Why Hai Phong? People always asks me this very intriguing question. I’ll answer them back “Why Not?”, then they will start to laugh. I admit that other cities like Da Nang, Hanoi and Saigon sounds more interesting but I personally chose Hai Phong to live, teach and to start a new life, yet until now, I am not looking for reasons why I would rather be in HP than the other places in Vietnam but let me recommend you some things which can possibly trigger you to draw close to this city.
Hai Phong City (pronounces as Hai Phom) is the third largest city and in the northeast of Vietnam. The population is more the one million as of 2015. There is a small group of friendly expats here and the locals are the loveliest creatures on
earth. Foods are different from other cities in Vietnam. HP is where you get access to the famous Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay. It’s just one and a half hour from Hanoi, via Hoang Long express. Living in Hai Phong for more than 6 months, these are the things I enjoyed the most!
Attractions in Hai Phong City:
45 minutes drive from the city center, trekking and of course, Pagoda, you can get there by renting a motorbike (there is one rental place in Mya Bar, 98 Van Cao Street) and Google Maps can help you with the route. Believe me, it’s a rocky hill.
Do Son Beach
40mins by motorbike from the city center, this is perfect for those who love casino, crabs and happy hours
Cat Ba Island
45 mins via Ferry. An island full of motorbike adventures, night outs, hill trekking, beaches, parks, tourists and western/traditional foods
They are everywhere, actually. So just grab your motorbike and do your own Pagoda hunt!
284 Bia Hoi Lach Tray
Where you will meet the coolest people on earth bannering different nationalities
Pho Bo, Pho Xao, Pho Ga
Vietnamese’ traditional rice noodles combined with beef, pork or chicken. Located almost everywhere with an obvious readable banner. Different taste from Hanoi and Saigon, for me the best noodle soup is found in Hai Phong
English Sandwiches at Universal Cafe, 484 Lach Tray
The rotating Cafe that serves western foods and various coffees while seeing the view of Hai Phong City in 360 degrees’ way
Fine Dining at Alfredo’s Italian Restaurant, Somerset 7th Floor.
Quality wines, great Italian and western foods, excellent service and peaceful place. Expensive but worth for a date.
in HP are trustworthy. Yes, promise.
are everywhere and if you love strong black traditional coffee, find your best shop alongside in each streets of Vietnam. They also have Highlands Coffee, Myplace Coffee and Trung which are usually expensive. Traditional Coffee: 25,000 VND ($1) Highlands, Myplace, Trung: 50-75,000 ($3 and up).
Hang out with Locals
are very friendly and helpful. They don’t speak English very much but they will help you as much as their mobile 3G internet is working for Google Translator. Young people are more likely to answer your questions because they usually attend English Centers. So, please ask the younger generation to help you interpret how you want your egg to be cooked and do not shout at the waitress in your frustration.
are very accommodating, if you enjoy poker nights, bonfires, long conversations, English footballs, and beers, this is the place for you.
MDM and Queen’s Club
If you want to see some sexy Vietnamese enjoying the techno music of HP, go here before at 1am
Acoustic bar with English music sessions during Thursdays and Saturdays, good drinks and you can meet some cool dudes here buying draft beers
Light Pub is located in the middle of Lach Tray, just beside the Lach Tray bridge. Cool dj, glass window with street views, vietnamese couples romantic after-dinner get-away)
Julie’s Bar found in Minh Khai St, newly renovated, good wine and beers, red dim lights, old foreigners usually are here chatting, enjoying good food.
located at 98 Van Cao Street soft music, light beers, good pizzas, super friendly staffs
So, I think these are the basic stuff you need to know about when you’re thinking to visit or live in HP for teaching and the likes. Hai Phong is a paradise, a combination of a city, small villages, tiny hills, and beaches. You just have to create your own adventure because though it may seem exciting, it can be boring sometimes, that’s why we need friends and connections. I can recommend some cool people to contact if you want to have some acquaintances very soon! Your best buddy may be living there!
If you’ve got more questions and suggestions, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment!
Love to all!!