The History of Hai Phong
Hai Phong’s recorded history dates to 43AD, when Le Chan, a formidable female general, founded the strategic city to repel invading Chinese troops. The city’s name means “coastal defense.” The fierceness of the ocean nearby and its critical location on the waterways that lead into Vietnam’s interior not only made it easily defendable but also vastly important for trade and commerce with Hanoi and the seafaring traders that arrived from India, China, the Mediterranean, and, eventually, Western Europe and Britain.
Hai Phong continued to be an important, well-defended city throughout the Middle Ages. In 1881, however, tragedy struck when a vicious cyclone tore through the city and killed around 300,000 people, leaving it open to invasion. In 1885, the French gained control of Vietnam and turned Hai Phong into their naval center to support nearby Hanoi, the political center. Later, the city served as North Vietnam’s sole seaport during the Vietnam War.
Today, Hai Phong is the third-largest city in Vietnam after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the second-largest economic center in Northern Vietnam, home to thriving industries, such as agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing. In recent years, it has also gained popularity as a tourist destination. Hai Phong serves as both a destination of its own and a starting point to Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island, and other area attractions.
Best Time to Visit
Northern Vietnam has two seasons: hot-and-wet and cool-and-dry. While Vietnam is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, spring occurs in March and April, and fall takes place September through December, offering the most pleasant temperatures and best chances of cooperative weather.
About Hai Phong
Hai Phong is located on the northern arm of the Red River Delta, a vast dumping ground for the rich silt picked up during the Red River’s long 750-mile journey (1,200 km) through southwestern China and out into the Gulf of Tonkin. Hai Phong is also located near huge coal deposits, which helped turn the city into a center for industry.
Although it has a strong commercial and industrial base, the city itself is a delightful mix of colonial construction and modern construction. Cultural attractions abound, including temples, shrines, pagodas, mausoleums, museums, art, architecture, and restaurants that serve up delicious local fare. You will also find beautiful beaches, an abundance of shopping, and an exuberant nightlife scene.
One of Hai Phong’s most iconic sights is streets lined with Flame of the Forest trees, which delight the eyes with their bright red blooms during the summer months. The annual Red Flamboyant Festival in May brings art troupes from all over Asia, as well as other performances and exhibits to celebrate the vivid flowering of the trees.
Phone and internet
Tourist Simcards are available for all mobiles and it’s not expensive to make regular calls with only around 2000 – 3000 VND/minute. Be sure you change the 11-digit mobile phone numbers to 10-digit ones as all Vietnam mobile network providers have launched this campaign since this September. You should search for detail prefixes before making phone calls.
Additionally, some hostels do not have WIFI so VietnamMobile’s unlimited 3G Simcard is highly recommended to use for large amount of Data. This costs you a fixed $5 and an extra $3 per month to maintain unlimited internet access.
Although credit cards’ popularity is on the rise, pay is cash a much more preferred method of payment when you board motorbike taxis or purchase food on streets. You’re advised to carry at least a few million dongs in cash with you.
Visit Hai Phong
The port city of Hai Phong is a busy, growing city that still retains much of its ancient tradition and culture. Founded by the female general Le Chan in 42AD, the city mixes ancient temples and pagodas, French colonial buildings, and modern architecture into a glorious blend of old and new. From the Colonial Quarter in the heart of the city to the fresh breezes of Do Son Beach, visitors will never be able to get enough of the food, museums, religious sites, and outdoor wonders that Hai Phong has to offer. Before you set out on your journey, let Vietnam Visa help you get your Vietnam travel visa. We make the process quick and simple, giving you time to focus on planning the journey ahead.