Vung Tau’s forgotten mountains


Vung Tau is the perfect weekend getaway I’m sure most Saigonese agree but while most are content with the beach life, I found on my last visit to the areas amazing mountains which sometimes you forget all about them.

The coastal city, which is a mere 90 minute drive from HCMC, for me is a very comfortable place to recline or to rest up as obviously it is more known for its long beaches and massage facilities for the easy life.

Not for us this time, though, as my girlfriend’s uncle just bought a house near the mountains and we thought it would be fun to spend a few days at the house before he moved in. He agreed to let us use the house while he was going away on a business trip and it was the best decision we ever made. The little villa was beautiful and I wish I had the money to buy one for myself.

Not many foreigners living in Vietnam have tried star fruit and where we were based had them in plentiful supply, so I picked a few and munched them on all weekend. They are very good to relieve exhaustion and you are never going to be able to eat them in the western world.

In the morning we spent our time at the Cloud Lake Cultural and Ecotourism on Big Mountain and of course there is also the other one funny enough called Small Mountain.

There is a cable car system to get there but we wanted to drive with a scooter up there! It was really a long drive with a scooter to get on the top of the mountain, but the scenery was simply breathtaking.

Instead of tall buildings like the city we saw mile after mile of tall trees on both sides of the road. When we arrived, it was still very early in the morning. So we decided to stop at a cafe halfway up to have breakfast before reaching the peak.

It was really a thrilling time. From the top of the mountain, I noticed that all the cottages in the town of Vung Tau looked like those that I had seen in picture books.

We also had a stunning view of the Cloud Lake itself, but what goes up must come down and that would have been disappointing and we looked at each other as if to say ‘Nooo’.

Then we remembered how beautiful the journey was on our scooter and we both smiled.

We tried our best to be outdoor types for the whole trip but on the last day we couldn’t resist checking into a nice hotel and heading down to the water. By James Phan in Vung Tau

A view of Small Mountain and the waters in Vung Tau City – Photo: Adrien Le Mans

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