I find there’s plenty to keep a person occupied in Vung Tau, but then not every expat would agree with me. I mean it’s all subjective, innit? One man’s Shangri-La is another man’s Dullsville. Here’s a little parable that illustrates this point.
La Veranda smells like lemongrass. It feels like the home of French aristocrats in 19th-century Vietnam. Fitting, as this Accor-managed, four-star resort on a private strip of Phu Quoc’s Duong Dung Beach was built 12 years ago by a French-Indochine family with four generations of history in Southeast Asia. The resort’s 70 rooms face west onto the Gulf of Thailand, which translates into idyllic tropical sunsets.
Somewhere off Phu Quoc is a privately owned island that, if you’re lucky enough, might just be open for a visit. Jesse Meadows discovered that despite the growing debris in the surrounding seas, here the water remains crystal clear. Photos by Trung Del
It’s just over the border, and yet for many people living in Vietnam, the Cambodian capital remains a mystery. Owen Salisbury goes on a foodie tour of Phnom Penh and discovers that when it comes to dining, this city is in a world of its own
Vung Tau is a go-ahead kind of place. In the first six years that I lived here, the city hosted the World Youth Chess Championships, the International Women’s Beach Volleyball Championships, Mrs World, the International Kite-flying Championship, the World Food Festival, and the Russia-Vietnam Surf Championship.
Expats in Vietnam don’t rank Vung Tau highly on their lists of ‘must-visit’ places. They’re inclined to view it as a slightly run-down beach resort that may appeal to local weekenders from Ho Chi Minh City, but with nothing of note to attract a foreigner. At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, they’re mistaken about that. Vung Tau is a pretty cool place.