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Visiting Viet Nam: Ba Ria - Vung Tau as a Weekend Getaway

Updated on June 12, 2018
The coastal city emerges itself vividly in gorgeous Summer sunlight
The coastal city emerges itself vividly in gorgeous Summer sunlight

Vung Tau at first sight

As a tourist hub of Southeastern Vietnam, Vung Tau is situated over a 140 square kilometer peninsula which is separated from the mainland by a gulf river called Co May River. The name "Vung Tau" (literally "anchorage") appeared during 14th and 15th centuries when it regularly welcomed European trading ships. Actually, it was also called as Cap Saint-Jacques ("Cap Xanh Giac" in Vietnamese) by the French Indo-chinese government. Thanks to fantastic beaches and hospitable weather, along with a busy sea harbor as well as short distance (i.e. 125 km) from Saigon, tourists, abroad and local alike, flock to Vung Tau to enjoy their vacations, especially during Spring and Summer.

Let's take a 2 hour ride by motorbike or car through Highway No. 51A, and start carrying out "been there - done that" checklist as follows:

where to go and what to do
where to go and what to do
  • Go to Back Beach which is a tourist hub with hundreds of resorts and accommodations like homestay or hotels. The Front Beach is for ships and vessels to nail awaiting for next trips or exchanging their catches.

Front Beach is an anchorage for ships and boats
Front Beach is an anchorage for ships and boats
Beautiful sunlight is flooding all over the place
Beautiful sunlight is flooding all over the place
The shore is curbed by a scenic thoroughfare
The shore is curbed by a scenic thoroughfare
The granite-curbed pavement stretching along the sea best suits some joyful walk
The granite-curbed pavement stretching along the sea best suits some joyful walk
  • Go shopping for seafood at Chợ Xóm Lưới (Fishing hamlet market) where various seafood is on sales along some small streets, and you can also ask the vendor to cook it for you, which may be called "take-away seafood".
  • Don't forget to visit the Light House on top of Small Mountain. First built in 1907, then rebuilt in 1911, this place affords a panoramic view of the whole city. The Lighthouse projects light as far as 35 sea miles (64.75 km) and is equipped with telescopes to follow and direct ships at sea.

Such a breathtaking beauty
Such a breathtaking beauty
The lighthouse is off as the sun is shining
The lighthouse is off as the sun is shining
Flamboyant flowers are gloriously blooming
Flamboyant flowers are gloriously blooming
The town nestles snugly at the foot of the mountain.
The town nestles snugly at the foot of the mountain.
The city reaches out toward the sea
The city reaches out toward the sea
The mountains lend a sense of tranquility to the town
The mountains lend a sense of tranquility to the town
  • Nghinh Phong Cape (literally meaning "Cape of breeze welcome" or "Cape of greeting the wind") is the cliff of Vung Tau, which offers an extensive view toward the ocean and the city. Remember to arrive here early in the morning to admire the sunrise.
  • Last but, well, the least, Bạch Dinh (Villa Blanche) is located on the slop of Big Mountain along Tran Phu Street, which was built in 1898-1916 as a villa of French Governor General Paul Doumer. This structure was named Villa Blanche after his favorite daughter; however, the local people call it Bạch Dinh (White Palace) due to its coincidence of exterior appearance - white color. The villa becomes an exhibition showroom which showcases hundreds of antiques collected from Cau Islet-Con Dao.

Nghinh Phong Cape literally means "Cape of breeze welcome" or "Cape of greeting the wind"
Nghinh Phong Cape literally means "Cape of breeze welcome" or "Cape of greeting the wind" | Source
The cliff of Vung Tau is caressed by constant sea waves
The cliff of Vung Tau is caressed by constant sea waves | Source
Such an extensive view toward the endless ocean
Such an extensive view toward the endless ocean | Source
  • On the way to the Lighthouse, there is a terraced café named Son Dang Quan (literally Lighthouse café on the mountain). This is a nice place to sit around stretching our view over the Jesus statue mountain, the city and, of course, such a beautiful sea.

This terraced café lavishes amazing scenery on a cup of coffee
This terraced café lavishes amazing scenery on a cup of coffee
And time is slowly passing by as a single tick tock dropping down
And time is slowly passing by as a single tick tock dropping down

Where do you wish to visit?

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Out of the sea, where else to see?

  • On the way from Saigon, you should ride through Long Son Commune to see more awesome natural beauty with some fishing villages floating on a river. These villages also welcome tourists to stay and enjoy fresh salt-water fish and other foodstuff.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A fishing village is floating on the riverMany fishes are being bred and raised in such square pondsGet on a boat and sail aroundSeveral bridges shorten the way to Vung Tau And offer excellent view points for sightseeing
A fishing village is floating on the river
A fishing village is floating on the river
Many fishes are being bred and raised in such square ponds
Many fishes are being bred and raised in such square ponds
Get on a boat and sail around
Get on a boat and sail around
Several bridges shorten the way to Vung Tau
Several bridges shorten the way to Vung Tau
And offer excellent view points for sightseeing
And offer excellent view points for sightseeing
  • Long Hai is around 20 km from Vung Tau to the north, where there is a local goddess temple called "Dinh Cô" and thus a cultural festival called "Dinh Cô Festival" is held annually. The town also features Minh Đạm Moutain with a stone summit where visitors can feast their eyes over the town toward the endless sea. Remember to watch your belongings because there are plenty of monkeys wandering around.

Minh Dam Moutain

Nature endows visitors with exceptional scenery
Nature endows visitors with exceptional scenery
Such rustic landscape
Such rustic landscape
You can have fantastic photos with friends
You can have fantastic photos with friends
Or even alone
Or even alone
This is a historical relic at which a former revolunary base of Viet Minh during the war-time period was located
This is a historical relic at which a former revolunary base of Viet Minh during the war-time period was located
  • Ho Coc and Ho Tram are two famous eco-resorts with rustic nature and gentle sea.
  • Bình Châu Hot Stream in Xuyên Mộc District offers On-sen hot bath.
  • As far away an archipelago in the southern sea, Con Đao Islands is best known for Côn Đảo Prisons, Côn Đảo National Garden. You can get there by hydrofoil fast ferry that costs 350,000 VNĐ and sets off at Côn Đảo Port (April 30 Road).
  • If you look for a farm backdrop with cattle grazing around, well, you can visit a sheep farm near Ba Ria Town.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Long Hai Beach is less touristy than those at Vung Tau and it's a nice place to wander around in the morning. Ho Co and Ho Tram are popular for camping Less touristy as it is, this beach is a nice place for couples or new weds to hang out Here is Shaun the sheepOr a nice shepherd It's time to hang out, guys!
Long Hai Beach is less touristy than those at Vung Tau and it's a nice place to wander around in the morning.
Long Hai Beach is less touristy than those at Vung Tau and it's a nice place to wander around in the morning.
Ho Co and Ho Tram are popular for camping
Ho Co and Ho Tram are popular for camping
Less touristy as it is, this beach is a nice place for couples or new weds to hang out
Less touristy as it is, this beach is a nice place for couples or new weds to hang out
Here is Shaun the sheep
Here is Shaun the sheep | Source
Or a nice shepherd
Or a nice shepherd | Source
It's time to hang out, guys!
It's time to hang out, guys! | Source

Where else out of town would you pay a visit?

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Author's notes

The photos used in the articles are both of the author and other online sources. For further information, please feel free to contact me at nhphuc2310@gmail.com.

Thanks for your attention. Remember to check up further articles of mine if you're interested in this travel topic.

For other articles, please check out:

Thu Duc Town at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thu-Duc-Saigon-A-joyful-suburb
Tay Ninh at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun
Ta Dung at https://hubpages.com/travel/Ta-Dung-Vietnam-A-Pearl-of-The-Highlands
Top camping spots near Saigon, Vietnam at https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/Hit-the-road-up-to-Central-Highlands

Any suggestions for my next writing?

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Beachy loneliness
Beachy loneliness

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    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      2 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Chị đẹp: thanks a lot for your compliment. And I know, too, that you put all heart into your comment ^^ appreciated.

    • profile image

      Miss Beauty 

      2 months ago

      When i read it, feel Em have put all heart-to-heart in, so clearly, so detail, so kind

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Jade: yes, that's my pleasure!

      @Thai Tran: tks a lot

    • profile image

      Thai Tran 

      3 months ago

      What a prolific blogger

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Meomeo: Many thanks chế

    • profile image

      Meomeo 

      3 months ago

      Gud job bro. Keep doing the same

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @BichPhuong: Thanks for such a great idea ^^

    • profile image

      BichPhuong 

      3 months ago

      Send your blog to some tour companies and ask them for sponsor, my friend. You deserve more than such a free hobby.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Bichdung: thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      bichdung 

      3 months ago

      great! can you please give me your facebook?

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Pham Ly: Thanks for your invitation (haha) I don't think I'm cut out to teach ya :) Anyway, I hope we could support each other somehow sometime

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Tram: Thanks for your encouragement ^^ I just write it for fun :) Yeah, maybe I will try writing something fictional or dramatic, right? ^^

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Sanny J. Lous: Welcome to Vietnam ^^ Hope you will have a great time traveling this coastal city.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Dung Luong: Thanks for your attention ^^ You should explore more of Vung Tau with your girlfriend. I don't wanna be a bother who interupt your sentimental experiences. Enjoy yourselves there someday

    • profile image

      Phạm Ly 

      3 months ago

      Great job!! I admire you so much. Wish you more succeed. Would you mind teaching me? :)

    • profile image

      Dung Luong 

      3 months ago

      Truly I have visited Vung Tau many many times, however it is quite new for me with some strange places. I promise to take my girlfriend to the cliff of Vung Tau, Son Dang Quan, Minh Dam Mountain. Thank you so much for these interesting suggestion. It is so useful for me in near feature. Hope you will be there as well in order to take for us some nice photos :) Thank my dear brother!

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Mai Pham: my teaching career failed 3 years ago with your class kkkk dont you remember my words during the last lesson huh? I would never teach if I didn't learn enough to be a teacher. Yeah, I'm still struggling to grab some knowledge every single day ^^ we will meet again somewhere somehow then.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Phuong Huyen: many thanks, sis. Remember our promise to hang out somewhere sometime ^^ make it come true soon

    • profile image

      Sanny J. Lous 

      3 months ago

      It's a beautiful city. I'll visit this coast if I come to Vietnam. Maybe this year end.

    • profile image

      Ngoc Tram 

      3 months ago

      Your blog is amazing. You should be a writer, my friend.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Beth: thanks a lot for your encouragement. Yes, this is what I am passionate about. Hit the road and make a show. Yeah.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Trung BMT: thanks, anh ^^ read more of my writings

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Brian Yang: oh, thank big time, sir. I hope you enjoy my blog. If you need any recommendation over where to go and what to do, please let me know.

    • profile image

      Mai Pham 

      3 months ago

      Teacher, you are a good writer. I like your blog a lot. Nice photos, good content. Come back and teach me English hehe

    • profile image

      Phuong Huyen 

      3 months ago

      I know you are as good a writer as a speaker, Tom. Don't stop traveling and writing. This city is more attractive in your writing. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Beth 

      3 months ago

      Hey, what's up? I read all your articles and found them worthreading and interesting. Travel more and write further, buddy.

    • profile image

      Trung BMT 

      3 months ago

      Hiiii boy, your writing is good and I want to travel to Vung Tau with you sometime.

    • profile image

      Brian Yang 

      3 months ago

      This is great, kid. That town is scenic, indeed. Keep writing more.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @Trang Vo: Really? I just want to give you guys some information about places to go if you visit Vung Tau or Ba Ria ^^ There are lots of things I have done or been yet, please let me know where else to go and what else to do ^^

    • Thomaswanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 

      3 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      @kayla: yeah this city is really amazing during Spring, Summer is ok cuz it's gonna rain here and there. I hope you will make it back to this town again, and see more of what you can explore. Regarding its cuisine, I don't have lots of info, so I just wrote what I've noted thus far.

    • profile image

      Trang Vo 

      3 months ago

      Wow, you did a great job, Phuc. I admire you a lot because you've been traveling to plenty of places with good observation. I love to hang out with you to learn more. This article is of great interest as I'm planning for some getaways at weekend. Summer is now and the sea is roaring out loud. Go to the sea. Go get beachy!

    • profile image

      Kayla Ross 

      3 months ago

      I love this city. For 4 months I have stayed in Vietnam and been to this place once or twice. You should write more of its cuisine. There were a lot of good restaurants and dinning places around town. Anyway, I love your pics in the article.

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