Vung Tau- The Seaside Escape of the Saigonese
Vũng Tàu is a seaside peninsula city located in Southern Vietnam, just 3 hours drive (328kms) from HCMC, making it a popular city escape for locals and local expats. Its beaches first become popular with French colonists around 1890, when it was called ‘Cap St Jaques’. French influence is shown in the city’s wide boulevards and grand colonial buildings.
Vũng Tàu’s coastline is split into three beaches; Back Beach on the main strip (Bai Sau) is a long, wide stretch of beach fronted by a number of hotels and guesthouses. Front Beach is located downtown and surrounded by sleek parks with sparkling marble pavements. Mulberry Beach on to the North West is pebbly, but secluded and quiet.
Interesting sights in the city include the Giant Jesus statue, believed by locals to be the highest in the world and 6 meters taller than the Rio De Janeiro version. Wonderful panoramic views of Vung Tau can be viewed by climbing to arm level. To get all the way to the top of the mountain, around 900 stairs must be climbed, alternatively a bumpy ride by motorbike can take you to the summit. Stunning views can also be seen from the 1910 Lighthouse.
A famous delicacy in Vung Tau is Banh Khot Hai San – miniature rice pancakes with seafood in the center and sprinkled with crushed shrimp. Banh khot is tricky to make because perfect timing is crucial.