Whether you are a thrill-seeker or a laid-back vacationer, a food connoisseur or a nature lover, in Ha Nam, Vietnam, you will certainly find what you are looking for. Awesome natural wonders, historical sites and local foods are available in abundance in this wonderland. Each of them has its own seduction that visitors cannot resist.
1. About Ha Nam, Vietnam
1.1. Location of Ha Nam Province
Ha Nam is situated in the south of Vietnam’s Red River Delta. The province is adjacent to Hanoi City to the north; Hung Yen and Thai Binh Province to the east; Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh Province to the south and Hoa Binh Province to the west.
Blessed with several stunning natural wonders, historic landmarks and spiritual sites, Ha Nam offers visitors a chance to escape into a world full of intrigue, mystery, charm and adventure.
While the west of the province is home to a range of limestone mountains, steep terrains and forests, its east side boasts alluvial plains with a dense web of rivers, fertile soil and serene fields. These are truly designed for your romantic getaway or exceptional family vacation in Vietnam.
1.2. Ideal time to travel to Ha Nam, Vietnam
Featuring the typical tropical monsoon climate, Ha Nam in each season has its distinctive beauty and charm. Therefore, you can visit this province at any time. However, due to the diversity of recreational activities as well as festivals during the spring, it is ideal to visit Ha Nam at this time.
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2. How to get to Ha Nam Province in Vietnam?
Traveling to Ha Nam has become increasingly convenient thanks to the developed system of roads in this province. You can get there by many means of transport such as:
- By bus: At Giap Bat coach station, the bus departs from Hanoi to Phu Ly every 15 minutes. It will take you there within only one hour. The ticket costs about 30,000 VND/person.
- By passenger bus: This means of transport has a higher ticket price than traveling by bus, at 60,000 VND/person. You can catch the passenger bus at any coach station in Ha Noi and other neighboring provinces.
- By motorbike/car: You can follow Highway 1A, cross Gie Bridge and keep going straight until you see the “Ha Nam Province” road sign.
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3. Must-visit tourist attractions in Ha Nam Province
There is so much to explore in Ha Nam, Vietnam that tourists are truly spoilt for choices. From ancient temples to time-honored craft villages, from mysterious caves to splendid mountains, the province will fill your Vietnamese experiences with extreme excitement and thrill.
3.1. Famous spiritual and religious sites in Ha Nam, Vietnam
Offering visitors a wide range of ancient and enticing pagodas and temples, Ha Nam is a perfect destination for those longing to explore Vietnam’s well-established tradition and religion. Below is the list of some famous sites worth including in your itinerary:
- Tam Chuc Complex: Widely known for being the largest pagoda in the world, Tam Chuc Complex takes pride in being the venue of the Vesak Festival of the United Nations that attracts thousands of worldwide Buddhist pilgrims every year. The complex is highlighted by the picturesque natural landscapes with emerald mountains and azure waters in the surroundings.
For convenience, you can wander around the pagoda by electric tourist car, ferry or both at about 100,000 – 300,000 VND/person.
- Ba Danh Pagoda: With an over 300-year history, Ba Danh is among the oldest pagodas in Ha Nam, Vietnam. It covers a 10-hectare area. When taking the first steps into this ancient temple, you will immediately be immersed into the tranquil atmosphere alongside the stunning beauty of its distinctive architecture and the poetic Day River.
- Long Doi Son Pagoda: With much historical and archaeological value, the pagoda is regarded as a cultural icon of the past Son Nam Town and the present Ha Nam Province Vietnam. Long Doi Son has existed for nearly one millenium. It houses many precious antiques, the most remarkable of which is the nearly 900-year-old Sung Thien Dien Linh Stele situated in front of Tam Bao Tower. The tower is a relic of the heyday of Buddhism under the Ly Dynasty.
- Truc Temple: This is a perfect destination for spiritual tourism and ecotourism. As the name suggests, the temple features two lines of lush bamboo standing along the trail that leads to the temple. If you happen to visit Truc Temple in the spring, remember to join the rumbustious Truc Temple Festival that is held from January 1st to February 10th of the lunar calendar.
- Tien Ong Temple: Located in the Tuong Linh Mountain, standing 200 meters high, Tien Ong Temple is a famous destination with a long history that makes your spiritual journey in Ha Nam, Vietnam more memorable. The history of the temple can be traced back to the period of Emperor Tran Nhan Tong’s reign.
3.2. Awe-inspiring natural wonders of Ha Nam Province in Vietnam
Ha Nam, Vietnam boasts magnificent massifs, poetic rivers, mystic caves and tranquil plains. All of them have an alluring force that can attract and capture the heart and soul of every visitor to this wonderland. Since Ha Nam is a haven for Instagrammers with countless glorious backdrops, here are a few suggestions for your bucket list:
- Bat Canh Son: Known as a favorite stopover of the feudal royals and elites in their sightseeing tour, Bat Canh Son boasts breathtaking natural landscapes with stunning mountains and rivers alongside many ancient temples, namely Tien Ong Temple, Tam Giao Pagoda, Kieu Pagoda, Ba Pagoda,…
Kem Trong: Situated in Thanh Hai Ward, Kem Trong strikes most tourists with its serene atmosphere, dazzling river, and gorgeous mountains such as Bong Mountain, Vong Mountain and Rong Mountain lying on the right bank of Day River. The other side lies Rua Mountain, Co Dong Mountain, and especially Trinh Tiet Mountain which features an ancient pagoda. It is considered as the convergence of quintessence between the sky and the ground.
- Ao Dong: Meticulously crafted by Mother Nature, Ao Dong boasts such a novelly pristine beauty that you cannot find anything like it on the planet. Tourists will feel rejuvenated when immersing themselves into the impeccable natural beauty created by a medley of mountains, rivers, white storks, chamois and other birds.
- Phuc Long Cave: This cave can hold up to hundreds of people. There are a lot of bats in the cave, hence, it is also called the “bat cave” by the locals. Entering this famous Ha Nam cave, you will see many stalactites of exotic shapes that give this hidden gem a sense of mystery and intrigue.
- Cam Mountain: It is widely known as the home to a diverse system of florals, many of which have lived up to hundreds of years.
Ngu Dong Son: This consists of 5 captivating caves connecting with each other and running to the innermost part of the mountain. With the sublime blend of the lush forests, caves of exotic shapes and unspoilt nature, Ngu Dong Son is a perfect launch pad for incredible adventures.
- Tam Chuc Lake: At sunrise, the lake boasts a dazzling beauty with water glistening in the sunshine. However, when the sky adopts the red hue of the sunset, the lake bears a mystical and bewitching beauty that is nearly dream-like in its perfection. In the middle of the lake is an isle on which there is a temple.
3.3. Time-honored craft villages in Ha Nam, Vietnam
In addition to well-known spiritual sites and nature retreats, Ha Nam Province is also the place for long-established traditional craft villages. To get an insight into the local culture and tradition, don’t forget to visit the 5 craft villages below:
- Vu Dai Craft Village: Displaying the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine imbued with national identity, Vu Dai craft village is the cradle of a much-loved traditional dish – the Braised Fish. Visiting Vu Dai on the days before the upcoming Lunar New Year, tourists will have the opportunity to indulge themselves in the bustling and jubilant atmosphere as well as the pervasive aroma of braised fish coming from the kitchen all over the village.
- Thanh Ha Craft Village: Embroidery has emerged in the village for over a century. Each needle is done with great attention and passion to create such exquisite and painstaking embroidery works. The locals here are very welcoming and willing to teach tourists how to embroider.
- Nha Xa Craft Village: Located on the left bank of the Red River in Moc Nam Ward, this village specializes in making silk. In Nha Xa Village, you can not only handpick a high-quality swath of silk to your taste but also enjoy a serene village scenery that is typical of Vietnam’s Northern Delta.
- Ngoc Dong Craft Village: As an expert in making bamboo and rattan craft products, Ngoc Dong Village outperforms many producers of the same category in the domestic market.
Doi Tam Craft Village: Inheriting the well-established 1000-year legacy of making drums, the village has relentlessly endeavored to innovate and produce superior-quality drums for a variety of purposes such as deity and ancestor worship, music performance, information transmission,….
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4. What to eat in Ha Nam, Vietnam?
In a destination as astonishing as Ha Nam, Vietnam, alongside breathtaking natural wonders, divine religious and spiritual sites and time-honored craft villages, local delicacies are things that will surely attract every tourist. Narrowing down the list of the iconic Ha Nam foods is no easy feat. If you long for a real taste of this province, here are some must-try dishes:
- Phu Ly steamed rice rolls: Unlike the steam rice rolls in other places, Phu Ly Ha Nam steam rice rolls do not include fillings, instead, they are served with grilled pork and fresh herbs, notably banana flowers and topped with fried shallots.
- Binh Luc Fiddler Crab Sauce: The fiddler crab sauce is an indispensable part in the life of the locals in Binh Luc. Just morning glory plants or pickled eggplant fruits dipped in the sauce and served with plain steamed rice are enough for a feast of explosive flavors.
- Braised fish of Vu Dai craft village: The art of making braised fish has been passed down for generations in Vu Dai Village. Braised in an earthen pot with 10 different spices, the fish will surely satisfy every gourmet.
- Chung Cake of Dam Village: Another famous Ha Nam specialty comes from Dam Village. The distinctive taste of the Chung cake there can be attributed much to the rain water used to boil the cake.
- Anabas Noodles: This simple dish features a sublime mixture of crispy brown fried fish, elastic noodles, sweet mustard greens and rich-flavored broth. A warm and flavorful bowl of Ha Nam anabas noodles is surely worth a try.
If you want to bring home something peculiar from Ha Nam, Vietnam, Ly Nhan mandarin, Dai Hoang banana, Kien Khe Rice Crepe, and the nutritious Rau Sang Ba Sao commonly used for stir-frying with beef are among highly-recommended options.
Beyond Ha Nam, Vietnam unfurls a tapestry of other captivating destinations, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long, etc., each beckoning travelers with unique experiences. To elevate your Vietnam journey, you can spend a luxurious stay at the hotels and resorts of Vinpearl, where unparalleled services and first-class amenities await. Additionally, remember to visit VinWonders to indulge in boundless entertainment at Vietnam’s leading entertainment complex.
With a variety of offerings for budget vacationers, backpackers and adventurers in terms of natural wonders, leisure activities and dining options, Ha Nam, Vietnam is worth visiting in its own right. A medley of majestic mountains, intriguing caves, romantic rivers and other nature’s gifts there will impart a sense of well-being and balance to your perfect getaway from the hectic life.