Cruise ships dock at the Port of Haiphong. Distance to the town center is approximately 1.5 miles. Taxis and trishaws are generally available outside the main gate.
There are no tourist attractions or facilities in the port area. Hanoi is a 2.5- to 3-hour ride from Haiphong.
Printable map of Hanoi to take along.
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Haiphong, located on the Gulf of Tonkin, is one of Vietnam's most important ports. It is also the main industrial center of the north and the country's third largest city. The First Indochina War started here in 1946 with the French bombing the port, killing thousands of civilians. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. lost more than 300 warplanes here. For a long time, much of the city resembled a gray urban sprawl pockmarked with factories and bombed-out buildings.
In recent years, the city has seen rapid growth and a change in its image. Still boasting French colonial architecture that surprisingly survived the bombardment, Haiphong also features several pagodas, a cathedral, the Municipal Theater or Opera House, a flower market and Vietnam's only licensed casino.
Haiphong's most attractive features are the old colonial-style buildings in the center of the city and the street markets near Cau Dat and Tam Bac Streets.
Hang Khen Factory The factory, founded over 60 years ago, is known for its wool tapestries and carpets.
International driving licenses are not accepted in Vietnam. Therefore, there are no car rental companies such as Hertz and Avis etc.
The distance from this bustling port city to the capital Hanoi is 60 miles, a drive of 2.5 hours, via the number 5 National Highway.
Printable map to take along.
The main shopping areas are found along Tran Phu Street and the SAT Market. Lacquer ware, ceramics, silk, wood carvings and carpets are good buys.
The national currency is the dong (d?ng, VND), U.S. dollars are widely accepted, the standard exchange rate for small quantities being 16000 dong to US$1.
ATMs are getting more and more common and can be found in most bigger cities and every tourist destination.
You can bargain on practically anything in Vietnam.
The people of Vietnam speak Vietnamese as a native language, English is becoming more popular as a second language. English study is obligatory in most schools.
Internet access is available in all but the most remote towns.
Shopping hours: Daily 0800/0830-2100/2200.
By far the largest holiday of the year is Tet, also known as Vietnamese New Year, which takes place between late January and March following the unisolar Chinese calendar. During the three days of Tet shops close up and everybody heads home to their family, making this a somewhat difficult time to travel in Vietnam.
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