Thursday, March 29, 2018

[Photos] A Glimpse Into Life in Vung Tau in 1967

Been there many a time (once on my honeymoon) and looks basically the same today.

Today, Vung Tau is a bustling tourist spot for Saigoneers looking to get out of the city and enjoy some ocean waves, but these photos from 1967 reveal its past as a working port.

Vung Tau has been an important city for centuries, especially because its unique geography allowed for it to serve as a safe harbor during storms – a fact alluded to in its name, which translates to “anchoring bay.” It has therefore long fostered commerce and activity as the below photos by Chris Chubb attest to.

From markets stuffed with clothes, engine parts and cooking ingredients, 50 years ago Vung Tau hosted a frenzy of trade. But once one left the busy city center, the activity quickly gave way to quiet fields and humble buildings. Farmers tending crops and traditional wooden boats resting at low tide reveal what Vung Tau was like before the resorts gobbled up the coastline.  

Take a peek at the crammed markets and peaceful surroundings in the photos below:

More @ Saigoneer


  1. We used to take in-country R & R at the Logistics Support Base there. Re. ‘Safe Harbour’, one of the local landmarks I recall was a large Freighter shipwrecked on a rocky promontory near the beach we used.

    Just outside the inner R & R area there was a line of topped and tailed oil drums half buried in the sand at an angle of 45 degrees with a sign saying, “EMPTY YOUR WEAPONS HERE”, an invitation too tasty to resist so we three emptied a full 30 round mag each on full auto into the barrels; this scared the shit out of the rear echelon RAMP’s (Royal Australian military Police) who guarded the place and put them in full panic mode to the extent that one of them on the main gate accidently let off a burst into thin air from his M60. Neither the Base Commander nor our CO up-country were overly impressed but WTF, we had been told to enjoy ourselves 😊

    1. Thanks and was that near Long Tan.

  2. No, Vung Tau is in the far south of Phuc Puey Province on the coast. Long Tan took place South and West of the main Operations Base Nui Dat, north of Vung Tau.

    Long Tan was was before my time...the Battle of Long Hai was my bundle of joy.

    1. Thanks. I prefer Long Hai over Vung Tau (Cape St. Jacques) but only discovered Long Hai with it's large black rocks in '92 while I had been to Vung Tau many times during the war. The back beach is better than the other though. I'll post some pictures as I go through my albums.