VUNG TAU: a Leisure Day in Saigon’s Pattaya

written by Coeur de Saigon

Located 140 km to the south-east of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau City is by far the most favorite and approachable vacation destination for Saigonese. With the new Dau Giay – Long Thanh high way opened in March, it takes us only 2 hours by car.

Why Saigon’s Pattaya?

It is not cliché at all to cite Vung Tau City as Pattaya City for the citizens of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The geographic location as mentioned above is just one aspects to contribute to the similarities of between the two cities. But don’t fantasize a dream land for sexy show and prostitution. Due to cultural restraints, Vietnam is somehow strict to those matters which would deploy a harm towards Vietnamese culture and customs. If Pattaya has the Big Buddha, we have Christ Statue, even bigger than Rio de Janeiro’s. The list of similarities goes on to the night life where you can explore the Black Pearl bar, the shores are even more similar. Street food in Pattaya, yes, we have it here in Vung Tau.

A Leisure Day

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Grilled oyster topped with cheese and a slice of lemon

Arrived at the beach city at 10:30. We headed to Thanh Phat Restaurant for an early lunch. Seafood was freshly caught from the sea, cooked and served on a restaurant built just 2 meters higher than the water.

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Mantis shrimp, the restaurant’s best known dish

Famously known for their Mantis shrimp. We ordered some for our group, along with oysters, clams and shells choosing them grilled with fried garlic. All decently cooked!

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Grilled shells with fried garlic and Steamed clams in leeds

Address: 334 Trần Phú, 5, Vũng Tàu, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu, Vietnam
Phone:+84 64 3836 345

Full with seafood? Let’s hit the “leisure camp”!

By “leisure,” I don’t mean anything cheap. And if it’s a “leisure camp,” it must be an expensive camp. However, when you dig into it, it is actually not expensive to enjoy all the extravagant leisure activities in Vung Tau.

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Bathe in the sun for hours here, you’ll never get bored

Binh An Village Resort, in Vung Tau, was our top choice for such a camp.

Scenic view, decent refreshments and drinks, tranquil garden, salt water pool located next to the sea, where you could touch the sea just by reaching out, were among the top features you could always expect at the resort.

One night stay might be expensive at around $100 – $250 for a shared flat or villa. Still worth it with all the services. Yet, you still can enjoy the resort whenever you want to. Why?

The resort opens for everyone. Drive in, order a drink or your choice of ice-cream, their rum ice-cream is my favorite for just $3. I had to pay $15 for the access to 2 swimming pools (normal and salt water one.) But hey, look at the view below. Do you still want to say no?

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Infinity pool in Singapore? Nope, it’s Vung Tau

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The other swimming pool

Additionally, the garden is a place worth getting lost in. The green space was so fine along with spring time flowers, added a small golf area to play. The garden avoided any noise coming from the main coastal street.

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Address: 1 Trần Phú, 5, Vũng Tàu, BU, Vietnam

Phone:+84 64 3510 016

Leaving Binh An village resort, we headed for some afternoon snacks. Indulged ourselves with the local specialties Banh Khot, we were all happy.

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Ladies cooking us their Banh Khot

The cakes were cooked diligently by these ladies, making the cakes crispy enough and moist enough to melt in your mouth with beautiful texture. The vegetables they offer is heaven for veggie-lovers, expect to have regular cabbage and some exotic herbs like fish herb.

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Our mouth-watering afternoon meal

Address: 14 Nguyễn Trường Tộ, P2, Vũng Tàu, Vietnam

Phone: (064) 3523465

Don’t leave Vung Tau without a specialties gift, or bringing it for snacks on the drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Try this famous salted egg cake. These are surprisingly cheap, from $1,5 to $2,75 per box. It’s opposite the restaurant we had Banh Khot just cross the street and enjoy!

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Salty and rich in flavor, just looking makes me crave for more

Address: 17B Nguyễn Trường Tộ, P2, Vũng Tàu, Vietnam 

Phone: 0913 815 096

Leaving Vung Tau

We had so much fun in Vung Tau as any previous time. I am able to count how many time I traveled there either with family, friends or alone. It is always an accessible city to get to from Ho Chi Minh City.

What I wrote here is just a humble experience on a Sunday of April. Still you can check on so many beautiful spots and activities: party at the Black Pearl, hit the beach, trekking to visit Jesus Christ statue, have stingray hot pot (it is safe), have grilled octopus while running around the night market, or enjoy a sunset next to this ferris wheel, which I captured just a moment before heading to the highway.

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It was all but good. Great escape away from the busy city. See you again!

Note from the author:

Hope you enjoy my first post on my beloved country, Vietnam! Promise you this is not the last.

Stay tuned!

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