Mũi Né Fishing Village
Has become a Playground for new rich Sàigònese
Mũi Né fishing community used to be very quiet, with a year-round calm sea that echoes the simple melodies of rural life. You may immerse yourself in fishermen’s local busy bargaining scene by visiting the village early in the morning.
In the fishermen’s town, their boats are laden with the day’s catch to the shore. The women of the seamen await their arrival and assist in sorting the goods, picking only the best fish and shellfish to sell. Even children participate in the sale of seafood by assisting their parents. This scenery and practices have persisted for centuries and have been the province’s main source of income. Over the last 25 years, the rise of hotels and beach resorts has drawn both domestic and international tourists, displacing what used to be only for the families of local fishermen.
In recent years Mũi Né, about three hours northeast of Sài Gòn, has increasingly become a year-round destination for local expatriates and international visitors. Mũi Né’s palm-lined streets, laid-back vibe, long beaches, solid waves and a consistent year-round breeze have made it one of Việt Nam’s most popular kitesurfing destinations.
It’s also a weekend getaway on the South China Sea where newly wealthy city residents travel to enjoy the sea breezes and, just as important, to flaunt their social order, having made their money off Việt Nam’s recent economic boom. Sàigònese flock to various high-end open-air seafood restaurants along Mũi Né’s coastline. Patrons are pointing and shouting orders for a dozen rock lobsters here and a whole grilled fish there from all across the place. Rare species of grouper and reef fish, moray eel, stingray as well as a variety of molluscs, coral crabs, mud-coloured slipper lobsters, and warm-water bamboo lobsters and jumbo tiger prawns, abound in the tanks.
In the scorching sun, they parked their latest model black Mercedes-Benzes and silver Bentley. The men are there to show off with their families at the greatest seafood restaurant on the shore, wearing heavy gold chains and jockeying for the day’s catch. They want the best of everything, and they want it immediately, heaps of it. Cracking shells and smiling as they dip their meat in lime juice, salt, and pepper, they represent Việt Nam’s new wealth.