Short-term fun in Tay Ninh and Binh Duong

This is a suggested journey “back to nature” for a group of friends on the occasion of this Ancestor’s death anniversary when many large resorts are full.

Tay Ninh and Binh Duong are located next to Ho Chi Minh City, convenient for short trips by motorbike or car. You can book a hotel in Tay Ninh to stay overnight, the price ranges from 200,000 – 500,000 VND/room in the city center. Many hotels on this occasion still have rooms.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – Forest Vineyard – Tay Ninh Holy See – Ba Den Pagoda – Dau Tieng Lake – Tay Ninh Night Market

Starting from Ho Chi Minh City in the direction of National Highway 22, after 2-3 hours you will arrive in Tay Ninh. You should depart early to avoid congestion on the section through the An Suong intersection with many buses and coaches. Along the way, the car passes through Trang Bang town, which is famous for Banh Chung, has breakfast and then continues.

The first destination is the Forest Vineyard in Phan Commune, Duong Minh Chau District. It is not yet the grape season, but there are still many other interesting activities. You will be introduced and learn about the grapes that grow wild on the mountain, the people bring the bulbs to plant and propagate into a large garden. In addition to forest grapes, this place also has woody grapes and Ninh Thuan grapes.

The owner of the garden is very friendly, and invites you to try products from wild grapes such as sweet and sour grape honey drink with refreshments, wine and Tay Ninh rice paper, tapioca. If you like, you can buy these products as gifts, priced from 100,000 VND/500 ml grape honey.

When visiting the Holy See, visitors leave their shoes outside, men go to the right door, women go to the left door.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
When visiting the Holy See, visitors leave their shoes outside, men go to the right door, women go to the left door. Photo: Huynh Nhi

After visiting the vineyard, you move to Tay Ninh Holy See, about 5 km from the city center, and visit the unique architecture of Cao Dai believers… Note, from 11:30 a.m., the management board will limit visitors to the area inside the main building to perform the ceremony. Therefore, you should come early to explore all the space of the Holy See.

At noon, a meal with Tay Ninh heifer specialties is the ideal choice. The recommended destination is Nam Sanh restaurant on Highway 22B with spacious space, and a menu of over 50 beef dishes of all kinds. The restaurant’s “nail” dish is grilled beef with lemongrass and fish sauce, guests can order more steamed beef with ginger, and beef hot pot… the price per serving is from 120,000 to 150,000 VND. After lunch, you return to the hotel to check-in and rest, preparing for the afternoon trip.

View of Ba Den pagoda.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
View of Ba Den pagoda. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Around 14:00, depart to Ba Den mountain to visit Ba pagoda or take the cable car to visit the top of the mountain. The cable car is often overloaded on public holidays when the number of visitors is high. Guests can choose to walk up the stairs to Ba Den Pagoda for sightseeing. The path is shaded by cool trees throughout the journey with rest stops, it takes about an hour to go from the foot of the mountain to the Ba pagoda area.

Up to the temple, you burn incense to pray for peace, visit temples in the area such as Hang Pagoda, Quan Am Pagoda, Buddha statue entering nirvana… From here, you can direct your eyes to Tay Ninh rice fields and the lake. Dau Tieng in the distance, enjoy the cool breeze.

After descending the mountain, you move towards Dau Tieng lake to take photos and watch the sunset. In the afternoon, the wind blows cool from the lake, each herd of buffaloes leisurely graze by the lakeside. In the distance, fishermen’s fishing boats also come ashore after a day of fishing, many locals bring children to fly kites, eat fried skewers and drink water to enjoy the wind. The peaceful scene of the Vietnamese countryside.

In the evening, relax while walking Tay Ninh night market and have dinner with a fish hot pot. The recommended address is the unnamed fish hotpot on Highway 22B, famous for its rich sweet and sour broth. The shop has a hot pot of howling fish, reed cotton, red snapper, and salmon, priced from 120,000 to more than 200,000 VND/pot.

Day 2: Thai Son Pagoda – Cau Mountain – Suoi Truc – Ho Chi Minh City

In Tay Ninh, there are many delicious vegetarian restaurants to try. Tri An restaurant on Lac Long Quan street has a diverse menu and opens early. Water dishes such as pho, vermicelli, and noodle soup… are highly appreciated by the diners for their thoughtful, full-bodied, and flavorful dishes, with reasonable prices from 20,000 VND/bowl.

After breakfast, you move towards Dau Tieng lake to Binh Duong, go to pray for peace at Thai Son pagoda – Nui Cau and relax and cool off at Suoi Truc . Nui Cau area is about 30 km from Ba Den mountain, in Tha La hamlet, Dinh Thanh commune, Dau Tieng district. The entire mountain area is more than 1,600 ha, of which the highest peak is nearly 300 m. On the mountain, there is Thai Son Pagoda located halfway at the foot of the mountain, built-in 1988 with bold oriental architecture, surrounded by a vast green forest.

Journey to Cau Mountain, Suoi Truc through vast rubber forests.  Photo: Huynh Nhi
Suoi Truc, is an ideal picnic spot on hot days. Photo: Huynh Nhi

From the temple, you move to Suoi Truc quite close on the wide asphalt road, through the vast and straight rubber forests. Tickets to the attraction are 10,000 VND/person. This place has an open space, a lot of bamboos grows on both sides of the stream, giving shade all year round.

The stream has little water and has a gentle flow, many large and small lakes for guests to cool off, soak in and relax. On the way to explore, visitors rest, and have lunch on the flat rocks. You should prepare more food, water and blankets if you want to stay for a long time.