Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

By Vi Yen   August 29, 2021 | 11:00 am GMT+7
Typically crowded summer hotspot Vung Tau beach in southern Vietnam has been left deserted amid an extended lockdown order.
Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

Vung Tau, capital of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, has imposed a series of strict lockdown measures since late June. These measures would be extended until Sept. 8 amid an increasingly complex pandemic situation.

Since recording the first domestic infection on June 28, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which neighbors epicenter Ho Chi Minh City, has reported 3,318 infections and all tourism activities here have been suspended.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

Bai Sau, also known as Thuy Van Beach, in the southeast of Vung Tau, is one of the most popular local beach destinations. However, the entire shore has been closed for more than two months, leaving rows of tents and umbrellas idling in the breeze.

Four months ago, the beach was bustling with thousands of visitors during the Reunification holiday (April 30), only a few days after Vietnam entered its fourth coronavirus wave.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

The square near Bai Sau Beach with dozens of flagpoles, typically busy with youngsters, is virtually deserted.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

A Covid checkpoint on Thuy Van Street running along Bai Sau Beach.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

Seaside villas and homestay services along the beach also shut down due to the absence of visitors.

Tran Duy, who took these photos, said his company had 20 seaside villas for rent in Vung Tau but his business has been heavily affected due to the ongoing outbreak. In May and June, with tourism activities suspended, his company suffered big losses. In July, he managed to survive thanks to local tourists and foreign oil experts who came to hire villas for quarantine purposes.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

Hon Ba is a small island, famous for a path that only appears at low tide on full moon days.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

The 32-meter-tall Jesus Christ's Statue surrounded by green trees stands on Mount Tao Phung that overlooks Vung Tau Beach. It is a must-see tourist destination on a tour of Vung Tau, reached via nearly 800 steps.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

Located on the southwest of Vung Tau, Bai Truoc (Front Beach), also known as Tam Duong Beach is located between Big Mountain and Small Mountain. The coastal road along the beach is lined with paving and green trees, making it a favorite spot for many people in the evening.

Duy said due to social distancing, people could not bring food to the mountain for monkeys. Therefore, sometimes they flood the streets to feed.

Once crowded Vung Tau beach left idle amid visitor lull

All tourism accommodations and travel agencies in Vung Tau suspended operations while only a few luxury hotels remain open, mainly serving foreign experts for quarantine purposes, according to the provincial tourism association.

In the absence of tourists, Duy realized nature is slowly recovering with seawater becoming more clear and cleaner.

"Living in Vung Tau for decades, I have never seen such a clean sea. The air is also much cleaner," Duy added.

A video of Bai Sau beach in July, 2021.

Video and photos by Tran Thanh Duy

 
 
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