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An Instagrammer’s paradise, Ho Chi Minh City is home to many wonderful structures, each waiting for you to tell its story through the pictures you take.
Getting around Vietnam is easy. Quick flights, comfortable overnight buses, peddling through the streets in a cyclo; we cover it all.
Da Lat has plenty of activities to take your breath away (literally), from hiking and off-road biking to rappelling down a waterfall and more!
96 km (60 miles) south of Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau is a chilled-out coastal town popular with local tourists. With the closest beaches to Ho Chi Minh City, it’s a good choice for escaping the city at the weekend and has some authentic seafood restaurants serving tasty specialities like banh khot. From Vung Tau, you can beach-hop up the coast to Mui Ne, or take a ferry to the Con Dao islands.
You can get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City by bus, minivan or ferry. Buses and minivans depart frequently throughout the day. The bus usually takes 3 hours and a shared minivan usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The most scenic way to get to Vung Tau is to take the ferry down the Saigon River to the sea, which usually takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you want more flexibility, you can also book a private minivan or car.
By road, the journey to Vung Tau isn’t that scenic, as you’ll be driving on the highways a lot of the time. By the sea however, the journey becomes more interesting. The ferry takes you along the Saigon River, past the suburbs of the city and out to the sea. It’s a busy seaway, with all kinds of boats coming and going.
The fastest way to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City is in a Limo Minivan by Hoa Mai. This is a seat in a shared minivan, with several departures throughout the day. The journey usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The cheapest way to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City is in a Standard Minivan by Hung Phat, with prices starting at around $7 per person one-way. This is a seat in a shared minivan, with several departures throughout the day. The journey usually takes 2 hours.
Bookaway customers prefer taking a Limo Minivan by Hoa Mai to Vung Tau. This is a seat in a shared, air-conditioned minivan with several departures throughout the day. The journey usually takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Traveling by shared minivan will get you to Vung Tau in the shortest amount of time. The journey isn't the most scenic, as you'll be driving on the highways a lot of the time, but it is convenient, with plenty of departures throughout the day.
Depending on the company, the minivan might collect you from your hotel in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. During the journey, the driver will make stops where you can stretch your legs, use the bathroom and get food and drink.
If you choose the luxury minivan option, you’ll have more legroom and seats that recline (some even have massage settings) as well as a charging port for your phone or laptop. Again, depending on the company, the minivan might be able to drop you at your hotel or guest house in Vung Tau.
The bus to Vung Tau leaves Mien Tay Bus Station in HCMC several times throughout the day, and the journey usually takes 3 hours. The bus is a ‘sleeping bus’, which means you have more space to stretch out as the seats recline to almost-flat. This is great if you want to get some sleep on the journey. If you're tall, however, you might feel a little cramped as the seats are designed for locals who are typically not as tall as Westerners.
There is air conditioning on the bus so wear something warm, as it can get pretty chilly. The driver will stop along the way for food and drink and so you can stretch your legs and use the bathroom. If you don't want to buy food from a roadside rest stop then bring something with you for the journey.
The bus isn't the fastest way of getting to Vung Tau, but if you prefer slow travel, and like looking out of the window during a journey, then it's a good choice.
Ho Chi Minh City:
The most scenic way to get to Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh City is by ferry boat. The ferry departs from the Bach Dang Pier in downtown HCMC and travels down the Saigon River to the sea.
As you leave Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll get good views of the downtown district from the water. Then, you’ll continue past the suburbs of the city, before leaving the built up areas behind and heading out to the open sea. There are large windows on the boat, and seating on deck if it isn’t too choppy. You’ll see all kinds of interesting boats using this busy seaway.
Ferries on this route are modern and in good condition. Seating is in an air-conditioned cabin, so you’ll want to take something warm to wear in case it gets chilly. Depending on how rough the sea is, you might be able to sit outside on the small deck. There is a bathroom on board the boat and you can purchase food and beverages.
Be mindful that in bad weather, the ferry might be delayed or cancelled, in which case you’ll have to wait for a later boat.
Ho Chi Minh City:
If you’re a group of friends or a family, you might want to book private transportation. A private minivan for 6 or 8 passengers will collect you from your hotel or from the airport, and drop you at your hotel in Vung Tau. This gives you the most flexibility, as you can depart whenever you want.
Private minivans are air-conditioned and comfortable. During the journey, the driver will stop so you can stretch your legs and use the bathroom. While hiring a private minivan is a good choice for a group traveling together, it’s obviously a costly option for a solo traveler or couple.
Another option if you want maximum flexibility is to hire a private car and a driver. Private cars can take up to 3 or up to 5 people depending on the vehicle and will collect you from the airport or from your guest house or hotel. You get to ride in air-conditioned privacy and you can depart at any time. You can even stop along the way to see the sights. While this is a good option for a couple or group, it's a pricey option for a solo traveler.
There are around 104 shared minivan departures, 7 bus departures and 2 ferry departures leaving Ho Chi Minh City for Vung Tau each day. Private cars and minivans can depart at any time.