Vung Tau (1 Day Trip)

2:49 AM

Have you ever heard of a 2D1N getaway that cost only $50?!
Yes, you're not reading wrongly!
Transportation thru and fro, hotel, motorbike rental, petrol, food, etc. the total spending came up to less than $50. 
I'm totally digging this whole budget travelling thing~

Vung Tau is a small getaway beach-y area in Vietnam, about 2-3h ride away from Ho Chi Minh City. 
Since it was my last few days in Vietnam and I was given off before my return, we decided to make a trip into Vung Tau so as to explore more instead of hanging around good old district 1. 

There are quite a few bus companies that brings you from HCMC to Vung Tau. 
It is pretty cheap but these are large buses so the frequency of buses leaving is slower and so is the travelling time (3h).
We didn't have much time (since i woke up late, oops), so we were introduced by the taxi driver to go through Hoa Mai which is slightly more pricey but still really cheap. 
A one way ticket cost us 95,000 VNĐ which is equivalent to SGD$5.65.
Going through Hoa Mai was a lot faster as with a bus leaving every 10mins or so. 
Travelling time was about 2h only which meant a good extra hour for some fun.
(here's a view of the "scenery" along the way")

Since we were on a budget travel, we opted for Hoang Yen Hotel which costed us only $8.37 per person (room for 3). 
It wasn't fancy and all but it was more than good enough since it's only to stay for a night. 
It was located pretty near the beach, petrol station and all that stuff so it's definitely worth the money to stay here. Motorbikes are all you need to settle any issues on distance. 

The place isn't huge but going everywhere by foot or taxi just ain't such a good idea.
Since we had the places in mind, we rented motorbikes from our hotel that costs us 200,000VNĐ which meant SGD$5.95 per person. 
Most of the time, not much petrol would be provided so you can do a gauge for yourself when you're there based on your own itinerary. 
For our 2D1N, we topped up around 100,00VNĐ worth of petrol and had leftovers. 
That means SGD$2.95

Here's our sort of last minute bombed "itinerary":
(there are many activities that you can do for free around. of course you can opt for the other avail activities which can be a little pricey since they are catered for tourists)

#1 - Bãi Sau a.k.a Back Beach. 
We were looking for a beach but we aren't that sure where we were heading (aimless roaming I would say) and there we ended up at Bãi Sau. 

Many said that Vung Tau beaches aren't that clean and all which I stand to disagree.
It really depends on the timing cause it's dirty in the morn but pretty clean in the afternoon. 
Bad idea to be heading down at like noon cause just 1h under this sun; I was badly burnt.

I thought this part was pretty cool~
This was a stranded part in the middle of the sea.
At that point I felt like Moses who parted the Red sea and walked through the middle.

#2 - Jesus Christ Statue
Located really close to the pier this is almost impossible not to spot this 36m tall statue that is located on top of a hill. 
We had a little "hike" up them 1000+ steps before we finally reached the feet of the Jesus Christ Statue but the hike doesn't stop there. 
There is another 100 steps or so within the statue for you to get to the top.

In all respect, shoes were expected to be taken off and proper attire is expected of visitors or entrance will be refused. 
Which is why I was stuck outside of the statue because I was in spag tops and shorts. 
The following photos of the amazing scenery that you can expect at the top of the statue is courtesy of Victor.

#3 - Night Shopping
At night, it's almost impossible to do anything else other than eat and shopping 
There are a few malls around and quite a few streets that are opened till about 10 which would probably be one of the best places to visit to kill your boredom. 

#4 - Catching the Sunrise

The sun starts to rise pretty early in the morning in Vietnam.
Be prepared to leave early and get your ass by the back beach before 530am (viet time) because this view above is gonna be there even before 530am which is the average sunrise time.
But it was totally worth the lack of sleep cause the view we got that day was simply gorgeous.

Simply love all these nature shots which are just so gorgeous even without any filters.
This above^ is my favourite one of all.
Just look at the father son bonding time together; picking up them seashells. 
(I really wish daddy was there with me when I saw this view. Sighpie)

The whole sunrise thing ends at about 630?am.
Perfect to head down to one of those small pushcart stalls nearby selling food for some great breakfast (before heading back to sleep, hehe). 

With many stalls along the beaches, we were spoilt for choices. 
For lunch, we decided to settle for one located on the ground floor of a hotel/hostel.
I got myself Banh Mi Thit Bo which is beef stew with a loaf of bread.
It was a little overpriced in my opinion (not expensive though) probably due to it's location.
Well I guess you can't be too picky in a tourist attraction right?

Dinner was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Vung Tau. 
Our local colleagues highly recommended Ganh Hao Restaurant for some amazing seafood that are super affordable and boy was she right. 
This place serves really fresh and tasty food at prices that are so worth the money
Our first dish was fried baby squid which is one of their best sellers and recommended dish by their servers. We were definitely not disappointed by this choice of dish. 
I'm really wishing for a plate of this right now, oh boy. 

We also went for some oysters (well it's a lot cheaper there as compared to Singapore you can't really blame us for constantly going for it)
They have quite a few choices of cooking method but we opted for the simple one with garlic and shallots and a more unique one which was satay. 
It wasn't of size whereby you'll go "wow" but for its freshness and taste, it's definitely worth the SGD$1 you're paying for. 

We tried to be adventurous and went for some eel dish but it was a little disappointing.
The taste was all right but the dish wasn't outstanding in both taste and visual wise.
I guess its wise to stick to only those recommended dishes.
Nothing can go wrong with recommended dishes.

Lastly we went for some fresh prawns which were perfectly grilled!
The prawns still retained their original freshness and juiciness which was perfection.
Our total including drinks came up to about 500,000VNĐ which meant around SGD$15 per person. Someone please say "what?!" 

Breakfast along the beach by those pushcarts was really great too. 
Though it was a little pricey for street food (since those were probably the only few opened early in the morning and everyone were pricing similarly).
They were really tasty!!
We had some pork noodles which was topped with a generous amount of meat.
(Thank you for em' meat yay)
Paired with a cup of warm handmade soya bean milk. Breakfast couldn't get any better after the amazing sunrise view. 


Probably an extremely abrupt conclusion but yay I've finally concluded my Vietnam travelogue for this internship journey (Mar'14 - Aug'14)
Though it's only been over for about a month plus, I am already missing the travelling and food in Vietnam and can't wait to be back for a little visit.
Once again thank you for reading. 
Goodbye lovelies.

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