Spot: Mui Ne / Ham Tien, Vietnam about 200km (5h) east of Ho Chi Minh
Sport: Kiteboarding, some Windsurfing, little Sailing
Best Time: strongest and most consistent winds from November to April, best in January and February
Conditions: Cross-onshore from left, 20 – 25 knots season average, flat to 2.5m swell
Equipment: 12m, 9m, 7m Kites, for real lightweights even smaller on windy days
Accommodation: for every price something, from 10 bed dorms to luxury hotels
Food: countless restaurants and street shops for every taste (local, Italian, German, Indian, etc.)
Costs: 25 USD per day including standard accommodation, food and basic alcohol consumption
Contacts: C2Sky Kite Center (IKO certified), Jibe’s Beachclub (Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Sailing)
Travel: via Ho Chi Minh City with Taxi (50 – 70 USD) or by bus (5-7 USD) but not direct from airport
Visa: for almost everybody, organize Approval Letter online, bring at arrival stamp fee, pictures, visa form, USD and a little bit time
Vietnam is certainly not the place you think about when you talk about water sport. But many already know Ham Tien / Mui Ne developed to one of the best winter kiteboarding destinations world wide. From November to April kiteboarder find averaged 20 to 25 knots daily. Travel to Ho Chi Minh and further is pretty straight forward. Take a taxi or bus and go straight to paradise. (soon a new airport opens in Mui Ne). Even though the Hotels officially are in Ham Tien and not in further east Mui Ne, every taxi driver knows where to go. Accommodation is plenty available, checking prices is certainly recommended. Pre-booking at Christmas, New Year, Russian Christmas (6. Jan) and Chinese New Year (End of Jan) is a good idea.
There is only one long road and a taxi unavoidable. They all have meters and are pretty cheap. If you are alone motorbikes will offer cheap transport as well. I fyou stay longer than 3 weeks consider buying a motorbike to save money and gain flexibility (CAUTION: helmets compulsory, traffic is dangerous). Plenty of restaurants offer different kind of food. Recommended are Bamboo Bamboo (Vietnamese), Good Morning Vietnam (Italian), Ganesh (Indian), Sindbad (German Doner Kebab) and Lam Tong (local food). If you still have energy after a day kiteboarding go to Pogo Bar (quite relaxed) or Dragon Beach (after 11pm).
You can kite everywhere but bring all kites you have. I have seen 17m to 5m. But 9 certainly being the average.
Where can I kite in Mui Ne?
Mui Ne / Ham Tien: Main area for kiteboarding. Flat water to 3 m swell depending on forecast. Most oft he time very choppy and shore-break which makes leaving and coming back to the beach a bit of a struggle. Wetsuits are usually not necessary even though a long rash vest is recommended fort he sun and sometimes occurring jelly fish. Most of the beach is organized by hotels and kite schools. You have to find a free spot or pay membership fees to use the beach, get beach boy help, get storage, use the compressor, etc. (around 30 USD a week). Kite schools are everywhere along the beach, but the only IKO certified one in 2014 is C2Sky Kite Center at the Sunshine Beach Resort. If you learn kiteboarding in Mui Ne you will be fine everywhere around the world. The conditions are not the easiest for beginners.
Malibu: The wave spot of Mui Ne. Around 15 minutes away from Ham Tien behind the fishing village Mui Nu. Spot for more experienced rider with less logistics than Ham Tien and some fishing lines in the way
Phan Rang: 3 – 4h away. Best to go with organized trip as spot lies in a military area. Flat and waist deep water and further out some nice waves – some or everyone. Be aware of rocks appearing close to the surface at low tide. Shoes are certainly recommended.