Often called the “Sister City” to Ho Coc (Hồ Cốc), Ho Tram (Hô `Tràm) is a small beach community in Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau (Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu) Province. Frequently described as a pristine beachfront with limited development, Ho Tram is one of the most popular seaside destinations for locals and tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
Yearning to become an internationally recognized destination, new developments and foreign investments have big plans to further expand Ho Tram.
Costal Town in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province
Nestled along the coast of Vietnam’s Southeast Region, Ho Tram is a small community in the Xuyen Moc (Xuyên Mộc) District. Acclaimed for its immaculate beaches and luxury resorts, Ho Tram is a premier resort destination just to the north of Vung Tau City, which is 43 km (27 mi) away.
Ba Ria, the provincial capital, is about 32 km (20 mi) away, however, the vast majority of tourism in Ho Tram is fueled by residents and travelers from HCMC. In fact, Lonely Planet has placed Ho Tram at the #3 spot on its list of “Top Places to Visit Around Ho Chi Minh City”.
Formerly Saigon, Vietnam’s famous southern city is a mere 115 km (71 mi) to the north of Ho Tram. Whether traveling from HCMC, Ba Ria, or Vung Tau, tourists will have to use the local roads to get to Ho Tram. Less than 3 hours from HCMC and less than 1 hour away from Vung Tau, Ho Tram has become a popular coastal destination for weekend trips.
History of Ho Tram
For more than 100 years, the coast around Vung Tau has been steeped as a seaside destination that has medicinal properties. Whether from the local hot springs, fresh seawater, favorable climate, or a combination of all three, Ho Tram is well-known to have been one of the earliest tourist destinations in Vietnam.
Long before Ho Tram became known for its mega luxury resorts, the community was known for its quieter lodgings, unspoiled beaches, and calm waters. During the French occupation of Vietnam, Frenchman favored the beaches of Ho Tram, turning them into a resort area for their families to recuperate by the sea.
Even after the French left, tourism in Ho Tram seemed to only grow bigger. Aside from the hot springs, the protection of the rainforest around Ho Tram helped establish a strong base for ecotourism. Throughout the years, the development of Ho Tram has continued and it is quickly becoming widely recognized by international tourists as a quality resort destination.
Thriving as a resort destination, Ho Tram has a lot of big developments from its resort strip to epic golf courses. Of course, the main attraction in the area is the beaches. Ho Tram Beach sits front and center, but others along the coast provide a safe haven from the crowds.
Adding to the list, there are several attractions around Ho Tram that can’t be missed including the Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve, Binh Chau Hot Springs, Binh Chau Fishing Port, and Ho Coc.
Ho Tram Beach
Sometimes referred to as “The Strip”, Ho Tram Beach beckons tourists with its soft sand and clear water. An idyllic destination that remains unspoiled, the beach should be the first stop for every traveler in Ho Tram. Stretching along the coast, Ho Tram Beach is perfect for strolling, swimming, and sunbathing.
On parts of the beach, luxurious resorts look out over the sea. A dynamic destination that truly has a bit of everything, many guests will happily stay in Ho Tram as they go between their resort and the beach.
Suoi O Beach
For a less crowded beach with gentle waves that are kid-friendly, travelers should head north along the coast to Suoi O Beach. Featuring fine sand and clear water, there are typically fewer individuals at Suoi O Beach. Local establishments offer refreshments and snacks, but unlike Ho Tram, you won’t find too many resorts on this part of the coast.
Bluffs Grand Ho Tram Strip
Designed by Greg Norman, a retired professional golfer, Bluffs Grand Ho Tram Strip is a full 18-hole championship course. Attracting leisurely travelers who love a game of golf, the course overlooks Ho Tram Beach and the nearby resorts.
While the landscape of the golf course alone is stunning, visitors also love its modern clubhouse. With both Vietnamese and international menus, the Infinity Restaurant is one of the best in Ho Tram.
Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve
Surrounding both Ho Tram and Ho Coc, the Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve protects some of the last untouched rainforests in the world and has become a hotspot for ecotourists. Once home to elephants, species found in the park today include Bear macaques, wild buffalo, and a variety of orchids.
Used for both tourism and research, guests at the nature reserve are allowed to hike through the dense forests along pre-cut paths. Local guides can be hired at the main entrance, although they are not required. Tourists from Ho Tram will just need to head inland from the coast. Taxis are the best way to get to the reserve and the ride will only take 15 minutes.
Minera Hot Springs Binh Chau
Further outside of Ho Tram, Minera Hot Springs Binh Chau was one of the original attractions that brought the French to the area. With over 70 mineral pools with ranging temperatures, Minera Hot Springs is a full resort with its own waterpark, guest rooms, playgrounds, and gardens.
Family-friendly, travelers can splash in the pools or relax with a mud bath after a long day. Overnight guests will stay in rooms on-site or day passes can be purchased at the entrance.
Binh Chau Fishing Port
In an area that has been dominated by resorts, the Binh Chau Fishing Port is the only place in the Xuyen Moc District that’s actively used as a place to anchor boats and trade goods. Local fishermen gather at the port throughout the day to launch or dock their boats and organize their catches. Along the port, vendors sell the fresh catches of the day and other assorted goods.
Travelers often head to the port to engage with locals and learn about the fishing culture. Overlooking the port is a sandhill and deserted beach, which are perfect spots for taking a short hike.
About 5 km (3 mi) up the coast from Ho Tram is the smaller resort area known as Ho Coc. Much less developed than Ho Tram, Ho Coc offers a respite from the loud and busy resorts of its sister city. Ho Coc does have a few resorts and one of the most famous in the area is called Seava.
Just like Ho Tram, the beaches of Ho Coc are the main attraction. Vast and with no crowds, tourists will fall in love with the beach’s gentle waves and white sand. Though many tourists prefer to stay in Ho Tram, the close proximity of Ho Coc makes it easy to take a cab between the two communities.
Due to its pristine beaches, resorts are dominant in Ho Tram. From mega-chains to smaller boutique options, Ho Tram offers guests a diverse array of accommodation options. The highest-rated resorts are the InterContinental Grand Ho Tram, Holiday Inn Resort Ho Tram Beach, Carmelina Beach Resort, Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort, and the Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort and Spa.
InterContinental Grand Ho Tram – Providing guests with celebrity treatment, the InterContinental Grand Ho Tram is a world-class resort that is effortlessly integrated into the beachfront strip of Ho Tram. Boasting Vietnam’s largest casino, the resort also has 7 restaurants, a nightclub, an outdoor swimming pool with bar, lounges, a gym, a business center, and a spa.
Right next door to the resort is the San Golf Bluffs Grand Ho Tram Strip. Suitable for traveling couples or big families, guest rooms at the InterContinental Grand Ho Tram vary in design from premium single beds, twin beds, and suites.
Guests who would like an ocean view should be sure to confirm their reservation with the front desk. Run by friendly staff, guests can find assistance with arranging for tours, transportation, laundry, luggage storage, currency exchange, or room service.
Holiday Inn Resort Ho Tram Beach – Another large chain-run property in Ho Tram is the Holiday Inn Resort Ho Tram Beach. With a 5-star rating, this resort has its own host of facilities which include a restaurant, bar, fitness center, garden, 24-hour front desk, children’s playground, and mini-golf course.
More affordable prices and the availability of larger suites make the Holiday Inn Resort popular with families. All the rooms at the resort are air-conditioned and come with a TV, safety deposit box, and private bathroom. A few of the units also have access to a balcony.
Carmelina Beach Resort – Further down Ho Tram Beach from the main strip, the Carmelia Beach Resort is a 4-star property that comes outfitted with plenty of services. On the resort property, guests can enjoy the spa, fitness center, outdoor swimming pools, private beach access, paintball facilities, 3D cinema, karaoke lounge, playground, and 2 restaurants.
With a more limited selection of rooms, guests can choose between a Double, Twin, or Deluxe Bungalow.
Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort – In a small hamlet of Ho Tram, the Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort is a stunning property that allows guests to live large in a private villa or luxury room. On the property, guests will have access to Melia’s 3 restaurants and exclusive beach club.
For those that have booked The Level Experience, access to a lounge, pillow menu, private pool, and spa are also included. Sitting beachside, guests will have private access to Ho Tram Beach and exceptional views of the sea.
Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort and Spa – Less than a 2 minute walk away from the sand, the Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort and Spa is a large property that features gardens, sea views, outdoor pools, tennis courts, and 4 restaurants with bars. The friendly resort atmosphere encourages tourists to interact and play games of billiards or volleyball.
Fishing and kayaking tours can be arranged through the front desk. With a full range of units, this resort offers its guests the choice of a Bungalow, Garden Room, Lagoon Room, Suites, Family Rooms, and private Villas.
Every resort in Ho Tram will have at least one, if not multiple, on-site restaurants that provide luxury dining experiences and international menus to their guests. However, tourists who are spending more than the weekend in the area may want to venture into town to check out the local dining establishments too.
Although not as luxurious as the resort restaurants, many of the locally run places have fresh ingredients and menus that highlight traditional Vietnamese cuisine. A few of the best restaurants away from the resorts are the Khoi Seafood Restaurant, Quan Hai San Cau Ut Lau Ca Duoi Ho Tram, Bun Bo Hue, and the Ba Phi Seafood Restaurant.
As a beach resort destination, Ho Tram is a popular tourist spot year-round. Even when the rainy season brings monsoons, tourists will head to Ho Tram. However, most tourism is divided by weather and localities. May, June, July, and August are rainy and hot in Ho Tram, but local tourists from HCMC will eagerly head to the beaches to cool off.
On the other hand, most international tourists won’t travel during the rainy season to avoid the wet weather, humidity, and high temperatures. By far the most popular time to visit Ho Tram is during the dry season, which starts in late September and lasts until early April. These months are extremely busy and tourists will want to make arrangements well in advance.
A luxurious getaway for Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Tram is becoming a magnet for international tourism in Vietnam. Developed with some of the best luxury resorts in the country and a Vegas-style layout, tourists love everything that Ho Tram has to offer. As more developments pop up every year, the crowds in Ho Tram will only grow as more tourists are drawn in by this seaside paradise.
Address: Ho Tram, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Vietnam
Season: Year-round | Best during the dry season