Hai Phong is, in many visitors’ opinion, the ‘real’ Vietnam and reminds them of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital many years back and only about two and a half hours away by bus. Hai Phong is also known as a tourist hub and features good hydrofoil and ferry links to Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island and many popular islets nearby. In the past it was an important international seaport and nowadays serves as the country’s fastest-developing industrial city.
Still, it has its share of attractions, such as Du Hang Buddhist Temple, Nghe Temple, Hang Kenh Communal House and the French influenced Municipal Theatre. The popular Do Son Beach casino is only some 20km from Hai Phong. It is a well-liked resort town by domestic tourists, many of whom come to watch the choi trau (Do Son Buffalo-Fighting Festival) which draws a large crowd of no less than 25,000 spectators each year.