Located near Ho Chi Minh City, this port city is an all-time favorite destination with the city folks for a day trip or a weekend vacation. Vung Tau has a long stretch of sandy beaches and some mountainous backdrop. Read our What to do in Vung Tau Travel Guide to learn more about foods to eat and things to do in Vung Tau. Additionally, here are our local insights on the Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) Travel Guide.
LOCAL TIPS FOR VUNG TAU TRAVEL GUIDE
- Avoid traveling during public holidays or the weekends because there will be throngs of travelers from Ho Chi Minh and other adjacent areas visiting beaches in Vung Tau for their day off.
- Beware of scams: Once you've set foot in tourist-centric areas such as the Back Beach, some locals might approach you in an effort to have you stay at their hotels or buy their products. Make sure to plan your accommodation and transportation ahead of your trip, and pay attention to your wallets and valuables.
- Vung Tau is relatively packed with tourists so it might be challenging to find places that are relatively free from the crowds. Therefore, it is advised to do some research on local spots instead of tourist attractions or have a local guide to lead you the way through local favorites.
- It might be more ideal to explore Vung Tau on a motorbike instead of a car or a taxi as some attractions lie hidden on top of a mountain or nestled in a small alley.
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Vung Tau's Weather and the Best Time to go to Vung Tau
-Vung Tau is located in the tropical climate zone so you can visit this coastal city any time of the year
-The rainy season lasts from May to October; the dry season lasts from November to April
-The average annual temperature is 27 C with a low of 24.8C and a high of 28.6C
-The service prices are slightly higher on the weekends and holidays
Commonly, the bus is among the most popular vehicles to travel to Vung Tau for the locals, so there are many bus stations in Vietnam. Some of the well-known bus line companies are Phuong Trang (Futa Bus), Kumho Samco, Hoa Mai, and Toan Thang. It takes about 1.5 - 2 hours to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City. There is a trip every 30 minutes, depending on the bus company.
Hours: 4 AM - 7 PM
Prices: VND 80,000 - VND 250,000 ($4 - $12.5)
Besides the bus, a motorbike is the most common mode of transportation to Vung Tau by the young locals. It takes around 2 - 3 hours to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City provides the closest air link to Vung Tau.
By speedboat boat
Apart from traveling on the ground, you can go by speedboat to Vung Tau. This service is available on a daily basis between Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the destination. Some of the operators are Vina Express, Petro Pacific Express, and Greenlines. You can catch a boat from the Nha Rong Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hours: 8 AM - 3:30 PM
Price: VND 200,000 - VND 250,000 for adult ($10 - $12), VND 100,000 - VND 150,000 for child ($5 - $7)
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Attractions in Vung Tau
Bai Sau Beach (Back Beach)
The Back Beach is the most preferred beach in Vung Tau as it accommodates many local food stalls, hotels, as well as useful beach services from a variety of prices. The gentle ocean waves splashing over the randomly arranged rock along the 8 km coastal line creates a unique nature of the Back Beach.
Hours: 9 AM - 9 PM
Address: Thuy Van street from Cape Au Vent to Nguyen An Ninh crossroad, Vung Tau
Bai Truoc Beach (Front Beach)
While the Back Beach is full of touristy services from high-class restaurants, marine transportation, and attractive spots, the Front Beach is less crowded.
Hours: All hours
Address: Along Quang Trung and Ha Long Street, Vung Tau
Tuong Dai Chua Kito Vua (Christ the King Monument)
Christ the King, the Statue of Jesus standing on the Little Mountain has always been the pride of the locals. The Statue is 32 meters high compared to the Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro Brazil at the height of 38 meters. Following the staircase leading to the top, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the Statue and a breathtaking panorama view of the whole city. This is one of the most popular attractions in Vung Tau.
Hours: 7 AM - 5 PM
Address: Little Mountain, Vung Tau
Take special notice:
The ancient cannons on both sides of the statue
You have to cover 800 steps before reaching the statue
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Hon Ba (Woman's Island)
On this island, a woman built a temple in 1781 to worship the Sea Goddess and pray for blessings for the fishermen at sea. To get to the island, visitors have to check the tides in advance because the only way to get to Hon Ba is to walk on the rocky footpath across the sea, which is only visible during the low tide! If you want to stay away from the touristy places in Vung Tau, this is an unusual place to visit.
Hours: 6 AM - 5 PM
Address: Mui Nghinh Phong, Bai Sau, Vung Tau
Located at the top of the Little Mountain, this French-built Vung Tau Lighthouse is worth a visit strolling up the mountain and immersing yourself in the most peaceful and picturesque scene of Vung Tau. On the way to the top, there is a cafe midway to the right side of the cliff where you can stop by to get a local coffee and enjoy the view. To get to the lighthouse, book a taxi or travel by motorbike.
Gorgeous view from the lighthouse
Hours: 7 AM - 10 PM
Address: on top of Little Mountain
Thang Tam Temple (Dinh Thang Tam)
Built in the Minh Mang dynasty (1820 – 1840), the temple is used to worship the three leaders who set up three villages of “Thang”: Thang Nhat (First Thang), Thang Nhi (Second Thang), and Thang Tam (Third Thang). On its left is the royal tomb storing part of a 19th-century whale skeleton. On the right of the temple is the Five Basic Element Temple.
Hours: 7 AM - 9 PM
Address: 77 Hoang Hoa Tham, Thang Tam Ward, Vung Tau
Commissioned by the French governor, Paul Doumer, the villa is a summer retreat for Emperor Bao Dai and a vacation home for Vietnamese heads of state during the French occupation. It was completed in 1916 and is now home to some local and cultural artifacts. The White Palace could bring you back to the 20th century while immersing in this ancient architecture and historical Palace. To learn more about Emperor Bao Dai and his other palace, check our What to do in Dalat Travel Guide.
Hours: 7 AM - 6 PM
Address: 10 Tran Phu, Ward 1, Vung Tau
Entrance: VND 15,000/adult ($0.75)
Ho May Park
A great recommendation for those who travel in family or group as you will have a joyful time of both sightseeing the landscape on the mountain and enjoying fun games for the little ones. To get to Ho May Park, you will need to take the Cable Car.
Hours: 9 AM - 11 PM
Address: 1A Tran Phu, Vung Tau
Entrance: Cable Car VND 300,000/adult ($1.5), 150,000/child from 1m - 1.3m ($7)
Shakyamuni Buddha (Thich Ca Phat Dai)
This notable Theravada Buddhist temple, lying to the Northwest of the Big Mountain, is an iconic place of worship attracting millions of tourists and religious people every year. The giant white cement statue of the Buddha sitting on a large lotus blossom is a highlight of this temple.
Hours: 8 AM - 5:30 PM
Address: 608 Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau
Entrance: VND 5,000
Avalokiteshvara Pagoda (Chua Quan The Am Bo Tat)
The symbol of the Pagoda is a giant white statue of the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva standing on a lotus with a vase in her hand looking to the sea. Having the chance to visit, you would find an oasis of calmness to dispel fears and worries of daily life as well as discover the beauty of culture here.
Hours: 7 AM - 8 PM
Address: 170 Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau
Read more about Religions in Vietnam
The Robert Taylor Museum Of Worldwide Arms
Owned by Robert Taylor who has lived in the city since 1991, the museum is home to over 2,000 army items from weapons to uniforms originated from nations around the world. The attraction is recommended to those who want to experience different cultural exploration in the heart of Vung Tau.
Hours: 8 AM - 6 PM
Address: 98 Tran Hung Dao, Ward 1, Vung Tau
Entrance: VND 50,000 - 100,000
Battle of Long Tan Cross
Took place on 18 August 1966, the Battle of Long Tan was Australia’s single most well-known engagement in Vietnam. The site was built to commemorate the battle and the loss of the Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. Regarding sensitivities associated with the memorial, visitors have to notify the Dat Do District People’s Committee by fax in advance either in person or through a travel agent.
The fax number for Dat Do District People’s Committee is:
From outside Vietnam: +84 64 368 8245
From inside Vietnam: 064 368 8245
Relevant protocols when visiting the site:
• No medals or military uniforms to be worn
• No flags to be raised or displayed
• No music to be played
• Any speeches made at the site are to be low key and short
Hours: All day
Address: Long Tan, Dat Do, Ba Ria - Vung Tau
Address: 159 Thuy Van, Vung Tau City.
Phone: 0254 3628 888
Price range: from VND 2,000,000 (USD 87)
Booking link: The Imperial Hotel Vung Tau
As the only five-star hotel in Vung Tau lying on the private sandy beach, The Imperial Hotel Vung Tau is where you must stay for a boutique experience in Vung Tau. The hotel embodies the contemporary Western royal vibe with the Victorian England-inspired design, sumptuously decorated spaces, as well as ballrooms and four on-site first-class restaurants. Located right on the main road of Vung Tau, you can freely explore the city during your stay at this premium hotel.
Address: 15 Thi Sach, Vung Tau City.
Phone: 0254 3551 777
Price range: from VND 2,000,000 (USD 87)
Booking link: Pullman Vung Tau
Pullman is no longer a strange name to globetrotters, and Pullman Vung Tau provides an ideal hub for a tropical getaway on the sunny coastlines of Vung Tau. With high-speed Wi-fi connection throughout the premise and professionally designed spaces, at the Pullman Hotel Vung Tau, every business traveler can enjoy meaningful leisure time while staying connected to work.
Address: Road 44, Long Hai Town, Long Dien District, Ba Ria Vung Tau Province
Phone: 0254 3662 222
Price range: from VND 1,500,000 (USD 66)
Booking link: Anoasis Resort Long Hai
Anoasis Resort Long Hai is a contemporary resort featuring modern rooms and villas. Wander through the lush green garden, and you'll make your way to their sparkling private pool. Their complimentary spa service is of the finest quality, offering tru relaxation on your stay at Long Hai.
Address: 263 Le Hong Phong, Vung Tau City
Phone: 0254 3577 779
Price range: from VND 1,500,000 (USD 66)
Booking link: Malibu Hotel
Malibu Hotel is a more affordable option for a luxurious stay in Vung Tau City. All rooms and suites are well-equipped with state-of-the-art amenities, guaranteeing the most comfortable experience for customers. When the sun is setting down, enjoy a cool drink by their infinity pool and observe the charming Vung Tau city from above.
Address: 12 Truong Cong Dinh, Vung Tau City
Phone: 0254 3625 859
Price range: from VND 600,000 (USD 26)
Booking link: Petrosetco Vung Tau
Petrosetco Hotel is a popular choice in the Front Beach of Vung Tau. Locating far from the excitement of the city. The hotel is where you can enjoy a truly hassle-free vacation. Having said that, there are a host of recreational activities such as a golf course situating only 3km away to keep you from ever feeling mundane.
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Coming to Vung Tau, seafood is the top specialty that you should not ever miss in this coastal city. Especially, identifying the right places to eat is very important. In this Vung Tau Travel Guide, here are some recommended foods:
This spacious restaurant with a sea view is an ideal suggestion for family and friends looking to eat the local fresh seafood. Its prices are a bit high, but the reviews are said to be worth the money with its quality.
Address: 3 Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau and 9 Ha Long, Ward 5, Vung Tau
Lam Duong Seafood
This restaurant is spacious where you can choose to sit indoors or outdoors.
Address: 125B Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau
Assorted Snails (Oc 5 Tang)
Wondering what else to eat in Vung Tau? This snails restaurant is easy to find, located near the sidewalk where you can have fresh air, and local beers with different types of snails at affordable prices.
Address: A12 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Vung Tau
Sting Ray Hotpot
Address: 40 – 44 Truong Cong Dinh, Vung Tau
Mini Salted Egg Yolk Cakes at Goc Cot Dien
Address: 17B Nguyen Truong To, Ward 2, Vung Tau
These little cupcakes go perfectly with some warm tea.
Witness the cakes being made right in front of your eyes
Vietnamese Mini Pancakes (Banh Khot)
Apart from seafood, the Vietnamese mini pancakes are on the top list of foods you should try when coming to Vung Tau. These little round pancakes are both crunchy and soft with seafood filled inside (usually shrimp or squid) topped with green onion, shrimp powder, and finally dipped in fish sauce with some raw papaya creating such excellent crunch!
Here are some suggested places to eat the mini pancakes in Vung Tau:
Vietnamese mini pancakes Goc Vu Sua
Address: 14 Nguyen Truong To, Ward 2, Vung Tau
Vietnamese mini pancakes Co Ba Vung Tau:
Address: 1 Hoang Hoa Tham, War, Vung Tau
Every year, the locals in Ba Ria-Vung Tau hold many festivals and events reflecting their culture, traditions, and religious beliefs that attract tourists from all over the world. Make sure to check out these festivals and events in Vung Tau when you have the chance to visit this beautiful coastal city.
Dinh Co Festival
Time: from the 10th to 12th of February (Lunar Calendar)
Venue: Dinh Co Temple – Long Hai beach, Ba Ria-Vung Tau
Dinh Co is a temple with marvelous architecture from ancient times. Every year, the festival is held at this temple to reflect the tradition of the place. It has attracted thousands of tourists coming here to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Thang Tam Temple Festival
Time: from the 17th to the 20th of February (Lunar Calendar)
Venue: Thang Tam Temple – 77 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Thang Tam Ward, Vung Tau City
This is a ritual festival to ask for God's blessing at the end and the beginning of a fishing season. There are complicated rituals such as giving offerings to the god, thurification, kneeling to pray, and playing traditional musical instruments. The participants should also be aware of many rules/taboos and avoid joining the offering ritual if you are in a mourning period. Besides the rituals, they also perform traditional arts such as the dragon dance (“mua lan”) and Vietnamese traditional theater (“hat boi”) at the festival.
Nghinh Ong Festival
Time: from the 16th to 18th of August (Lunar Calendar)
Venue: Ca Ong Tomb – 77 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Thang Tam Ward, Vung Tau City
Nghinh Ong festival is known as the biggest festival of Vung Tau’s fishermen. In 2000, it was selected to be one of the 15 biggest festivals in Vietnam by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. The festival is held to show the appreciation of the fishermen towards the whales, or “Ca Ong”, who help them on their venture to the sea.
Tran Hung Dao’s Death Memorial
Time: the 20th of August (Lunar Calendar)
Venue: Tran Hung Dao Memorial Temple – 68 Ha Long Street, Ward 2, Vung Tau City
Not only the locals but also tourists from other parts of Vietnam and the world can take part in the memorial’s ritual opening and thurification. By joining the activities in this event, people will understand and learn more about Vietnamese culture and their patriotism.
Wu Xing Goddess’s Temple Festival
Time: from the 16th to 18th of October (Lunar Calendar)
Venue: Wu Xing Goddess’s Temple – 77 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Thang Tam Ward, Vung Tau City
Wu Xing Goddess’s Temple Festival is held to pray for good fortune and good harvest. The festival includes a solemn offering ritual along with traditional games that attract many locals and tourists to come for thurification and praying.
Vung Tau is a great weekend escape from Ho Chi Minh City with extensive beaches for swimming or for a short hike. This blog on What to do in Vung Tau Travel Guide lists our favorite activities which may help you plan your journey to the city. To learn more about other Vietnam Travel Information and tips, contact us or check our blogs.
I took a tour from Phu My to this place with a few of my friends on the cruise ship. We had a great time, Tam was our tour guide and he was the best. Seafood and souvenirs were super cheap too
We rode our motorbikes here for a spontaneous day trip and it was very worth it. Be careful of people trying to lure you into staying at their hotels though. Just book your hotel rooms in advance