Tau (Vungtau) is a resort town in the
Ba Ria Vung Tau, 125 km from
Saigon. The town is a long strip where the southern tip of town meets the
ocean. Historically, the first settlements in this area occurred in
the reign of King Gia Long. During this period, there were many Malay
bandits in this region. This created a threat for merchants in the
Gia Dinh area.
King sent three garrisons of troops to the area to quell the disturbance
and to clear this area for settlement. A few years later, the bandits
were driven away and in 1822, King Ming Mang rewarded the three officers
who led the army to this region. The soldiers were allowed to retire and
brought their families to this area to make a living. The name Vung Tau
came about because the geography in this area also forms a natural bay
where many merchant ships would stop to seek shelter. In time, this area
became known as Vung (puddle) Tau (ships).
Tau is the first seaside resort for the elite in
Vietnam. Many bungalows and vacation homes have been built. Vung Tau is also
known for its abundance of pagodas and temples, most of them lean
against the mountains and face the ocean.
During the Vietnam War, Vung Tau was home to the
Australian Army and American support units, and was a popular spot
for in-country R&R for U.S. combat troops. After the war, Vung Tau
was a common launching place for the Vietnamese Boat People fleing
winding road goes up and down along the shore, offering a spectacular
view of the skyline and refreshing ocean wind. Facing the ocean on three sides, Vung
Tau is windy all year round and has 2 distinct seasons, rainy from May
to October and dry from November to April. Average temperature is 28
a weekend get-away spot for city dwellers from
, Vung Tau has also a significant fishing industry. With oil rings only
70 km off shore, the city is a center of services for the exploitation
of gas and oil.