Ba Ria Vung Tau province boasts some of Vietnam's best beaches.
Ba Ria Vung Tau province in the south of Vietnam is one of the country’s most under-the-radar destinations.
While Danang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc pull in the crowds, the southern province is a less-visited relation.
However, the area is beginning to gain momentum with world-class golf courses, boutique hotels and some of Vietnam’s best stretches of sand.
Vietnam as a whole has responded well to the pandemic crisis and is now building back domestic tourism. And it won’t be long before international guests are welcomed back, too.
Here’s why Ba Ria-Vung Tau should be top of your to-visit list.
There’s a beach for every occasion in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, with family-friendly stretches of sand nestled next to deserted expanses of prime shoreline.
In Vung Tau city, enjoy the buzzy, vibrant Bai Truoc (Front Beach) or Bai Sau (Back Beach), which is quieter and popular with kite-surfers due to its steady wind-swells.
Other options include the sunset-friendly Pineapple Beach and Paradise Beach. And just 15km outside of Vung Tau explore the seaside town of Long Hai and its peaceful sandy slopes.
Venture further north and the beaches are better still. Top spots include Ho Coc and Sui O, which boasts a freshwater spring and dunes.
However, for the very best beaches in the region, head to Con Dao archipelago where crystal-clear waters lap pristine white sands.
Ocean views at Fusion Suites Vung Tau, which opened this year.
Fusion Suites Vung Tau opened earlier this year and features suites and apartments with ocean and city views, a multitude of dining options, a maritime-inspired spa and a rooftop infinity pool.
Restaurant spaces include Fusion’s signature restaurant Fresh with all-day dining, Vietnamese cuisine and plenty of local seafood. Or enjoy a cocktail and bar snacks at Breeze on the rooftop. There is also a selection of market stalls in the lobby.
The 12-treatment room spa includes one complimentary therapy per guest per day as well as yoga, meditation, fitness studio and the rooftop pool.
Meanwhile, the stunning Grand Ho Tram Strip ranks among the best golf hotels in the region and is located on a two kilometre stretch of beach. Amenities include 12 dining spaces, a spa with specialised treatments for golfers, three swimming pools and a casino.
For upscale dining, drop into Ginger at The Grand Ho Tram for top notch Vietnamese cuisine. And Infinity, the clubhouse restaurant at The Bluffs golf course, serves great food with knock-out views over the Greg Norman-designed course.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau is renowned for its seafood dishes. Locals flock to Ganh Hao in Vung Tau city, which serves fresh seafood to order. Long Son fishing village is another popular foodie destination.
Don’t miss signature local dishes including ‘lau ca duoi’ (stingray hotpot) and ‘banh khot’ (small pancakes stuffed with seafood and topped with green onion and shrimp powder).
The Bluffs is one of Asia's top ranked golf courses.
Head away from the beach for a day and into the historic city of Vung Tau. Hike to the top of Vietnam’s equivalent of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro - it’s a challenging 847 steps to the top of Nui Nho mountain but the views are all worth it. Alternatively, enjoy equally breathtaking views from the top of the city’s French-built lighthouse.
Or grab a cable car to Ho May Culture & Ecotourism Park for fun rides and activities including bumper cars, roller coasters and archery.
Back by the ocean, the Con Dao archipelago boasts some of Vietnam’s best diving and snorkelling. Take a helicopter from Vung Tau city.
Another back-to-nature highlight is Binh Chau Hot Springs. Enjoy a dip in the pool which is fed by the surrounding area’s hot springs. The water is said to improve the blood circulation, relax muscles and soothe nerves.
Get a work-out at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip which is ranked among the best layouts in Asia and is among the best courses in the world.
On the 15th green, find yourself 50m above sea level, while the fourth hole boasts spectacular aspects, with a 360-view of the Greg Norman-designed course and the surrounding national forest and shoreline.