The Vietnamese beach haunt of Vung Tau

If Nha Trang and Mui Ne are the beach resort of choice for the Western Tourist, then Vung Tau is the place the Vietnamese go. It’s not the nicest beach, nor does it have great food, but it’s awesome all the same.

2 girls, 1 man, 1 room…

I wasn’t quite ready to leave Vietnam for some reason, it wasn’t that I liked the country as a whole I just didn’t want to move on. It was when Lisa from the Cu Chi Tunnels said she was headed to Vung Tau the next day I realised I wanted to see something else, something different to try and make me like the country. On the bus we met another German girl called Franziska and we all chatted, slept and kept ourselves amused as the bus rocked and bounced it’s way to Vung Tau.

At the beach we popped into a couple of hotels with Lisa taking the lead with Franziska in tow checking out the rooms, I didn’t see the point in three people traipsing up the stairs (especially since my thighs were in agony from the Cu Chi Tunnels) so waited for them to give the ok. Eventually they decided on a room and as we climbed the stairs the owner pulled me to one side, grinned, gave me the thumbs up and said “2 girls, 1 man, 1 room, Good Job”. It was hilarious and I just grinned back, nodded and said “yup”!

The beach

The beach is quite narrow when the tides in and we were forced to walk in the luke warm water to get by all the deck-chairs. It’s certainly not the nicest beach but as we walked we couldn’t help but notice all the Vietnamese playing in the water, all wearing their street clothes. Some were playing organised games sitting in long lines shuffling along trying to race the other teams, tug-of-war with no rope and some weird lie face down in the sand game. Dads played with the delighted children. People were eating ice-creams and freshly cooked sea food. It was all just lots of fun.

A quick movie:


The following morning he went back down to the beach and with low tide conditions, it was transformed. The wide, flat expanse of sand was full of people playing games, splashing about in the pools of water left by the retreating tide, a kite flew in the distance, people charged the waves and were left on their backsides as the water won. The deck chairs were full of people watching and the sand was a mass of movement as little crabs darted about moving small balls of sand from the tunnels they had dug.

We eventually stopped in a little cafe just off the coast and had a delicious coffee and ice-cream before heading back to our hotel in order to go our separate ways – Lisa was headed to a different Beach Town whereas Franziska and were headed back to Ho Chi Minh.

The Hydrofoil doesn’t fly but the people are honest

We paid over the odds for the boat trip back, $12.50 compared to $4 on the buses and the thing didn’t even fly. Sure it was fast, but it was a rough ride and if it hadn’t been for Franziska’s company the boat trip wouldn’t have been worth it. I expected a silky smooth ride as the wings cut into the water and we started to fly, but it didn’t happen.

At the end, we were standing just off the pier when a passenger came up to me and said “this is your camera” – I’d left it on the boat. Talk about lucky! A couple of seconds later another man rushes up to confirm that I’d got my camera back. Hue may have been full of dishonest people ready to rob me, the boat trip back from Vung Tau was the exact opposite – it was full of really lovely people. I knew then that my time in Vietnam was complete – I’d leave with positive memories (some more positive than others)!

Click here to load a map showing you the location of this post and images from the digitallery taken nearby.