Vung Tau is located in the southern part of Vietnam on a small peninsula about 130 KM south of Saigon.
Vũng Tàu is accessible by land for about US$4 by tourist van (2-4 hours depending on road and traffic conditions) and water from Saigon. The most popular method for tourists is by hydrofoil from the docks (Bac Dang) near downtown Saigon. It costs about US$12.00 (Nov 2008)and takes about 1 1/4 hours. Tickets should be purchased in advance if you require air conditioning for the trip. The A/C is virtually non-existent in the rear passenger compartment on the boats.
Historically, it was an important seaport during Vietnam’s period of French rule. Domestic tourism and Vietnam’s petroleum resources are sources of income for modern Vũng Tàu. A modern shipyard will soon be completed, adding the the city’s economic base.
On weekends, domestic tourists – especially young people – from Saigon head for Vung Tau to unwind. Keep this in mind if you need a hotel room when you arrive. Cruising the waterfront on their motorbikes in the evening they stop and chat before making a “U-Turn” and beginning the process all over. The whole situation appears to be quite harmless except for the occasional “fender bender” when one rider will run into another. Public indulgence in alcoholic beverages seems to be tolerated by police if not abused by the public.
Vũng Tàu’s beaches and religious attractions are of interest to most foreign tourists. Vũng Tàu has 3 main beaches – Front Beach (Bai Trouc) attracts sightseers and Back Beach (Bai Sau) is preferred for swimming Back Beach is well-known for its over 10 km of fine sand beaches. Pineapple Beach (or Bai Dua) is on the southeast coast is the smallest and cleanest. It’s western exposure provides some great sunsets. There are a number of public swimming pools available in addition to hotel pools.
Vũng Tàu has numerous religious attractions. It has nearly 15 active Catholic parishes. A large statue of Jesus, was erected on Nui Nho mountain by the local Catholic minority. It was built in the early 1970s. It is 32 meters tall and the outstretched arm span of 18.5 meters. It is considered to be among the tallest statues of Jesus in the Far East. For Buddhists, the Thich Ca Phat Dai pagoda and Niet Ban Tinh Xa temple draw pilgrims from around the country.
Vung Tau is well known for its fresh seafood (lobster, crab, fish), German beer, and international cuisine.
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