The GoGlobal Blog

Long Hai

Long Hai

Though I love Ho Chi Minh City, it sometimes makes you feel as if you are overdosing on stimulation. This weekend, as a means of escape and a means of exploration, a group of us took a short trip to Long Hai, Vietnam. Long Hai is about a 2.5 hour bus ride southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, and about 30 minutes east of Vung Tao; a very well known tourist beach near the city. We chose not to spend the weekend in Vung Tao as we have plans to spend a weekend there later this semester, and so after some google searching, and realizing that a lot of getaway spots were booked up due to Vietnam’s Independence day, we decided on Long Hai.

Long Hai is similar to Vung Tao, except only Vietnamese people usually go there. So though we were in a “touristy area” full of hotels and resorts, it didn’t feel that way because we were the only foreigners that we encountered the entire time. We stayed at the Minh Dam Hotel which was great for it’s location in proximity to the beach and also for it’s price (which included a free breakfast each morning), but was not as great as it could have been in proximity to the town of Long Hai. As it turns out, Long Hai consists of two main areas of town, each about seven or eight miles apart from each other. Our hotel was between these two towns and so when it came time to find a place to eat, we had to do a small amount of traveling. This was only made difficult by the language barrier, and the lack of taxis in the area. All of these things really added to the experience though, and overall, we had an amazing time.

The first day, we arrived in Long Hai in the afternoon, and after checking into our hotel, went directly to the beach. Much to our dismay, our hotel told us that we had to pay 70,000VND to go to the beach, and so we each bought tickets, and headed across the street where we walked through a gate and gave our tickets to a security guard. Once on the beach, we discovered that just a little ways down the beach there is a free access that the hotel “failed” to tell us about. Anyhow, the beach where we had to pay was gorgeous, and we had an amazing afternoon just enjoying the warm, salty water and the sand between our toes.



That night, we walked about a mile till we hit the closest part of town, picked up a case of 333 beer, and had some of the delicious fresh seafood that the area is famous for.

The next morning, a couple of us woke up to watch sunrise from our hotel window. 10/10 I highly recommend doing this.

Post sunrise, we rested for a while longer, and then headed back to the beach. This was the basis of what our weekend was about, and it was everything we could have wanted. In Long Hai, it is possible to climb the nearby mountain. I didn’t do this (big surprise, I know), but one of the guys in our group went and came back with lots of stories of monkeys and friendly locals. After spending the morning on the beach, and acquiring a couple of sunburns, we had seafood fried rice for lunch while we waited for him to return from the mountain.

Once he returned, we set out to find a temple whose golden spires were visible from our hotel. It was very easy to find, and we lucked out in our timing because as we walked down the road leading to it, a tour bus had just pulled up to visit it, and so we were able to sneak in through the gate with the people who had arrived on the bus. There were many vietnamese children who were incredibly excited to take selfies with us. This is something that I have encountered a lot of on my travels so far, and it  brings me much joy.


Sorry for the low quality photo, it was taken on an Android.

Exploring this temple was one of the highlights of the trip for me, by far. It seemed that it was partially still being built, because in the front there were people carving giant statues of Buddhas that later, it seemed, were to be placed around the grounds.I do not doubt that this temple may become a tourist attraction in the future. I am not completely sure about this, but it seemed that the vietnamese children on the bus were at the temple to learn or worship, or something of the sort, as they all filed to one of the buildings, and we heard singing coming from it. The people at the temple were very happy to allow us to look around, and it was so beautiful. We also were there during my favorite time of day; dusk.

It was the end of a perfect day, and we felt we needed to keep it this way, and so we headed into town in the other direction that evening, picked up another case of beer, and proceeded to sit down and eat some of the best and cheapest seafood I have ever had in my entire life. I honestly am looking forward to our trip to Vung Tao later this semester, specifically so I can eat this seafood again. I wasn’t even able to get a photo of it before it was demolished.

Our last morning, we spent about another hour on the beach, and then sadly caught our bus back to Ho Chi Minh. Getting to our bus was a bit of an adventure due to our hotel forgetting that we had arranged transport, but we made it just in time. I highly recommend Long Hai to anyone who wants a weekend getaway from the city in the future. I hope to return one day.


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