Towering over the city of Vung Tau, the Jesus Christ statue, which, as of the early 2010s, also happens to be the largest Christian structure in Asia, is a sight to be seen. With a height of 32 meters (105 ft) and a width of 18.3 meters (60 ft), it’s hard not to notice how similar of a presence this monument has compared to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Finding the Christ Statue
The Vietnam Catholic Association began construction of the Vung Tau Christ Statue in 1974, and it wasn’t complete until nearly two decades later, at the end of 1994.
Famous in the area and massive in size, you won’t have a lot of trouble finding the Christ Statue. Located on top of Mount Nho, which means “small mountain” in Vietnamese, the hill formally functioned as a French outpost during the colonial years. As you hike up towards it, keep your eyes open for cannons and other historical military equipment that you’ll pass along your way.
To start your trek, you will climb up to the statue’s base by finding the entrance along Ha Long Street in Vung Tau, near the peninsula. The best way to get there is to be dropped off by a taxi, so you won’t have to deal with finding or paying for parking. However, you can also rent or buy a motorbike and take it up there as well.
Many organized tours in Vung Tau include a stop at the Christ Statue during the later afternoon hours. If you choose to go this route, consider returning for an early morning hike for a peaceful workout. If you’re traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau, the bus rides are only a couple of hours long.
The Hike Up to the Statue
To get to the statue’s base, you’ll first have to climb the 800+ stone stairs up Mount Nho. There will be vendors selling snacks, food, bottled water, ice, and even souvenir merchandise at various points up the stairs. Additionally, there are plenty of designated rest stops along the way to stop and catch your breath if needed.
Hikers will pass various Catholic murals and statues to look at along the journey, including one of Jesus and St. Peter and a replica of the Pieta, the Renassaince piece created by Michaleanglo depicting Mary cradling the fallen body of Christ.
Once you get to the top of the stairs and reach the statue, you will be met with more stairs inside. There are another 133 steps on a winding staircase that will take you to the top of the Christ Statue’s neck and hands, where you can arguably get the best views of the city and sea. The sweeping panoramic views of Vung Tau are fantastic photo opportunities and definitely worth the climb.
Know Before You Go
- Going at an average pace, the climb up the stairs takes about 20-30 minutes with minimal rest stops.
- If you’re hiking on a hot day, be sure to bring plenty of water as it can be somewhat strenuous while directly in the sun.
- The inside of the statue is an attraction but is still considered to be a religious building. For that reason, visitors must remove their shoes and be covered up from the neck down past the knees (no crop tops, bikinis, tank tops, or extremely short shorts).
- While there is no entry fee, you might have to pay for parking if you are traveling independently.
Hours: 7 am – 5 pm