Thursday 3rd & Friday 4th March
We had a day and a half to explore Vung Tau – the beach resort nearest to Ho Chi Minh City.
The verdict was: not that great as tropical beaches go. It was packed with filthy old deck chairs and umbrellas, with a tidemark of polystyrene detritus lining the shore and the now familiar sound of a Vietnamese person singing karaoke every fifty metres (I am diplomatically having no opinion about the musical talents of Vietnamese karaoke singers).
There were lots of these mollusc-type creatures stuck to the occasional larger bits of litter. They were quite pretty from a distance, but when we looked closely we saw slug-like bodies and strange sluggy tentacles.
Things did get quieter as we walked from the west to the east, and also in reality it was quite fun to see all the beach action going on.
The next day, after sorting out our tickets for tomorrow’s trip on the hydrofoil, we struck out for beaches anew.
We passed up on the much smaller Front Beach, as it’s right by an oil rig, so the water isn’t as nice.
Instead we kept our eyes peeled for Pineapple Beach. With a name like that I was picturing something very cute.
As we walked along the coastline we once or twice pointed at thin strips of concrete being smashed by the sea and said “Oh look, it’s Pineapple Beach! Ha, ha!”
After walking for a while we consulted our map and realised that we had already passed Pineapple Beach, and… it was one of the thin strips of concrete we had jokingly pointed at.
OK, it wasn’t all concrete. There was some sad, grey sand with a row of old deckchairs. But I think the name is a bit optimistic. It should be called “Concrete Beach”, or “Yes, This Is It Beach”.
Maybe the tide was in when we saw it.
Anyway, by this point we had almost walked all the way back around to good old Back Beach. On the way there were some not bad views and interesting things to see.
Not bad views.
That’s all folks. In conclusion, all beaches ranged from slightly to laughably disappointing. There’s plenty of convenience for tourists, but if you’re picking a beach to visit in Vietnam, go to Nha Trang, Quy Nhon or Cam Ranh (or Tuy Hòa for somewhere more remote). NOT HERE.