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HAI PHONG CITY

hai_phong
Located 120 km to the East of Hanoi Capital, Hai Phong, is one of the most developed coastal cities in the country with many natural heritages and charming landscapes. Hai Phong shares borders with Quang Ninh province to the north, Hai Duong province to the west and Thai Binh province to the South. The Bach Long Vi Island, which belongs to the city administration, is located in the middle of the Tonkin Gulf. Thanks to its convenient location for transportation via road network, railway, sea ports and inland waterway, Hai Phong occupies a strategic economic, social and political position of Vietnam.
 
The topography of Hai Phong is diverse, reflecting the long and complicated historical geological process. The northern part of Hai Phong has plains alternated with hills, while the southern part of the city has a low and flat terrain of a typical delta inclining to the sea.
HOW TO GET THERE ?
Several trains a day run from Long Bien station in Hanoi to the Haiphong train station in the city centre (hard seats only, 38,000 VND).
 
Frequent buses run from Lương Yên station in Hanoi (near the old quarter) to Tam Bạc station in the centre of Haiphong (50,000 VND). Another option is to take a bus from Gia Lâm station at the outskirts of Hanoi to either Niệm Nghĩa (3 km from the city centre) or Cầu Rào station (approx. 6 km) in Haiphong (45,000 VND). Gia Lâm station can be reached from the Old Quarter by city bus no. 34 (3,000 VND). A taxi or private car from Hanoi to Haiphong costs about $80 USD one way.
WHAT TO SEE ?
Cai Beo Archaeological Site
In 1938, J.G. Andexown and M. Colani, both French, discovered the archaeological site of Cai Beo. Since then Cai Beo was excavated three times, in 1972, 1973 and 1981. Objects unearthed include some 479 tools: pestles, triturable tables, hacks, caulkers, graters, etc; ceramic wares made of clay and sand; cookers; remains of ancient people; bones of fish and teeth of sounders, deer, mountain goats, etc. Cai Beo archaeological site belongs to the Ha Long civilization. Cai Beo's residents lived 6,475 - 4,200 years ago. This was the first group of people living in Vietnam's northeastern coastal region who knew how to catch fish and plant feeding crops. Documents show that Cai Beo people were the link between Bac Son and Ha Long civilizations or they were the residents of the Neolithic age, about 4,000 years ago.
 
Cat Ba Island
Taking a ride on a car or train for two hours from Hanoi to Haiphong, then on a high-speed vessel for another hour, visitors will arrive at Cat Ba Island, the biggest island (100km?) out of the 366 islands on the Lan Ha Bay. Right from the moment visitors set foot on Cat Ba gangway, looking afar to contemplate the enchanting scenery of immense sky and magnificent mountains and breathing the fresh air from the sea, visitors will feel comfortable and their tiredness after a long trip will disappear. Surely, visitors want to go on with their journey at once. Visitors should hire a Minsk motorbike, out of 400 motorbikes and cars here, to ride to any place visitors want to visit. First of all, visitors should rent a room in a hotel, because the hotels on this island are often overcrowded due to the ever-increasing number of visitors to Cat Ba Island, although more hotels and hostels are being built. It is very pleasant to stay in a hotel, whose back leans against the mountain and its face looks towards the sea, and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery around. Visiting the large beaches of Cat Co and Cat Dua, which are separated by a small range of mountain, visitors can swim in the blue and warm water, so clear that visitors can see the golden sand beneath. If visitors do not want to swim at this crowded place, visitors can hire a motor boat to sail to the small islets, where there are calm and clean beaches, such as the Cat Trai Gai, Duong Gianh and Hien Hao. The mountain adjacent to Cat Co Beach has a tunnel and fascinating caves and grottoes, such as Hang Luon, Khe Sau, Trung Trang, Gia Luan and Kim Cuong. Visiting these caves and grottoes you will get the feeling of the explorers, discovering the wonders and mysteries endowed by nature. Coming out of the caves and grottoes visitors should spend a little time to contemplate the sunset over Lan Ha Bay. On the golden background of the horizon and the dark blue of the sea, the heaving islets become multiform, the white sea-gulls hover and sea-eagles make circles in the sky, all beautifying the immense and fascinating space, and enchanting the visitors.
 
Dau Island 
Situated 1km from Do Son Town, this small island was one of important outposts of Dai Viet people under the Ly - Tran dynasties. After they occupied Hai Phong in 1873, the French colonist started to build a lighthouse on the island in 1884. The work was completed in 1896 and began operating in June 1898. Therefore it is also called Hon Dau Lighthouse.
 
Do Son Beach
Do Son is a small peninsula located between the Lach Tray and Van Uc Rivers. Do Son beaches are shaded by thousands of sandalwood trees and surrounded by mountains and Pine Hills. Immediately upon setting foot in Haiphong, the French turned Do Son into a summer resort for their expatriate community and the Vietnamese upper class. Today, Do Son is alive with tourists from all over the world. They mainly come here to spend time on the beach, relax, and hike.
 
Dong Khe (Nguyet Quang) Pagoda
Located in Dong Khe Ward, Ngo Quyen District, Dong Khe Pagoda was built centuries ago. The pagoda is a valuable historical and cultural piece of work as well as a reputed pagoda of the Truc Lam Persuasion. Legends say that after succeeding in his religious career, Nhu Hien, a bonze of the Truc Lam Persuasion came here and established the Dong Khe Pagoda. In front of its gate are two ranges of towers, which are the tombs of bonzes who led the pagoda. Dong Khe Pagoda, Dong Khe Temple and Linh Quang Pagoda create a historical and cultural place attracting many tourists. The pagoda is listed among historical and cultural sites of national level.
 
Dong Ly Communal Hall
Built in the 17th century, the communal hall is located in My Dong Commune, Thuy Nguyen District. This is a large-scale historical site combining the architectural art of the Le (17th century) and Nguyen (19th - 20th century) dynasties. The hall is dedicated to the worship of Si Quyen, a hero from the time of Hai Ba Trung (two sisters Trung Trac and Trung Nhi). History books state that Si Quyen is a Chinese man who lived in Dong Ly Hamlet, Hai Dong Commune, Giao Chau District to escape from Vuong Man. He followed Hai Ba Trung to fight against To Dinh. Dong Ly festival takes place on lunar January 8-12. The hall is a historical site of national level.
 
Du Hang Pagoda
The pagoda was built under the Ly Dynasty. It was later renovated in the 17th century by Nguyen Dinh Sach, an officer of the imperial guard who resigned and became a Buddhist monk. In 1899, during the reign of King Thanh Thai, a monk by the name of Thong Hanh expanded the pagoda and built a bell tower. The existing pagoda resulted from the repair work carried out during that time. Inside the pagoda are several statues that are intricately engraved in the style of the Nguyen Dynasty. Valuable relics, such as bronze tripods and gongs, are also kept in the pagoda.
 
Hang Kenh Communal House
Hang Kenh Communal House, also referred to as Nhan Tho Communal House in Sino-Vietnamese. Built in 1717, Hang Kenh Communal House was later expanded in 1905. The main front hall, also called “dai dinh”, connects to the back part through a tiled roof bridge. There are lots of valuable items in the communal house, of which there are 156 pieces with a dragon as the main theme. Altogether, there are 308 dragons of different shapes and sizes. The pagoda also houses a statue of Ngo Quyen and a palanquin. Every year from the 16th to 18th of the second lunar month, ritual ceremonies, festivals, traditional games and performances of “cheo”, “tuong” and other folk songs are held at the communal house, attracting large crowds.
 
Kien Bai Communal Hall
Architectural work classified by the State, the hall was built in the 18th century. It includes an entrance hall with three compartments and an apse with two compartments. The apse is arranged with statues and altars for offerings. The main pillar of the hall records the year of construction (1681) and the name of the people who donated money for the construction. According to a historic book named "Thuy Nguyen Than Tich", Kien Bai Communal Hall worships twin brothers, Ngoc and Bich. It is said that they helped Tran King to defeat Nguyen invader. The King built a temple to worship them and made them "Trung Quoc Cam Ung "and Loi Cong Uy Dieu "gods. Kien Bai festival takes place on lunar January 10-13.
 
Nghe Temple 
Le Chan established the settlement of An Bien village, the predecessor to Haiphong. Previously, the temple was only a small shrine, but in 1919 a sanctuary of the Temple was built, and in 1926 the Kowtowing Court was built. The Temple is a historical vestige monument comprising stone elephants, stone horses, stone ornate beds, stone stelae and buildings.
 

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