Hai Phong Tourist Information and Tourism

(Hai Phong, Vietnam)

The coastal port city of Hai Phong (Haiphong), located in the north of Vietnam, is the third-largest city in the country, with a population growing ever closer to two million. Only a couple of hours from Hanoi, this is the primary port serving northern Vietnam.

Hai Phong, now home to 20+ manufacturing and industrial estates covering a wide area, was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War due to its thriving port. Surprisingly, the city boasts a low-key yet charming older district, with broad boulevards lined with colonial homes.

Set at the mouth of the slow-flowing River Cam, Hai Phong's economy relies heavily on foreign investment and industry, with tourism low on the agenda, although there have been recent attempts to log into the sector's needs. Whilst tourist attractions in the city are few, Hai Phong is a good base for exploration of the more interesting and isolated northern regions, such as Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay. Tourist information in the city is best obtained from the state-run tourist office on Minh Khai Street, within the Hong Bang district.

Hai Phong Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

For tourists on holiday in Hai Phong, the neighbouring Do Son Beach will likely beckon at some stage, being just 30 minutes away and easy to reach using public transportation. Many regard Do Son Beach to be amongst Vietnam's most stunning and this sandy stretch offers a peaceful setting, with coastal trails, an increasing number of hotels and various eateries. If you are looking to try your hand at snorkelling and possibly scuba diving, then a trip to nearby Cat Ba Island will be a day to remember. More information about Hai Phong Beaches.

Apart from Do Son and the other beaches outside of Hai Phong, there are plenty more tourist attractions to keep you in this part of Vietnam. The city's Old Colonial Quarter is overflowing with character and colonial buildings, coming with numerous cafes and much al fresco dining. Sightseers in Hai Phong will probably be keen to check out both the Cai Beo Archaeological Site and the Ngeh Temple, as well of course as the World Heritage Site attractions of Ha Long Bay. Best viewed by boat trips from the harbour, Ha Long Bay comprises lots of tiny islands, striking eroded limestone towers (karsts), floating settlements, some friendly fishing villages and a series of caves, with the most noteworthy being the Cave of Wooden Stakes (Hang Dau Go), the Drum Grotto (Hang Trong) and the Surprise Cave (Hang Sung Sot). Tuan Chau Island (Dao Tuan Chau) is one of the most visited, since it is actually connected to mainland Halong City by a lengthy bridge. More information about Hai Phong Tourist Attractions.

If you are planning a trip to Hai Phong with a view to seeing the most famous sights, then the pagodas and temples will likely feature on your list. The Do Son Pagoda (Tuong Long) is certainly one to look out for in the suburb of Do Son, with its spacious landscaped grounds and proximity to the beaches around the Lach Tray River and the Van Uc River. Lying on the southern side of Hai Phong city centre is the Du Hang Pagoda (Chua Du Hang), which has 16th-century origins and a plethora of Buddha images. Both the Dong Khe Pagoda (Nguyet Quang Tu) and the Thuong Doan Temple may also be of interest, while the pale-yellow People's Theatre (Nha Hat Lon) features French colonial architecture and often goes by the name of the Opera House. Far more modern, and yet still very much a landmark in the city, is the TD Plaza, a giant twin-towered skyscraper mall with plenty of entertainment options for its visitors. More information about Hai Phong Landmarks and Monuments.

Much of Hai Phong is fairly industrial in character and the city has yet to invest in a decent museum infrastructure. There are few cultural attractions of note in the city, although the prominent Hai Phong Museum is on hand, containing information about the city's founding in 43 AD, as well as lots of old relics from the past. At the Vietnam Navy Museum, the region's naval heritage and seafaring past is explored in great detail. The Communal Halls of the city add a touch of history and serve as museum-like attractions, with their ancestral tables and rich community spirit. If you are left still wanting more, then your best bet is to take a trip to 'nearby' Hanoi, which is approximately two hours away and to the north-west of the city, being extremely well connected by regular buses. More information about Hai Phong Museums.

Apart from Hanoi, there are several other worthy excursions possible for those staying in Hai Phong, many of which are highly suitable for day trips. The Elephant Mountain and its scenic setting, the rugged cliffs and mountains of Trang Kenh, and the Bai Tu Long Bay and its alluring cruises are all of note, as are the welcoming villages of the Tay hill tribe people. For the more adventurous, several vast parks are within reach of Hai Phong, offering an endless array of Vietnamese flora and fauna. The closest of these include the Ba Be National Park - where deep valleys and waterfalls combine with a jungle feel, and the densely forested Cat Ba National Park - on the island of Cat Bay, where endangered golden-headed langur monkeys are known to live. More information about Hai Phong Attractions Nearby.

More Hai Phong Information / Fast Facts and Orientation