism destinations on the list of "Amazing Destinations Around the World for a Hot Air Balloon Ride" include Napa Valley in the US, Gstaad in Switzerland, Yarra Valley in Australia, and Albuquerque in the US.

On Mui Ne Cape, foreign visitors enjoy traveling by hot air balloon. Photographer: Tomas Valiukas


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