Location and introduction
About 125km Southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, there appears Vung Tau City, which is located in Vung Tau peninsula, the curved point of ‘S’ letter (map of Vietnam). This is the border of the South and the West of Vietland, where we can see the sun on the East Sea, both rising and setting.
Vung Tau is Ho Chi Minh City's closest beach resort, and can be reached by a picturesque hydrofoil ride down the Sài Gòn River or by a rather circuitous highway route. The water is not terribly clean, but the town with its fishing fleet and outdoor restaurants is colorful and relaxing. Thousands flock there on Sunday afternoons to jump into the surf with most of their clothes on. Bai Truoc (Front Beach) is most popular.
Those suffering from burn out during an extended stay in Ho Chi Minh City will enjoy Vung Tau during the week, when it is relaxed. Be sure to visit the White Villa, the restored Governor’s residence. A hike at sunset to the giant statue of Jesus atop Nui Noh will reward you with a fabulous view.
If you can organize enough people for a hired car or even a mini-bus, head instead for Thuy Dong, a private beach a few kilometers north of Vung Tau. The water is clean, and the owners provide chairs, tables and umbrellas. Pack a picnic for the two hour drive from HCMC, but save room for cold beer and piles of steamed crabs you can order beachside.
Vung Tau Sightseeings
Bai Truoc - Front Beach: Bai Truoc is also known as Bai Tam Duong. Tam Duong means "searching for the sun". The beach is located between Nui Lon mountain and Nui Nho mountain.
From far, the beach is shaped like a crescent moon, and along the beach, there are many coconut trees. Not a clean beach for swimming, it has many kiosks, open-air restaurants and bars and it is the beach closest to urban Vung Tau.
Bai Sau - Rear Beach: Bai Sau is also known as Bai Thuy Van. This stretch of beach is located in the southeast side of town and is about 10 km in length from the base of Nui Nho. The most popular beach in Vung Tau, it is packed with Saigonese every weekend during the summer months. Teenagers arrive on scooters (3 hrs travel), locals by mini-van or bus (2 hrs) and affluent tourists by hydro-foil boats (1 1/2 hr). The sea is calm during the rainy season but there are frequent periods of high winds and big waves during the dry season. Strong undertow currents make swimming dangerous in some spots.
Bai Dua - Pineapple Beach: Historically known for its wild pineapple trees and black rocks, Bai Dua is located at the foot of Nui Nho Mountain. It is the smallest of the four major beaches in Vung Tau but very popular for its calm waters and its majestic sunset.
Bai Dua is also known as Huong Phuong beach. Visitors come to this rocky cove for its tranquility and cleanliness.
Paradise Beach: In 1994, a Taiwanese conglomerate paid a large sum of money to the Vietnamese government for the right to build a theme park with private beach on the northern end of Bai Sau.
This beach, not too aptly named Paradise Beach, is open to the public but requires an entrance fee. Everything here costs twice as much as at the other beaches. It is populated mostly with group tourists from other Asian countries.