Epic Day Hiking Ta Cu Mountain
While staying in Mui Ne, Vietnam, I had researched things to do in Mui Ne and did some fun activities.
Mui Ne offers many things to do at the beach and in the local area. One day activity that requires some more planning and time is going to Ta Cu Mountain. It is about 45 km or 1 hour driving west of Mui Ne. There are local tour operators that can drive you to the mountain or you can rent a motorbike and drive yourself!
I am very comfortable with driving a motorbike but it has taken some adjustment driving in Vietnam. If you are comfortable with driving on the roads then you can rent a bike for 120,000 Dong or $6 USD plus fuel for the day.
How To Get To Ta Cu Mountain
While en route, we stopped at a grocery store in Phan Thiet to get some food for the trip. Afterwords, we continued on our journey towards Ta Cu mountain. After passing through the town of Phan Thiet, the road turns into a big highway called, “AH 1.” Follow AH1 until there is a turn-off to the mountain on the left. The wind was strong that day and big gusts of wind were hard to counterbalance on the bike.
Arriving To Ta Cu Mountain
They will try to upsell you on the many services that they provide. For example, there is an electric car that can take you from the main gate to the cable car entrance but alternatively it is a short walk. You have to pay to enter the park, electric car ride (optional), and cable car (optional).
There is a good trail that runs up the mountain that you can hike alternative to the cable car. My girlfriend and I opted to take the cable car up and hike down. The cost of the cable car is 120,000 Dong or $6 USD per person, one-way.
The day we picked to ascend Ta Cu mountain was insanely hot! I am glad that we did not hike up because we did not have enough water on us and there is no water on the trail. The cable car ride was beautiful and makes for a great view of the ocean and valley below. The ride takes roughly 5 minutes before you reach the top.
Reaching The Top Of Ta Cu Mountain
After you get to the top, there is a trail that ascends to the largest resting Buddha on a mountain in Southeast Asia. There are many stairs that you have to climb which is challenging in the heat. There were a few vietnamese tourists that were there during the same time as us. But, overall it was very uncrowded.
The statues and religious artifacts were interesting and picturesque. I was most impressed with the resting Buddha at the top of the trail as it was handmade. All of the materials to build the statue were brought up the mountain on foot. Incredible.
After taking in the sites it was time to make our way back down. After walking around and melting in the heat, we wanted to take the cable car back down the mountain. We walked back to the cable car and asked if we could buy a ticket to get down. They wanted to over charge us for the tickets, so we decided to walk down the trail. Here is an account from a blogger that hiked up and took the cable car down.
Initially, it was really hard to find the trail because the cable car staff pointed us in the wrong direction to find the trail. mmm…. After looking aimlessly for a trail to take us back down to the bottom, I asked a group of Vietnamese labor workers that were working on new pagodas.
After asking them they looked very perplexed, even after trying to communicate with hand gestures. Then, finally, one of the workers were able to point us in the right direction. Whew.
The trail starts below the cable car station and is an easy breeze once you find it… The hike down Ta Cu mountain was very enjoyable as it is well shaded in the trees. We saw one monkey as we were walking down along with a lizard, snake, and many bugs! The hike down took about 1 hour.
We reached the bottom of the trail and made it back to our motorbike. The ride back to Mui Ne was exhilarating as the road was packed and there are no driving rules in Vietnam. In addition, the headwind was very strong.
There were a lot of head turns from locals when they saw two foreigners on a motorbike. We made it back to Mui Ne at at about 7pm. Overall, it was a great day trip and I would love to do it again!
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