Exploring the Hidden Gems of Haiphong – The Port City of Vietnam
Haiphong, located in the northern part of Vietnam, is one of the country's largest and most important ports. Often overshadowed by the popular tourist destinations of Hanoi and Halong Bay, the city has much to offer to those who take the time to explore its hidden treasures. Haiphong is a city of contrasts, where the modern industrial skyline of the port blends seamlessly with charming colonial-era architecture and Buddhist temples. In this article, we will take you on a journey to discover the best attractions, food, and nightlife that Haiphong has to offer.
Historical and Cultural Attractions:
One of the most striking landmarks of Haiphong is Du Hang Pagoda, a grand Buddhist temple built in the 16th century. The temple is adorned with intricate wood carvings and boasts a collection of statues, including one of the revered Buddhist goddess of mercy, Quan Am. Another must-visit attraction in Haiphong is the Hang Kenh Communal House, which dates back to the 18th century and is a fine example of Vietnamese traditional architecture. The communal house was used as a meeting place for the village elders and is now a place of worship and cultural events.
Haiphong is known for its seafood and is considered the culinary capital of Northern Vietnam. You can try the traditional rice noodles with crab soup, which are a favorite among locals. Another must-try dish is Banh Da Cua, which is a type of noodle soup that is made with crab and a local specialty. You can also savour tasty seaweed soup, clams in lemongrass, and other seafood options at the many local restaurants that line the streets of Haiphong.
Nightlife and Entertainment:
Haiphong offers a unique nightlife experience, where you can enjoy live music performances, karaoke bars, street food, and beer at affordable prices. One of the best places to experience the city’s nightlife is the Cat Bi Beach area, where you can soak in the tunes of local bands and enjoy seafood at restaurants along the beach. The city also has several night markets such as Quang Trung Night Market and Le Chan Night Market that are popular among both locals and tourists.
For those who love exploring off-the-beaten-path locations, Haiphong has some charming hidden gems to discover. You can take a bicycle tour to the rural areas and explore the rice fields, traditional handicraft workshops, and the stunning landscape. A unique experience is visiting Tam Bac Lake, which has a history that dates back to the 13th century. The lake was once used as a defense line to protect the city from pirates, and now it’s a peaceful spot, surrounded by flowers and trees with a well-manicured park.
Haiphong is home to several beaches, and the most famous of them is Do Son Beach, which is about 20 km from the city center. Do Son is a bustling tourist destination, with many hotels, seafood restaurants, and water sports activities. Additionally, the Lach Tray River flows through Haiphong and along its banks; there are several parks where you can relax, jog, or cycle.