Area: 1,989.6 sq. km.
Population: 926,3 thousand habitants (2006)
Capital: Vung Tau City
Administrative divisions:
- Town: Ba Ria.
- Districts: Chau Duc, Xuyen Moc,Tan Thanh, Long Dien, Dat Do, Con Dao.
Ethnic groups:Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Cho Ro, Khmer...

   
         

Geography (Click here to see location)
Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province is located in the Southern Vietnam, to the northeast of the Mekong Delta. It shares its border with Dong Nai Province to the north and Binh Thuan Province to the east, Ho Chi Minh City to the west and East Sea to the south - east.

Climate:
There are two distinct seasons: the dry (from November to April) and the rainy (from May to December). The annual average temperature is 27ºC.
 
Tourism and Economy
Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province is a large tourist center. It has over
100km seashore with beautiful swimming beaches, as well as many lakes and thermal springs. The offshore bench has two kinds of importance resources: petrol and seafood.
In Vung Tau City there are Thuy Van, Chi Linh, Back, Front, and Dau beaches; Long Dien District has Long Hai Beach; Xuyen Moc District has Ho Tram, Ho Coc beaches. In Con Dao Island, tourists are able to swim in Dam Trau, Hon Cau, and Hon Tre beaches... then they
can climb in Thanh Gia Mountain, Nho Mountain. If tourists would like to improve their health, they could go to Binh Chau Hot Spring, which its temperature comes up to 80ºC, then visit Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Natural Preservation Zone.
Other popular places are Communal House of Dao Ong Tran, Ben Da Church, Bach Dinh vestige, Long Phuoc Tunnels, Minh Dam Revolutionary Area... and over one hundred Buddhist pagodas and temples such as Niet Ban Monastery, Thang Tam Communal House, Linh Son Pagoda, Dinh Co Temple.
Located in the 90km southern part of Vung Tau, Con Dao Island has a dense forest, which is Con Dao National Park with rich flora and fauna. The sea in this area is Home to various valuable marine species. Especially, tourists have a chance of watching the turtle laying the eggs. It also used to host a convict prison during French colonial era, and later, during the American War.
Aside these, tourist can participate in some traditional festivals as Dinh Co Festival, Nghinh Ong Festival (Welcoming the Lord Whale Festival), play golf or watch dog racing in Lam Son stadium in Vung Tau City every Saturda

  List of Tourist Sites

 

Transportation
Vung Tau is 129km from Ho Chi Minh City, 95km from Bien Hoa (Dong Nai), 513km from Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa)
Road:
Ba Ria - Vung Tau has National Highway 56 to Dong Nai Province, National Highway 55 to Binh Thuan Province, National Highway 51 to Ho Chi Minh City. Express buses leave for Bien Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho and some others.
Air:
There are flights from Vung Tau to the Con Dao Islands.
Boat: Vina Express operates hydrofoils from central Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau.

 

         
   

An Son Temple

Location: An Son Temple is situated in Con Son Island, Con Dao Island District.
Characteristics: An Son Temple is an ancient temple. It was built in 1785 in honour of Lady Phi Yen, wife of Lord Nguyen Anh who later became King Gia Long.

   
         

 

In 1783, Nguyen Anh was defeated by Tay Son and ran away to Con Dao Island. Together with fishermen, Lord Nguyen Anh founded three villages: An Hai, An Hoi, and Co Ong. Nguyen Anh sent Prince Canh followed by Ba Da Loc to France to ask for reinforcements to fight against the Tay Son troops. Lady Phi Yen, the second wife of Nguyen Anh, advised him not to do so. Nguyen Anh got angry with her and thought that his wife might have been dealing with Tay Son troops. He intended to kill her. Just before Tay Son troops attacked the island, Nguyen Anh put his wife in prison and went to sea. Prince Cai, who was then four years old, wanted his mother to come with them. Nguyen Anh got angry and threw his son into the sea. The body of Prince Cai drifted onto Co Ong Beach where it was buried by villagers.
According to the legend, Lady Phi Yen was rescued from the stone prison by a tiger and an ape. She lived with the villagers, taking care of Prince Cai’s grave. After an unfortunate encounter with a man, she killed herself to keep her pride.
The villagers mourned her and built a temple in her honour. In 1861, the French colonialists occupied the island and destroyed the temple. In 1958, the temple was rebuilt on its present location.


         
   

Niet Ban Tinh Xa

Location: Niet Ban Tinh Xa Monastery is located on Ha Long Street, Vung Tau City, approximately 130km from Ho Chi Minh City.
Characteristics: It is one of the largest pagodas with modern architectural lines in Vung Tau.

   
         

This monastery was built on a hill from 1969 to 1974. The monastery has a flag pillar, a symbol of an ancient lotus stupa. Among the many items to observe are the 42 stairs paved with bricks, a 3.5-ton bell, intricate mosaic work, and a 12-m Buddha statue.

 

 

 

 

         
   

Thich Ca Phat Dai

Location: Thich Ca Phat Dai is situated about 3km from the center of Vung Tau City.
Characteristics: Thich Ca Phat Dai Pagoda is one of the largest pagodas in Vung Tau.

   
         

The site of the pagoda occupies an area of 6ha on the side of Big Mountain. The beauty of the 19m high pagoda lies in the harmonious combination between the natural surroundings and the architectural structure.
This pagoda exists exclusively for religious worship. The pagoda is unique in its white cement construction of the giant statue of Thich Ca Buddha sitting on a large lotus blossom.

 

 

 

 

         
   

Back Beach (Thuy Van Beach)

Place: Located in south-east of Vung Tau City, Back Beach is over 8km-long from the foot of Small Mountain to Cua Lap
Characteristic: It's one of the biggest and most beautiful beaches in Vietnam

   
         

Also called Thuy Van Beach, the Back Beach leans against white sand-dunes and immense casuarina forest. Everytime a light wind blows, the tiny casuarina foliages sing a song. Below the casuarina forest, there are some comfortable wood guest-houses designed according to style of the Central Highlands communal house.
The sea surface of Back Beach is calm in the south wind season but rough in the north wind season. With the fresh air, charming scenery, the Back Beach will make tourists feel easy after hard working-days.

 

 

         
   

Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve

Place: Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province
Characteristic: Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve is one of the few areas along the coastline of Vietnam to retain a significant cover of natural forest.

   
         

With the total area of 11,293ha, the nature reserve contains three areas of low hills including Hong Nhung group (reaches 118m) in the north, Ho Linh group (reaches 162m) in the south, and Mo Ong group (reaches 120m) in the west. There are very few streams and lakes within the nature reserve such as Nhom and Tron swamps, Coc and Linh lakes and Binh Chau hot spring.
Forest in the nature reserve covers 7,224ha including 158 ground cover species , 147 timber species, 73 climbers species, 29 bushes species, 23 epiphytes species, 14 orchids species. The nature reserve also supports 49 species of mammal, 106 species of bird, 38 species of reptile and 12 species of amphibian. These include several globally threatened and near-threatened species, such as Bear Macaque, Siamese Fireback and Pale-capped Pigeon...

 

 

         
   

  Binh Chau Thermal Springs

Location: Binh Chau Thermal Springs are situated in Bung Rieng Commune, Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province
Characteristics: The hot water is used for its medicinal values; water that is 73oC is led to pools used to cure skin diseases and rheumatism.

   
         


Binh Chau Thermal Springs are located 70km east of Vung Tau City. Covering an area of 1km2, Binh Chau Thermal Springs consist of many lakes and ponds joining through an underground pool of mineral water coming from a network of 70 main sources. The water temperature reaches up to 80oC, a temperature at which an egg can be boiled in 10 minutes.
Binh Chau Thermal Springs belong to a protected area that also features numerous forests, coasts, and lakes. Hotels and restaurants have been built to accommodate visitors who come here for health as well as for recreational purposes.

 

 

         
   

Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien)

Place: Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, about 7km north-west of Ba Ria Town
Characteristic: Originating from Dinh Mountain in nearly 500m-height, the Fairy Stream is called "the second Dalat in Vietnam" for beautiful natural landscape.

   
         

According to legend, fairies would come here to bathe before returning to heaven. The trace of a delicate foot print, in a rock on a peak of Dinh Mountain, may have initiated this legend.
From hundreds of meters height, the Fairy Stream falls down the rocky mountain, runs tortuously, and irrigates fields before dissolving in Thi Vai River. The Fairy Stream has natural and pristine beauty, impresses anyone who come here the first time. Along both banks of the stream are large and even rocks which tourist can sit to rest or enjoy the view.  In addition there are many granite stone covered with moss and lichen
Especially, standing in anywhere, tourists still hear sound of the stream which falls down from the top of mountain and forms rather deep wells with blue water. The stream has white spume in the rainy season but becomes the place for swimming in the dry season
Reaching Fairy Stream, tourists should go along trail to visit small pagodas, hear sound of pagoda bell and smell incense mingled with fragrant perfume of tuberose and magnolia... It's one of Fairy Stream's specific functions.


 

         
   

Front Beach (Tam Duong Beach)

Place: Front Beach is located between Small and Large mountains in Vung Tau City
Characteristic: Front Beach is also called Tam Duong Beach which means "Finding the Sun"

   
         

The Front Beach which looks like a half of the Moon leans against mainland with Tuong Ky and Tao Phung mountains in it's the beginning and the end.
Many coconut-palms are grown along the beach so it was formerly called Bay of Coconut-palm. Now the coconut-palms have been shading and there are more malabar almond trees... There is a park grown a lot of flowers below the shadows of trees so that tourists can take the air and hear the sound of waves at the same time
Many new hotels built make the Front Beach has a both classical and modern beauty. At night, Tran Phu and Quang Trung streets are brightening. In the top of multistory buildings, coffee bars illuminated by coloured lights and boats anchored offshore with pervasive light make the Front Beach has a charming beauty by night

 

 

 

         
 

 

Ho Coc Beach

Place: Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, about 150km from Ho Chi Minh City
Characteristic: Ho Coc Beach with its turquoise water and primitive forests has become a popular tourist spot in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, attracting an increasing number of tourists.

   
         


To get to Ho Coc Beach from Ho Chi Minh City, you can take the road to Vung Tau but turn left before the end and follow the signs to Long Hai. Continue through Long Hai and along the coast for a further 20km.
Ho Coc Beach has pristine sand-bank to explore on foot and clear water for swimming. Surrounding the 1.5-km beach is a primitive forest with big, shady trees and a variety of smaller flora.
In addition to bathing in the sea, visitors can try kayaking on the sea, angling for fish and squid from thuyen thung (a coracle made of bamboo), or riding sports bikes to explore the region.

 

 

         
   

Long Hai Beach

Place: Long Hai Town, Long Dien District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, about 30km north-east of Vung Tau City
Characteristic: Long Hai is a favourite beach for many people who find it quieter than those in Vung Tau.

   
         

Long Hai Beach runs along the Chau Long and Chau Vien mountains. At a few spots, the mountains seem to merge into the sea creating magnificent stone beaches. Along the coast, there are several kilometers of cherry orchards. During the blossom season, the scenery is fantastic.
The natural landscape here is dreamlike with long and quite sand-bank. Connecting with Long Hai Beach is Nuoc Ngot Pass. Here cliffs which jut out into the sea and waves make the scenery look picturesque and impressive

 

 

         
   

 Mulberry Beach (Bai Dau)

Place: Mulberry Beach lies at the west of Large Mountain in Vung Tau City. From Front Beach, going along Tran Phu Street and passing White Villa about 3km, tourists will reach the Mulberry Beach
Characteristic: The beach was formerly called Rattan Pond because there are many wild rattans here.

   
         


The Mulberry Beach is out of the wind and its waves are very small. There are many large cliffs jutting out into the sea in the beginning and the end of the beach.
The foot of Large Mountain in the Mulberry Beach is abrupt and close to the sea. The 30m-high Virgin statue and several white villas are prominent among the blue sea and green forest.
The Mulberry Beach is a popular beach with those who appreciate its calmness, cleanness and beauty.

 

 

         
   

 Pineapple Beach (Bai Dua)

Place: Pineapple Beach is situated between Front Beach and Back Beach at the foot of Small Mountain, near Nghinh Phong Cape, Vung Tau City.
Characteristic: There used to be numerous wild pineapples that grew on the rocky shore, which is why the beach is called the Pineapple Beach.

   
         

The Pineapple Beach is one of the beautiful beaches attracting a lot of tourists with romantic and peaceful scenery. The sea here crash into the mountain gorge to create many small and calm pools of water.
Along Ha Long Street, there are many comfortable hotels, villas and pagodas looking mystical on the mountain slope in the Pineapple Beach. Resting and relaxing here will make tourists feel free and easy after stressful working-days.


 

         
   

 Con Dao Island

Location: Con Dao Island is situated in Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province
Characteristics: Con Dao Island is also famous for its nice beaches shaded with evergreen trees, fresh air, clear blue waters, and primitive forests.

   
         

Looking at a map, Con Dao Island looks like a bear rising from the sea to south east of Vietnam. Originally a prison for patriots and revolutionists during the French and American resistance, Con Dao Island sheltered brave revolutionary spirits of the Vietnamese people. More than 22,000 prisoners who dedicated their lives to national independence were incarcerated on the isolated island of Con Dao.
Con Dao was recognized as a nature reserve in 1984 and a national park in 1993. The total protected area of the park is 20,000ha, including 14,000ha of sea and 6,000ha of forest on 14 islands. There is also a buffer zone that is 20,500ha wide. Con Dao National Park encompasses oceanic and coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, coral reefs and sea grasslands. Over 1,300 species of sea animals have been identified here. The park is the most important egg-laying area in Vietnam for sea turtles. The island also has many precious animals, the most important being dugong (called “sea cows” by locals). Between late 1996 and early 1997, officials at the park counted 10 dugong in the sea surrounding the island. With high oceanic biodiversity, Con Dao is classified as one of the areas given optimum priority in the world's system of oceanic reserves.
The best time to visit Con Dao Island is from March to June, when the sea is calm. Some of those beaches include Dam Trau, Hang Duong and Phi Yen where visitors can relax and enjoy
the warm temperature. The ocean around Con Dao Island is a heaven for sea life and the splendid forest cloaks the land. This is ecotourism at its best. Clean, smooth sand banks, blue sea, dolphins jumping and racing after boats, tropical almond trees swinging in a cool sea breeze, peaceful narrow roads, and forest covering most of the island, make Con Dao seem like heaven to visitors from far and wide.
Con Dao is one of the few places in Vietnam that is Home to rare dugong, sea turtles, and dolphins, and to varieties of orchids found nowhere else in the country. In addition, the island has large and diverse coral reefs comparable to the most famous ecotourism spots in the region. This peaceful island district has 5,000 people whom nature seems to have created with kind hearted and generous characters and adventurous enough to choose the remote island as their Home. Visitors will arrive there to enjoy themselves in an intact natural environment and have a good time with dugong, sea turtles and dolphins playing freely around the island paradise.


 

         
   

 Con Dao National Park

Place: Con Dao Island District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, about 180km from Vung Tau City
Characteristic: Comprising of 16 islands of different sizes, Con Dao National Park is one of two national parks in Vietnam owing both forest and marine protected area.

   
         

With the total area of around 15,043ha, including 9,000ha marine and 6,043ha forest, the park's terrain is primarily hills and mountains. The highest peak is Thanh Mount (557m) and the other peaks are 150 - 300m high.
Belonging to the tropical island ecosystem, forest in Con Dao is divided into two main types of woods with 882 species of fauna, nearly 150 species of animal, among which there are some rare species only found in Con Dao such as Con Dao black squirrel, winged house gecko, and some species of birds just existing in Con Dao like Masked booby, Red-billed tropicbird, Nicba pigeon and Rock pigeon.
Con Dao has 3 primary marine ecosystems including mangrove forest, marine grass and coral reefs. Marine species are quite numerous with 285 species of hard coral, 84 species of sea weed, 202 species of fish, 153 species of mollusc, etc. What is more, marine grass ecosystem estimate about 200ha, comprising of 9 species among 16 ones in the world. Con Dao's sea is a Home of tortoise-shell, turtle, black whale, and especially Dugong, one of the extremely rare species in the world.
Coming to Con Dao, tourists is sure to have comfortable and relaxing holidays deeply sunk in wild nature and experience rare species in the world surviving in Con Dao National Park, and visit valuable historic vestiges.