- Vung Tau Travel Guide

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Vung Tau, Vietnam has long become an easy getaway for people from the noisy and populous city of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In the past, Vung Tau was a favorite beach destination for the rich and famous in Ho Chi Minh City. Today it stands as a resort town in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, just 125 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. With its approximately 14 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, Vung Tau houses many bungalows and vacation homes from olden days and many large and modern hotels along its beaches.


There are many tourist attractions in Vung Tau, including several beaches and abundance of pagodas and temples, many leaning against the mountains and face the oceans. Vung Tau, Vietnam faces the ocean on three sides. So, not surprisingly why Vung Tau is windy all year round with a very pleasant average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius which makes it a popular destination for sightseeing in Vietnam.


The three beaches in Vung Tau, Vietnam are Bai Sau or the Rear Beach, Bai Dua or the Pineapple Beach, and Bai Truoc or Front beach.

Along with being one of the Vietnam popular beach vocations, Vung Tau is also a centre of services for the exploitation of gas and oil with oil rigs just 70 kilometers off shore. Beside Vung Tau, Vietnam also has a significant fishing industry.

It is a favourite resort destination for those wishing to get away from the city. In recent times, the number of foreign tourists visiting Vung Tau's beaches increased. Vung Tau also allows access to nearby less visited beaches like Long Hai, Ho Tram and Ho Coc. To most tourists, however, Vung Tau is more interesting for its extensive beaches. Tourists often prefer swimming at Back Beach but sightseeing in Front Beach. Back Beach is well-known for its over 10 km of fine sand.


Vung Tau was originally referred to as Tam Thang (Three Boats) in memory of the first three villages in this area. It was within the province of Bien Hoa under the Nguyen Dynasty. Under the reign of king Gia Long (1761–1820), when Malay pirates built a base here and subsequently became a danger to traders in Gia Dinh city, the king sent 3 troupes of army to crack down on the pirates. The pirates were ousted and soldiers of these troupes were given the land as a reward.


The French governor of Indochina, Paul Doumer (who later became President of France), built a mansion in Vung Tau that is still a prominent landmark in the city.


During the Vietnam War, Vung Tau was home to the Australian Army and American support units, and was a popular spot for in-country R&R for U.S. combat troops. After the war, Vung Tau was a common launching place for the Vietnamese Boat People fleeing the communists.


In Vung Tau, one of the most widely celebrated holidays is Whale Holiday. Festivals in the region include the Kite Festival and World Food Festival Culture Australian tourists come to Vung Tau in August to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.


Vung Tau is also of interest for religious reasons. Like mostly provinces and cities in Vietnam, Buddhism is the predominant religion. Mahayana Buddhism, the dominant form of the religion in Vietnam, was brought to Ba Ria - Vung Tau by the Vietnamese settlers from the north at the beginning of the 17th century during the expansion of the Nguyen Lords. When they came bringing their original religion they built many Buddhist pagodas, temples and statues in the city. The Thich Ca Phat Dai and Niet Ban Tinh Xa temple, both Buddhist sites, are significant and draw pilgrims from around the country. Before the area was settled by ethnic Vietnamese, the Khmer people practiced Theravada Buddhism.

It has about 14 Catholic wards with active services. A notable monument in the city is Christ of Vung Tau, a large statue of Christ on a hilltop built by Vietnam's Catholic minority. It was completed in 1974, with the height of 32 metres and two outstretched arms spanning 18.4 metres. It is considered to be among the tallest statues of Christ in Asia.


There has been a Russian village in Vung Tau ever since the Soviet era; these Russians generally worked for the Russian - Vietnamese joint venture VietSovPetro. It is believed that these "Russians", or "citizens of the former Soviet Union", were once the most dominant group of foreigners in Vung Tau. Some have remained in Vung Tau after the fall of the Soviet Union. They formed a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church.


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