A prolific military history
Vung Tau is located on a long peninsula jutting out into the East Sea. Only 100 kilometres from Saigon it played a strategic role in the country’s military history from as far back as 1859 when Vietnam was fighting against the French to later during the American War where it played a tactical role and weekend retreat for the Australian forces who were looking for an outpost.
Over the years following the American War which involved many major battles in the regions nearby, most famous being the “Battle of Long Tan”, it struggled to shake off its history and got labelled noisy, crowded, and polluted with a boozy expat bar scene. However, for those with a history in the region it was a welcome place to revisit the past and pay homage to the many lives lost in those conflicts.
If you would like to research and know more about Vietnam’s war history of the last 100 years you may like to check out these documentaries Photos and videos – https://theculturetrip.com/asia/vietnam/articles/the-10-best-vietnam-war-documentaries/
Change is ever present
The town in most recent years is seen to be cleaning up its act and is experiencing a reawakening of sorts. The city’s accommodation – from hotels and homestays to budget hostels and Airbnbs – is improving; its beaches are much cleaner and the water quality clearer than in many other cities in Vietnam; the street food is generous and local seafood is fresh and delicious.
You might like to check out this fairly recent video that shows just how modern and changed Vung Tau is these days. Thank you to #Roamingrebels for this video
The long and welcoming seafront road with wide, well-maintained sidewalks is used every morning and evening by locals of all ages for promenading, cycling, running, dancing, calisthenics, football, and swimming in the ocean. There is an enthusiastic cafe and bar scene, and, although there still exists a bar scene that can still give off an air of the past, they tend to be on the way out.
More to Vung Tau
Famous for its enormous monument Christ of Tau, you can visit between 7.30am – 11.30am or 1.30 to 4.45pm daily. Nestled part way up small mountain Núi Nhỏ it is a sight to behold standing 105 ft tall with a 60 ft wingspan. Be prepared for some serious stairs and a very narrow staircase to the top.
You might like to check out the Con Dao Islands which we strongly suggest is the NEW up and coming tourist location to visit.
For surf – you might like to venture toi Bãi Sau – Back Beach This is where most of the picture postcard high-rise hotel chains, nightclubs, souvenir shops and convenience stores herald and while there isn’t a lot of charm to the area, it does have lots of sand and surf. Yes surf!!
If you are looking for something a little bit more lay back, you may find, Bãi Trước – Front Beach more to your liking as a gentle, curving bay backed by a palm-studded seafront park with a hem of sand exposed at low tide and a clutch of wooden fishing boats moored offshore. Still, to some extent, a local beach, Bãi Trước is classy, characterful, and charming: well-used by local people of all ages, as well as vacationers.
North of Bãi Trước, the steep slopes of and Núi Lớn , or Big Mountain and has an idyllic view of the ocean at Ho May Port, where the boats arrive and depart for Saigon. A cable car slides up the hillside to a theme park on the flat summit of the mountain.
Things to do in surrounding areas:
Hot Mineral Springs – Binh Chau
Binh Chau hot mineral spring is in Xuyen Moc district, Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, about 60 kilometers northeast of Vung Tau city.
Binh Chau hot mineral spring consists of many lakes and small streams, surrounded by the primeval indigo forest. There are more than 70 open-water sprays with an average temperature of 37 ° C to 82 ° C, depending on the area. Binh Chau hot spring has been voted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as one of 65 sustainable.
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The Bluffs Golf Course, a part of The Grand Ho Tram Strip and is the first international-class integrated golf and accommodation resort in Vietnam. Designed by the legendary Greg Norman, The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip is a dream golf course for y golfer.
If it’s an escape you are looking for into raw nature and wild animals roaming freely, then we would suggest a visit to Binh Chau Buu Nature reserve.
Binh Chau Buu is a combination of nature, climate, and animals, offering up interesting trails though mystical forests and a beautiful lake in the centre. Away from the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it makes for a great short break or weekend away.
Let us plan your escape to discover Vung Tau and surrounding areas.
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Some Photos and videos: