Everything's Travel Guide to Hai Phong, Vietnam

Hai Phong is one of the largest cities with an important seaport of Vietnam. Hai Phong borders with Quang Ninh Province to the north, Hai Duong Province to the west, and Thai Binh Province to the south. Thanks to the proximity to the East Sea, the weather of Hai Phong is affected by inter-tropical monsoons with the annual average temperature varies between 23 - 24 degree celsius.

  Tuesday, 18/02/2020, 12:50
Hai Phong is the main port of northern Vietnam and a commercial and industrial centre and is the third most populous metropolis in the country. It is near Thai Binh province to the south, Quang Ninh province to the north and Hai Duong province to the west.

100km from Hanoi, Hai Phong is a lovely city that retains a colonial look. The city is also known as ‘The City of Flame Flowers’ because most of its streets are lined with flame flower trees. Hai Phong also serves as a pleasant base when visiting other north-eastern spots such as Cat Ba and Halong Bay.

In Hai Phong, there are many places worth visiting and these include temples, shrines, pagodas and mausoleums. There is also a beach and communal house that tourists often frequent. The town is also known for a handful of festivals, including one which involves buffalo fighting.


Square: 1.561,8 km2
Population: 1.963.000 people (2017)
City:  Hai Phong




OVERVIEW



Hai Phong is one of the largest cities with an important seaport of Vietnam. Hai Phong borders with Quang Ninh Province to the north, Hai Duong Province to the west, and Thai Binh Province to the south. Thanks to the proximity to the East Sea, the weather of Hai Phong is affected by inter-tropical monsoons with the annual average temperature varies between 23 - 24 degree celsius.

Hai Phong is not popular for foreign tourists but it is a hot place for domestic tourists in summer because of Do Son beach and Cat Ba island. Let’s explore the beauty of the province with us.


How to get Hai Phong?

Hai Phong is 100km far from Hanoi so you can get the province easily by road.

By motorbike: you can get Hai Phong by motorbike along the highway No.5 in 2 or 3 hours from Hanoi. However, the road is often busy with big trucks so you should drive slowly and carefully and don’t forget to bring the helmet and driving licenses. You also bring your smart phone to search the map.

By bus: the ticket is not expensive, from 70,000 – 100,000 VND. Hai Phong has 3 bus stations: Tam Bac, Niem Nghia, and Cau Rao bus station. From Hanoi, there are two main buses: Hoang Long in Luong Yen bus station (Hanoi) and Hai Au (Gia Lam bus station in Hanoi). After getting the bus station in Hai Phong, tourists can take a taxi or Xe Om to get your hotel in the city or attractions in Hai Phong.

By train: you also can get Hai Phong easily by train from Hanoi as there are 8 trips Hanoi (Gia Lam train station) - Hai Phong (Cat Bi train station) every day. The ticket is around 45,000 – 90,000 VND depended on the seat’s type. You also don’t need to buy the ticket early except the holiday.

By flight: Hai Phong has Cat Bi airport so you can get the province by flight. However, the tourists only use this way from Danang or Saigon because the distance is too close from Hanoi. You can check the flight online on the official website of the airlines: Vietnam Airline (www.vietnamairlines.com/ ), Jetstar Airline (www.jetstar.com ), Vietjet Air (www.vietjetair.com/


Things to do in Hai Phong

1.Bao Dai Villa



Bao Dai Villa was the summer palace of Bao Dai, Vietnam’s last emperor. Located on top of Vung Hill, the villa was original built in 1928 by the French Governor-General of Indochina who later in 1949 offered it to Bao Dai. The emperor frequently used the villa when he visited this part of Vietnam, especially during summer time. Nowadays the villa is a hotel and guests can enjoy not only the same beautiful views of Do Son Peninsula as the last emperor but also admire the vintage royal family photos as well in their living quarters. One of its main attractions is Bao Dai’s throne. Don’t miss the chance to try on the royal-like costumes and pose for the camera as a special souvenir to bring home.

Opening Hours: All year round
Location: On Vung Hill in Do Son Zone II

2.Du Hang Pagoda



Du Hang Buddhist Temple was established in the 17th century under the Ly Dynasty and went through several reconstructions over the years. It features a pagoda, a bell tower, many sophisticated carvings of guardians, Buddha images, lovely gardens with an interesting bonsai collection and some important vintage objects. Bring along some bread if you want to feed the turtles and fishes in a small pond within the compound too. Basically, a ‘dress with respect’ attitude is best when entering any religious sites in Vietnam.

Opening Hours: All year round
Location: 121 Du Hang Street, Du Hang Kenh Ward, Le Chan District

3.Hang Kenh Communal House



Hang Kenh Communal House (also referred to as Nhan Tho Communal House) is a must-see landmark in Hai Phong and is located in Du Hang Kenh Ward, Le Chan District not far from Du Hang Pagoda. The long and narrow structure was built in 1717 as a communal house of the then Kenh Village and is used as a temple. It’s famous for its remarkable woodwork, including huge ironwood pillars that support the roof. The pavilion also houses many interesting items such as fantastic dragon images and statues (there more than 300 of them). Hang Kenh Communal House is also where many important festivals and religious ceremonies are held each year.

Opening Hours: All year round
Location: In Du Hang Kenh Ward, Le Chan District


4.Hai Phong Museum



Hai Phong Museum features Gothic-style architecture and was founded around 1900. The items displayed might not be huge in terms of variety but it offers enough inside knowledge about Hai Phong in general and explains the city’s role in ancient times, why it is an important seaport as well as its role in recent wars. Due to its unusual opening hours, the museum attracts fewer visitors than most.

Opening Hours: Tue and Thu from 08:00 – 10:30 and Wed and Sun from 19:30 – 21:30
Location: Hai Phong City


5.Municipal Theatre and Municipal Theatre Square




The Municipal Theatre or the Great Theatre, is conveniently located in the city centre. The two-story building was constructed in 1904 with a French design. The interior is splendid and is able to seat 400 people while outside the building is more of a modern set up with a big square, a lovely flower garden, water fountains and twinkling lights. Many important events are regularly held here each year.

Opening Hours: The Municipal Theatre doesn’t announce its regular opening hours. It might be wise to ask your hotel tour desk to confirm the opening hours before visiting
Location: In the city centre


6.Museum of Military Region III




The Museum of Military Region III was founded in 1969, under the Political Bureau of Military Region III. Visitors will see many interesting war exhibitions (including collections of bombs and weapons) showing how throughout history the Vietnamese struggled to defend themselves against various intruders; for example their resistance against French colonialism between1945-1954 and American imperialism between1954-1975.

Opening Hours: 07:30 – 11:00 and 13:00 – 16:00, closed on Sat and Sun
Location: 254 Le Duan Street, Kien An District


7.Nghe Temple




Nghe Temple, located not far from the Municipal Theatre, is more than just a religious site. It has strong historical symbolism as it was devoted to Le Chan, the founder of Hai Phong City. Le Chan was a female general who fought the Chinese alongside Vietnamese national heroines, the Trung Sisters in the year 43 AD. The temple started as a small shrine but was later rebuilt and expanded and has long been an important religious site for many local worshipers. One of the most remarkable facets of this place are the stone works. They are outstanding.

Opening Hours: All year round
Location: In Me Linh Ward, Le Chan District (about 600m from the Municipal Theatre towards the southwest.)


8.Tam Bac Lake and Flower Market (Quán hoa)




Tam Bac Lake is located not far from the old colonial quarter and is a nice place to relax or even go fishing. The trees along the lake banks make the visit a pleasant walk. Visitors will see an interesting flower market or quán hoa at the eastern side of the lake. It was established around 1941 by the French as a small centre selling fresh flowers and is made up of five beautiful arched-roof kiosks. Also within easy walking distance not far from the lake area stands the Le Chan Woman General Statue, the founder of Hai Phong. The brass-cast statue weighs 19 tons – one of a heaviest statues in the country.

Opening Hours: All year round
Location: Tam Bac Lake is below the main market (or cho sat) and the flower kiosks are on the eastern side of the Lake


9.Do Son Beach




Do Son Beach is a busy coastal town in Hai Phong Province. It has a sandbank that’s about 4 km in length, which was formed by the Rong Mountains. It was a popular resort town during French colonial times. It’s about two hours away from Hanoi by car. You can enjoy a day of sunbathing during your stay in the capital of Vietnam.

The beach houses plenty of hotels and resorts with views of the ocean. If you’re a foreign visitor, you can also visit the many casinos here. The main town is known for its annual ritual buffalo fights. Taking place in late-September or October, this local activity attracts travellers looking to experience the Vietnamese culture.
Do Son Beach is also great for island-hopping as it’s surrounded by a number of islets. The most visited one is Hon Dau Island, which is about 20 minutes from the Don Son Wharf. It has a lighthouse that’s built by the French in 1892. Climb to the top to enjoy expansive views of the ocean.

Nam Hai Than Vuong Temple is another historical landmark here. It hosts an annual festival from the 8th until 10th day of the second lunar month, where local devotees light incense and pray to deities for a prosperous year.
Opening Hours: All year round
Location: In Do Son District, 22km from Hai Phong City


10.Cat Ba Island




Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay and is home to plenty of hotels, restaurants, and bars. Just about every tour company in Hanoi offers daily trips to the island, attracting travellers looking to enjoy a day of sightseeing during their holiday. Located off the coast of Hai Phong City, its beaches (named Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2) are great for sunbathing and swimming during the summer months. If you’re not a fan of crowds on the beach, you can charter a speedboat or rent a kayak to Monkey Island and Lan Ha Bay, where the beaches are cleaner and quieter.

The best time to go to Cat Ba Island is during the summer, between April and November. It’s also peak tourist season in Halong Bay, with numerous boat tours stopping on the island. The beaches can be very crowded with fellow tourists so we recommend heading there early to find a good spot. Make sure to book well in advance as hotels are also pricier this time of the year. For better deals, visit from September to November as crowds are significantly smaller as the climate on Cat Ba Island transitions into monsoon season.
Getting to Cat Ba Island by boat is relatively easy, as there are plenty of tour agencies in Hanoi that offer one-way trips to the island. Priced at US$18 upwards per person, it’s inclusive of hotel pickup in Hanoi by van and a speedboat trip to Cat Ba Town. Alternatively, you can buy a ticket from Luong Yen Bus Station, which costs VND 250,000. After a three-hour bus ride to Hai Phong City, you board a hydrofoil to Phu Long Pier which takes about 30 minutes. From there, it’s another hour-long bus ride to Cat Ba Town.

Cat Ba Island is relatively easy to get around as motorcycle taxis are quite affordable. If you’re staying near the harbour, you’ll find that many hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars are easily accessible on foot or bicycle. Renting a motorcycle is advisable if you’re planning on exploring remote areas such as Cat Ba National Parks. Daily rates cost between VND 80,000 and VND 100,000 – just make sure you have a valid driver’s license and travel insurance

Cat Ba Island’s expansive beaches are relatively clean despite the growing numbers of resorts, hotels, restaurants, and tourist facilities. Swimming, snorkelling, and diving are the most popular things to do on the island. Travellers can also enjoy a day of trekking, caving, and rock-climbing on Cat Ba Island, specifically at the Cat Ba National Park. There are also an old fort on a hilltop, which houses several bunkers and rooms filled with war remains and propaganda posters.
Seafood is a must-try when you’re visiting Cat Ba Island. There are plenty of local eateries nearby the ferry terminal, serving a variety of local specialities such as geoduck clam, mantis shrimp, and oysters at affordable prices. Alternatively, make your way to Nui Ngoc Street, where you can find restaurants that cater mostly to international travellers. Local beers cost VND 15,000 while imported labels are about VND 45,000 upwards.

11. Banh da cua ( Food)




Crab pancake is the main ingredient made from red rice cake, served with guise leaves, spring rolls, pork rinds, spinach and especially indispensable crabs and fragrant non-yellow dry onions, the point on which is a little tomato sour. Each bowl of crab cakes is like a work of art with full color so.
The special thing of the crab cake is that it is located in the delicious crab broth, the type of crab used for broth must be the famous crab in Hai Phong, the cooking water used to cook the broth is also not simple, not just taken. normal water can be cooked, there is no water that when used to cook water, it brings the saltyness of the sea and the homeland of Hai Phong.

Places to eat delicious crab cakes in Hai Phong:

- Ba Banh Ba Cake 179 Cau Dat, Ngo Quyen, Hai Phong
- Banhieu Nieu land - Ngo Quyen high school gate
- Dermatological cakes 170 Tran Phu, Ngo Quyen, Hai Phong
- Crab cakes 26 Ky Dong, Hong Bang, Hai Phong

The price of Hai Phong crab cake is quite cheap, only from VND 15,000, we have a bowl of warm, delicious and delicious Banh day cake.
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