Vung Tau city

Vung Tau city


Vung Tau is located at the tip of a small peninsula in southern Vietnam, 90 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Peninsula is surrounded by Ganh Rai Bay, and the Saigon and Mekong rivers flowing into the bay. Vung Tau is a major holiday destination for residents of Ho Chi Minh City, both for weekend breaks and just a day trip as it is not far from Ho Chi Minh City. Vung Tau is famous for its beaches where you can enjoy the sunrise on one side of the peninsula and the sunset on the other. Vung Tau has a tropical climate with rainfall mostly from May to November and a dry season from December to April with an average annual temperature of 26.6°C. Vũng Tàu – Wikipedia


In the 14th and 15th centuries, the peninsula was an important landing place for merchant ships from Europe, and the name of the town, Vung Tau, translates as “anchorage”. Once upon a time, centuries ago, this place was also called swampland. In the 17th century, it was settled by the Vietnamese, who built many new Buddhist temples and monuments on their arrival. Under the reign of King Gia Long in the 18th century, pirates from the Malay Archipelago established their base on the peninsula, which later they caused problems for the merchant ships. The king sent an army to get rid of the pirates, which was successful operation. As a reward, the soldiers were given lands. During the reign of the Nguyễn dynasty, the province was called Biên Hòa and the village was called Tam Thắng (“Three Boats”) which consisted of three villages Thắng Nhất, Thắng Nhị, Thắng Tam.


The French Indo-Chinese government renamed the town Cap Saint-Jacques (VN. “Cap Xanh Giắc”) where in 1901 lived 5,690 people of whom 2,000 had arrived as immigrants from North Vietnam. On 4 April 1905, Cap Saint-Jacques was designated an administrative district of Bà Rịa Province. In 1929, Cap Saint Jacques was granted provincial status, and since 1934 it has been known as the town of Vung Tau. The mansion of the French Indochinese governor Paul Doumer is still a tourist attraction in Vung Tau, who later became the president of the France.

During the Vietnam War, Vung Tau was the headquarters for Australian logisticians and also the base for various US forces at various times. After the war, however, it was a hiding place for people who hid itself from the communists. From 1979 onwards, Vung Tau was the capital of the Vung Tau – Con Dao Administrative Zone. In 1991, the name was changed to Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province where Vung Tau officially became Vung Tau City, with an area of 140 m2, consisting of thirteen districts and one commune on Long Son Island.


Today, the role of the city port in the maritime sector has diminished, but the Vung Tau city still plays an important role in Vietnam’s offshore oil industry as the peninsula is home to the only base for Vietnam’s crude oil and natural gas. The peninsula is also home to a large number of Russian citizens since the headquarters of the Vietsovpetro corporation, established in 1981, is located in Vung Tau, which is a Russian-Vietnamese oil and gas joint venture. In addition to the headquarters, the town has shops, cafes, a Russian cultural centre, a Russian-language school, taxi drivers and also an Orthodox church. More than 600 professionals and their families populate this Vung Tau commune, which is also believed to be the largest commune of Russians in Vietnam.

Read more: Mui Ne beach

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Nha Trang city

Nha Trang City


Nha Trang city is a resort town in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa province, on the Bay of Nha Trang with its 4-kilometre-long beachfront. The city has a population of about 500,000, located 1,280 km from the capital Hanoi, 200 km from Phan Thiet (Muine) and 448 km from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). The economy relies heavily on tourism but also has a sizeable fishing industry and shipbuilding. Cam Ranh International Airport (CRX) is 30 km away from Nha Trang, and serving both domestic and international flights. Nha Trang – Wikipedia


Nha Trang Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world with its 19 islands of varying sizes, making it an ideal beach holiday destination. The city attracting large numbers of foreign tourists as well as being very popular with Vietnamese tourists. Beautiful beaches, tropical lush nature, transparent sea water suitable for diving, and good warm sea temperature all year round make the city one of the most popular beach tourism destinations in Vietnam. Nha Trang has a tropical climate with mostly dry and rainy January to August, with typhoons mainly from September to December. The average annual temperature is 29°C and the coolest time is January with a maximum temperature of 24°C.


The Nha Trang city was formerly part of the Champa Empire, and known as Kauthara. The name of the city is derived from the Champa name Ya Trang (Red Legal VN: Cai River). In recognition of this religion and cultural centre, the ancient temple of Po Nagar, dating back more than 1200 years, still stands in Nha Trang.

Legend has it that Yang Ino Po Nagar (Lady Po Nagar) originated in the same mountainous province of Khanh Hoa. Lady Po Nagar sailed to China and married the son of the Chinese Emperor and together they later established the Champa state where Lady Po Nagar became the first Queen of Champa. Since 1698, the territory has officially belonged to the Viet Namese where, until the 16th and 19th centuries, the urban areas of Nha Trang were covered with thick jungle, and rich in fauna. During the French colonial era, the beach was transformed into a perfect beach which was slowly being adapted into a resort town. For American soldiers, Nha Trang city was the preferred holiday destination in the war time.

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Con Dao archipelago



The Con Dao archipelago is located in Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, with a population of around 7,000 people. The archipelago is located 185 km offshore from the Vung Tau Peninsula and 80 km from the Mekong Delta. Half of the inhabitants are military border guards and the other half are fishermen. The largest island in the Con Dao archipelago is Con Son, where also is an airport, and varying levels of accommodation, from guest houses to 5-star resorts.

Separated from the mainland, the Con Dao archipelago is a paradise with beautiful sandy beaches, hidden blue lagoons, coral reefs surrounded by mountainous terrain, with the highest peak at 557 metres. The Con Dao archipelago is made up of 16 beautiful islands, 80% of which are covered by a national park. The national park is covered by thick jungle and is home to the unique black squirrel, macaws that feed on crabs and sea turtles, tropical fish and dolphins.

The best time for diving and snorkelling is from February to October with water visibility of 20-30 metres. In the calm you can dive to the underwater shipwreck, and diving is offered for all levels with certified instructors. Côn Đảo – Wikipedia


As the Con Dao archipelago is only eight degrees from the equator, it is almost always dry tropical climate with daily sunshine. The warmest months are June, July and August with temperatures of 37 C and cooler winds. In March and April there is less wind and the average temperature is around 33 C. The wind is also strong in the summer. The coldest period is from September to January where the temperature is 28 C.


Con Dao Island can be reached by plane from Ho Chi Minh and Can Tho airports and by helicopter from the Vung Tau Peninsula. Since July 2017, a new speedboat service (Superdong Speedboat JSC) has been opened linking Soc Trang city (Tran De port) in Mekong Delta province, and Con Dao island. The boat can accommodate 306 passengers and reaching destionaion within 2.5 hours.


Con Dao has been part of the Khmer Empire and an archipelago called Koh Tralach until the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century. The Con Dao archipelago has been used as a trading port for centuries by Arab, Spanish and Portuguese traders. The archipelago was also the stopover of Marco Polo in 1294, who sailed from China to India and sought shelter from a storm in the Con Dao archipelago. Later the archipelago belonged to the Malay people, whose name in Malay was Pulo Condore where ‘pulo’ itself means corruption. Malay has the status of the official language in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore today.

In the 17th century, the archipelago was settled by the Vietnamese, and by the 18th century it belonged to a British-Indian company. By 1862, the Con Dao archipelago was officially recognised as part of the French colony, and renamed Grande-Condore. Grande-Condore (Con Dao) Island was also known as Devil’s Island during the French colonial era, where political prisoners and undesirables were held, so Con Son was a hell on earth for thousands of political prisoners, many of whom were unfortunately never released.

In 1975, with the liberation of Saigon, the prison was closed where you can now find a prison museum open to the public to reflect the history of Con Dao. Today, the Con Dao archipelago is famous for its striking natural beauty, with beautiful sandy beaches, hidden blue lagoons, coral reefs surrounded by a mountainous landscape. The largest beaches are An Hai, Lo Voi, Dat Doc, Ong Dung, Dam Trau.

Read more: Phu Quoc Island  |  Can Tho City

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Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island is located in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province, Mekong Delta region, off the coast of Cambodia, and is one of the best preserved tropical jungle islands in Southeast Asia. On the west coast of Phu Quoc lies the island’s largest urban centre, Duong Dong, which is the island’s main fishing port and home to 70% of the island’s population. Duong Dong offers a variety of restaurants, bars shops and accommodation.

Of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest at 50 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. Phu Quoc is divided into 3 main divisions: Phu Quoc Island, Hon Thom and An Thoi archipelago. The island has a total of 99 land peaks, the highest of which is Mount Chua at 603 metres. Phu Quoc is also the only place in Vietnam with an incredibly rich and beautiful underwater world. The underwater world offers hundreds of species of corals, fish and various molluscs. Unique turtles, dugongs and other aquatic mammals live in the waters surrounding the island. Phú Quốc – Wikipedia


Phu Quoc island offers a total of around 20 beaches. The best beaches are Khem Beach, Sao Beach and the most popular beach is arguably Long Beach. Khem Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Phu Quoc with its powder-white sands and sparkling waves. Phu Quoc’s beaches are all nice but the island’s crown jewel is considered to be Sao Beach with its magnificent white sands and luxurious hotel resorts. Long Beach is the most popular beach on the west coast, with 20 km of undulating coastline, offering plenty of places to eat, accommodation and being the perfect place to watch the sunset.

One of the most beautiful islands in the region is arguably Hon Xuong, often referred to as Robinson Cruso Island. You won’t find any accommodation on Hon Xuong Island, but day boat trips and overnight camping are offered to this picturesque beach. Hon Thom Island is also called Pineapple Island, being the second largest island connected by the world’s longest 8 km cable car to Phu Quoc. Hon Thom offers an amusement park, a water park, beaches, snorkelling, diving and hunting in the An Thoi archipelago.


Phu Quoc is a year-round destination with an average annual temperature of 27°C, making it an excellent destination for climate refugees and heat seekers. The climate is the same as always in southern Vietnam, with glorious sunny days and cool sea breezes from November to March and the hottest months starting in April, followed by autumn rains later in the year.


The history of Phu Quoc and archaeological finds have shown that Phu Quoc was inhabited at least 2,500 years ago and these findings are on display at the Coi Nhuon Museum in Long Beach. Historical documents dating from 1615 give the island the name Koh Tral, which was then an island of the Khmer Empire. It is not known how many Khmer lived on Koh Tral at that time, but it is certain that the island was conquered by the Khmer. In 1680, one of the previous Khmer kings gave the southern part of the island to the Chinese, who set up 7 trading centres which were soon filled with Chinese and Portuguese traders. In 1862 Phu Quoc was occupied by the French, along with other parts of Vietnam, until 1963.


Before travelling, there is definitely the question of whether I need a visa for Phu Quoc? Phu Quoc has a different visa regime from mainland Vietnam. When flying to Phu Quoc, travellers do not need a visa as they can stay visa-free on the island for up to 30 days. However, please note that the visa waiver for Phu Quoc does not give the right to visit the mainland. To qualify for a 30-day visa-free stay on Phu Quoc, the following requirements must be met:

* Two way flight tickets.

* Passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

* Should have no previous visa violation in Vietnam, no deportation decision and must not be on Interpol list.

* Leaving the island by ferry, internal flight to land is prohibited and is a visa violation.

If the above requirements are met, a stamp will be affixed to your passport at passport control on arrival in Phu Quoc, allowing you to stay visa-free for up to 30 days. The 30-day stay cannot be extended.

PS. If you arriving to Phu Quoc via Saigon airport, and take an internal flight to Phu Quoc, then you will need a visa.

Read more: Can Tho City

Mui Ne beach

Phan Thiet City


Mui Ne beach is part of Phan Thiet district, and Phan Thiet is the capital of Binh Thuan province. Mui Ne is a fishing village that actually located on the Mui Ne peninsula, and Mui Ne beach is not there. Phan Thiet is a fairly young town, with the town’s 100th anniversary only celebrated in 1998. 100 years ago, Phan Thiet was a small fishing village, which today has grown into one of the main beach resorts in the southern part of Vietnam. The city of Phan Thiet is divided into 18 districts and Ham Tien is the Mui Ne Beach Resort District where can be found hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants on both sides of the road.

The beach area on the other side of Phan Thiet is called Tien Thanh (Golden Coast), and also Ke Ga beach where there are also many hotel resorts. It is more suited to the peace and tranquillity-loving holidaymaker and probably too quiet for the more active holidaymaker. The city of Phan Thiet is located between Ham Tien and Tien Thanh beaches. To go to the other beach area you will have to drive through Phan Thiet and probably need to change hotel. Mũi Né – Wikipedia


Mui Ne beach (Rang Beach – Ham Tien) was only discovered by foreigners in 1995 when Mui Ne was the ideal place to watch the sun eclipse. Decades ago, Ham Tien had a small sandy beach road where fishermen lived with their families, their huts not even having addresses. The Mui Ne peninsula has always been a good hiding place for fishermen’s boats to shelter from storms.


Phan Thiet has a typical coastal climate where the sun shines all year round. The average annual temperature is 29°C with two main seasons: a completely dry season (November to April) and a wet season (May to October). Phan Thiet – Mui Ne is also the poorest place in Vietnam in terms of rainfall. Rainfall occurs mostly in the evenings when the sun goes down and more so in August. The best time to visit Mui Ne is between September and April when there is a nice cool sea breeze.


The areas of today’s Phan Thiet city and Binh Thuan province were inhabited by the ancient Champa kingdom (NAGARA CAMPA (VN: Chăm Pa) from the 2nd century BC where Phan Thiet was under the rule of the Champa metropolis of Panduranga (Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm). The Champa people called Phan Thiet “Hamu Lith”. “Hamu” refers to the village and “Lithit” to the seaside. Throughout the centuries, the Cham culture has been influenced by Cambodia, China, and India. In 1471, tired of wars, the Cham empire finally collapsed in surrender to the Annam (Vietnamese) emperor Thanh Ton. The region was completely conquered by the Nguyễn Dynasty (Đại Việt Empire) in 1692 and renamed Binh Thuan Dinh. In 1825, Emperor Minh Mang transformed the region into Binh Thuan Province. During the Vietnam War, Phan Thiet and Binh Thuan Province were the base for several military installations.

Traditionally, fishing and the production of fish sauce have always been the main source of income for Phan Thiet. In the 1990s, when tourism development gained momentum, and tourism has taken over from the fishing industry as the main employer in Phan Thiet.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City