planning a trip to Vietnam and are having difficulties
deciding where to go and what to do, what you cannot miss
and what to skip. From the feedbacks of our customers,
Tailormade Vietnam Holidays would like to recommend some
activities considered by travellers as must-do's when you
are in Vietnam....
A slow ride to Vung Tau
Having been chased out of three countries for inappropriate behavior around children it is surprising that Gary Glitter decided to set up his mother care language school in
Tau. Even if he managed to miss the dazzling statue of the Virgin and baby Jesus in the hills at one end of town, you would have thought the giant version of the grown-up Jesus, Acapulco style, would be fair warming that Vung Tau is a place to take its morality seriously.
There appears to be more religious institutions per square kilometer than most other towns in the region. The road in from
Saigon is a gauntlet of new Catholic churches and just in case you were worried that the Buddhists might be missing out, the stretch of bitumen around the headland has a serious choice of temple options. Come on, come on Gary, what were you thinking?
Vung Tau has all the basics to be decent overnight getaway from Saigon. There's a picturesque bay filled with cobalt blue fishing boats, and the sea itself is a great shining expanse. Also, there are lush green hills surrounding the town which is only an hour and a quarter from Saigon. Well, that's if the hydrofoil runs as scheduled. Last trip to Vung Tau it took two and half hours to get there (this involved changing vessels because the first broke down) and almost two hours returning without a break down. The Hydrofoils leave at haft hourly interval from Ton Duc Thang Street and cost $10 USD.
Vung Tau is a long town so working out where to go at first glace can be a little hard. At the time of writing the best beach (the back beach) was looking like demolition site. Broken bricks and other building materials littered a substantial stretch of the beach closest to town. A much better option is spending some time gazing out over the bay where the hydrofoil docks either from the new park, your hotel or one of the waterfront venues.
To enjoy the town and its surrounds you need a bike (50,000 VND a day) or a commitment to a fair bit of Xe Om. If you have this sorted then you can choose from pretty pleasant options. The roads have improved dramatically and there isn't much traffic in the areas surrounding Vung Tau, so you can cruise around and enjoy a winding coastal road, green hills and sea air.
Mulberry beach is 3 kilometers west out of the town on the coast road. The attraction here is that its faces west so unlike most seaside spots in
Vietnam you can catch the sunset. You'll find a collection of good seafood restaurants on the front, just past the Virgin and child statue, to feed and water you while doing this. Other trips worth considering are to Long Hai and surrounding beaches (30km), the local museum and home of the French Governor of Saigon, and the Lighthouse.
One of the local culinary specialties to look out for is Banh Khot. These are crispy little yellow rice flower disks with a prawn, spring onion and a dusting of shrimp powder accompanied by herbs such as mint, perella and fish mint with lettuce and mustard greens for wrapping.
Highly recommended is the Imperial Arms (3 Nguyen Du). Is a new corner on the Vung Tau scene it offers a tasteful ambience pub style with attractive beer garden. There isn't much else like it around.
You won't have trouble finding a hotel there is a hug range to choose from.
By Kate Simpson