Vung Tau Vietnam is set on a rocky mountain cape at the very southern point of the country in the Mekong Delta region. It is known for its beautiful beaches, which are only about 60 miles south of Ho Chi Minh City. During the great voyages of discovery of the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries, travel to Vung Tau (which means “anchorage") was important to the mariners of Europe seeking the best routes to the spice trade centers of China and India. From about 1760 to 1820, it was also a refuge for Malay pirates who preyed on these trade ships.
During French colonial rule, Vung Tau vacations were popular with the sizable expatriate community. Paul Doumer, the governor of French Indochina who would later become the President of France, built a beautiful villa here for his holidays, and this is still one of the attractions of the area. Those who travel to Vung Tau will see this landmark palatial villa.
Vung Tau vacations in this area, like China Beach in Da Nang further north, were popular for rest and relaxation leave for the soldiers from Australia and American troops stationed around nearby Ho Chi Minh City during the 1960s. It was the beaches in Vung Tau that made this such a popular place for the soldiers to escape from the war for a few days. United States veterans of the war will often travel to Vung Tau as well as visit the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City.
Vung Tau Vietnam boasts many miles of extensive beaches. Front Beach (Bai Truoc) is located in the west and is a favorite place for sundown cocktails. This is where the best dining in the city will be found, as well as the best Vung Tau hotels. Excellent seafood is a specialty of this city, and you can wander down to the beaches to watch fishermen bring in the daily catch that often ends up on the tables of restaurants that evening. You can also get in some shopping at the chic boutiques lining the elegant boulevard. Back Beach (Bai Sau) has a stretch of more than seven miles of pure white sand. This beach can be quite crowded on weekends, as it is the favorite beach for quick weekend getaways from Ho Chi Minh City.
Bai Dua (Pineapple Beach) was named for its fruit groves. One of the city’s lovely temples is located here, and the rocky outcroppings of mountains jut out into the sea in such a way as to create many secluded coves that are great for diving. Numerous temples and pagodas grace these mountains. The other Vung Tau Vietnam beach is called Mudberry Beach (Bai Dau) after the berry trees that once lined the coast here. Today it is a bit rocky and windswept. However, it is popular for family vacations because its waters are quite calm. This is also where you will see a huge statue of Jesus (nearly 100 feet high), reminiscent of the Christ the Redeemer statue that graces the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. You can hike up a path to the statue and climb a winding staircase inside of it.
Things to do on Vung Tau vacations include golf, as one of the country’s best golf courses and resorts is located here. The Paradise Golf Resort boasts 27 holes, many of which are along the coast with wonderful sea views. The restaurants and hotels along Paradise Beach (Bai Sau) are more expensive than elsewhere in the city.