BEACH DAY TRIP
If the beach beckons, and you’re keen to get a little further away from the big smoke, then head to the twin towns of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne (pictured). The beaches are 200km from Saigon and not only home to a prosperous fishing fleet, but a collection of beachside resorts catering to every holiday budget.
VUNG TAU BEACH
The only places for foreigners to swim in the city are hotel pools, but 80km along the asphalt is the long stretch of sand at Vung Tau with the surf beach that’s now home to high-rise resorts. The spot was once a favourite rest spot for Aussie soldiers serving nearby during the American War.
CRUISING THE MEKONG
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is the country’s food bowl – rice, fruit, herbs and veggies grow in the rich soil deposited by the mighty river – with day trips including stops to see local industries at work, a sampan paddle along quiet canals, and lunch featuring regional dishes like freshwater fish baked with scales still on.
CAI DAI RELIGION
Tay Ninh, the rural hamlet a three-hour drive from Saigon, is home to the Cai Dai religion which was founded here in 1926 with tourists invited to visit the colourful cathedral called the Great Divine Temple during prayer time to witness the faithful harmoniously worshipping.