Dedicated to the worship of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, the Quan The Am Bo Tat Pagoda is one of Vung Tau’s best known pilgrimage sites, in part for its scenic location facing the sea and backed by mountains. Also known as the Nirvana Pagoda, Niet Ban Tinh Xa is situated on the side of Small Mountain, and features a 12 m-long reclining Nirvana Buddha statue overlaid with marble, a giant 3.5-ton bronze bell and a pleasing mix of traditional and modern architecture.
Heading west towards Vung Tau, the next notable temple is Dinh Co, built to honor a 16-year-old girl believed to be a minor deity whose body washed up on the nearby shores nearly 200 years ago. Walk up the 37 stone steps past guardian lion statues for nice views of Vung Tau in the distance.
Vung Tau is known for its many picturesque religious sites. The closest to Oceanami is the Truc Lam Chan Nguyen Monastery, just 2 kilometers away, at the base of Ky Van Mountain. Colloquially known as the “Monkey Pagoda” for the hundreds of friendly (and hungry!) monkeys fed by the monks daily.
Nature lovers will want to head to the Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve, a beautiful 11,293 ha area featuring predominantly deciduous natural forest, lakes and diverse flora and fauna, including 49 species of mammals, 106 species of birds and 14 orchid species. From Oceanami, visitors can cover the 40 kilometers distance by car or bicycle along a scenic coastal road. Once there, activities include hiking, boat rowing and climbing. Another highlight in the reserve is the Binh Chau Hot Springs where visitors can soak in the thermal springs or enjoy a soothing mud bath that’s said to be very good for the skin.
One of many historical battle sites in the area, Minh Dam Mountain was a stronghold for Vietnamese resistance fighters during the Franco-Viet Minh and American Wars. Just 10 minutes from Oceanami, visitors can climb the narrow steps hewn into the rock to better explore the network of deep caves hidden between the boulders. See if you can spot the bullet holes from the many skirmishes that took place here. Head to the top for a war museum and panoramic views over the coastline.
Just 10 minutes East of the resort, near Minh Dam Mountain, is the fishing village of Phuoc Hai, one of the oldest in the province. Arrive mid-morning and join the women waiting on shore for the fishermen coming back from overnight trips in both traditional circular fishing boats and motorboats. The locals are friendly and photographic opportunities abound with people mending nets, sorting out the night’s catch for market and laying out fish to dry.
Vung Tau has long been a seaside getaway for sun-seeking Saigonese ever since French colonists found their way to the sleepy town, then known as Cap St Jacques, in the late 19th century. Today, the peninsula of Vung Tau, just 15 kilometers (20 minutes) from Oceanami Villas & Beach Club, continues to draw the crowds for its wide, sandy beaches, natural and historical attractions, and laid-back vibe.
44A High Way, Phuoc Hai Town,
Dat Do District, Ba Ria -
Vung Tau Province, Vietnam
Thao Dien Building, 25 Hoang Hoa Tham Str,
Ward 6, Binh Thanh District, HCMC, Vietnam