Visiting different cities in the South of Vietnam is quite possible without planes, trains or other public transportation. How is that possible? It’s quite simple if you got a local driving license and want to be an independent traveler who gets an experience that can’t be compared to package holidays!
Main resorts and interesting cities is possible to visit driving a car by yourself. For example, from our friends’ experience, the most memorable route is Vung Tau – Da Lat – Nha Trang – Mui Ne (Phan Thiet). It depends on your locations or your choice of a driver where to start your trip if you aren’t stuck at one resort.
For the sake of the perfect combination of driver’s stamina and beautiful scenery would be good to start your trip from Vung Tau. To get to mountain town Da Lat (the town of endless spring and flowers) takes about 5 hours.
Da Lat is full of sightseeing, it’s the best to stay here for a couple of days and enjoy the cool climate for a bit because at the next point of destination, Nha Trang city, there are way more tourists and the climate is tropical there. The way from Nha Trang to Da Lat is the most beautiful and unforgettable part of the road with some waterfalls and mountains. You can take pictures just from the sidewalk. The road last for about 2 hours. You could stay here either for 3 days or for a whole week because this city is a combination of hustle and bustle of the city and the laid back beach laziness.
You can go diving or snorkeling in the sea, but it’s important to pay some attention to the season – there’re some rains in winter, but then again, with a car you wouldn’t care much about that.
Setting off to the most sporty Vietnamese resort – Mui Ne is the best at noon. At siesta time the traffic won’t be as crazy. It takes about 4 hours to get there if you take the road along the coastline. Please, be aware of a couple of spots where the road isn’t that good but you still can go pass either by any city vehicle or a minivan and jeep. In Mui Ne you can stay in small guest house or big resort. There are hundreds of hotels along the beach. Also there’s a big number of people who are doing such sports as kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing and SUP (stand up paddle). Permanent strong wind in winter months provide the non-stop wave riding for sportsmen and newbies who only about to learn any of these sports.
It’s possible to spend either a couple of days in Mui Ne or a few weeks. But once you get sick and tired of crowds of tourists – it’s time to move on. And further on is the starting point of our trip – Vung Tau City. There’s a couple of roads one can use – the main road with all kinds of speed limits which is also always busy with all different vehicles and the other road along the coastline. The asphalt on that road could be better, also it’s quite narrow but there’re some artificial reservoirs along the way where the sea salt is being evaporated, rice plantations and dragon fruit fields (pitaya). It’s important not to miss the turn to the hot water springs. These hydrogen sulfidous springs are called Binh Chau. It’s a small resort where locals and foreign tourist come mostly just for a day to swim in hot springs and take a mud bath.
After the intersection to hot springs, the road to Vung Tau goes through Ba Ria town or you could take the one that goes along the coastline. The road is quite wide and good but you shouldn’t exceed speed limit. It’s possible to meet police along the way. There are equipped with radar speed guns now.
So, here we are in Vung Tau again. The streets here during the work hours are almost empty and the roads are ones of the best in Vietnam. It’s very convenient here to rest for a couple of days before flying back home. You shouldn’t skip relaxing strolls along the beach and visits to multiple sea food restaurants with sea view.
To get by car to Ho Chi Minh city takes now about 1,5 hour – the new highway has been opened recently. The intersection to this highway is in Ba Ria town and it’s impossible to miss it. The traffic in 9 mln Saigon is quite insane, so to avoid the stress of driving before the flight – it’s the best to get a transfer with a driver.