Vung Tau has long been known as an attractive tourist destination of Vietnam for its beautiful landscape – beaches are surrounded by high mountains. If you are planning your trip to Vung Tau the first time and don’t know anything about this famous place, let Holidaytoindochina show you all things about Vung Tau travel: the ways to get there, best time to visit, where to stay, what to do, etc.
1. Overview of Vung Tau
First of all, before visiting this beautiful city, you should know some general information about Vung Tau such as location or climate. About location, Vung Tau locates in the South of Vietnam, and it is far about 120km (3-hour drive). It is very easy to check the location of Vung Tau on Google map.
Climate: Vung Tau has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: rainy season (May to October), dry season (November to April the next year). The annual average temperature is about 27 ° C.
2. Best time to visit Vung Tau:
It can be said that anytime is the best time to visit Vung Tau because the temperature is not too cold and too hot all time. You just need to follow the weather forecasts to avoid visiting Vung Tau when it rains or has storms. Also, you should not visit this city on weekends and holidays because it’s time for domestic tourists, very crowded and expensive.
3. The ways to get Vung Tau:
Vung Tau does not have the airport so you cannot transfer to Vung Tau by plane. However, there are 3 ways to get Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh: by motorbike, by car and by hydrofoil service. If you want to visit Vung Tau from Hanoi or Danang, etc., you had to take a flight to Ho Chi Minh city then transfer to Vung Tau by three ways below:
By motorbike or private car:
Option 1: You go along the Route 1st - across Dong Nai bridge – turn right at the first major roundabout (formerly known as Vung Tau junction) – follow route 51st about 100km - Vung Tau City. It takes about 3.5 hours (125 km).
Option 2: If you are looking for another road which you can enjoy a cool breeze from the countryside forests in Dong Nai, you should start your journey from Cat Lai ferry. Leave the City centre via the Saigon River Tunnel (or Phu My Bridge in further south of the City). Connect to Dong Van Cong Road, and Nguyen Thi Ding Road towards Cat Lai Ferry Terminal. It takes about 10 minutes for the ticketing, queueing and crossing the river by ferry. When your arrive on the Dong Nai side, follow Provincial Route 769 – Tran Van Tra – Quach Thi Trang – Ton Duc Thang roads – Route 51 – Vung Tau. By this way, you can get Vung Tau after 2 or 3.5 hours depended on the weather or your speed.
It’s also easy to get Vung Tau by buses or passenger cars. The price for high quality passenger cars is about 60,000 - 100,000 VND / ticket (3- 5$). You can buy the ticket at two bus stations, one in Ho Chi Minh and one in Vung Tau:
The Eastern Bus Station: Address: 292 Dinh Bo Linh Street, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: +84 – 8 - 3899 4056; 84 – 8 - 3898 4441; +84 – 8 - 3898 4442; +84 – 8 - 3898 4893. Website: www.benxemiendong.com.vn
Or Vung Tau Bus Station: Address: 192 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ward 3, Vung Tau City.Tel: (064) 3859727.
- The Eastern Bus Station: (Mien Dong Bus station) is the main terminal for coach services heading Northern and Central Vietnam. To get this station, you can take metro bus no. 19 from the Central Metropolitan Bus station (opposite Ben Thanh Market). After about 25 – 35 minutes, the bus will drop you at the metro bus parking in front of the Main door of the terminal building.Then, you can choose one of the main passenger cars below to get Vung Tau:
- Hoa Mai Express: Address in Vung Tau: 2A Trung Trac Street, Vung Tau. In Ho Chi Minh: 50 Nguyen Thai Binh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (84-64) .3531982 / (84-64) – 3531981/ (84-64) – 3531980
- Mai Linh Express: Address: 64-68 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel: (84-8) - 39292929 (HCMC) or (84-64) - 3576576 (Vung Tau).
- Phuong Trang Express: Tel: (84-8) .38218928. Buy a ticket in Saigon: Call 84-8-38309309. New trip every 1 hour. Buy a ticket in Vung Tau: Call 84 -643- 52531454. Buy a ticket in Ba Ria: Call 84-643-826768.
- Kumho Samco Buslines, Zone 7, Mien Dong Bus Station, Phone +84 85 111 111. 04:30am - 07:45pm. To/From HCMC(Saigon). Departs every 10-15 minutes. 100,000 VND (price on Jan 2012).
- Thien Phu Express: Pick up at home or hotel. Address: 292 Dinh Bo Linh street, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, about 100,000 VND/ ticket . Similar to Kumho Samco but with larger cars. New trip every 15 minutes. Thien Phu is a privately-owned firm. Offer 16-seater cars with slightly larger foot rest.
By Hydrofoil service
Another way to get Vung Tau, Hydrofoil service or Hydrofoil fast ferry is recommended by many travelers because this is the quickest way to get Vung Tau (1.5 hours) while the tourists can see the commerical maritime areas as the boat runs through the Saigon River to the sea. This service has been used in Vung Tau since Dec 2014. This is a little more comfortable way to get to Vung Tau rather than taking the bus but a little more expensive: 200,000 VND/ person/way (US$10). On the weekends, the ticket is more expensive 250,000 VND/Person/way. For children: 100,000 VND/kid/way.
New trip every 30 minutes, from 6:00am – 04:30pm. Start from Bach Dang pier and stop at Cau Da Pier - Vung Tau. You can buy tickets at Cau Da or Bach Dang pier or buy from ticket agents in HCMC or Vung Tau (some hotels also buy hydrofoil ticket).
Cau Da Pier: 120 Ha Long, Vung Tau City. Tel: (84 -64) - 3810 202 OR (84 -64) -3510 720
Bach Dang Pier: 1 A Ham Nghi, District 1, HCMC. Tel: (84-8) .3821 8061 OR (84-8) 3821 5609.
There are two main companies that organize the hydrofoil service:
- Greenlines: In Ho Chi Minh: 2 Ton Duc Thang Street (Bach Dang Pier). Tel: (84-8) 38210650 or (84-8) 38218189 or (84-8) 38210653 or (84-8) 38218 185 or (84-8) - 38213 872. In Vung Tau: 126 Ha Long, Cau Da pier. Tel: (84-64) .3810202 or 84-3816308.
- Vina Express, In HCMC: 1 A Ham Nghi, District 1, HCMC. In Vung Tau 122 Ha Long, Vung Tau City. Tel: (84-64). 3856 530
Note: You should book early (before 10 days) if your travel date is on holidays or high season.
4. What to see in Vung Tau?
Top beaches in Vung Tau: Most tourists travel to Vung Tau because of its beautiful beaches.
- Bai Truoc (Front Beach) – Located on the center of Vung Tau where concentrates many buildings and restaurants, Front beach is not suitable for swimming; however, it is a good place for seeing the sunset or walking around the park.
- Bai Sau (Back Beach) – As stated above, most tourists choose Back beach for swimming in Vung Tau. It is 3 kilometer long and stretches from the Small Mount to Paradise Park, located on Thuy Van street – a very nice road. All beaches here are free although you may cross some "water park" to get to the beach. There are services for keeping your belongings, usually 15,000 VND each person.
- Bai Dua (Pineapple Beach) - Small beach located along Hạ Long street, by Small Mount.
- Bai Dau (Mulberry Beach) - Small beach located on the western side of Big Mount.
Bai Dua and Bai Dau are actually beaches along Mountains, thus you must go downstairs to get to the waterfront. There's less sand and no safeguard.
From Vung Tau, you can visit Con Dao island – one of the best island in Vietnam. We will give you all information about Con Dao in other article.
Other attractions in Vung Tau: Vung Tau is longer known as the beach city, but beyond the beautiful beaches and delicious food, Vung Tau also has many interesting destinations for you to explore.
- Thich Ca Phat Dai (Platform of Shakyamuni Buddha): This is a notable Theravada Buddhist temple in the coastal city of Vung Tau in southern Vietnam. This temple locates on the Big mountain (Nui Lon) of Vung Tau city. The beauty of the temple is a combination between religious architecture and natural landscape.
- Tuong Chua Dang Tay (Statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms): It is a statue of Jesus, standing on the Small Mountain (Nui Nho) in Vung Tau, was built in 1974. It is 32 meters high that you can see from a far distance. The statue can be seen as a similar version with the statue in Rio de Janeiro city of Brazil. This is a nice place to take photos for tourists.
- Bach Dinh (Villa Blanche): Bach Dinh (or Villa Blanche) is also an attraction in Vung Tau. It was built by the French (1898-1916) and was named Villa Blanche then the local people called it Bach Dinh (White palace). Villa Blanche is located on the slop of Big Mountain, along Tran Phu St., at 50m above sea level. From its balcony, there's a panoramic view of Front Beach and opposite the Villa at the foot of that mountain is Hai Nguu islet with a stone rock shaped like a water buffalo wallowing in water. Next to Hai Nguu at the seaside was the helicopter yard. Today Villa Blanche exhibits hundreds of antiques collected from Cau Islet-Con Dao and is the culture destination attracts hundreds of tourists every day.
- Khu Di Tich Dinh Thang Tam (Thang Tam Temple): It is the famous temple for domestic tourists but if you have time, this is a good place to see. To get the temple, from the Front Beach, follow Truong Cong Dinh St. to Tran Hung Dao Park – 77A Hoang Hoa Tham Street -Thang Tam Temple. The festival of this Temple is considered as one of the biggest festivals in Vung Tau.
- Vung Tau Lighthouse: This Lighthouse locates on top of Small Mountain. This is one of the most famous places in Vung Tau for both domestic and foreign tourists.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.
5. Where should you stay in Vung Tau?
There are a lot of hotels in Vung Tau from budget to luxury. However, we recommend you should stay at the hotels located in Ha Long Street, Thuy Van Street, or Tran Phu street, suitable for both swimming and walking to take photos. It’s also easy to check the hotels online in the age of internet. Tripadvisor, Booking.com and Agoda are three trust websites to check hotels online if you need. Or, you can book with travel agencies; they will give you the best hotels depended on your need. The price of hotels in Vung Tau is also very flexible, from 50USD/Room/ Night to 500USD/Room/ Night based on your request.
6. Things to do in Vung Tau:
The best thing to do in Vung Tau is swimming. Beside, Vung Tau's landscape is very suitable for climbing mountains: Climb to the Lighthouse in the little mountain to take photos, far about 1 km from the beach; or climb closer to Jesus statue; or Hike to the big mountain for a nicer view. There is also a cable car to the top of the big mountain where there is a small amusement park. Price: 300,000 VND /ticket/way for the cable car ride and entrance to the park.
We normally advise our clients to visit Nha Trang beach, Mui Ne or Phu Quoc island if they want to relax at beach in their Vietnam tour package. However, Vung Tau beach is also very beautiful to visit with many famous attractions. Therefore, based on your need, you can choose to visit any place of Vietnam. We are willing to give you all information about all Vietnam destinations in our official website. Please like or share it if you feel it is meaningful and interesting.