Discovering the Treasures of Hai Phong: Top 10 Must-Visit Places
Hai Phong, recognized as one of the prominent tourist hubs, is renowned for its extensive sandy beaches, popular resorts, and entertainment options. Additionally, Hai Phong boasts numerous historical sites and attractions that offer unforgettable experiences for visitors during their vacations. If you’re planning to explore this captivating province, which is abundant in famous destinations, this checklist of the “Top 10 must-visit places in Hai Phong” can serve as a valuable guide:
1. Cat Ba Island: Located approximately 50 km east of Hai Phong, Cat Ba Island, often referred to as the pearl of Hai Phong, is a renowned destination known for its breathtaking seascape. Covering an area of 20,000 ha, the Cat Ba archipelago consists of 367 islands, with Cat Ba Island being situated in the southern part of Ha Long Bay, near the coast of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh province. Travelers can reach this island in about an hour via a high-speed hydrofoil.Cat Ba Island has received UNESCO recognition as a “biosphere reserve in the world.” Offering a variety of accommodations, including hotels, motels, resorts, and even being a Wi-Fi-equipped island, Cat Ba Island ranks among the top 9 must-visit places in Hai Phong.
2. Cat Ba National Park: Cat Ba National Park is a significant natural attraction in Vietnam, particularly in northern Vietnam, situated within the Halong Bay area. Administered by Hai Phong city and located in Cat Hai district, this park encompasses approximately 263 km², consisting of 173 km² of land and 90 km² of inshore water. As a special-use forest and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Cat Ba National Park is a popular destination that shouldn’t be missed by tourists.
3. Bao Dai Villa: Among the historical sites in Hai Phong, Bao Dai Villa holds a prominent place. Positioned on Vung Hill, Bao Dai Villa served as the summer residence of Bao Dai. Initially constructed in 1928 under the supervision of the French Governor-General of Indochina, it was later presented to Bao Dai in 1949. Today, this villa is open to tourists, offering insights into the life of Vietnam’s last emperor and the nation’s history. Visitors can even experience the ambiance of Bao Dai’s former home.
4. Do Son Beach: Do Son Beach, situated approximately 22 km southeast of Hai Phong’s city center, is renowned as one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches. Nestled on a narrow peninsula between two river estuaries near Hai Phong, the beach is divided into three main zones. Zone 1 is located at the beginning of Do Son district, Zone 2 features modern hotels, and Zone 3 offers a quiet and private atmosphere for those seeking tranquility away from the crowds.
Do Son Beach is celebrated for its smooth, shell-studded sands that turn yellow under the sun and pink at sunset. During the summer months, Do Son attracts numerous domestic and international tourists who come for swimming, relaxation, and mountain exploration, providing stunning views of three scenic seas.
5. Hang Kenh Communal House: Hang Kenh Communal House, also known as Nhan Tho Communal House, is a prominent landmark in Hai Phong, situated in Du Hang Kenh Ward, Le Chan District. Dating back to 1717, this ancient structure boasts remarkable woodwork, including massive ironwood pillars that support its roof. The site houses over 300 intriguing items, including impressive dragon images and statues within the Pavilion.Hang Kenh Communal House hosts various annual festivals, religious ceremonies, and traditional performances like “Tuong” and “Cheo,” making it a captivating destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.
6. Elephant Mountain: Elephant Mountain, located about 20 km southwest of Hai Phong’s city center, is a natural wonder. At the mountain’s base lies Long Tien cave, dedicated to Le Chan, a female figure associated with the Hai Ba Trung rebellion, who founded An Bien village in present-day Hai Phong. The mountain is adorned with numerous caves, including Ca Voi Cave, Chieng Cave, Ca Chep Cave, and Bau Cave, making it an attractive destination for those seeking to explore unique caves in Hai Phong. Additionally, the mountain houses traces of pagodas and monuments dating back to the 16th century from the Mac Dynasty.
7. Museum Of Military Region III: Established in 1969 under the Political Bureau of Military Region III, the Museum Of Military Region III is a historical site featuring intriguing war exhibitions. The museum’s collections include bombs and weapons, showcasing Vietnam’s historical struggles against various invaders, including resistance against French colonialism from 1945 to 1954 and American imperialism from 1954 to 1975.
8. Du Hang Pagoda: Constructed during the 17th century under the Ly Dynasty, Du Hang Buddhist temple has undergone multiple renovations over the years. The temple complex includes a pagoda, a bell tower, intricate carvings of guardians, beautiful gardens with bonsai collections, and valuable vintage objects. Visitors can also feed the fish and turtles in the temple’s pond. When visiting Du Hang Pagoda or any other religious sites in Vietnam, it’s essential to dress respectfully.
9. Nghe Temple: Situated in Me Linh Ward, Le Chan, Hai Phong, Nghe Temple is dedicated to Le Chan, a female figure who played a crucial role in the Hai Ba Trung uprising. Initially a small shrine, a sanctuary was established in 1919. The temple is notable for its exceptional stone works, including stone elephants, ornate beds, buildings, and stone horses. Nghe Temple is a historical monument that offers insight into local worship and Vietnam’s rich history.
10. Hai Phong Opera House: The Hai Phong Opera House, located in the heart of the city, is a cultural gem and a testament to the city’s rich heritage. This historic opera house is an architectural masterpiece dating back to the early 20th century, built during the French colonial period. Its stunning neoclassical design and ornate facade make it a captivating sight.Visitors can not only appreciate the grandeur of the building’s exterior but also enjoy cultural performances within its opulent halls. The Hai Phong Opera House hosts a variety of shows, including classical music concerts, ballet performances, traditional Vietnamese theater, and more.