Tips for travelling in Vung Tau

During 14th and 15th centuries, the cape that would become Vũng Tàu was a swamp which European trading ships visited regularly. The ships’ activities inspired the name Vũng Tàu, which means “anchorage”. The French Indochinese government named it Cap Saint-Jacques (“Cap Xanh Giắc”, in Vietnamese). The cliff of Vũng Tàu is now called Mũi Nghinh Phong (literally meaning “Cape of breeze welcome”) or (“Cape of greeting the wind”).

Vũng Tàu is a famous tourist destination with the harmony and beautiful sea and sky, with miles of white sand which will make you stay forever. Coming to Vung Tau, not only you will the chance to live in paradise but also the extensive list of foods is waiting you to try out. Here are some tips for you.

Visiting Vung Tau

The City is located 120km to the South East from HCMC; you can travel to the city by car, bus, motorcycle or Hydrofoil. Hanoi is 1700km away so you can travel by plane to HCMC and then from HCMC to Vung Tau.

Coming to Vung Tau (VT) using buses

If you want to come to VT by bus, you can purchase tickets anywhere in the country. From HCMC to VT, you can go to East Station. There is a ride for every 5 minutes. Or you can come to Hoa Mai and Thien Phu Stations at Nguyễn Thái Bình St, District 1, HCMC. The ticket is about 60-90,000 VND (3-4.5 USD) and the ride takes about 2-3 hours. You can contact the station here:

  • East Station: 292 Đinh Bộ Lĩnh, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, HCMC. Phone: (08) 3899 4056; (08) 3898 4441; (08) 3898 4442; (08) 3898 4893
  • VT Bus Station:  192 Nam Lỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Ward 3, Vung Tau. Phone: (064) 3859727

Or you can contact directly to the bus system:

  • Hoa Mai Bus system:
    • In VT: 2A Trưng Trắc, Vũng Tàu. Phone: (064).3531982 – 3531981 – 3531980.
    • In HCMC: 50 Nguyễn Thái Bình, District 1 – Phone: (08).38218928
  • Thiên Phú Bus system:
    • Picking at the house. In VT: Phone:  (064)3625262 – 0907.682368.
    • In HCMC: Phone: 08 35112958 (08).38984893 ; 0917351035
  • Rạng Đông Bus system:
    • In VT: Phone: (064).3525678
    • In HCMC: Phone: (08).35.111.111
  • Mai Linh Bus system:
    • In VT: Phone: (064).3576576
    • In HCMC: 64 – 68 Hai Bà Trưng, Ben Nge Ward, District 1. Phone: (08).39292929
  • Phương Trang Bus system:
    • In VT: Phone: 0643 52 53 54
    • In HCMC: Phone: 08 38 309 309
  • Kumho Bus system:
    • In HCMC: 292 Đinh Bộ Lĩnh (3rd Floor), Ward 26, Bình Thạnh District, Phone: (08) 35116861

From Hanoi, you can travel in bus with beds like Mai Linh and Hoang Long. The price is about 900,000 VND (45 USD), a 24-hour ride.

  • Hoang Long Bus: Hà Nội : 04.39282828 ; Vũng Tàu : 0643586382, 0643 586 328
  • Mai Linh Bus: Hà Nội :  (04) 36 33 66 99.  Vũng Tàu: 064 3 576 576
  • Duc Tam Bus: Hà Nội:  04 38612158. Vũng Tàu:  064 3859727

Coming to VT using personal vehicles:

You can travel in cars or motorcycle. It takes about 2-2.5 hours for cars and 3-3.5 for motorcycles. There are two main routes to Vung Tau:

  • Follow 1A Highway to Dong Nai Bridge, go straight for 30km and turn right at Vung Tau Intersect (ngã 4 Vũng Tàu), go straight on 51 Highway for 100km and you will arrive in Vung Tau.
  • Follow the Cat Lai ferries route (District 2, HCMC), go to Nhơn Trạch, Đồng Nai, you will be right at Highway 51. Turn right and go straight for 100km and you will arrive in Vung Tau.

Coming to VT using Hydrofoil

From Bach Dang Sea dock to Cầu Đá Dock, Vung Tau, the Hydrofoil takes only 1h20-1h45 minutes to arrive in VT. The ticket for adults is 200 (10 USD) and for children is 100,000 (5) VND.

If you have already purchased one and was missed yours, you can trade for another hour. The boat leaves every 30 minutes but in the holidays, you should book early. You can park you vehicle at the dock too.

You can buy tickets at the dock or at some hotels in VT too.

  • At Cầu Đá Dock: 120 Hạ Long, Vũng Tàu, Phone: (064).3810 202 – 3510 720
  • At Bạch Đằng Dock: 1 A Hàm Nghi, District 1, HCMC, Phone: (08).3821 8061 – 3821 5609

Or contact the ferries system:

  • GreenLines system:
    • In HCMC: 2 Tôn Đức Thắng (Bạch Đằng Dock), Phone: (08) 38210650 – 38215 609 – 38218189 -38210653 – 38218 185 – 38213 872.
    • In VT: 126 Hạ Long, Cầu Đá Dock, Phone: (064).3810202 – 3816308
  • Vina Express
    • In HCMC: 1A Hàm Nghi, District 1. Phone: (08) 38210650 – 38215 609 – 38218189 -38210653 – 38218 185 – 38213 872.
    • In VT: 122 Hạ Long, Vũng Tàu, Phone: (064). 3856 530 ,  (064)385 6565
  • Petro Express:
    • In HCMC: Phone: 08.3821.0650 – 3821.0653
    • In VT: Phone: 064.351.5151 – 381.6308; 064.351.1942 – 351.1913

Hotel in Vung Tau

There are many hotels and motels in Vung Tau with competitive prices, but depends on your needs. To see the beach and walk at the beach, pick hotels at Ha Long St, Thuy Van, or Tran Phu St. The prices vary from 250,000/night (12 USD). At some resort, it is 800,000/ night (40 USD). Motels next to the beach or hotels inside the city are cheaper. You should book beforehand.

If you want higher quality, you can choose resorts or luxury hotels:

  • Imperial Vung Tau Hotel (5 star): 159 Thuy Van, VT. Phone: 064 362 8888
  • DIC Star Hotel (4 star): 169 Thùy Vân, VT, Phone: 064 3807068/ 064 3859519
  • Grand Hotel (4 star): 2 Nguyễn Du, VT, Phone: 064 3856 787
  • PetroHotel (4 star): 9-11 Hoàng Diệu, VT, Phone: 064 3588 588
  • Seaside resort: 28 Trần Phú, Ward 1, VT Phone: (064) 3513 888 – 3513 890
  • Anoasis Beach Resort: Đường số 44, Long Hải, VT, Phone: (064) 3868227
  • Hồ Tràm – Beach: Phước Thuận, Xuyên Mộc District, VT, Phone: (0)64 3781 525
  • Long Hải Beach Resort: Road 44, Long Hai, VT, Phone: 064 3661 353
  • CapSaint Jacques Hotel (3 star): 169 Thuỳ Vân, Ward 8, VT, phone: 064 3859 519/ 3807 068
  • Hòa Bình (Palace)(3 star): 1 Nguyễn Trãi, VT, phone: 064 3856 265/ 3856 411
  • Petro House (3 star): 63 Trần Hưng Đạo, VT, phone: 064 3852 014
  • Rex Hotel (3 star): 1 Lê Quý Đôn, VT, phone: 064 3852 135 / 3852 612
  • Royal Hotel (3 star): 36 Quang Trung, VT, phone: 064 3852 321/ 3859 852
  • Vũng Tàu Intourco Resort: 1A Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064 3585 325/ 3585 88
  • Lan Rừng Resort & Spa: 3-6 Hạ Long, VT, phone: 064 62762478

You can review some cheaper hotel:

  • Vung Tau Union Hotel (2 star): 4 Trần Hưng Đạo, VT, phone: 064 3530 666/ 3856 500
  • Sài Gòn 85 Hotel (2 star): 85 Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064 3852 317/ 3525 077
  • Sông Hồng Hotel (2 star): 9 Trương Vĩnh Ký, VT, phone: 064 3852 491/ 3852 473
  • Sơn Thịnh Hotel (2 star): 249 Lê Hồng Phong, VT, phone: 064 3823 492
  • Tháng Mười Hotel (2 star): 151 Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064 3852 665 / 3852 645
  • Thùy Dương Hotel (2 star): 4 Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064 3852 635
  • Vũng Tàu Victory Hotel (2 star): 149 Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064 3523 060

You can find some even cheaper hotels & motels:

  • Nghinh Phong Hotel: 172 Hoàng Hoa Thám, Ward 2, VT, phone: (064)3852478, (064)3816339
  • Hải Anh Hotel: 44b Phó Đức Chính, VT, phone: (064) 3616333
  • Kim Cương Hotel: 10 Trần Nguyên Hãn, VT, phone: 064 3859 233
  • Tri Kỷ Hotel: 180 Hoàng Hoa Thám, VT, phone: 3859 198
  • Hoa Phượng Đỏ II Hotel: 62 Hạ Long, Ward 1, VT, phone: (0643) 856199
  • Vũng Tàu Motel: 4 Trần Hưng Đạo, ward 1, VT, phone: (0643) 856500
  • Hoa Mai Hotel: 23-25 Thùy Vân, Ward 2, VT, phone: (0643) 858699
  • Hoa Phượng Đỏ IHotel: 261 Lê Hồng Phong, VT, phone: (0643) 859921/ 816021
  • VinafoodHotel: 300 Phan Chu Trinh, Ward 2, VT, phone: (0643) 822164
  • PacificHotel: 4 Lê Lợi, ward 1, VT, phone: (0643) 859577/ 859264
  • NeptuneHotel: 36 Hạ Long, ward 1, VT, phone: (0643) 856192/ 856434
  • Thùy Vân Hotel: 83 Thùy Vân, Ward 2, VT, phone: (0643) 859776
  • Hotel 49: 49 Phan Văn Tri, VT, phone: 064.3857145
  • Motel 102: 102 Trần Phú, Ward 5, VT, phone: (0643) 836105
  • Chính Phủ Motel: 17 Thùy Vân, Ward 2, VT, phone: (0643) 858679
  • Cẩm Hưng Motel: Thùy Vân, Ward 2, VT, phone: (0643) 852695
  • Motel 126: 126: Hoàng Hoa Thám, VT, phone: (064)3600149
  • Mỹ Tho Motel: 157 Thùy Vân, VT, phone: (064) 3854 755
  • Thiên Nhiên Hotel: 145A Thùy Vân, VT, phone: (064) 3853 481
  • Sóng Biển Hotel: 31A Thùy Vân, VT, phone: 064) 3523 311

You can also rent a house in Vung Tau: there are 3 mansions, each has 5 rooms, 1st floor has 2 double bedrooms, and 2nd floor has 3 single bedrooms with balcony. This place was used as government guesthouse. Contact: 064. 38 68 976; 38 68 010 – Ms. Thường, Ms. Nga.

Transportation

Coming to Vung Tau, you can choose taxi, motorcycle taxi, cycle rickshaw, and electric car.

  • Taxi:
    • Taxi Mai Linh (064) 3 56 56 56
    • Taxi Dầu khí (Petro): (064) 3 61 61 61
    • Taxi Vinasun: (064) 3 27 27 27
    • Petro Taxi: (064) 3 851 851 – 3 81 81 81
    • Taxi Minh Thắng: 064. 3 741 741
  • Motorcycle:
    • You can rent for 150,000 VND/day for manual gear, or 200,000 (10 VND) for automatic gear. You can ask your hotel or at the dock. Call 0909790137 for Mr. Hung, 0908 372 612 for Mr. Binh. Mr. Nỡ: 24 Lê Ngọc Hân, P 1. ĐT: 0902 444 031. Rental location: Trương Công Định St, Phone: 0909.790.137
  • Bicycle:
    • You can rent a double-bike to sightseeing the beach. You can rent at the front beach, next to the Children House or at back beach next to the hotels with the price from 15-20,000 VND/ hour (1USD)

Eating in Vung Tau

Vung Tau has is a rare place that has both sea and mountains so the culinary here is overwhelmingly diverse. If you want to eat seafood like squid, crab, oysters, cockles, many more kind of seafood, you can easily purchase these in the early morning from the fishermen, or come to seafood market in Long Son Island. There is so much food, and the belly is too little to handle them all.

In Vung Tau, the pie (bánh khọt) is the most common cuisine, and you can easily find these pies in many shops, however the best is the pie shop under the tree at 14 Nguyen Truong To.

Along the beach are the famous seafood restaurants “Con Sò Vàng” (The Yellow Seashell), “Sao Biển” (Star fish), “Hoa Biển” (Sea Flower). One special place is the “Thủy” restaurant, which has maybe the best fried crab with salt in the city. Other types of seafood can also be found at: Phố Biển (Sea Town), Mưa Biển (Sea rain), Tuyết Vân, Thuyền Chài (The Fishing boat), Hồng Vân, Thành Phát 334, Trần Phú, Sap Mai, Tre, Gành Hàu at Strawberry Beach, Cát Biển (Sea sand), Lan Rừng at Front Beach, Nghinh Phong at Pineapple Beach…

Sardinella salad is one of the oldest foods here in Vung Tau and you can find this dish at Vườn Xoài restaurant at 345 Hoang Hoa Tham.

The shrimp blood at Hải Phương restaurant (695 April 30 St., Rạch Dừa Ward) is one of the most famous dishes in Vung Tau. At Hai Phuong, you will have the chance to see the chef cook right at the table.

In the Vung Tau Commercial Center, there is a goat restaurant called “Dê Hưng” (at 17 Tôn Thất Tùng, Ward 7) which has many goat dishes.

Oyster’s porridge is the “edge” of Nghĩa restaurant (Ông Từ Junction). The porridge is sweet, fat and you definitely have to try this out once.

In Vung Tau, there are many shops have Russian-style barbecue (there are a lot of Russians come here every year). The ingredients are pork, beef, chicken… and they use a skewer to grill the meat. The meat is also marinated using Russian ingredients. One of the most famous is Việt Nga, Vườn Bằng at 37/4 Nguyen Thai Hoc.

At night, all of Vung Tau is like a festival. There are also some restaurants or joints open from night to dawn to serve the hungry tourists. At Trung Vuong and Do Chieu Square, there are countless of cuisines that make you want to stay forever and try them all. You will have Phở, rice vermicelli, bánh cuốn (meat roll buns), rice, sandwich… All kind of food with a fair price.

Café shops in Vung Tau are not bad also. Some have magnificient views to the sea such as Lan Rừng café, Ô Cấp (at Ha Long St), Sea Breeze café (at Tran Phu St.) Mũi Đá Café (at the dock).

Shopping in Vung Tau

You can buy dried seafood like squid, fish or crab from Vung Tau as gifts for friends and families. These can be purchased at Old Market, or at New Market.

One special cuisine that you should not miss is the Trí Hải sauce, which is shrimp sauce, and other types of sauces that can only be found in Vung Tau. You can buy these sauces at 417 Truong Cong Dinh.

At Thuy Van Beach at night, there are a lot of souvenirs shops too. There are countless things for you to look at these shops. All are made from seashell, and the gifts can vary from household equipment to art. You can find some here:

  • Bến Đình market: At the end of Le Loi St
  • Old Market: at City center, Ward 1
  • New Market: At Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Xo Viet Nghe Tinh
  • Imperial Plaza: at 163 Thùy Vân
  • CoopMart: 36 Nguyễn Thái Học, Ward 7

Destinations in Vung Tau:

Vung Tau is not too big, but it is definitely pretty. The sun, the beaches, the sea, the relics, the pagodas, fountains, statues, and the people, all are combined harmony and peacefully.

Back Beach (bãi sau) is a beautiful beach in Vung Tau, also known as Thùy Vân or Thùy Dương beach. Located on the southern area of Vung Tau from Small Mountain (Núi Nhỏ) to Cửa Lấp, the beach is about 10km long with white sands, clear water with some big waves. In front of the beach is the sea, and behind are miles of forest.

Closed by is the Front Beach (bãi trước) also known as Tầm Dương. Although the water is not beautiful like the Back, where a lot people come to, the Front has a great view on the sunset and sunrise. Along the beach is a line of coconut trees and because of this, people called it the Coconut Line Bay (Vịnh Hàng Dừa). Closed by is a park, and during the night, the Tran Phu St. lights up the beach with countless neon lights.

Vung Tau also has a beach called Strawberry (Dâu) with a lot of rocks, hidden from the wind. At two ends of the beach, there are many rocks cover the beach, with the mountain behind the beach, make the beach completely separate from the noise and the busy atmosphere of the city.

Big Mountain is one of the two beautiful mountains located to the North of Vung Tau, also known as Tương Kỳ. Along the way to the top, there are many statues like the Guanyin, Shakyamuni, and on the other side is Ave Maria.

Hồ Mây Resort located on the top of the mountain and under the shadow of trees. The resort has a pool which will reflect the time of the day. Here, you can easily have a bird-eye view of the entire city. The price of the cable car is about 200,000 VND (10USD) (closed on Wednesday if not holidays to repair and clean). Other than that, there is the Rock Cape in front of the White Palace, the Cao Trang Cape at the Big Mountain.

Small Mountain is located to the South of the city, also known as Tao Phùng. At the mountain’s foot, there are a lot of hotels, restaurants, café which are alongside the coastal road. At the top of the mountain, there is the 32m Jesus statue. From the mountain, you can look far away to the sea and you can spot the lighthouse. Inside the lighthouse, there is a stair and from there, you can view the whole city.

To the South of Small Mountain is the Nghinh Phong Moutain covers the Vọng Nguyệt Beach to the east and the Dứa beach to the West. Far from the Nghinh Phong is the Hon Ba Rock, a big rock in the sea, and when the tide is low, you can walk out there too. From Small to Ô Quắn beach, to Nghinh Phong to the Back is about 6km with many attractions along the way.

At the Ba Ria town next to Vung Tau, there are also many other beautiful beaches: Hồ Tràm, Lộc An, Hồ Cốc, or Long Hải resort. You can also visit pagodas which have lots of monkeys, Bình Châu hot springs. You can find out more at this link: Some tips for travelling in Long Hai

Nghinh Cô festival is held on December 12 of the Lunar year in Long Hai. The peace-praying ceremony is happened the day before and the gods-honoring ceremony is on the 12th on a beautifully decorated boat. The locals pray for a peaceful sea and boat full of shrimps and fish. There are also many dances and music during the time of the fiesta.

There is also Nghinh Ông festival at the Whale Temple at Hoang Hoa Tham St on Lunar December 16-18th. After the ceremony, tourists can enjoy the dances, singings, and many other activities.

Vung Tau has one more place to go, the Con Dao Island. Not only will you see the relics of the war, but also the beautiful, untouched nature. (904)

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