Vung Tau (Vũng Tàu in Vietnamese) is a city in southern Vietnam, it's just away from Ho Chi Minh city 130km. The city area is 140 km² (54 square miles) including 13 urban wards and one village. It is the capital of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, and is the crude oil extraction center of Vietnam. It is also known as one of the most famous cities of tourism in Vietnam. Locating near Ho Chi Minh city and Binh Duong province, Vung Tau associates with these two places to create a triangle of power economy all over the country.
During 14th and 15th centuries, the cape that would become Vũng Tàu was a swamp which European trading ships visited regularly. The ships' activities inspired the name Vũng Tàu, which means "anchorage". The Portuguese navigators passed Vung Tau many times and named it after Saint Jacques. The French invaded Vietnam afterwards and called it Cape Saint Jacques.
Vung Tau was within the province of Biên Hòa under the Nguyễn Dynasty. Under the reign of king Gia Long (1761–1820), when Malay pirates built a base here and subsequently became a danger to traders in Gia Dinh city, the king sent 3 troupes of army to crack down on the pirates. The pirates were ousted and soldiers of these troupes were given the land as a reward.
10 February 1859 marked the first use of cannons by Nguyễn's army, when they fired at French battleships from the fortress of Phước Thắng, located 100m from Vũng Tàu's Front Beach. This marked an important period in Vietnam's war against French invaders in South Vietnam (then called Cochinchina).
In 1876, according to a decree by the French colonialists, Vũng Tàu was merged in Ba Ria county, under Saigon's administration (French: circonscription de Saigon).
On May the 1st 1895 the governor of Cochinchina established by decree that Cape Saint Jacques would thereafter be an autonomous town. In 1898, Cape Saint Jacques was merged with Ba Ria County once again but was divided again in 1899.
In 1901, the population of Vũng Tàu was 5,690, of which 2,000 persons were immigrants from North Vietnam. Most of the town's population made their living in the fishing industry.
On April 4, 1905 Cape Saint Jacques was made an administrative district of Ba Ria province. In 1929, Cape Saint Jacques became a province, and in 1934 became a city (commune).
The French governor of Indochina, Paul Doumer (who later became President of France), built a mansion in Vũng Tàu that is still a prominent landmark in the city.
30, 1979, Vũng Tàu town was made the capital of Vũng Tàu-Côn Đảo Special Administrative Zone.
On August 12, 1991, the province of Ba Ria-Vũng Tàu was officially founded and Vũng Tàu town officially became Vũng Tàu city.
Vung Tau is more interesting for its extensive beaches. Tourists often prefer swimming at Back Beach (Bãi Sau) but sightseeing in Front Beach (Bãi Trước). Back Beach is well-known for its over 10 km of fine sand.