Vung Tau City is a coastal tourist and economic-centric city in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province in Southeast Vietnam.
Population of Vung Tau City: 527,000 (2019); Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province: 1.2 million (2019)
Ethnic groups: Kinh (Viet), Hoa (Chinese), Khmer
Highlights: beaches, giant Christ the King Statue, Binh Chau Hot Spring, seafood
The average annual temperature is 26.7oC (80oF). The warmest month of the year is May, with an average temperature of 28.5oC (83.3oF), and the coldest month of the year is January with temperatures averaging 25oC (77oF).
With a generally hot and temperate climate, the summer has a good amount of rainfall with precipitation of about 1,437 mm (56.6 inches) per year. Most of the precipitation is in October.
Vung Tau is 116 km from Ho Chi Minh City and 180 km from Con Dao Island. Long Hai Beach (Long Dien District) is 40 km northeast of Vung Tau City.
Most people will travel from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau through 3 options:
1) Take a passenger bus from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau
2) Take an express boat from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau
3) Ride a motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau
4) Shore excursions from Phu My Port
Look for discounted travel tickets below for your first time in Vung Tau:
Con Dao Airport in Con Dao Island (belonging to Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province; view map) has flights connecting with Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City. However, it is not a feasible option for traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau.
At the Vung Tau Bus Station, there are many daily bus routes connecting with Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces such as An Giang, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Can Tho, etc.
Vung Tau Bus Station (view map): 192A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Vung Tau City
Can Tho <-> Vung Tau: Check bus prices and availability
Ho Chi Minh <-> Vung Tau: Check bus prices and availability
You can get tickets at the Nha Rong Boat Terminal, which has multiple speedboat trips to Cau Da Pier in Vung Tau, or the cable station at the Cau May Park. A speedboat trip takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes and costs VND 200,000/one way.
There are also daily boats from Vung Tau to Con Dao Island: the Con Dao 09 and Con Dao 10. One trip takes 12 – 14 hours and costs VND 150,000 – 200,000.
Riding a motorbike from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau is a fun experience for a day trip and it’ll take around 4 hours to complete the roughly 120 km trip. The route is fairly easy to travel but do beware of trucks and containers and it is required to have a Vietnamese driving license to ride a motorbike in Vietnam.
At Vung Tau City, motorbikes for rent are available for around VND 150,000 per day at the hotels or hostels.
Taxis are available almost everywhere in the city. Some of the taxi brands are Mai Linh, Vinasun.
There is no train in Vung Tau City.
Vung Tau Travel Guides:
Accommodations in Vung Tau City:
Vung Tau has a wide variety of luxurious hotels and resorts to budget-friendly homestays and hostels
Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort and Spa (Check price and availability)
Carmelina Beach Resort (Check price and availability)
Attractions in Vung Tau
Vung Tau Beaches
Vung Tau is among the top coastal destinations in Vietnam and welcomes huge flocks of tourists every day from Ho Chi Minh and all over the country, especially on weekends and public holidays. Will the giant masses of people prevent you from having some relaxation by the cool waters? Fear not because in Vung Tau, a great many beaches await visitors to come and chill down in the cool sea breezes and you can easily find an ideal spot to wind down from the urban noises. Some famous beaches in Vung Tau are Front Beach or Tam Duong Beach (view map), Back Beach or Thuy Van Beach (view map), Vong Nguyet Beach (view map), Dua (Pineapple) Beach (view map), Dau (Mulberry) Beach (view map)
Vung Tau Lighthouse
Vung Tau Lighthouse was built in 1907 at an altitude of 170 m on the peak of Small Mountain (Nui Nho), and from the observatory point, you can get a panoramic view of the entire city of Vung Tau as well as the Can Gio Port. You can ride a motorbike or take a taxi ride to visit the lighthouse, or you can also embark on a small hiking trip to the Small Mountain and stop by a coffee shop on top of the hill for some drinks with the best view of Vung Tau.
Christ the King’s Statue (Jesus Christ’s Statue)
It takes more than a thousand steps to get to the statue
This enormous 32 m tall figure of Jesus at the southern end of the Small Mountain is the largest Jesus statue in Asia. Completed in 1994, the statue stands on a 10 m platform, and both arms span out to a total of 18.3 m. Inside the statue is hollow with a spiral staircase of 133 steps leading up to the shoulders, where you can view the city from above. However, before climbing to the statue’s arm, you have to overcome almost 1000 steps to get to the mountain top where the statue is at.
Long Son Big House
Off National Highway 51 is Long Son Island, connected with Vung Tau City by a bridge. The house was built between 1910 and 1929 by an immigrant named Le Van Huu to worship sacred beings. Le Van Huu contributed so significantly to the local community that the people established a folk religion around his life lessons and values. Visitors partaking in the annual festivals at the house can have a chance to try free vegetarian food and get free accommodation at the house.
Bach Dinh (White Villa)
The construction of the villa finished in 1916. The location was initially a fort under Minh Mang’s reign, then when the French invaders took over, they turned the site into a vacation house for the French governors, and later for King Bao Dai and Empress Nam Phuong. the building bears the signature late 19th-century French architectural style, with the facade decorated in ancient Greek design.
Hon Ba (Lady Islet)
Visitors can walk to the islet when the tide is low
Hon Ba is an uninhabited islet, apart from one temple built on the islet, located approximately 200 m from Small Mountain. When the tide is low, it is possible to walk from the shore to this tiny island on a rocky trail hidden under the waves. On the 1st and 15th days of each lunar month, people would go to the island and burn incense to pray for good luck.
Robert Taylor Museum of Worldwide Arms
As the first worldwide arms museum in Vietnam, the museum belongs to a British national living in Vung Tau since 1991. Inside is the collection of over 2,000 items ranging from guns and swords to army uniforms dating back to between the 17th and 20th centuries collected from all over the world.
Niet Ba Tinh Xa Pagoda
Niet Ban Tinh Xa worships a 12 m high statue of Nirvana Shakyamuni Buddha and is also famous for its 5,000 kg bronze bell.
Thich Ca Phat Dai (Shakyamuni) Pagoda
Thich Ca Phat Dai Pagoda is located on a 6 ha area on the eastern slope of the Large Mountain (Nui Lon), 3 km from Vung Tau city center. The reputation of the pagoda revolves around the impressive Buddhist statues here, namely the main statue which is the 11.6 m tall Shakyamuni sitting on a lotus seat, the 2.4 m tall Shakyamuni statue in nirvana, and the 19 m Bat Giac (Octagonal) Stupa.
Linh Son Co Tu (Linh Son Ancient Pagoda)
Linh Son Co Tu is the oldest pagoda in Vung Tau. In the main sanctum, there is a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha made of stone and gilded with gold.
Other Attractions around Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province
Long Hai Beach
Long Hai Beach runs several kilometers along Chau Long and Chau Vien mountains. Though the location is far off than most beaches in Vung Tau, Long Hai is another bustling area with a variety of tourism facilities for your beach getaway.
Dinh Co Temple
Dinh Co in Long Hai Town has beautiful natural landscapes of mountains, forests, and beaches, along with many unique architectural designs in the area. The most prominent landmark which is the Dinh Co Temple. which was built in the late 18th century and dedicated to the virgin lady Le Thi Hong who died in the sea. Originally, Dinh Co Temple used to be a small shrine located by the shore, and later on was slowly expanded to a 1000 m2 premise thanks to the local’s fundraising.
Dinh Mountain Historical Area
Dinh Mountain was once a wild primitive forest in the 19th century with a diverse flora system and especially several kinds of valuable woods. During the wars against the French and American invaders, the mountain was utilized as a political and military center due to its hazardous terrain. Nowadays, there are several historical sites to explore and hiking opportunities to take part in the mountain. Some visit-worthy attractions are:
Day Bi Cave was the base where the leading political and military units of Chau Duc District his during wartime.
To Cave is situated at 200 m above sea level. It is linked to a deep network of grottoes, which was used as a site for cadres and militants as well as a food warehouse during the wars.
Mai Cave is a beautiful site situated at a height of 234 m, over a large valley with two small streams.
Lung Small Valley used to be a remote resistance base where cadres and militants lived in underground shelters to ward off bombings. This was also the training base for the resistance forces of Ba Ria and Saigon’s Youth League.
Dieu Linh Pagoda lies at a height of 160 m and was the shelter for the leading agents of Ba Ria’s forces.
Bat Cave stands at a height of 50 m and was another base of leading and commanding agents of Ba Ria’s forces during both resistance wars.
Suoi Tien (Fairy Stream) and Suoi Da (Rock Stream)
To reach Suoi Tien from Vung Tau, follow National Road 51 north to Ba Ria for 7 km. Both Suoi Tien (Fairy Stream) and Suoi Da (Rock Stream) originate in Dinh Mountain. The sinuous trail next to Suoi Da leads to Suoi Tien, which can be quite slippery and dangerous to hike during rainy seasons.
Binh Chau – Ho Coc Tourism Area
On the way from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau, you will probably cross by Binh Chau Hot Springs in Xuyen Moc District (Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province). Binh Chau – Ho Coc Tourism Area is a convalescence complex offering hot-water bathing, mineral mud-bathing, and open wells. Visitors usually enjoy boiling eggs in the natural hot well water and trying fresh Brussels beer at the site. Next to Binh Chau primeval forest is Ho Coc Beach with long loping sandy ground.
Binh Chau is a nice spot for a family picnic. Kids can have fun with boiling the eggs while parents enjoy some nice cold beer
Check out more Hot Springs in Vietnam
Golfing in Vung Tau
Vung Tau Paradise Resort Golf Club (view map):01 Thuy Van Street, Nguyen An Ninh, Vung Tau, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province
The Bluff Ho Tram Strip (view map): Ven Bien Street, Phuoc Thuan, Xuyen Moc, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province
Eating and Drinking on Your First Time in Vung Tau:
– Seafood, assorted snails, hotpot
Vung Tau’s seafood is especially cheap and fresh
– Vietnamese Mini Fried Pancakes (Banh Khot)
Good Banh Khot is characterized by fresh shrimp and a delicious fish sauce mix
– Mini Salted Egg Yolk Cakes
The famous shop for cupcakes: Goc Cot Dien
Shopping in Vung Tau:
Xom Luoi Market, Ben Dinh Market, Vung Tau Night Market are where you can find locally made souvenirs, cheap products, and freshly caught seafood.
What to buy in Vung Tau: fresh and dried seafood, fish sauce
Festivals in Vung Tau:
Thang Tam Festival happens on the 17th – 20th day of the 2nd lunar month at the Thang Tam Communal House which is dedicated to the three genies who founded the three (Tam) Thang villages in Vung Tau. The festival marks the end of one fishing month and the beginning of the next. The ceremony consists of praying, making offerings to the genies, and burning incense, followed by various forms of entertainment and games, such as the lion dance and classical drama.
Dinh Co Festival is celebrated on the 10th – 12th day of the 2nd lunar month annually to commemorate the death of Lady Le Thi Hong and pray for favorable weather, wealth, and peace.
Ba Ria – Vung Tau International Kite Festival is a culture, sports, and tourism event held annually in Vung Tau City. This is the biggest kite festival in the country that welcomes hundreds of artisans from domestic and international kite clubs to participate.
Tourism Division: 1 Pham Van Dong Street, Ba Ria City
Tourism Promotion Center: 17 B2 Dao Duy Tu Street, Vung Tau City
Post Office: 19 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Phan Thiet City
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