Just over 2 hours from bustling Saigon, you can set foot on the white sand, listening to the sea waves whispering and feeling the salty taste of the sea breeze.
What to do in Vung Tau? One might ask.
In this article, I share the best things to do in Vung Tau with tips to enjoy the best of your time in this beautiful coastal city.
Things to know before visiting Vung Tau
- Where to stay: We stayed at multiple accommodations in Vung Tau, but the latest trip was at The Wind Boutique Resort, and we LOVE it!
- What to pack: suncream, swimsuit, hat, sunglasses
- Transportation: How to get from Ho Chi Minh city
- Travel insurance: I recommend having travel insurance while traveling for your safety.
Below is the list of top things to do in Vung Tau beach city.
1. Have a fun day at Ho May Park
Located on top of Nui Lon’s peak, Ho May park is a great amusement park to visit in Vung Tau.
Travelers can see the statue of Maitreya in Vung Tau with a mesmerizing pagoda or go for thrilling slides and zip lines and visit the zoo.
For indoor activities, you can enjoy the exciting 5D movies or watch excellent Ho May Grand Shows. Also, you can have a relaxing time at the waterpark and the spa.
Hop on the cable car and make your way to Ho May Park to enjoy a breathtaking view of Vung Tau.
- Address: 1A Tran Phu, Ward 1, Vung Tau City
- Opening hours: 7:30 am – 11 pm
2. Walk in the middle of the sea to Hon Ba Island
Hon Ba Island, known as the Islet of Goddess, is a fascinating place to visit at low tide.
How to get to Hon Ba Island
You will have to take a boat along the arc to get to Hon Ba island because many reefs are around the island.
In addition to traveling by boat, you can also go to Hon Ba island by walking the 200m long “undersea road” from Back Street to Hon Ba Island.
As this road only appears at the lowest tidal days of the month – Fullmoon day, it’s also the time when Hon Ba island was the most crowded.
The stone path leading to Hon Ba island is very rugged and challenging to go with many pieces of sharp oyster shells, so you should be careful when walking.
Also, you should wait for the water to withdraw entirely, and the stone path is completely exposed before walking.
This stone path usually appears in the evening (around 4 pm to 6 pm), so it is nearly dark after discovering Hon Ba island.
3. Watch Dog-racing
What to do at night in Vung Tau?
If you visit Vung Tau on the weekend, you can watch dog racing in Lam Son Stadium, the only place in Vietnam to organize dog racing and the largest dog racing school in Southeast Asia.
You will get a close look at the fierce races of the mighty dogs. Each night has about 10-12 races, and each one has eight racing dogs competing.
When it starts, a “bait rabbit” mounted around the track will run ahead faster than the dogs, so these dogs will chase it.
Besides watching dog racing, you can also bet on the winning dog and win a bonus.
The minimum amount for each bet is 10,000 VND. The reward amount depends on the odds and the number of people betting.
Before choosing a dog to place a bet, you will receive a brochure with a detailed introduction about each dog, from good and bad achievements to health status and its latest race.
- Entrance fee: 60,000 VND (~ $2.6)
- Address: 15 Le Loi, Ward 1, Vung Tau
4. Have a view from Vung Tau Lighthouse
Built in 1862, Vung Tau Lighthouse is one of the best places to visit in Vung Tau. The lighthouse is 149m above sea level and is covered in a layer of delicate white paint, strikingly against the blue sky.
The area is surrounded by the beautiful green canopy with other tropical plants contributing to a wild and quiet look.
The primary purpose of the lighthouse is to make signs indicating the passage for ships and boats when passing to Ba Ria Vung Tau.
The way leading to Vung Tau Lighthouse is lovely, with one side is the mountain, and the other is the sea.
Therefore, you can take a walk on the small road along the mountainside, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the scenery while walking to the lighthouse.
Besides, there are many beautiful and romantic scenes for you and your loved ones to take photos of and save beautiful memories.
Best time to visit Vung Tau Lighthouse
You should visit the lighthouse in the evening to enjoy the most of this place.
With a bright light, the lighthouse looks like the eyes of the land, diligently signaling boats and ships to travel across the vast dark sky.
5. Visit Jesus Christ’s Statue
One of the symbols of Vung Tau city is the statue of Jesus Christ. It is a religious site with significant meaning for Catholics and a famous tourist destination in Vung Tau.
The statue has a height of 32m with an arm length of 18.4m so that you can see the figure of Chris from a far distance.
If you’d like to reach the statue, you’ll need to climb about 1,000 stairs, and there is a resting place every 100 – 200 steps.
A distinctive feature of the statue is the stairway leading to the arm of God. This staircase has 133 steps, stretched from the pedestal to the figure’s neck.
The maximum capacity of the statue is 100 guests.
Although it will be tiring to climb up several steps, it’s worth the effort as you’ll have a beautiful view of Vung Tau scenery.
Things to know before visiting Jesus Christ’s Statue Vung Tau
When to visit: You should go early in the morning, not in the middle of the day because it is pretty hot.
What to wear: You should wear appropriate clothes. All types of shorts and revealing skirts are not allowed to enter the statue of God.
What to bring: water and snacks
Address: Thuy Van, Ward 2, Vung Tau city, Ba Ria – Vung Tau
6. Eat seafood and local dishes
Visiting the beach city without trying seafood is a huge miss!
Oyster dishes, grilled stingray topped with green onion, and crispy cuttlefish are my favorite dishes to try in Vung Tau. The fish here is also really fresh and tasty.
In addition to seafood, Vung Tau is also famous for Banh khot and Salted egg cake.
Where to eat in Vung Tau
One of the most famous seafood restaurants in Vung Tau is Ganh Hao, where you can order tasty seafood dishes while enjoying a stunning view of the coast.
We tried Banh khot at Banh Khot Ut Loan, and we bought Salted egg cake nearby.
- Ganh Hao Restaurant: 03 Tran Phu, Ward 5, Vung Tau
- Banh Khot Ut Loan: 03 Ly Thuong Kiet, Ward 3, Vung Tau
7. Swim at Back Beach
Where to swim in Vung Tau?
Vung Tau’s back beach, known as Bãi Sau, is famous for its beautiful coastline and little waves. Back Beach creates a comfortable feeling for visitors after hard working days with fresh air and beautiful scenery.
The beach is also my family’s favorite spot, and we usually go swimming and relaxing on the sand.
As the street vendors are no longer allowed on the coast, it’s much better
Tips: This area also has a lot of hotels and resorts from budget to luxury. If you’d like a relaxing vacation, I recommend staying at the resort.
8. Take a walk at Front Beach
Front Beach has a poetic scenery as the landing point of the ships returning after voyages.
Although it’s not recommended to swim at Front Beach due to rocks and pollution, it is ideal for watching the sunset or taking a walk at night.
Along the Front Beach, you will spot many coconut trees under the green shades. There’s a park full of flowers for visitors who love walking and admiring the view of the ocean waves.
You can also find a lot of restaurant and entertainment services in this area.
9. Day trip to Ho Tram
Ho Tram is known for having a better beach than Vung Tau. With clear blue water and sandy coast, Ho Tram attracts many visitors yearly.
However, to enjoy the best of it, you should stay at one of the resorts in Ho Tram because the public Ho Tram Beach is crowded.
On your way back to Vung Tau, don’t forget to stop by Long Hai to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
10. Explore Nghinh Phong Cape
Nghinh Phong Cape is one of the popular places to visit in Vung Tau, thanks to its “Heaven Gate.”
Just step through this gate, you will have an impressive panoramic view overlooking the beautiful coastal city of Vung Tau.
Also, you can walk to Vong Nguyet beach to catch the sea breeze or to have a delicious seafood barbecue on the beach. Because the wave is powerful and swirling, you should not swim here.