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Hai Phong, Once Coming Then Staying

Updated on April 18, 2017

Overview of Hai Phong City

Hai Phong or known as the Flamboyant City is the third largest city in Vietnam and an important deep water seaport that is busy with vessels and cruise ships running around. Apart from its economic and military potential, the coastal city also hosts a load of scenic beauty spots as becoming an amazing tourist hub of the country. Just take an east-bound drive by Hai Au bus with a VND85.000 worth ticket from Ha Noi Capital that is roughly 120 kilometers away, you reach the Flamboyant City in 3 hours. And there you go, hanging out smack-dab in the middle of the city, where you can easily find a reasonable price hotel. Don't worry if you can't get a hotel, there comes a battery of cheap guesthouses or motels, though. Once settling in a favorable hideaway, get ready to explore the city and its attractions.

Sat Market

This once-flourishing now-abandoned market starts the street along Tam Bac Lake
This once-flourishing now-abandoned market starts the street along Tam Bac Lake | Source

Let's roam about the downtown

For those who live in big cities, well, traveling sometimes means an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, so the downtown of Hai Phong City turns out to be awful silly to call on. However, you'll never regret to knock around the heart of such a dynamic city since it serves you well with both cultural and natural values. As you trek along the Tam Bac Lake (Hồ Tam Bạc) either on Nguyen Duc Canh street or Quang Trung Street on another bank, there show plenty of fantastic landmarks, for instance, Sat Market (Chợ Sắt) that once emerged as a hectic trading center in the past despite being abandoned after a fierce fire in 1985. Oh c'on, you'll learn, as doing some chitchat with the locals, many a traditional trade like sedge mats (chiếu cói) that are skilfully weaved by Lat Duong craft villagers in Tien Lang, or metal household appliances and ornaments cast in My Dong Casting Village. If you want to first-hand witness how those things are made, take some time to travel to these craft villages and start getting insight into their everyday history-long traditional jobs.

Then the both streets along the Tam Bac Lake end up joining another couple of streets namely Tran Hung Dao str. and Tran Phu str. right at the city square that surrounds other remarkable landmarks, among which the Hai Phong Opera Hall appears glamorously in its French colonial style paint and architecture. Coming along, Quan Hoa - a cluster of several flower selling kiosks embellishes the center with colorful fragrant flowers. You just walk from the Lake down the street to get through the city park and wind up sitting at rest on a park bench and enjoy yourself with fresh air under lush green trees. Facing your eyes, there comes a range of parks and flower gardens along the parallel streets toward the main gate of Hai Phong Port. Though Hai Phong becomes one of the largest and populated cities in Vietnam, part of the city remains its age-old architecture with plenty of old houses that are harmoniously joined by other modern structures. And such an architectural mixture draws lots of admiration on beholders.

As Hai Phong City is interrupted by various watersheds which forms a series of lakes and rivers. On your visit to the Flamboyant City, you must come to see An Bien - Dao Lake (hồ Đào) and Quan Ngua Lake that looks like an lonesome islet emerging in the due midst of the lake, where the youth cultural center is located. That emerald green water of An Bien - Dao Lake is twinkling under the sun makes it wonderful for hanging out with friends or contemplating yourself as you look toward An Dan Buddhist Temple over the lake.

Hai Phong Downtown

An eye-spreading scene cast from an end of Tam Bac Lake.
An eye-spreading scene cast from an end of Tam Bac Lake. | Source
Hai Phong City Opera Hall
Hai Phong City Opera Hall | Source
The city square in front of Hai Phong City Opera Hall
The city square in front of Hai Phong City Opera Hall | Source
Another view toward the Opera Hall
Another view toward the Opera Hall | Source
The statue of a historical heroine
The statue of a historical heroine | Source
Time seems to cease as eyes are cast toward those aged houses.
Time seems to cease as eyes are cast toward those aged houses. | Source
Old houses stand out on Nguyen Duc Canh str.
Old houses stand out on Nguyen Duc Canh str. | Source
Quan Hoa Cluster full of fragrant flowers
Quan Hoa Cluster full of fragrant flowers | Source
A couple of gift shops where you can find some indigenous stuff to bring home as souvenirs.
A couple of gift shops where you can find some indigenous stuff to bring home as souvenirs. | Source
Through a lush green park
Through a lush green park | Source
Under the shade of leafy trees
Under the shade of leafy trees | Source
Through the park
Through the park | Source
A small food shop where you can rest and enjoy a cool drink after a while walking around the downtown
A small food shop where you can rest and enjoy a cool drink after a while walking around the downtown | Source
A point of view crossing An Bien - Dao Lake (Hồ Đào) toward the An Da Buddhist Temple (Chùa An Đà)
A point of view crossing An Bien - Dao Lake (Hồ Đào) toward the An Da Buddhist Temple (Chùa An Đà) | Source

Means of Transportation

And if you're tired of walking, well, take a taxi for a city tour around some principal streets. It's funny to see 2 main taxi brands whose exclusive brand colors, that is Pink and Turquoise, stand out as iconic means of transportation there.

However, if you're open to risk taking and ready for any random adventure, hail a motorbike taxi for a city tour whilst challenging yourself with some bargains in service pricing. Once you making yourself show up in some public places, a host of motorbike taxi drivers flocks to you to ask if you would like a tour around. With a helmet on, you're going through hustling streets piercing the heart of the city while feasting your eyes on marvelous landmarks.

It's not abundant to mention that you, especially if you're a foreigner, would sometimes be charged an arm and a leg just for a short tour or for traveling in small distance. And it would turn out to be a trouble if you might bargain aggressively or the driver might dwell on how stupid you were for that game. Either, if worse comes to worst, it might result in some escalation, and bang, either side might surrender; otherwise, both would get hurt or legal punishment. Hey, I'm just kidding, don't worry, it's no big deal, though.


Eye-catching colored taxi

It looks groovy, right?
It looks groovy, right? | Source

Dialect sounds fun!

Actually if you might understand the local dialect, it would be more fun to observe their accent and colloquial wording. Some curse words may be spoken out, though they mean no harm or offense at all due to their permanent habit of speaking. That omnipresent spoken language makes the city in particular and the whole province in general own its ridiculous reputation that comes easily to be recognized the citizenship when one utters it out elsewhere across the country. For example, the first consonant 'n-' is mispronounced to 'l-', like 'nine' into 'line' in English.

A raining morning

A view across the jungle of electric wires and the main thoroughfare toward An Duong Water Treatment Plant. Here I stayed for 2 days and learned lots of local words just for fun.
A view across the jungle of electric wires and the main thoroughfare toward An Duong Water Treatment Plant. Here I stayed for 2 days and learned lots of local words just for fun. | Source

Foodstuff as you want to fill yourself up

You're hungry after a long walk, aren't you? Well, just grasp something nice to bite now. It's suggested to have some local delicacies typically including Banh Da Cua (Bánh đa cua or reddish rice noodle with fresh-water-crab sauce), banh da ngan (bánh đa ngan or rice noodle with duck-flesh slices) and other snacks embracing Gia be (Giá bể or local sea snails), Gio cake (bánh giò), Bo cake (bánh bò), Xoi che (Xôi chè or Sticky rice with sweet soup), etc. And prices for those dishes are also incredibly reasonable, just around VND20,000 a bowl. Some dining places for each delicacy as follows:

Banh da ngan: 23E Le Dai Hanh Str.; Le Hong Phong Str. (near to the 5-way intersection); Tran Hung Dao Str., or around Le Tran Statue.

Thang noodle (bún Thang): Cat Dai Str. (near Phu Van Hotel)

Banh da cua (bánh đa cua): Xuan Diep Rest. on 331 Tran Nguyen Han (close at 8 a.m) or Pham Ngu Lao Str.

Gia be (giá bể): around the Quan Ngua Stadium

Local Delicacies

Banh Da Ngan (Rice Noodle with Duck-Flesh Slices)
Banh Da Ngan (Rice Noodle with Duck-Flesh Slices) | Source
Gia Be (Giá Bể - local special sea snails)
Gia Be (Giá Bể - local special sea snails) | Source
Che xoi (Sticky rice with sweet soup)
Che xoi (Sticky rice with sweet soup) | Source
Banh Da Cua (Bánh Đa Cua or Reddish Rice Noodle with Fresh-Water-Crab Sauce)
Banh Da Cua (Bánh Đa Cua or Reddish Rice Noodle with Fresh-Water-Crab Sauce) | Source

Hai Phong City

A markerHai Phong City, Vietnam -
Hai Phong, Haiphong, Vietnam
get directions

A beautiful coastal city

Author's notes

Thank you for your attention.

Most of the photos posted in this article belong to the author, except the first one archived online with the source cited.

For further information, please contact me at nhphuc2310@gmail.com.

For other articles of the author, please check them out:

Tay Ninh Province at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Thu Duc Town at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thu-Duc-Saigon-A-joyful-suburb
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun
Ta Dung at https://hubpages.com/travel/Ta-Dung-Vietnam-A-Pearl-of-The-Highlands

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    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
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      Nguyen Hong Phuc 16 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      Thank you, this city seems pretty fun to visit, Bud_Saint. Pay a visit there and enjoy.

    • profile image

      bud_saint 16 months ago

      This town seems quite far and impossible in my travel this June. Anyway, I'll visit it then as a chance strikes me then. Thanks, buddy.

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      Ladypride 17 months ago

      Haha. Fortunately, i visited this city 4 years ago, and found some similarities like you said. Haha. I liked to observe their accent that tickled my funny bone. Love to read more of your sharing. Thanks!