This is my third visit to Vietnam (my first to the land of the Blue Dragon with my daughter). This trip we were fortunate enough to be invited to Vung Tau (Vũng Tàu)- a little town by the sea. It’s great for a short stay with kids and easy to get to from Ho Chi Minh.

We ate out every day and loved the food- from seafood to pizza. Here’s what we did and where we ate:

Evening 1:
We arrived safe and sound after a bit of a hair-raising minivan ride (the driver used the hard shoulder and weaved in and out- after the ambulance he was following had turned off).

In the evening, we had a great seafood dinner, including barbecued octopus at Pho Hai Hoang on the seafront. We rounded off the day on my friends’ rooftop with its great views.

Day 2:
What better way to start the day than a leisurely Irish breakfast? We ate at Tommy’s, with its trikes and other toys with wheels (some of which work better than others but that’s kind of half the fun, I guess.) We then got ready for some beach-time.

Daisy and ‘Elsa’ (as she called our friend’s daughter) played and played in the sand, making castles and all sorts. We relaxed on some chairs and enjoyed watching them have fun. Nice to have some adult conversation and relaxation time.

When it started to get a bit hot under the umbrella Daisy asked if she could go and play on the water filled bouncy castle. We paid for use of the castle and it entitled them to all the other water activities on the beach.

They loved the pool, getting on and off the floating mattress and sliding in from the sides.

We got seafood noodles for lunch and had a little break before more water time, including a dip in the sea. It was a great day out.

Day 3:
We had a lovely bowl of pho for breakfast at Hai Hoang, then walked through town to a swimsuit shop that advertised in Russian- I figured they would surely fit and was right.

We kept stopping for treats- little donuts and sugar cane juice for example before heading ‘home’.

The girls played “shops” and various other things back at the house- they had a fun time, while my friend and I pampered ourselves in town.

A delicious dinner at Tê Giác Quán (Rhino Inn) and it was time for bed before cable car the next day.

Last day- cable car:

Daisy being less than a metre was free. Now you might think the adult ticket expensive (at 300,000 Vietnamese dong) but the amount of things to do with little ones up at the top is pretty amazing. We only touched on a small section of it (partly as it started bucketing it down in the afternoon).

  • Here’s what we did at the top:
    the obligatory photos of the great view, before taking a little train ride.
  • We then got to listen to some Vietnamese singers with an impressive photographic background of beautiful Vietnam.
  • Nearby there were massive fish you could feed with a line and a little fish; boy did they pull at the line!
  • A little wander on took us to a pony and trap but he was having a rest, so we moved on to an obstacle course forthe girls. 

The girls then went for a couple of fairground rides before we stopped for a bite to eat. They loved the doggy show we happened upon after lunch. We followed this with a swim and play in the pool. Do use a locker though- someone took poor Daisy’s shoes!

When to go:

One tip- it’s best not to go to Vung Tau on the weekend as there’s a mass exodus from Ho Chi Minh. It is, after all, only one and a half hour’s drive away.

We had a lovely time with our friends in Vung Tau. They went out of their way to make us welcome and show us round. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, whether visiting or not. We’d definitely love to go back one day.