12 October 2023
Are you planning a trip to Vung Tau, Vietnam? Look no further, because this guide is here to help you make the most of your experience! Whether you’re in search of beautiful beaches, exciting tours, comfortable hotels, or delicious restaurants, Vung Tau has it all. From exploring the city’s vibrant culture to indulging in mouthwatering local cuisine, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information to ensure an unforgettable adventure in Vung Tau, Vietnam. So, grab your passport and get ready to embark on a journey filled with amazing discoveries!
Getting to Vung Tau
Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam, offers a variety of transportation options for travelers. Whether you prefer air travel, buses, or ferries, there are convenient ways to reach this beautiful destination.
When it comes to convenience and speed, flying to Vung Tau is the best option. The nearest airport is Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, which is about 125 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a private car to Vung Tau, and the journey will take around two and a half hours. Some airlines also offer direct flights to Vung Tau Airport, which is located near the city center.
If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, taking a bus to Vung Tau is a great choice. There are several bus companies that operate routes from various cities in Vietnam to Vung Tau. The bus journey from Ho Chi Minh City usually takes around two to three hours, depending on traffic conditions. The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, providing a pleasant and affordable way to reach Vung Tau.
For a unique travel experience, you can opt to take a ferry to Vung Tau. There are ferries that operate from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau, offering a scenic journey along the Saigon River. The ferry ride typically takes about an hour, and it is an enjoyable way to admire the stunning coastal views. Once you arrive in Vung Tau, you can easily explore the city on foot or hire a taxi to reach your accommodation.
Best Time to Visit
Before planning your trip to Vung Tau, it’s important to consider the weather and the peak and off-peak seasons. Understanding these factors will help you make the most of your visit and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Weather in Vung Tau
Vung Tau experiences a tropical climate, characterized by two distinct seasons – the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season, which runs from November to April, is considered the best time to visit Vung Tau. During this period, the weather is pleasant with warm temperatures and low rainfall. The temperatures range from 24°C to 32°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city.
The peak season in Vung Tau falls during the dry season, particularly from December to April. This is when the city attracts the most tourists, both domestic and international. The peak season offers perfect beach weather, and the city is buzzing with vibrant energy. It’s advisable to book your accommodations and activities in advance during this time.
If you prefer a quieter and more tranquil experience, the off-peak season in Vung Tau is from May to October, during the rainy season. While rainfall is more frequent during this time, it usually occurs in short bursts, allowing for plenty of sunny intervals. The off-peak season also offers lower rates for accommodations and fewer crowds, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.
Where to Stay
Vung Tau offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, or budget accommodations, you’ll find a variety of choices in this coastal city.
For a luxurious and indulgent stay in Vung Tau, there are several high-end hotels that provide top-notch amenities and exceptional service. These luxury hotels often offer stunning views of the sea, spacious rooms, swimming pools, spas, and fine dining options. Some of the popular luxury hotels in Vung Tau include The Imperial Hotel, The Grand Ho Tram Resort & Casino, and Pullman Vung Tau.
If you’re looking for comfortable accommodation without breaking the bank, Vung Tau has a range of mid-range hotels to cater to your needs. These hotels offer clean and cozy rooms, friendly staff, and convenient locations. Some popular mid-range hotels in Vung Tau include Lan Rung Resort & Spa, Petro House Hotel, and Rex Hotel.
Travelers on a budget can find affordable options in Vung Tau as well. There are guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels that provide basic amenities and a comfortable stay at affordable prices. These budget accommodations are often centrally located, making it convenient to explore the city. Some popular budget options in Vung Tau include Green Valley Hotel, Minh Chau Hotel, and The Coast Hotel.
Vung Tau boasts a variety of attractions that showcase its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical significance. When visiting this coastal city, be sure to explore these must-see attractions.
Christ of Vung Tau Statue
One of the iconic landmarks in Vung Tau is the Christ of Vung Tau Statue, also known as the Statue of Jesus. This 32-meter tall statue stands on Nho Mountain and offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. Visitors can climb up the statue and admire the breathtaking surroundings while learning about the religious significance of this landmark.
Vung Tau is famous for its beautiful beaches, and Back Beach is among the most popular ones. With its golden sands, clear turquoise waters, and gentle waves, Back Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beach activities. There are also numerous beachside cafes and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy delicious seafood while soaking up the beach atmosphere.
Another must-visit beach in Vung Tau is Front Beach, also known as Bai Truoc. This beach is located close to the city center and is easily accessible. Front Beach offers a lively and bustling ambiance, with a wide range of water sports activities available, such as jet skiing, banana boat rides, and parasailing. You can also find numerous beachfront bars and restaurants where you can savor local delicacies and enjoy the sea breeze.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the White Palace is a must. This historic building was a former summer residence of the French Governor-General of Indochina and later served as the official residence of the President of South Vietnam. The White Palace showcases a beautiful blend of European and Asian architectural styles and is surrounded by well-maintained gardens and stunning views of the sea. Guided tours are available to learn more about the history and significance of this landmark.
Activities in Vung Tau
In addition to exploring the attractions, Vung Tau offers a wide range of activities to keep you entertained and active during your stay.
With its pristine beaches and clear waters, Vung Tau is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. From jet skiing and kayaking to paddleboarding and windsurfing, there are plenty of activities to choose from. You can rent equipment from beachside vendors or join organized tours to explore the coastline and enjoy adrenaline-pumping water adventures.
For those who enjoy nature and outdoor activities, Vung Tau offers excellent hiking opportunities. The city is surrounded by lush mountains, and there are several hiking trails that provide breathtaking views of the landscape and the sea. One popular hiking trail is the one that leads to the summit of Nho Mountain, where the Christ of Vung Tau Statue is located.
Vung Tau is home to several world-class golf courses, making it a popular destination for golf enthusiasts. The courses are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, you can enjoy a round of golf in a tranquil and beautiful setting.
Fishing is not only a popular activity in Vung Tau but also an important part of the local culture and economy. You can join a fishing tour and experience the traditional way of fishing using nets or fishing rods. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local fishing techniques, interact with the fishermen, and enjoy the tranquility of the sea.
No trip to Vung Tau is complete without savoring the local cuisine, especially the seafood dishes that the city is renowned for. Vung Tau offers a variety of culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds.
As a coastal city, Vung Tau is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood. From grilled fish and prawns to steamed crabs and squid, you can indulge in a wide variety of seafood dishes that showcase the flavors of the sea. The seafood can be enjoyed in numerous restaurants and seafood markets throughout the city.
Vung Tau Specialty Dishes
Apart from seafood, Vung Tau has its own specialty dishes that reflect the local flavors and culinary traditions. One popular dish is banh khot, which are small savory pancakes made from rice flour and topped with shrimp and herbs. Another must-try is banh trang nuong, also known as Vietnamese pizza, which consists of rice paper topped with a variety of ingredients such as egg, cheese, and sausage, then grilled to perfection.
Exploring the streets of Vung Tau will lead you to a plethora of street food stalls and vendors selling delicious snacks and meals. From banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches) and pho (noodle soup) to banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake) and com tam (broken rice), the street food scene in Vung Tau offers a diverse and flavorful array of options. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, banh canh, which is a thick noodle soup with various toppings.
Shopping in Vung Tau
Vung Tau may not be known as a shopping destination, but it still offers some unique shopping experiences and opportunities to pick up souvenirs.
The local markets in Vung Tau are vibrant and bustling, offering a wide range of products, from fresh produce and seafood to handicrafts and clothing. The Bach Dinh Market is a popular choice, where you can find souvenirs such as handicrafts, traditional clothing, and local snacks. Exploring the markets is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up some unique items.
If you’re looking for specifically tailored souvenirs, there are several souvenir shops in Vung Tau that offer a variety of items. From T-shirts and keychains to traditional handicrafts and artwork, you can find something to remind you of your trip to Vung Tau. Some popular souvenir shops include Vung Tau Gift Shop and Vung Tau Souvenir Shop, both offering a wide selection of products at reasonable prices.
Nightlife in Vung Tau
While Vung Tau may not have a vibrant nightlife scene like some other cities in Vietnam, it still offers a range of options for evening entertainment.
Bars and Pubs
There are various bars and pubs scattered throughout Vung Tau, where you can enjoy a relaxing drink and unwind. Some establishments offer live music, pool tables, and outdoor seating, creating a cozy and enjoyable atmosphere. Whether you prefer a laid-back pub or a lively bar, you’ll find options to suit your preferences.
For those who enjoy dancing and late-night partying, there are a few clubs in Vung Tau that offer a vibrant nightlife experience. These clubs often host live DJs and feature a mix of local and international music. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the energetic vibe of the city and dance the night away with fellow party-goers.
Live Music Venues
Vung Tau also has live music venues that showcase local talent and entertain guests with a variety of musical genres. From acoustic performances to rock bands, you can enjoy live music while sipping on your favorite drink. These venues often offer a cozy and intimate atmosphere, making it a perfect way to spend an evening with friends or loved ones.
Day Trips from Vung Tau
While Vung Tau has plenty to offer within its city limits, there are also several nearby destinations that are ideal for day trips.
Ho Tram Beach
Located about 45 kilometers from Vung Tau, Ho Tram Beach is a pristine and less crowded alternative to Vung Tau’s beaches. With its long stretch of white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters, Ho Tram Beach is perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. The beach is also home to several luxury resorts and golf courses, offering a complete day of leisure and recreation.
Long Hai Beach
Another nearby beach destination is Long Hai Beach, located around 30 kilometers from Vung Tau. This beach is known for its tranquil and idyllic atmosphere, making it a popular spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat. Long Hai Beach is dotted with beachside resorts and seafood restaurants, where you can indulge in delicious meals while enjoying the sea views.
Con Dao Islands
If you’re up for a more adventurous day trip, consider visiting the Con Dao Islands, located about 80 kilometers from Vung Tau. This archipelago consists of 16 beautiful islands, each offering stunning natural landscapes, pristine beaches, and diverse marine life. You can take a boat tour to explore the islands, go snorkeling or diving, and experience the untouched beauty of this remote paradise.
Safety and Tips
While Vung Tau is generally a safe destination for travelers, it’s always important to take some precautions and be aware of local customs and etiquette.
Like any other tourist destination, it’s essential to take basic safety precautions while in Vung Tau. Be mindful of your belongings, avoid displaying valuable objects, and be cautious of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. It’s also advisable to use licensed taxis or transportation services and keep emergency contact numbers handy.
Currency and Money Exchange
The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While some establishments in Vung Tau accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting local markets and street vendors. There are several banks and currency exchange services available in Vung Tau for exchanging money.
Etiquette and Customs
Respecting the local customs and etiquette is important when visiting Vung Tau. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites or local communities, and remove your shoes when entering temples or pagodas. It’s also polite to greet locals with a smile and a nod, and remember to ask for permission before taking someone’s photo. Being respectful of the local culture will enhance your experience and create a positive interaction with the locals.
In conclusion, Vung Tau is a charming coastal city in Vietnam that offers a variety of attractions, activities, and culinary delights. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a foodie, Vung Tau has something for everyone. From its beautiful beaches and iconic landmarks to its vibrant markets and lively nightlife, this city will captivate you with its unique charm. So pack your bags, embark on a journey, and allow Vung Tau to mesmerize you with its beauty and warm hospitality. Your unforgettable adventure awaits in this coastal gem of Vietnam.