Guide to Hai Phong
Haiphong (Hai Phong, Haiphong also) is a major city in the North of Vietnam, 120 km from Hanoi and very close to Halong Bay and cat BA island (Hai Phong on the map of Vietnam). This is the third populous city of Vietnam with a population of 2 million inhabitants, second only to Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi. It is also a major economic center and the largest port in the North of the country.
Stay in Hai Phong
If objectively, Hai Phong is of little interest to tourists places, to do absolutely nothing here. And don't believe the laudatory reviews about Hai Phong as the resort on the sites guides on the Internet that replicate the same article in different forms. In fact, Hai Phong is a completely non-touristy, and just a major trading and port city, which can not boast of any bright attractions or beaches, or even at least a little bit of a tourist quarter. There's no provincialism, the atmosphere of which attracts tourists when visiting the small towns and villages. Perhaps that will be possible here to note if the captive will have to stay in this place, so it's on the old colonial architecture, constructed by the French in the 19th century, and the tradition of consumption of Vietnamese coffee, which is loved more than anywhere else. The reason for this love of coffee is obscure, but the fact that the locals in huge quantities consume it in countless traditional coffee houses in the city – it's a fact.
But despite a small tourist attraction for tourists Haiphong is an important place because through it passes the route on the only developed in the North of Vietnam beach island resort cat BA island, as well as in Halong Bay and LAN ha. Here is cat bi international airport, railway station, several bus stations, the pier for ferries and boats. If the path to these places you will inevitably have to stay in Hai Phong, any difficulties with it will not arise, because here urban infrastructure, with many hotels and shopping centers. Well, just for something to occupy time, you can visit one of the few local attractions or just to walk around the city.
Spend the night in Hai Phong in one of the more than fifty hotels. Centralized tourist area here, so it's best to book hotels in advance, not to look at the place. The location of the hotel is best to choose close to transportation nodes, where you will continue to hit the road.
Find and book hotels in Hai Phong, you can go to the following websites:
- Hotels in Hai Phong at Agoda.com
- Hotels in Hai Phong at Booking.com
- Hotels in Hai Phong at hotellook.com
- Housing in Haiphong on Airbnb
We traditionally recommend you to use for booking the best search engine of hotels Agoda in Southeast Asia because it offers booking in advance and best support (including Russian) in Asia. Find hotels in Haiphong Agoda can through the search form:
Map of Hai Phong hotels
And than access in Haiphong
Hai Phong lies on the Bay of LAN ha, 120 km from Hanoi (Haiphong on the map of Vietnam). You can get here by plane, train, bus and the nearby Islands of Halong Bay and LAN ha the city is connected by ferry. Perhaps in the future will be completed the bridge on cat BA island, and then water transport will only need to explore the cruises on the Bay, meanwhile, is the only way to get to cat BA island.
But before you draw up a travel route in Hai Phong or cat BA island via Hai Phong, ask the existing travel transfers (integrated ticketing). These transfers greatly much more convenient and even cheaper than if you travel independently. They include shipping to you on all types of transport for transfers, if necessary, and you don't have to pay extra for a taxi or to combine the timetables so you don't accidentally getting stuck somewhere on the way overnight. For cat BA island delivery is made directly to the tourist center of cat BA town which is far away from the jetties. Buy these tickets at the travel agents and hotels in Hanoi, Sapa and other major cities of the North and centre of Vietnam, and they can also book online using the search form from 12go.asia:
💲 Pay the ticket online
✉ Will receive an itinerary receipt by email
🚌 Arrive to departure
The schedule of buses and trains to Hai Phong
And now about all the ways how to get to Haiphong, and below separately about how to get from Hai Phong to cat BA:
In Haiphong the aircraft
In Hai Phong is cat bi international airport (Cat Bi International Airport, IATA code – HPH). Here are mainly domestic flights and few international destinations: Bangkok, Shenzhen, Seoul. Therefore, most from Russia and other countries tourists arrive here via the airport of Hanoi, which is cheaper. Find and book tickets to Haiphong or Hanoi through a search form:
The airport is located on the outskirts of the city (airport map) and to get to the center of the hotel or to the bus stations, the pier or railway station, you will have to take a taxi. As usual in Vietnam, from the trip meter taxi drivers will refuse, so you need either to insist or to bargain to reasonable prices. The normal price for the trip from the airport to the railway station to the center and to bus stations, about 75 000 VND (206.82 RUB, see about the money of Viet Nam); jetty Kathai (Cat Hai), where ferries link to the BA – 300 000 (827.3 RUB). To save you can use a motorcycle taxi, which is two times cheaper. If you don't want to haggle with taxi drivers, order a car or motorcycle taxi through the application Grab, which you can use free WiFi at the airport in the arrivals area.
Another option, especially good for overcoming the language barrier – the order of the tourist Shuttle. Then the driver will meet you at the airport with the table, and delivered to the right place no questions asked and conversations, especially in English here speak very little. Book transfer from Haiphong airport to the city is possible through search from Kiwitaxi.
In Haiphong by train
A railway line connects Haiphong with Hanoi only, but theoretically can be reached by train from Ho Chi Minh city, Nha Trang, da Nang, hue, Sapa (Lao Cai) with the change of trains in Hanoi. However, keep in mind that the trains from Hanoi to Haiphong depart from Long Bien station (except one train), and all trains from other directions arrive at the main station Ga Hanoi. So if you have planned a connection from train to train, without an overnight stay, plan the time to move. From the station to the station it is easiest to take a taxi for 30 000 dongs (82.73 USD), cheaper with public transport (see transport in Hanoi, than to move on).
- Train HP1 (main station) departs at 06:00
- Train LP3 leaves at 9:28
- Train LP5 departs at 15:30
- LP7 train leaves at 18:26
All trains with sedentary places, because to go only two and a half hours. Tickets cost from 70 000 (193.04 RUB). Buy tickets at the station or on the websites https://dsvn.vn/ and 12go.asia. The first official website, but it is only possible to pay by card Vietnamese banks. The second site in English and Russian languages sells a small margin, but you can easily pay with any card.
In Haiphong trains arrive at the railway station in the heart of the city (railway station on the map). You can reach most hotels in the centre can be reached on foot to the Marina Kathai (Cat Hai) on cat BA island taxi will cost 300 000 VND.
In Hai Phong by bus
In Hai Phong by bus you can get almost from every city in Vietnam. For example, there are even flights from Ho Chi Minh city, and it is on the other side of the country to the South, and the bus ride lasts one and a half days. But, of course, there are flights and closer, and tourists usually get here by bus from Hanoi, Sapa, da Nang, Hoi an, hue.
In Haiphong there are several bus stations, we know at least three. Moreover, over the last few years they several times changed the situation: the old were closed, new ones opened. Even different buses to the same destinations arrive and depart from different places, and to make it easier to understand, it is best to buy tickets on the bus not on the bus stations and in travel agencies or online on the websites of the carriers. Also see the tickets on the website of the aggregator carriers on Vietnam – 12go.asia. When you buy tickets in travel agencies you paid for the ticket, but the cost will include transportation from the hotel to the place of departure of the bus. A website 12go.asia, when buying tickets you will see on the map the places and shipping address, and at least will know where to arrive.
Unfortunately, in the Hai Phong travel agencies where you can buy tickets to find, and will either have to buy tickets online, or go to one of the station. Here is the largest bus station of the city:
- Di Xe Hoang Long. This is a great new bus station close to the centre (station on the map) where buses arrive mainly from the South: from da Nang, hue, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh city. But don't confuse this station with the office of the company, Hoang Long, which carries out transfer along the route Hanoi-Hai Phong-cat BA island is a different place.
- Lac Long Bus Station. The old station in the heart of the city (the station is on the map). Hence the bus travel to Hanoi station and Giap Bat every 30 minutes from 05:00 to 19:00. There are also other non-touristic areas in the North of Vietnam.
- Niem Nghia Bus Station. The largest bus station with connections to almost all destinations: Hanoi, Dien bien Phu, Ninh Binh, Ho Chi Minh city, Vung Tau, etc. (the station on the map).
From Hai Phong to cat BA
While from Hai Phong to cat BA island without a bridge to reach the island only by ferry. Independent route will look like this: taxi to one of the piers → ferry to the island → taxi to cat BA town.
But it's actually much easier and cheaper to use ready-made solutions. Company Hoang Long offers delivery from their office in the city center right to the center of cat BA town for only 80 000 VND (220.61 RUB) with all the transfers and ferries. Buses depart from the office at the address: 4 Le Thanh Tong Hai Phong (office on the map), which, in turn, from the airport or stations can be reached by taxi for 80 000 dongs. Tickets can be purchased directly at the office on arrival, but in high season it is better to book in advance on the websites of 12go.asia (in Russian) or hoanglongasia.com (English). Buses depart at 09:45 and 13:45 every day, but be sure to specify the departure location and schedule before traveling to these sites, as it may change.
If you are going to get yourself, here is the detailed information:
To the pier in Hai Phong will have to get a taxi that will cost around 80,000 Dong when boarding a taxi on the street, and a little cheaper (from 50 000 to 200 000 depending on the pier you will go) when ordering through the app Grab. To bargain and arrange the trip meter with the taxi drivers on the street is useless, they are adamant. There are also city buses, but their routes plan is just developing and no information for tourists about it there, so they should not count.
Ferries from Haiphong to cat BA depart from different piers and arrive at different:
- Pier Ben Binh (Ben Binh) in the centre of Haiphong (the pier on the map) travel speed hydrofoils for 200 000 VND (551.53 RUB) four times a day, in 45 minutes. Which is good, they arrive right in the Marina with Ben Tau, Cat Ba in the heart of cat BA town (the pier on the map), i.e. don't have to get a taxi. Departing from Hai Phong to cat BA: 7:00, 9:00, 13:00 and 15:00. Departure from cat BA to Haiphong: 8:00, 10:00, 14:00 and 16:00. This is the schedule for the end of 2018.
- From the pier Cathay (Cat Hai) go slow ferries and boats, including here you can move with your transport. This is the closest to cat BA pier (now closer than Dinh Vu, Cat Hai on the map). Accurate information about the schedule on the pier there, but as far as we know, ferries and boats leave from here every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00 cost 6,000 VND. On cat BA island these ferries arrive at the North Wharf Cai Vieng (Cai Vieng pier on the map).
- On arrival at the Wharf Cai Vieng you will have to travel across the island to cat BA town on the South. This can be done by taxi from 200,000 VND, or if you are lucky, you can try to sit on the bus branded carriers, which take here the passengers travelling on integrated transfer.
Transport Haiphong, than to move on
Public transport in Hai Phong developed very poorly, there are only several routes of city buses for tourists are virtually useless. As the ferry docks to cat BA island for them not to reach. Planned development of the route network down to the docks and even further to cat BA island, but in the meantime you will have to take a taxi.
In Haiphong there are Mailing taxi (Mai Linh is the largest and most reliable company in Vietnam) and other companies, and theoretically all cars are equipped with meters, but in practice taxi drivers refuse to carry foreigners on the counter, at an inflated fixed price. If "persuade" the driver to the trip meter, or bargain for reasonable price does not work, you can use the application Grab.
As for the buses, as we mentioned, they are useless, but perhaps in the future will earn new routes. Here is a diagram of the current routes.
Attractions and entertainment
Hai Phong is not full of the colorful sights worth for them to stay in the city. There's a pretty standard set of provincial city: several museums and temples, colonial architecture of the French era, and more nothing to see. Tourist attractions are also there. In the afternoon you can just walk through the streets from one attraction to another, admire the colonial architecture, drinking coffee in one of the hundreds of coffee shops, and go shopping. In the evening you can sit in one of the bars or night clubs, but tourists there will be not very comfortable, because the aliens in them are rare, mostly resting local youth. Here are the most popular bars and night clubs: King Disko, 5ive Beer Club, Fleur d'or Maison Beer Club, Beer Club Yolo, Sunny Club.
But the attractions that you can visit:
- City Museum (CityMuseum Hai Phong). 66 Dien Bien Phu (Museum map). Entrance fee is 5,000 VND. A traditional Museum, a lot of weapons.
- Museum of the Navy (Naval Museum). (Museum map). A fairly large Museum dedicated to the Navy of Vietnam, but the exhibits are not very many. But there is an exhibition of military equipment outside, including the exhibits come from the USSR.
- Museum of the 3rd army (3rd Military Region Museum). 254 Le Duan, (Museum map). A military Museum. The exhibition is a bit rundown, but a lot of the exhibits, including a street fair. As usual, a lot of samples of Russian military equipment.
- The Dua Hang Kenh temple (the temple on the map)
- Phuc Linh pagoda (pagoda on the map)
- The Opera house Hai Phong Opera (Opera on the map)