Vung Tau ‘The Seaside Playground of Ho Chi Minh City’
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Is a popular weekend getaway city, around three hours travel for the residents of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Vung Tau is a rocking weekend city for locals and expats alike. Located on a peninsula with the ocean on three sides Vung Tau’s refreshing sea breezes make it an essential escape from the humid and densely populated Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
If you haven’t already noticed, the oil business is big in Vung Tau. The petrol dollars illuminate the horizon and the night sky. Its broad boulevards, colonial buildings, fresh seafood, surf, and sand are juxtaposed with a sometimes seedy nightlife geared towards Russian expat, retired soldiers and workers from the oil industry.
Vung Tau a great Place to Start a coastal journey
Vung Tau is a great place to start a coastal journey north to places like Mui Ne and beyond.Vung Tau or the ‘bay of boats,’ began as a French beach getaway in colonial times and then exponentially grew as R&R hideaway for American and ANZAC serviceman during the Vietnam war. It is not Pattaya, but even to this day, it continues to try and shake off its more adventurous past. Moreover, this part of town is easily avoidable.
A little about Vung Tau
The eastern side of the peninsula boasts the star attraction of Vung Tau, Back Beach. This 3 kilometer stretch of sand caters for the bulk of tourists. Its sun lounges, umbrellas, tubes, jet skis, and beach toys complement the array of fresh seafood and cold beer for sale. The western side of Vung Tau, is a little quieter, somewhat more subdued, and is the place locals find their refuge. Front beach or Bai Truoc in Vietnamese is a haven for small fishing boats seeking shelter.
The city has two faces, the hectic busy weekend side full of tourists, beaches packed to the rims. The promenade is bustling and swells with Saigonese seeking out the cool breezes and a little respite from the Saigon busy lifestyle. On weekends and public holidays, accommodation prices tend to rise dramatically, if not double and the best places will also fill quickly, so be sure to book your hotel well ahead.
However, after the mass exodus on Sunday, the city empties leaving the hideaway and almost in a slumber. Prices of accommodation drop and you have the town and beaches to yourself. You can usually get great deals in Vung Tau for accommodation from Monday to Friday.
Things to do in Vung Tau
If you are looking for something interesting to do in Vung Tau, here are some tips:
Christ of Vung Tau
One of the best experiences in Vung Tau is climbing the escarpment to the top to see up close the statue of the Giant Christ King. The statue with its outstretched arms, perched high above Vung Tau overlooks the beautiful ocean. Once a top you are rewarded with a fantastic view of Vung Tau, but make sure you pack lots of water, sunscreen and a big hat for the journey to the top.
The White Villa belonged to the French governor of Indochina Paul Doumer. He named it by using a part of his daughter’s name, Villa Blanche or White Villa.
Situated at Small Mountain (Nui Nho), the Lighthouse is a French architectural structure. The lighthouse has a 360-degree vista of the whole city and the ocean.