While Vung Tau may not be my favourite place in Vietnam, it makes for a very quick escape from the city. With a ticket on the hydrofoil from Ho Chi Minh City costing just over $10 and taking just over an hour you can escape the big smoke and be on the beach long before you go stir crazy.
Despite a slightly seedy reputation its not a bad place to get away when you're short on time and can't face the journey to Mui Ne. Once a popular destination for the colonial French the town is overlooked by a huge statue of Jesus on top of a nearby hill, similar to the one that looks out over Brazil.
The town itself looks out onto a pretty harbour full of brightly painted blue fishingboats typical of southern Viet Nam.
To the right of the bay is a road that snakes around the coast beneath Jesus' feet, leading to a huge long beach bustling with fellow escapees from Saigon, where there are many restaurants, cafes and hotels.
If you follow the road to the right you will find a far quieter bay, with two huge statues on the hill - one of Mary holding Jesus, and further down the coast a huge statue of Buddha.
Food, drink and accomodation in Vung Tau is all pretty cheap and there are some great deals to be had. There is also a wide range of accommodation from high quality hotels to cheap guesthouses and homestays which can be had for under $10 a night.