Hai Phong is the third largest city in Vietnam after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and the second largest economic center in Northern Vietnam, home to thriving industries such as agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing. In recent years, it has also gained popularity as a tourist destination. Hai Phong serves as both a destination of its own and a jumping point to Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island, and other area attractions.
BEST TIME TO VISIT.
Northern Vietnam has two seasons: hot-and-wet and cool-and-dry. While Vietnam is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, spring (March and April) and fall (September through December) in the north, where Hai Phong is located, offer the most equable temperatures and best chances of cooperative weather.
1. Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Ha Long Bay, a body of water littered with majestic limestone karsts in a blue-green sea.
There are 367 islands in this stunning archipelago and Cat Ba stands out amongs all of them owing to its picturesque natural surroundings and calm weather which hovers around 25 degrees in summer. This is the perfect location if you want to go diving or swimming and there are three popular beaches for swimming that are frequented by many tourists because of the crystal clear water and seascape.
- Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is at the heart of the UNESCO Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and it shares the distinctive scenic beauty of the Ha Long Bay Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Park is also home to diverse range of terrestrial and marine life.
Coming to the Park, travellers can enjoy the beauty of the vast landscapes and seascapes. Visitors can choose to relax on isolated beaches in Lan Ha Bay, trek through primeval tropical rain forest or mangrove forest, discover many unique animal and plant species, and immerse themselves in the local culture.
3. Do Son Beach – Stay In A Seaside Resort
22 km (14 miles) from Hai Phong lie the three beaches of Do Son as well as the country’s only casino. What was once a popular resort area for the French is now popular among the Vietnamese—especially sun seekers traveling from Hanoi. Relax on the white sand beaches, visit the remains of an ancient clay tower and Buddhist temple on Ngoc Son Mountain.
- Learning the history in Bach Dang Giang
The Bach Đang river, is a river in northern Vietnam, located near Hạ Long Bay.It flows through the Yen Hung District of Quang Ninh Province as well as the Thuy Nguyen District of Haiphong. The Bach Đang River has been the site of three important battles in Vietnamese history: in 938 resulting in Vietnamese independence, in 981, and in 1288, where General Tran Hung Dao employed tactics used in 938 to drive out Mongol invaders.
5. Hai Phong City Museum
The Hai Phong Museum was the first local museum established in Vietnam. It was built in 1919 on 1 ha covered with large old trees in what is today Hai Phong City center. Set in a superb colonial mansion, the Hai Phong Museum holds a small but impressive collection of local historical artifacts which trace the heritage of the region as well as a selection of precious gems, traditional items, and old photographs.
Be advised that it is only open four days a week for a couple hours at a time, and plan you seeing sight schedule accordingly: Tuesday and Thursday from 8am – 10:30am, and Wednesday and Sunday from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
6. Du Hang Pagoda
Built during the Le Gia Tong dynasty of the 17th century, this Buddhist pagoda reflects an ancient and respected building style from the 10th century, including Indian- and Cambodian-style roofs in the alter rooms and more recent artistic additions from the early 20th century.
It features a pagoda, a bell tower, a lot of 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.
6. Tam Bac Lake and Flower Market
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.
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