Most sand dunes in central Vietnam are white, yellow or red; however the dunes in the desert area of Ninh Phuoc District in Ninh Thuan Province shine in different colors, reflecting the lights of sunrise and sunset.
It is easy to see the white sand dunes of Tuan Tu Village turn yellow as the warm light of sunrise and sunset falls over the hills of sand, which turn back to their pristine white when the sun has risen higher in the sky.
Meanwhile, the red sand dunes of nearby Nam Cuong turn into fanciful, wavy valleys at the first and last glimmer of daylight. To see the sand dunes change color travelers should go to Phan Rang, by road or train, so as to admire the magnificence of the sand hills at dusk and then at dawn the next morning.
For tourists with time constraints the best option is to book a bed on the Blue Train, priced at VND238,000 or VND262,000 for a one-way trip that begins at Saigon Railway Station at 7h40 p.m. every day, reaching Thap Cham Railway Station in Phan Rang at around 3h30 the next morning. Distance from the train station to Tuan Tu Culture Village is less than 10km south-east, easily accessed on a xe om (motorcycle taxi). The white sand dunes are not far from this village.
Remember to bring a flashlight to light the way to the sand dunes and to make sure to that you climb to the top of the sand dunes at around 5 a.m. for the best view of the surroundings. In the dark you will see electrical lights marking the shrimp farms and houses of local people.
Some of the most beautiful moments are when the sun is still below the horizon and its light is refracted by the earth’s atmosphere. The yellow and red beams in the sky combine with the electrical lights to make wonderful scenery that looks like a fairy land.
As the sun starts to appear from the east over the sea be prepared to take as many photographs as possible.
From the white sand dunes, a range of red sand dunes are only a short walk away. These red hills are nestled amidst bushes and green poplar trees as well as mountains of rocks that nature has carved into different shapes.
So far geologists have not been able to agree on an explanation for the red dunes of Nam Cuong. Some say the red is the color of the basalt soil and rocks blown into the area by winds, but others advocate that the color is the result of sand weathered by wind.
Despite the different opinions, the red and white sand dunes of Nam Cuong and Tuan Tu are worth visiting for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility, romantic scenery and fresh air and breezes from the sea.
At dawn and twilight the sea waves lapping against the shore wash away the daily chores of visitors, making them feel relaxed and peaceful in their minds as they take in the wavy valleys of white and red sand dunes lined with green trees, surround by mountains and the sea