Will your cruise be docking at Phu My Port in Vietnam for a day or two? Exciting, you are so near to the best place to experience Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City! Diverse cuisine, rich history, and mesmerizing landmarks, this city is a no-brainer when it comes to Vietnam travel.
Phu My (pronounced Foo Me) port is situated in the western shore of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, a major coastal city of over 1 million people in southern Vietnam. The river right by Phu My Port is called Thi Vai River, which flows to the giant South China Sea (locally known as East Sea).
Phu My Port is 65 km (40 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City, the busiest, most developed city which often tops favorite destinations charts in Vietnam. Although 65 km is not a great distance, transporting from Phu My Port is not so convenient and thus may require pre-planning on your part.
At present, taking public buses is not an option since no bus route goes straight from Phu My Port to Ho Chi Minh City, and hopping on and off 3 or 4 buses is a real hassle even for locals, let alone foreign visitors.
Taking a taxi would cost around US$ 60 from Phu My Port (one-way), so a return to the ship would cost at least US$120. In addition, you will need to negotiate the taxi waiting time and toll fees. Note that most taxis in the city are Toyota Vios and Toyota Innova. If you have more than 4 people in your group and need a bigger vehicle for transport, your best bet is to contact a tour agency or operator. Note that most tour agencies are located in Ho Chi Minh City.
Getting around the local areas on your own can entail nuisances and destroy your fun in the country, that’s why we think it is advisable to book a tour with a trusted local agency. Private tours are a good option - the excursions might be cheaper and better quality than what your cruise offers touring in a bus with 40 people. Research and do reviews before you book.
Read more on these Ho Chi Minh shore excursion tips.
Isn't food the best thing about Vietnam? Let a varied mouthwatering menu on a food tour in Ho Chi Minh redeem your long voyage. Or if you're just so keen to ride your way through the city on a motorbike, there are choices for you as well. Read on to see what sounds good to you!
It seems like the best cooks in the country are all here in Ho Chi Minh City. They come from different regions and bring the best of their hometown cuisine to this populous city. That is why residents of this city can enjoy any dish in their culinary wishlist with incredible convenience. Besides the signature banh mi sandwiches, must-try foods of Ho Chi Minh City are banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), banh cuon (steamed rice rolls), com tam suon nuong (cooked broken rice and grilled pork ribs), and the famous street food Banh Trang Tron (mixed rice paper with savory toppings).
Ever thought about not only sampling but also making these dishes first-hand with local cooks? Check out our Ho Chi Minh City motorbike food tours!
Making southern signature dish ‘banh xeo’ with instructions from a local cook in Ho Chi Minh City
A city of 24 districts with different colors, and the downtown districts 1, 3, and 5 are those you shouldn’t pass up. Visit Nguyen Hue Walking Street in District 1, the new arising go-to spot for young people in the city, and admire the western look intertwined with the eastern beauty of the buildings on both sides of the street. Then go to the city center to drop by French-tinted architectural feats like Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, the time-honored Ben Thanh Market. And just nearby these two landmarks stands the witness of history - Reunification Palace. A break of culture is available in District 5 with Chinatown, Chinese cuisine restaurants, and exotic local markets or hidden temples.
Reunification Palace - the famed historical landmark in downtown Ho Chi Minh City
However, it would be boring merely looking at these attractions. How about having a local guide accompany you and tell you all the fantastic stories about these structures? Check out our Ho Chi Minh City adventure tours on motorbikes.
A Motorbike Day Adventure to Reunification Palace
Cu Chi Tunnels is the massive witness to the Vietnam War - a monumental and unforgettable stage in this country’s history. Located 65 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City's center (or 3.5 hours from Phu My port), this historical site is one of the most visited historical landmarks for locals, especially for pupils and students because of its educational messages. Definitely a worthwhile spot for those who want a break from the cityscape. Come here to explore the incredibility of hundred-long underground tunnels to imagine the power of Vietnamese spirits in the past wars and a glimpse of the rural area.
Learn more about what you can discover in a Cu Chi Tunnels tour!
If you are only in port for 1 day and wish to see the tunnels, doing a city tour will be a very tight squeeze in the schedule.
Vung Tau City is a much-loved local beach city 45 km (30 miles) from Phu My Port. This destination is another choice for you on arriving in Phu My Port (if you don't fancy Ho Chi Minh city). Going to Vung Tau will mean taking the opposite route from the one to Ho Chi Minh city.
Although there is no public bus in the vicinity of Phu My Port, you still have the following three choices:
-Taxi: will cost you around US$ 40 which is quite a lot for a one-way trip but would be ideal if you travel with your family or friends and split the cost. We recommend trusted brands like Mai Linh (green taxis) and Vinasun (white taxis) to avoid unexpected scams. You will need to walk outside of the port to hail a taxi.
-Ship shuttle transport: Check with your cruise to see if they provide shuttle transport to Vung Tau City. The cost depends on your ship.
-Private car transport: Private cars and vans at the port are usually pre-booked by tour agencies, so this is the choice only when you want to travel in your group and have booked a tour in advance with a local agency. This option is for those who do not want to choose the tour options offered by the ship.
Note: if you want to book a private tour to Vung Tau from Phu My, it is a good idea to contact a local tour operator based in Vung Tau.
-Back Beach (Bai Sau): Enjoy the year-round cool breezes of Vung Tau City at this favorite beach. As you may guess, there is also Front Beach (Bai Truoc), but the sand there is not as ideal and probably more suitable for just walking on the seaside road. Bai Sau stays the favorite choice for swimming, kite flying, and other fun beach activities. Food and other services are also more available at Back Beach than Front Beach.
-Robert Taylor’s Museum of Worldwide Arms: A picture inside the museum speaks for itself. One of the most worthwhile museums in Vietnam, this museum houses over 1,000 guns of different types and around 500 real-life-size human statues in solemn garments and soldier suits, creating mystique and intimidatingly exciting vibes.
The fascinating Robert Taylor’s Museum of Worldwide Arms
-Shakyamuni Buddha Temple: Beholding the majestic Buddhist statue Thich Ca Phat Dai standing salient among the beautiful nature of Big Mountain (Nui Lon) is certainly a must on visiting Vung Tau City.
10-meter Buddhist Statue at Shakyamuni Buddha Temple
-Christ the King Monument: Not only Buddhism but also Christianity showcases its best in this lovely coastal city. Christ the King Monument or the Statue of Christ is a much-loved attraction among local visitors regardless of their religion. From the top of the statue, you can admire a bird's eye’s view of Vung Tau City, a combination of pristine beaches and verdant mountains.
Characteristic eats of Vung Tau are stingray hotpot, mini cupcakes topped with salted yolks (bong lan trung muoi), and Vietnamese mini pancakes (banh khot).
Discover more attractions of Vung Tau City and see details on their entrance fee and opening hours as well as eating options through our Vung Tau Travel Guide.
Arriving in Phu My Port, you have various options to explore Vietnam - the beach city of Vung Tau, the iconic modern city of Ho Chi Minh, or the rustic and historic Cu Chi Tunnels.
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Wish I had known about your company before. Our group did not have prior arrangements because we thought the port was close to the city. We ended up paying those haggling drivers outside of the gate to take us into Ho Chi Minh city. The driver who took us spoke limited English and couldn't tell us much of the places and we felt rush.
For future travelers, do yourselves a favor and have prior arrangements if you want a proper tour of Ho Chi Minh. Definitely avoid the hassle of bargaining back and forth with the guys outside of the port gate. The scene was mad.
DO NOT BOOK THE TAXI OUTSIDE OF THE PORT GATE! THE TAXI CHARGED US 5 MILLION VIETNAM DONG FOR THE RIDE GOING INTO HO CHI MING CITY.
We only provide pick-up services for guests joining our tours. You can try and ask for the ship's shuttle information.
If you're interested in a day tour from Phu My, kindly have a look at our tour packages https://www.itourvn.com/featured-tours