The back beach at Vung Tau had excellent glassy surfing conditions on Friday with a two to three foot swell. At high tide in the morning until a storm came in the afternoon, good waves were breaking on sand banks all along the three kilometer stretch of beach, with
almost nobody on them.
In the dozen or so times I have visited Vung Tau in three years it was probably the best conditions I’ve seen there. Surfing in Vietnam is full of stories and tall tales – I’ve heard of two meter swells and even bigger that I would have to see to believe. But this was most the best surf in Vietnam that I have seen so far, with nice peeling hollow sections and decent size sets. This is definitely the season for it with the typhoons hitting the central area sending down decent swells. What a great way to get over the Saigon blues – surfing Vung Tau.
As a former Australian city dweller, I am accustomed to traveling a few hours to have an hour or two surf, so traveling to Vung Tau for a couple of hours of surfing is no problem for me. I take a longboard in its case from my apartment by seven-seater taxi to the hydrofoil service at Bach Dang. Generally I only go for the day but I could stay overnight at one of the affordable beach side hotels. I buy a return ticket to Vung Tau for the 8am service and return on the 2pm service to be back home at 4. If there are waves that give me four hours to surf; and if there’s no waves I have to suffer on a deckchair eating cheap fresh crabs and grilled squid, reading and taking the occasional dip to cool off. It’s hell.
It’s recommended to buy the return Vung Tau hydrofoil ticket in HCMC as the service can get pretty busy and if you rely on buying a return ticket in Vung Tau you could be stuck or stung by ticket touts with double prices – especially on weekends or during events.
The hydrofoil is a pretty cool way to travel for a surf and there’s room to stash a longboard. The guys on the boat don’t generally charge extra for the surf board. It takes an hour and a half, then another short taxi ride once you get off the boat and you’re at the back beach. In total VND 280,000 maximum one way.
If you don’t have a board you can hire one at Vung Tau Beach Club at 8 Thuy Van Street. Amazingly an international website has a weekly forecast of Vung Tau’s surf conditions, if you like to increase your chances of connecting with decent waves. Check out the up to date information at www.globalsurfers.com.
According to Globalsurfers.com, “Although fickle, the surf here can get quite good during the summer monsoon from July through
November, especially when typhoons batter the central coast and send lovely swells down south.
“When the wind is out of the North West and the swell from the south, the breaks can get as big as 6ft and sometimes overhead, but don’t expect that often.”
Some websites say that Vung Tau is the best surfing spot in Vietnam, even better than Danang Beach, primarily
because of easy access to HCMC and surfing equipment.
Riding one of Friday’s smaller waves at Vung Tau. The sets were twice as big – Photo: Michael Smith
By Michael Smith in Vung Tau of SGT