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.

Read more: Mui Ne beach

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Dalat city

Dalat city


Dalat city (Vn: Đà Lạt) is the capital of Lam Dong Province. Located on the Langbiang Plateau at an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level. In the centre of the city lies the 2 square kilometre, Xuan Huong artificial lake. Da Lat is called the City of Eternal Spring and is a medium-sized Vietnamese city reminiscent of the French Alps. The streets are spacious with elegant French colonial villas, and the locals are very friendly. Dalat a great hideaway for escaping both the hustle and bustle of the city and the heat. The town and its districts grow a variety of berries, fruits, silk, tea, coffee, flowers, rice and much more. Da Lat – Wikipedia


Be aware that the mountain climate is much cooler than elsewhere along the Vietnamese coast. Dalat is known as the city of eternal spring with daytime temperatures between 15°C and 24°C. The highest temperature ever recorded is 31.5°C and the lowest -0.6°C. The dry season is from November to March, with rainfall mostly from April to October. During the rainy season, the waterfalls are most massive, and the best time to visit.


Vietnam’s central highlands have been inhabited since time immemorial by the Degar tribes, who consider themselves the descendants of the Champa kingdom. The Degars have always fought against all invaders, as they did against the Viet Cong troops. 

When the Langbiang Plateau became part of French Cochinchina, many colonial doctors attributed many diseases to the hot tropical maritime climate, and the first expedition was sent to the plateau in 1890. The expedition was joined by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin and chemist Louis Pasteur.

After a successful expedition, permission was sought from the French governor Paul Doumer to start construction on the Langbiang Plateau, which would offer the lure of an escape from the hot and supposedly unhealthy hot tropical maritime climate. The construction was immediately approved by the French governor, and the city was to be called Dankia. The town plan was drawn up by Ernest Hébrard, and the town was to be a white privilege and amenity, serving both a medical purpose and a symbolic function in maintaining white supremacy.

The French faced many hurdles in the construction and the project took a couple of decades to complete. By the end of the 1920s, the colonisers had created a French social space, a city of rehabilitation, leisure and education. The city was built many villas, wide roads, health centres, golf courses, parks, schools and houses. A power station, a water station, a hospital and a market were also built.


In 1930, Dalat became a town, officially inhabited by 6 French, 2 Vietnamese and 1 Chinese. According to some sources, the name Dalat is derived from the Latin phrase “Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem” used by the French colonial government on Dalat’s official logo. This is supposed to mean joy to some and freshness to others. Lat is also name of the local tribe of Dalat.

In 1932, the Dalat – Saigon trunk line was opened via the Blao mountain pass. The rate of construction in Dalat was quite remarkable. For example, the number of villas in Dalat had grown to 327 villas in 1936 and to 427 by 1939. In 1937, a marketing campaign was launched by the French to promote Dalat as a resort town of high quality, apart from Hanoi and Saigon, with activities for medical, sports, recreational and hunting enthusiasts.

In 1938 the Dalat railway station was completed, designed by French architects Moncet and Reveron in the Art Deco style, incorporating the high pointed roofs characteristic of Vietnamese Cao Nguyen buildings. The construction of the Dalat – Tháp Chàme (Phan Rang) railway was complicated by its terrain, which was difficult to build as it required the construction of 5 tunnels.

During the Vietnam War fought by the Viet Cong army in South Vietnam, fierce battles rocked Dalat from 31 January to 9 February 1968. The Viet Cong army actively mined and bombed the railway which was destroyed by this fighting. After the Vietnam War, the railroad was completely rusted away. In the 1990s, 7 kilometres of it were rebuilt to the village of Trai Mat, which is now a tourist attraction.

By 1940, the population of Dalat had risen to 11,500 people, mainly made up of local builders, farm labourers and other service workers. Dalat was then divided in two, with the French living on the south bank of the Cam Ly stream, and the locals on the north bank. The French population consisted mainly of civilians, military personnel, missionaries, some school teachers and students.

During the Second World War, Dalat was the capital of the Indochinese Federation from 1939 to 1945. On 3 April 1975, Dalat surrendered to the North Vietnam Liberation Army without any fighting. However, Dalat never became as successful as similar colonies such as British Simla in India and Dutch Bogor in Indonesia.

Read more: Mui Ne beach  |  Ho Chi Minh City

Can Tho City

Can Tho city


The Can Tho city is the Mekong Delta’s largest tourist centre, located in southern Vietnam 170 km from Ho Chi Minh City, on the banks of the Hau Giang River. With a population of 1.7 million, it is the largest city in the Mekong Delta. The city is populated mainly by Vietnamese, but also by Chinese, Khmer and the Champa ethnic group.


The Mekong Delta is the rice basket of Vietnam, as half of the rice harvested in all of Vietnam is grown in the Can Tho region. The Mekong’s major industries are coconut oil production, fish, fruit, rice farming. The Mekong is a marshland with an excellent canal system and its also sheltered from the waves by mangrove forests. Small marshy rivers, canals, floating markets are a very important part of the Mekong’s culture, and are also the main attractions of Mekong Delta.

As there are not many roads in the Mekong, many villages can only be reached by boat, drifting along narrow channels, and sometimes by using the monkey bridges that the locals have woven together to shorten the walking distance. Legend has it that once upon a time both banks of the river below Can Tho were used to grow fruit, and vegetables, which were successfully sold from boats. The main floating markets are Phong Dien and Cai Rang where small boats drift along the Mekong River, offering a variety of food, drinks, fruit and other consumables for sale.


Can Tho city and areas were inhabited as early as 2,500 years ago where recent archaeological discoveries suggest that until the 5th and 6th centuries the Mekong areas were inhabited by the Funan (Óc Eo) multi-ethnic kingdom who had good relations with China and India. Óc Eo may have been a city known to the Romans as Kattigara, which gradually became the economic and cultural centre of the Mekong Delta, and an important position on the maritime routes of south-east Asia. From the 6th century, the Chenla kingdom (Chinese Sui dynasty) was established where, from the 9th to the 15th century, the Mekong Delta was already inhabited by the Khmer Empire.

In the 17th century, the Vietnamese arrived in the Mekong region after a civil war between the Trinh-Nguyen dynasties in which the Khmer were suffering heavy losses at the same time as the Siamese and were unable to stop the Vietnamese migration. In the 19th century, France began to pay great attention to the region, first occupying Saigon and imposing a protectorate over Cambodia, and later extending its control over Laos, creating French Indo-China. Foreign troops remained in the lower Mekong until the end of the Vietnam War.


The Mekong River is the largest river in Southeast Asia with a length of 4,350 kilometres flowing from Tibet at the foot of Mount Guozongmucha at an altitude of 5,224 metres through China’s Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and flows into Vietnam’s South China Sea. The Mekong is called by different names in different languages because of the poor navigability of its upper and middle reaches, which means that throughout history the Mekong has separated rather than united the peoples along its banks. In Tibetan (Dza-chu). Cambodia: Mékôngk or Tonle Thom. Laos: Mènam Khong. Thailand: Mae Nam Khong. Vietnam: Sông Tiên Giang or Sông Cửu Long (‘river of nine dragons’) or Sông Mê Kông. China: Pinyin or Láncāng Jiāng or Méigōng Hé.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City

Hanoi – Vietnam Capital

Hanoi - Vietnam Capital


Hanoi – Vietnam Capital, sits on the banks of the Hong Ha River and is renowned for its architecture, influenced by the rich Southeast Asian, Chinese and French cultures. The capital is also the political centre of Vietnam, embellished by its ancient temples, unique theatre, chaotic old quarter with narrow streets lined with shops and eateries.

In 2010, the Hanoi – Vietnam Capital celebrated its 1000th anniversary with a big celebration and parade. Many historical monuments have been completely destroyed by the wars, but there are still a number of picturesque sites that can be successfully visited. Today, the Hanoi – Vietnam Capital has developed into the main commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of Vietnam. From Hanoi run the main highways, railway lines to all major Vietnamese cities (Ho Chi Minh, Haipong), ports. In addition, there are also two airports, Noi Bai International Airport and Gia Lam Domestic Airport. Hanoi – Wikipedia


Hanoi has a temperate and tropical climate with 4 distinct season. This means the city experiences wet summers and mild, dry winters. The summer temperatures can reach 30°C, and winter time going sometimes even below 10°C but usually winter average tempereatures staying between 15 – 20°C.


Hanoi – Vietnam Capital, has a rich history. The area where Hanoi is today was inhabited since ancient times. It has been a political centre for conquerors from China on several occasions, with the Ly Thai To – Ly dynasty (1009-1225) naming the city Thang Long (‘The Rising Dragon) in 1010. Thang Long remained the capital of Vietnam until 1802 when the last Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam (1802-1945) moved the capital to Hue. 

The capital Hanoi has also been renamed from time to time and one of these was Dong Kinh, (Le Dynasty 1428-1787) which was later changed by the europeans to Tonquin (Tonkin). Ha Noi became the official name of the city only in 1831 – Nguyen Dynasty. During the French colonial period, Hanoi became an important administrative centre and in 1902 Hanoi was dubbed the capital of French Indochina.

Hanoi remains the main administrative centre during the Japanese occupation of 1940-1945, when riots force the Japanese to relinquish power, after which Ho Chi Minh and his troops restore power to Hanoi and designate Hanoi as the capital of a democratic republic in northern Vietnam. The French regain power in 1946 but have to concede defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu on 7 May 1954, also known as the Indochina War.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City


Ho Chi Minh city is a city in Vietnam with a population of more than 10 million people. According to unconfirmed estimates, it has a population of 14 million, making it the largest city in Vietnam. Vietnam’s largest metropolis is located on the banks of the Saigon River, 19 metres above sea level, covering an area of 2,095 km², 80 km from the South China Sea and 200 km from Phan Thiet (Mui Ne).

The largest metropolis in the south is still known to locals as Saigon, but this was the name Saigon bore until 1976 when the city was renamed Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh City upon liberation. History scholars confirm that it is a Sino-Vietnamese word where Sài (firewood, branches) and Gòn (cotton). The name alludes to the kapok trees that can still be seen in the outskirts of the city today. Others, however, claim that Sai Côn is a direct translation of the Khmer word Prey Nokor, meaning kapok tree forest. Ho Chi Minh City – Wikipedia


The history of the Chinese tells us that their Fou-nan people arrived in Ho Chi Minh City centuries before the Khmer people, where they grew vegetables and fruits. The Khmer Empire is considered to have begun in 802 BC. Khmer King Jayavarman II then also proclaimed himself King of the World in a region called Phnom Kulen located in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire and was home to up to 1220 people during the heyday of the empire. At that time, it was 0.1% of the world’s population. The end of the empire, however, came in the 15th century with the fall of Angkor.

Ho Chi Minh was for centuries part of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which belonged to the Khmer and was then called Prey Nokor or Jungle City. In Khmer chronicles, Prey Nokor is known as the Royal City which was an important economic centre for the export of rice and fruit grown in the Mekong Delta.


Vietnamese began arriving in Prey Nokor in the 17th century when the civil war between the Vietnamese Trịnh – Nguyễn dynasties took place. The Viet fled to Prey Nokori and later to other Khmer towns in the Mekong Delta such as Psar Dèk (Sa Đéc) and Moat Chrouk (Châu Đốc). The Vietnamese arrived in the region in such large numbers that the Vietnamese were simply outnumbered by the Khmer. The Khmer were also at war with Siam (Thailand) and lacked the real power to stop this migration. Khmer folklore also tells us that the Khmer gave their princesse to marry a Vietnamese prince, only to stop the invasions and looting on Khmer villages.


The Franco-Spanish expedition concluded an agreement in 1862 to establish the French colony of Cochinchina. At that time, Ho Chi Minh city bore the Vietnamese name of Ben Nghe which consisted of 40 villages. As Ben Nghe seemed too difficult to pronounce for foreigners, the name Saigon was used. From this point on, luxury villas, 3 row streets and other classical buildings were built. A north-south railway line was also completed, making Saigon a major collection point for rice and other foodstuffs.

The Vietnamese, however, began to use the name Cho Lon instead of the inappropriate name Ben Nghe after the arrival of the French. Nowadays, Cholon (VN: Chợ (Turg) Lớn (Great)) is the largest business centre in HCMC spread over Districts 5, 6 and 11. Populated mainly by Chinese, it is also the largest Chinatown in the world.


Cholon was founded in 1879 and by 1930 the city had expanded to the limits of Saigon. A year later, Cholon and Saigon were merged into a single city called “Saigon-Cholon”. In 1929, Saigon had a population of 130,000, 12,100 of whom were French. Saigon-Cholon, however, continued to be called Saigon by the people. Even today, the name Saigon is heard on a daily basis, especially by the Vietnamese themselves. The name Saigon is mostly used to refer to HCM City 1 district, or old Saigon.

The Japanese occupied Saigon in 1940, where the Japanese surrendered in the 1945 riots. The riots were led from Hanoi by Viet Minh troops led by Ho Chi Minh himself. With the departure of the Japanese, the French were able to regain control of the city, but on 19 December 1946 the first Indo-China war began, involving Viet Minh and French troops. On 4 June 1949, French President Vincent Auriol signed an agreement returning Cochinchina to Vietnam. The war ended in 1954 with the Geneva Conference, where the country was divided into North and South Vietnam. Saigon then became the capital of South Vietnam. The second Indo-China war started on 1 Nov. In 1955, what is also known as the Vietnam War officially became the Vietnamese Civil War. The war ended on 30 April 1975 with the liberation of Saigon and the US withdrawal. In 1976 Saigon officially became Ho Chi Minh City.


The climate in Ho Chi Minh City, as elsewhere in the southern part of Vietnam, is tropical and is divided into two main seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. It can rain from May to October but does not have to. These are in fact refreshing showers of a few hours at the most, and then the sun comes out again. The dry period is from December to April. The average annual temperature is 28°C.

Read more: Hanoi – Vietnam Capital


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