We were only in Long Hai for a night, but it was a perfect little stop over on our road trip! A couple of hours out of Ho Chi Minh, Long Hai was the first town we drove to to begin our journey up the coast. It is just north of Vung Tau, a much bigger city on the coast, which you can see from the beach. We didn’t fancy going to Vung Tau as it was a slightly longer drive, and after spending quite a few days in Ho Chi Minh we just wanted to get on with our journey.
We left Ho Chi Minh at around midday, and headed straight out the city for Long Hai. We’d looked on maps and it was just two main roads – simple! Or, maybe not. Because lets face it, are things ever as simple as they seem? Driving out of Ho Chi Minhh we were making good time, following Google Maps with an ETA of about 2.30pm. However, as we went to join the main road we discovered that bikes were actually not allowed on it. Obviously, Google Maps is meant for cars, so this isn’t something that flagged up! We took a side road off and pulled over, googling a route that we were actually allowed on! In the end we found an alternative in a forum, but the bad news was it was gonna take us a lot longer than 2 hours! FYI – I’ll be detailing all our routes that we took in a future blog post.
By the time we got to Long Hai, it was about 4.30pm. We were staying in Hoang Gia Motel, which was perfect for what we needed! The room was small but clean, and had a TV with an English channel (that wasn’t CNN)! This was a first. We parked our bike inside, got dressed into swimming stuff and clean clothes and headed down to the beach. When we got to the beach however, we realised it wasn’t really what we were expecting. When you google pictures of Long Hai, you get pictures of golden sands and blue waters. The reality was, the water was a murky grey/brown. This was unsurprising really, as when you look at a map of the coast here you can see where all the big ships come down the rivers into Ho Chi Minh, so the water must be quite polluted. We decided against a swim, and instead just had a walk along the beach. Luckily, it was a beautiful evening and we saw the most incredible sunset. It reflected off the wet sand like it was a mirror.
After watching the sunset, we went to a little restaurant next to the beach for a drink. Next to the beach was also a lot of plastic chairs and little street food vendors. There were so many locals here watching the sunset! Lots were sat along the wall, which separates the road from the drop down to the beach. There was also a place opposite that looked like a temple, which stood out as it was built into the hill.
We then headed down the road further to find somewhere for dinner. There wasn’t really much choice of places to go! We ended up in a place where I got Pho and James got some thing where he built his own sandwich. It was so cheap! We carried on walking down the street to explore but realised we’d kinda got to the end of the town, so walked back up to where we were staying. Long Hai has enough there to stay a night, but I wouldn’t recommend staying much longer. Still, this made it a good stop off on journey! We didn’t fancy going to another city like Vung Tau, so I was glad we came to this little town and had a relaxing night. Back at our room, we ended up watching a film that was on TV and having an early night as we had another day of driving the next day. In the morning we woke up and got straight back on the road.
As I said, there wasn’t much to do in Long Hai. But if you’re doing a road trip like we were, it’s a perfect little stop off! If you’re travelling from Ho Chi Minh then up the coast, it’s a great place to have your first stop as it’s a good distance from Ho Chi Minh, and is on the road which then takes you north up the coast. I’m sure if we’d explored in the day, we’d have found something to do – I did see temples in the evening when we were walking around. We had a lovely night there, made extra special by such a beautiful sunset. So if you’re driving yourself north, I’d recommend it for a night!
Charlotte Rick x
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