General Information

Thanh Hoa Location MapLocated in North-Central Vietnam, Thanh Hoa province is one of the largest provinces with an area of 11,106 km2 and the population of over 3.4 million working and living in 27 districts, towns, and cities. Thanh Hoa shares over 190 km long border with Lao on the west, running through mountainous areas. Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Son La are its northern neighboring with 175 km of land borders.

Thanh Hoa has an original geographical location with the rough river system, magnificent mountains, and the tremendous sea. This province is the residence of 7 ethnic groups including Kinh, Muong, Thai, Dao, Mong, Tho and Kho Mu which have different ways of lifestyle, culture, costumes, etc creating a multi-colored picture of Thanh Hoa’s identity.

Thanh Hoa is also the homeland of very talented people who contributed significantly to the glorious heroic pages of our history. Such famous individuals were Trieu Thi Trinh, Ngo Quyen, Duong Dinh Nghe, Le Loi…..whose merits helped to establish many dynasties in the nation’s history such as the Le dynasty, Ho dynasty, Nguyen Dynasty. The province is honorably called by many highly reputable historians and researchers as “the home of Three Kings and Two Lords”.

Not only being referred to as ‘a sacred land with extraordinary people’, Thanh Hoa is also a prominent tourist destination. Apart from advantages of Sam Son beach tourism, Thanh Hoa province has more than 1,500 historical sites and landscapes. Some most famous names could be listed as followings: Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Ben En National Park, Ho Dynasty Citadel, Lam Kinh Remains,… Among all, Pu Luong, in recent years, has been the familiar name for hundreds of tourists as an ideal destination for eco tours in Vietnam.

Thanh Hoa Weather

Weather in Thanh Hoa - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Weather in Thanh Hoa

Like other provinces in Northern Vietnam, there are four seasons in Thanh Hoa. Summers are hot and humid while winters are chilly. Be careful if you want to visit the beach here from June to September since this region may be affected by typhoons. Besides, Sam Son Beach in Thanh Hoa is extremely busy during summers and public holidays in Vietnam. Overall, if you want to swim in the beach, trek through Pu Luong Nature Reserve and visit some religious sites in this province, February – May and September – November are the best times to travel to Thanh Hoa.

Getting to Thanh Hoa

Due to considerably effective government investment in Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure, many high-quality expressways have been brought into usage which creates hundred of conveniences in people’s movement. Now you can get to Thanh Hoa both by coach and train from Hanoi capital in the very short time in the modern coach and train. It normally takes you 3 hours or less for a coach journey with ticket price at VND 90,000 – 100,000 dong for a seat on air-conditioner coach. Train tickets cost VND 88,000 to 129,000 dong per seat.

Things to See in Thanh Hoa

No matter what you are highly interested in discovering the past times or you are a big fan of natural scenery, Thanh Hoa will be ranked in the first place in your travel booklet.

Let’s take a look at the stunning gift of Mother Nature:

Pu Luong Nature Reserve – An ideal Ecotourism Destination

Pu Luong
Pu Luong

Pu Luong (alternatively called Phu Luong) is one nature reserve located in Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc districts in the north-western of Thanh Hoa Province. Pu Luong, bounded by Mai Chau, Tan Lac, and Lac Son, is located along two parallel mountain ridges running from the north-west to the south-west, protecting the large picturesque and poetic valley in the middle which the settlements of several local people and a large area of agricultural land. With the area of 17,662ha, Pu Luong Nature Reserve offers a numerous traveling choices such as discovering the beauty of the natural landscape, ecological forests with plentiful fauna and flora or learning the simple and interesting customs and habits of the Thai and Muong people.

Once you visit Pu Luong, there are plenty of activities that promise to bring tourists unforgettable experiences.

  • Trekking
Trekking - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Trekking is appealing to thrill-seekers to explore Pu Luong
  • Cycling
Cycling - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Pu Luong is a perfect place for cycling
  • Kayaking
Kayaking - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Another way to discover local people’s lifestyle
  • Relaxing
Relaxing - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Escaping from the bustling life to get into the separate world

Sam Son Beach

Sam Son is the familiar tourism spot for both domestic and foreigner visitors. Sam Son is the pride of Thanh Hoa province on the long coastline of a flat and gentle sandbank, purely fresh water, cool air, which makes this place to be a not-to-be-missed destination for some who desire to escape from the terribly hot weather in summer. In recent year, with the investment from FLC group, FLC luxury Sam Son resort has been introduced to the tourists, bringing brand new experiences of leisure and relaxation. Sam Son now becomes the new heaven for a trip to Northern Vietnam.

Sam Son Beach - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Sam Son Beach attracts hundreds of tourists every summer

Within a day, there are some magical transformation times of Sam Son beach, like the beautiful lady changing her cloth three times a day. On the early morning, the beach is busy and crowded because of the return of Nui villagers from fish-catching nights. A seafood market will begin then with diversified types of fresh seafood. If you enjoy having a seafood meal, come to the market at this time. At noon, the sea is like to be gold-plated by the sunshine. The time for visitors is in the afternoon when the temperature cools down. All the poetic would be inspired so much by the sea at night when all the scenery is in a blur in the moonlight with the continuous sound of the flapping waves to the shores.

Besides the beaches, Sam Son also has another fascinating destination with many natural attractions and historical relics: the Truong Le Mountain range, “Doc Cuoc” pagoda, Trong Mai rock.

Ben En National Park

Ben En National Park - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Ben En National Park

The national park is situated in districts of Nhu Thanh and Nhu Xuan, Thanh Hoa province. Covering the area of 14,735 hectares, the park includes mountains, hills, streams, rivers and also the living environment of the various types of flora and fauna. So far recovered were 1,389 species of plants, 1004 species of animals, 66 species of mammals, 201 species of birds, 54 species of reptiles, 31 species of amphibians, 68 species of fish and 499 species of insects. There are 462 varieties of flora in the park and 125 orders. The exciting way to explore the park is motor boat or kayak.

Here come the historical and relics sites of Thanh Hoa

Ho Dynasty Citadel

Ho Dynasty Citadel - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Ho Dynasty Citadel

Ho dynasty Citadel was constructed by the Ho Dynasty (1400-1407). It is located in Tay Giai commune, Vinh Loc district, in Thanh Hoa province. The citadel is rectangular in shape with four gates: one at the south (fore-gate), one at the north (back gate), one at the east (left gate), and one at the west (right gate). The Ho Dynasty Citadel was recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 2011. This is considered as the only stone citadel remaining in Southeast Asia.

This citadel is the excellent representative of the Southeast Asian imperial city with the unique architecture (feng shui principles) which helps it to keep the shape and structure from the effect of time and weather

Lam Kinh remains

Lam Kinh remains - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Lam Kinh remains

Lam Kinh is located in Xuan Lam Commune, Lam Son Town and Kien Tho Commune, 50 kms to the west of Thanh Hoa City. Lam Kinh is associated with Le Loi, which is a national hero as well as the first King of Later Le Dynasty in the history.

The structures of the citadel lie along the south-north axis on the hilly area. The citadel is 341m in length and 254m in width. The scenery around the citadel is quite peaceful with plentiful green trees and fresh air. Coming to Lam Kinh remains, particularly on August 22nd, apart from contemplating the beautiful landscape, listening to the old legend about the heroic time period in Vietnamese history, you have chances participating in various traditional folk games.

Thanh Hoa’s specialties

Nem chua

Nem chua - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Nem chua

This kind of food is regarded as the symbol of Thanh Hoa cuisine. There is no difficulty in making this food, and in fact, many other provinces produce nem chua on market. However, in nowhere else can the visitors have the same taste as Thanh Hoa nem chua.

Nem chua is a fresh pig meat roll with a sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste which makes the mouth salivate with each bite. To make nem chua, local people do not cook by heat as normal, but by the natural yeast of the meat. Therefore, Nem chua has the flavor of fresh pork, in addition to the spicy sensation of pepper and the salty taste.

Bitter soup

Bitter soup - Thanh Hoa Travel Guide
Bitter soup

Bitter is not the favorite flavor of most people. However, in Thanh Hoa, it is the major taste of the traditional soup. The soup is made from a kind of bitter vegetable which is surely not suitable to the appetizer for the first time trial. Local residents insist that if you eat this kind of soup for a long time, then you will be addicted to this. It is the missing flavor for Thanh Hoa people who are living far from their hometown.