Vung Tau is a resort town
in the province of Dong Nai 125 km from Saigon. The town is a long strip
approximately 14 km long and 6 km wide. Where the southern tip of town meets
the ocean stand two famous mountains Nui Lon (Truong Ky) and Nui Nho
(Tao Phung) or Large mountain and Small mountain.
Historically, Vung Tau used to be part of Bien Hoa. The first settlements in this area occurred during the reign of King Gia Long. During this period, there were many Malay bandits in this region. They often enter the area through Song Be entrance from the ocean. This created a threat for merchants in the Gia Dinh area.
King Gia Long sent three garrisons of troops to the area to quell the disturbance and to clear this area for settlement. A few years later, the bandits were driven away and in 1822, King Ming Mang rewarded the three officers who led the army to this region. The soldiers were allowed to retire and brought their families to this area to make a living. The first three successful settlements in this area were under the leadership of the three officers who originally led the troops here. Thang Nhat (first win) township, Thang Nhi (second win) township and Thang Tam (third win) township were led by Mr. Pham Van Dinh, Mr. Le Van Loc, and Mr. Ngo Van Huyen respectively. Ever since then, this area is known as Tam Thang or Three Wins. The name Vung Tau came about because the geography in this area also forms a natural bay where many merchant ships would stop to seek shelter. In time, this area became known as Vung (puddle) Tau (ships). Another name for this area is Cap Saint Jacques or Au Cap in French. The Vietnamese mispronunciation is "O^ Ca^'p".
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