Welcome to Phat Diem

During colonial times, Phat Diem’s bishop ruled the area with his private army, until French troops took over in 1951. The cathedral (1891) featured in Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American – from the bell tower the author watched battles between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the French.

Top experiences in Phat Diem

Travel guides

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Phat Diem activities

$85 Cultural & Theme Tours

Taste of the Vietnamese Countryside A relaxing trip from Hanoi

From Hanoi we will drive to Kien Khe in Hanam province to try the famous local breakfast here: banh cuon thit nuong (or succulent spiced pork rolled in rice paper and served with a killer dipping sauce). The restaurant we will visit has been run by a local family for almost 20 years and is known for serving the very best banh cuon thit nuong in town.Kien Khe is a pretty town by the riverside sprinkled with crumbling old buildings that are slowly being consumed by mother nature. A peaceful stroll around the village will lead us to the market for a spot of souvenir shopping. We will then visit the vast 19th-century church, a fading beauty with two impressive towers at the front.After a short drive we will arrive in Ninh Binh, the former capital of Vietnam and a province that has been blessed with rolling green valleys, magnificent mountains, and pretty temples. We will stop for a coffee at the most popular café shop in the area.Next up is a delicious treat that you won’t forget in a hurry, yen mac or traditional fermented pork spring roll. This dish is usually served with guava and fig leaves and is very hard to find elsewhere. Locals will reveal the secrets of how the dish is put together while you find out why it is so popular (hint: it tastes delicious!).The beautiful, historic Phat Diem church is only a 20-minute drive away and that is where we head next. A special blend of Vietnamese and gothic architecture, the church was bombed in the ‘70s during the Vietnam conflict but the pagoda towers stand tall once again after a rebuilding program.Close to the church we will try our next local delicacy, goi nhech, a special sea eel salad featuring local herbs, which we will wash down with some refreshing coconut wine.The pièce de résistance comes now with arguably the best vermicelli noodle soup ever, served with (or without) meatballs. The dish is called bun moc quang thien and it is a must-try on any worthy foodie’s bucket list.Back in Hanoi, we will drop you off at your hotel but not before giving you more tips on where and what to eat during your stay in the fragrant and frenetic city of Hanoi. 

Phat Diem in detail