It is a common saying that Vung Tau is naturally endowed of beautiful beaches, mountains around the city and cool climate throughout the year. Tourists cannot miss the extremely beautiful shore, the old famous light house, the statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms, and unending of delicious food,…
Vũng Tàu was originally referred to as Tam Thắng ("Three Boats") in memory of the first three villages in this area: Thắng Nhất, Thắng Nhị, Thắng Tam, within the province of Biên Hòa under the Nguyễn 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 Định city, the king sent his army to crack down on the pirates. The pirates were ousted and the troops were given the land as a reward. 10 February 1859 marked the first use of cannons by Nguyễn's army, when they fired at French battleships from the fortress of Phước Thắng, located 100m from Vũng Tàu's Front Beach. This marked an important period in Vietnam's war against French invaders in South Vietnam (then called Cochinchina).
It would seem a paradox but Vung Tau gains a lot from being the biggest crude oil extraction centre of Vietnam. As a result it has a more able infrastructure compared with many cities in the country and it's easy to get around and see the many sights. For the historic Con Dao Island, one should not miss the opportunity to visit the infamous prisons and their ‘tiger cages’ before heading off to see the island's beautiful National Park and other locations.
Vung Tau is the first-choice seaside resort for the well-to-do in Vietnam. Many claim that it is the perfect getaway from the city and there is indeed a lot to do there. Options include swimming, snorkeling, watching dog racing as well as enjoying its golf course.
Later on when Vung Tau became the centre of the oil business in the country, many Russians came to work in the oil fields and started a large resident compound here. Many of them socialised downtown and revitalised the place. If your idea of a good night out is a game of pool and chatting with girls who work as hostesses in some of the more ‘colourful’ cafes and bars, Vung Tau is the place to be.
Vung Tau is a lot more commercialized compared to the Con Dao Islands and there's a lot more to do in the mainland town. This is partly because this area was used as a rest & recreation destination for American soldiers during the Vietnam War.
One of the best ways to see Vung Tau is by recently introduced electric car. These open-sided and environmentally friendly vehicles amble along at moderate speed, allowing you to take all the sights in. Ask a local tour agent or your hotel desk for more details.