Fed up with old-timers telling you Hanoi was so much more authentic in the early 1990s? Fear not, for Haiphong is a graceful city that has the flavour of Hanoi a decade ago. Bicycles are as common as motorbikes and the verdant tree-lined boulevards conceal some classic colonial-era structures. Stroll around the centre and soak up the atmosphere.
Despite being one of the country’s most important seaports and industrial centres, and officially Vietnam’s third-largest city, Haiphong today seems a somnolent place with clean streets and an understated air of prosperity. In general, the city is far less hassle than major tourist magnets, with barely a tout in sight.
Haiphong makes a sensible stopover for travellers making their own way to or from Cat Ba Island or Halong Bay. A combination of bus, boat and train make an economical and easy way to link the popular places of the northeast.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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