2 Days 1 Night Vung Tau Itinerary: The Best Things to Do, See, Eat, and Stay
Vung Tau is a charming seaside city in southern Vietnam, just two hours away from Ho Chi Minh City by ferry or bus. It is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway, as it offers a variety of attractions and activities for all tastes and budgets. Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore the historical sites, enjoy the seafood, or experience the nightlife, Vung Tau has something for you. In this guide, we will show you a suggested plan for a 2 days 1 night Vung Tau itinerary from Ho Chi Minh City and give you some tips and recommendations to make the most of your trip.
How to Get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City
There are several ways to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City, depending on your preference, budget, and time. Here are some of the most popular options:
This is the fastest and most scenic way to get to Vung Tau, as you can enjoy the views of the Saigon River and the sea along the way. The ferry takes about 2 hours and costs around $17. You can take the ferry from Bach Dang Pier in Ho Chi Minh City to Greenline Ferry Terminal in Vung Tau. There are several ferry operators that run daily services, such as Greenlines DP.
This is the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Vung Tau, as there are many bus companies that offer frequent and comfortable services. The bus takes about 2.5 hours and costs around $9-$18. Some bus operators running daily services are Hoa Mai or Phuong Trang. You come to the bus operators’ stations after booking or buying a direct ticket from them.
This is the most flexible and private way to get to Vung Tau, as you can choose your departure time and location. However, it is an expensive option, costing around $45-$60. The taxi takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of 90 km via Expressway. You can book a taxi online or by phone, or hail one on the street.
In case you choose to go by ferry, bus, or taxi to Vung Tau, 12Go.asia can easily help you book transportation:
4. Private Transfer
This is similar to taking a taxi, but with a pre-booked service that provides a driver and a vehicle of your choice. This can be more convenient and reliable than taking a taxi, but also more costly. The private transfer takes about 2 hours and costs are varied depending on your choice of vehicle. You can book a private transfer online or by phone through various providers.
5. Self-driving Car
This is another option for those who want more freedom and control over their travel. You can rent a car from various agencies in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Avis or Budget. The rental fee may vary depending on the type of car, the duration of the rental, and the insurance coverage. You can follow the Long Thành – Dầu Giây Expressway to get to Vung Tau, which takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of 90 km. Of course, you will need a valid driver’s license and an international driving permit to drive in Vietnam.
This is the most adventurous and thrilling way to get to Vung Tau, as you can experience the local traffic and scenery along the way. Indeed, many Vietnamese choose this way of transportation to enjoy the trip. You can rent a motorbike from various places in Ho Chi Minh City, such as hotels, guesthouses, or local shops. The rental fee usually starts at around 150,000 VND (around 7 USD) per day. You can follow different routes to get to Vung Tau by motorbike. For example, taking the Cat Lai ferry across the Saigon River and then following Highway 13 (QL13) through Dong Nai province. Or, taking Highway 50 (QL50) through Can Gio district and then crossing another ferry at Can Gio port. The motorbike ride may take 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic and road conditions. Just a note, the Express Way doesn’t allow motorbikes to get in.
I hope this helps you choose the best way to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City. In the next section, we will show you a detailed 2 days 1 night Vung Tau itinerary.
The Detailed 2 Days 1 Night Vung Tau Itinerary
Now that you know how to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City, let’s see what you can do in this charming seaside city in two days and one night. Here is a possible itinerary that covers some of the best attractions and activities in Vung Tau.
Day 1: Explore the City and Enjoy the Beach
I prefer to go to Vung Tau by car or motorbike. That way, I can stop at Gà Nướng Suối Tre in Long Son to enjoy one of the best-grilled chickens. For your information, Long Son is a commune in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, it’s on the way to Vung Tau City. You can type the word ‘Gà Nướng Suối Tre’ into Google Maps then it will show you the way.
On the other hand, if you go to Vung Tau by other means of transportation, I suggest you do not have a full stomach with breakfast. Vung Tau City has so many good dishes for you to taste.
Almost all the hotels allow you to check in at 2 p.m. Hence, you can find good dishes for lunches if you come to Vung Tau early. At Hoang Hoa Tham and Nguyen Truong To intersection, you can find out Bánh Khọt 14 restaurant. They sell one of the most iconic dishes of the city, Bánh khọt – the crispy mini-pancakes with shrimp.
Afterward, you can choose to whether come back to the hotel to relax or find a nice coffee shop to enjoy the sea wind. If your choice is option 2, I suggest you check out these coffee shops:
- Gazebo Beach Front Lounge & Cafe – 90A Hạ Long Street, Ward 2.
- Marina Club Coffee – 3 Hạ Long Street, Ward 2.
- Beach Stop Lounge & Café – 17 Trần Phú Street, Ward 5.
The atmosphere is cooler sea scent will make you more comfortable in the afternoon. It’s an ideal time for the beach or a bit of exercise:
It’s beach time
In the afternoon, you can head to Back Beach (or Bãi Sau). This is a popular public beach with many hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs. You can relax on the sand, swim in the water, or watch the sunset. There are people selling street food on the beach if you want to eat or drink something while relaxing.
You can also visit Hon Ba island at low tide by walking across the rocks and pebbles. The island has a small temple and a beach with shells.
Visit the Jesus Christ Statue on Nho Mount
You can climb up to its shoulders and admire the panoramic view of the city and the coastline. The statue is 32 meters tall and 18.3 meters wide. In fact, it is the largest Christian structure in Asia.
From the statue, you can walk to the Vung Tau Lighthouse on Big Mountain. The lighthouse was built by the French in 1862 and offers another stunning view of the surroundings. You can also see some remnants of the French colonial fortifications, such as bunkers and cannons, along the way.
Nightlife in Vung Tau is vibrant with many things to do. You can have dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants or bars. In addition, you can enjoy some live music, karaoke, or dancing.
I went to a seafood restaurant called Ốc Thiên Nhiên at 245 Nguyễn Công Trứ, Ward 8 for dinner. The restaurant has all the good dishes that you can expect from a sea city. Make sure you don’t miss the stingray hot pot and the snails. Then, I’d love to have an ice cream while walking at the city’s Front Beach (Bãi Trước). I want to breathe the sea scent as much as possible. After that, I will find a lounge or a bar to end my day in Vung Tau.
Day 2: Take the Whole City into Your One View
You can have breakfast at your hotel or a nearby restaurant. Honestly, I’m not so impressed with breakfast in Vung Tau City. Most of the time I choose to have breakfast right at the hotel.
If your style is sitting at a coffee shop, relaxing with nice songs while enjoying a good drink, then Sơn Đăng Cafe should be your choice for this morning. The cafe is a great place where you can have a whole view of Vung Tau City and the beach. Moreover, the place is windy for you to comfortably enjoy good local drinks.
On the other hand, if you’d like to visit different places, there are some activities that you can choose to do in the morning:
- Visit the Worldwide Arms Museum, a private collection of more than 2,000 uniforms, weapons, and military items from across the globe. You can see some rare and antique pieces from different eras and countries.
- Visit the Vung Tau Cannon Fort, a historical site that was built by the French in 1879 to defend the city from naval attacks. You can see some of the original cannons, bunkers, tunnels, and observation towers. You can also enjoy a panoramic view of Vung Tau from the fort.
- Go for an adventure at Dinh Mountain, a popular spot for hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing. You can explore the trails, caves, waterfalls, and forests on the mountain. You can also see some ancient temples and pagodas on the way.
- Go shopping at some of the best places in Vung Tau. For example, Imperial Plaza, a luxury shopping mall with brand-name fashions and international dining; Vung Tau Market, a traditional market with fresh produce, seafood, souvenirs, and handicrafts; or Lotus Sea Tower, a modern shopping center with a cinema, a supermarket, and a rooftop cafe.
I prefer to spend the hot time of the day at a cool place. On the way to Hải Đăng Vũng Tàu (the lighthouse), there is a shop called Sữa Chua Cô Tiên, which sells unique homemade yogurt and soft-boiled eggs. You can come there for lunch with some yogurt and eggs. The place also sells local street food, snacks, and drinks too.
Actually, Sữa Chua Cô Tiên is nearby Sơn Đăng Cafe. So, you can go to this place for lunch conveniently if your morning choice is the cafe.
When Your 2 Days 1 Night Vung Tau Itinerary Comes to an End
I suggest you come back to Ho Chi Minh City as early as possible, especially if you go to Vung Tau at the weekend and drive or ride yourself. Usually, there is a traffic jam throughout the way back, even on the expressway. Otherwise, you can take more time to explore the city before leaving.
Places to Stay in Vung Tau City
Vung Tau has a wide range of accommodation options for different tastes and budgets. You can choose from beachfront resorts, boutique hotels, cozy hostels, or spacious apartments. Here are some of the best places to stay in Vung Tau City, categorized into budget, mid-range, and luxury.
Vung Tau is a popular coastal city in Vietnam that attracts many tourists with its beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, and rich culture. Thus, the sea city has plenty of options for budget-friendly hotels for travelers to choose from. Some of them are Mai Hotel, Full House Vũng Tàu, and Hotel Nắng. Besides that, there are other budget hotels in Vung Tau that offer comfortable and convenient facilities for travelers who want to enjoy the city without breaking the bank. You can easily find the most suitable one from Booking.com via the tool below:
Shin Sam Boutique Hotel
This is a modern and elegant hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a shared lounge. The rooms are spacious and well-decorated with free Wi-Fi, AC, and a private bathroom. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, and room service. The hotel is located near Back Beach and offers free private parking.
Lief Mila Vung Tau
This is a lovely and relaxing hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a terrace, and a restaurant. The rooms are cozy and cute with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. Some rooms also have a balcony with a sea view. The hotel is situated on Mulberry Beach and offers room service and a 24-hour front desk.
Pullman Vung Tau
This is a luxurious and sophisticated hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a spa. The rooms are classy and spacious with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. Some rooms also have a balcony with a city or sea view. The hotel also has two restaurants, two bars, and meeting facilities. The hotel is located near Front Beach and offers airport transfer and a car park.
Imperial Hotel Vung Tau
This is an opulent and grand hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a casino. The rooms are lavish and large with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. Some rooms also have a balcony or terrace with a pool or sea view. The hotel also has four restaurants, three bars, and banquet facilities. The hotel is located on Back Beach and offers airport transfer and a car park.
Tips for Vung Tau Travel
To make your trip to Vung Tau more enjoyable and hassle-free, here are some tips and advice that you should keep in mind:
- The best time to visit Vung Tau is from December to April. It’s when the weather is dry and sunny. The rainy season is from May to November, when you may encounter heavy showers and storms. The peak season is from January to February when many domestic tourists flock to the city for the Lunar New Year holiday. You may want to avoid this period if you prefer a quieter and less crowded atmosphere.
- Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, you may need some cash for street food stalls, markets, or taxis.
- English is not widely spoken, except in some tourist areas and establishments. Therefore, you may want to learn some basic Vietnamese phrases or use a translation app to communicate with the locals. Also, you can hire a local guide or join a tour group if you want a more immersive and informative experience.
- The main transportation modes in Vung Tau are taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, and walking. Taxis are convenient and affordable, but make sure to use a reputable company such as Mai Linh or Vinasun. Besides that, you can rent a motorbike or a bicycle from your hotel or a local shop, but be careful of the traffic and road conditions. On the other hand, walking is a good way to explore the city and the beaches.
- Besides the beaches, you can visit historical sites such as the Jesus Christ statue, the White Palace, the Vung Tau Cannon Fort, etc. You can also experience the local culture by visiting the temples, pagodas, markets, or festivals in the city.
- Of course, you must enjoy seafood, which is fresh and delicious. In addition, you can try some of the specialties such as bánh khọt (crispy mini-pancakes with shrimp), cá mai (Mai fish salad), ốc (snails), or hàu (oysters). There are also some international restaurants such as French, Italian, Chinese, and Thai.
Enjoy Your Trip to Vung Tau!
Vung Tau is a wonderful destination for a short break from Ho Chi Minh City or a longer vacation in Vietnam. It offers a variety of attractions and activities for different interests and preferences. You can enjoy the beach, the history, the culture, and the cuisine of this charming seaside city. You can also find a place to stay that suits your budget and style. With our 2 days 1 night Vung Tau itinerary, you can plan your trip to sea city easily and efficiently. We hope you have a great time in Vung Tau and enjoy its beauty and hospitality.
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