TRAVEL GUIDE Hai Duong

Although Hai Duong is not a prominent name on the tourist map, it attracts tourists with its long historical sites and peaceful and charming scenery.

What season to go to Hai Duong?

Hai Duong is suitable for visiting all 4 seasons of the year. However, the festival season from January to March is the most beautiful time because Hai Duong has many temples and historical sites. The lychee season in the harvest is from May to June. The sunflower season is in October. December is the blooming season of wild sunflowers, visitors are free to check in with the flower road at the foot of Phu Tao bridge, Hai Duong City.

Hai Duong city seen from above. Photo: Ngo Huy Hoa

Move

Hai Duong is about 60 km from Hanoi. To Hai Duong, there are many means of transportation such as personal cars, passenger cars, limousines, trains…

The fastest is to ride a limousine with fast travel time and convenience, and spacious and comfortable seats. You can refer to the limousine at Di Chung, which costs 250,000 VND per ticket, and runs continuously, every 30 minutes. The cheaper option is the Tuan Hai limousine, 16-seat car, a frequency of 4 trips a day. In addition, you can choose to take a passenger car, refer to Phuc Xuyen, Dung Thuy… priced at 60,000-70,000 VND.

The experience is more interesting and leisurely than taking the train, going to Phu Thai, Hai Duong, and Cam Giang stations on the afternoon to Hai Phong. Trains depart from Long Bien station, on weekends depart from Hanoi station.

Quang Thanh Bridge crosses the Van Uc River, connecting Hai Phong and Hai Duong. Photo: Giang Chinh

Sightseeing

Landmark

Co Chi Lang Nam Island

Stork Island is located in Chi Lang Nam Commune, Thanh Mien District. With an area of ​​more than 31,000 hectares, this place is the living area of ​​about 12,000 storks and 5,030 individuals of the cauldron. The main types of storks include fire, flies, storks, black…., cauldrons have gray, blue, black…

To visit, guests have two options: riding a duck or taking a boat around the islets. Even a loud noise can cause a stir in the flock. Herds rose from the grove to the blue sky. With the same clang, it all creates a breathtaking and wild scene.

It only takes about a day for visitors to go all the way to the island. There are people who come to the homestay, stay overnight to enjoy the peaceful scenery as well as learn meticulously the life of the storks. Thanks to that, they can observe more scenes such as when flocks of storks and cauldrons fly to find food in the early morning and return at dusk.

Stork island is seen from above. Photo: Ngo Huy Hoa
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Root grass field

The roots are located next to the pine forest at the southern foot of Con Son mountain, Chi Linh town, Hai Duong province. The root tree, also known as Thanh Hao, blooms with tiny white flowers in the fall, with a pleasant fragrance. A few kilometers further from this field, you will find a persimmon garden laden with fruit in autumn.

The scenery at the foot of Con Son mountain is immense and poetic thanks to the green carpet of the root field, which always attracts many young people to visit and take pictures. Photo: Hachi
Photo: Phuong Trang

Sunflower field

In October, the sunflower field on Truong Chinh Street will be in full bloom.

The flower garden is most beautiful in the morning from 8 am to 9 am, for natural sunlight, not too crowded. Or you can visit here in the afternoon, from 15:30 to 17:30 to combine watching the sunset. The garden is open for free. In the evening, the flowers are more vibrant in the light patterns.

Lychee tree nest

Thanh Ha is famous for its delicious lychee, few people know that lychees in the region are all taken from the 200-year-old ancestral tree of Hoang Van Com. The lychee tree in Thanh Son commune, Thanh Ha district is more than 200 years old, holding the record of “The oldest lychee tree”.

Mr. Hoang Van Com, from Thuy Lam village, Thanh Son commune, Thanh Ha district, brought seeds to be incubated in 1870. He raised 3 trees, but only one tree survived and produced fruit, which propagated into extensive lychee gardens. Hai Duong area. Up to now, the lychee tree is still lush.

The lychee tree, which is more than 200 years old, set the record as “The oldest lychee tree in Vietnam”. Photo: Long Van Vu

Historical and cultural sites

Con Son – Kiep Bac special national relic site

Photo: Lam Linh

Con Son – Kiep Bac is a historical relic area associated with the names of Vietnamese heroes and cultural celebrities such as Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Trai.

Having come to Con Son, visitors cannot help but climb up the romantic Ky Lan mountainside, with the peak called Ban Co Tien. On the right side of Ky Lan mountain, where Nguyen Trai built his teaching house, there are still vestiges of the ancient house’s foundation along with a large stone slab that locals often call Thach Ban, also known as the “five compartments” stone. (as wide as 5 rooms), where Nguyen Trai used to sit and read books.

Kiep Bac is located on flat land in the middle of Dragon mountain valley. The Tam Quan Temple of Kiep Bac temple is like a superficial book “Two dragons adorning the moon”. Kiep Bac Temple overlooks the Thuong River (also known as the Luc Dau River). During the Tran Dynasty, this place was Binh Than Wharf.

Sailing on the historic Binh Than River, in the middle of the stream, there are a 200m long sand dune called Con Kiem, because Tran Hung Dao left a treasured sword for future generations to preserve the Fatherland. Behind Kiep Bac temple, is Tran Rong mountain standing tall, on the left is Bac Dau mountain, and on the right is Nam Tao mountain on three sides embracing the majestic Kiep Bac.

Photo: Ngo Huy Hoa

Mao Dien Temple of Literature

Vietnam has a large Temple of Literature, the oldest is the Temple of Literature Quoc Tu Giam in Hanoi, the second is the Mao Dien Temple of Literature, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province. Mao Dien Temple of Literature (Hai Duong) is ranked as a special national relic.

The relic was established more than 500 years ago, in the early Le Dynasty. The word Mao Dien is the local name, the word Mao means grass; Dien means field. In the past, this place was a very large field with lots of fragrant grass, selected as the Huong exam school of Hai Duong town, in the Tay Son period, the Temple of Literature was moved from Vinh Lai to merge with the Huong Thi Truong. Since then, the relic has been called the Mao Dien Temple of Literature.

Mao Dien Temple of Literature is located in the northeast of Mao village (also known as Mau Tai village) in Cam Dien commune, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province. Temple of Literature is located about 200m north of National Highway 5A, 42km east of Hanoi capital and 16km from Hai Duong city center.

Doi Temple

Doi Temple is also known as Quynh Hoa Tu, in Cam Cau village, Thong Nhat commune (Gia Loc, Hai Duong). This is an ancient temple built in the Ly Dynasty (11th century). In 1991, Doi Temple was ranked as a national relic.

Temple of Queen Mother Ỷ Lan (7/3/1044-25/7/1117). Her name is Le Thi Yen or Le Khiet, the concubine of emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the biological mother of emperor Ly Nhan Tong. During the war, Doi Temple was a local revolutionary base, a communication center connected to the Viet Bac war zone.

Doi Temple, which worships Nguyen Phi Queen Mother Ỷ Lan, is one of the few ancient cultural and historical relics still preserved to this day in Hai Duong. Photo: Giang Chinh

Thanh Mai Temple

Thanh Mai pagoda keeps the stele “Thanh Mai Vien pine tower bi” which is recognized as a national treasure. Photo: Giang Chinh

Thanh Mai pagoda is located in Hoang Hoa Tham commune, Chi Linh town, Hai Duong province. The pagoda was built on the slopes of Phat Tich mountain, now known as Tam Bao mountain. In front of the pagoda is Bai Vong mountain, where is the grave of Nguyen Phi Khanh, father of national hero and world cultural celebrity Nguyen Trai.

The pagoda was built in the 13th century. This is one of the centers of Buddhism in Vietnam, where the abbot of Phap Loa – the second patriarch of the Truc Lam Zen sect. After years of rain and sunshine, and war, the ancient pagoda has collapsed. Recently, the pagoda has been partially restored on the foundations of a number of large works. The pagoda is located under a maple forest complex spread over an area of ​​more than 100 hectares, of which more than 50 hectares are located entirely on the temple land.

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An Phu – Kinh Chu – Nham Duong population

An Phu – Kinh Chu – Nham Duong complex is a historical relic and a special national scenic spot in Kinh Mon district, Hai Duong province. Relics include An Phu: including An Phu Temple and Tuong Van Pagoda (Cao Pagoda) in An Sinh commune; Kinh Chu: Kinh Chu cave belongs to Kinh Chu mountain, Pham Menh commune (also known as Bo Da, Quan Chau, Thach Mon), there is a pine cave to the sky called Duong Nham; Nham Duong: Nham Duong pagoda (Nham pagoda, the literal name is Thanh Quang) belongs to Duy Tan commune.

An Phu Temple is located on the highest peak of the An Phu range. Photo: Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Duong province

An Phu Temple is also known as Cao Temple. The temple is located on the highest peak of the An Phu mountain range. Legend has it that the temple was built in the Tran Dynasty (13th century), to worship An Sinh Vuong Tran Lieu – Father of Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan. The temple was built in the style of the first post-dining architecture, including the pre- sacrifice, the middle school and the harem. The harem has a statue of Tran Lieu and two grandsons De Nhat Vuong Co and Second Vuong Co – the daughter of Hung Dao Dai Vuong.

Kinh Chu Cave has many alleys, in the middle is the altar to worship Buddha, on the right is the altar to worship King Ly Than Tong and Ly Chieu Hoang, and inside is to worship Saint Hien and Ban Co. On the left side of the cave worships Thanh Hoang and Monsignor. Deeper inside is the statue of the Third Patriarch Truc Lam Huyen Quang.

Currently, there are a total of 47 steles in the cave as a museum of epitaphs with talented carvings, clearly reflecting the contemporary art decoration style from the Tran, Le So, Mac, and Le Trung Hung dynasties. to the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century.

Kinh Mon Cave, Kinh Mon. Photo: Hoang Hiep/Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Duong province
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Nham Duong Pagoda , the literal name is Thanh Quang Tu, is a large temple, built in the Tran dynasty, embellished and quite busy in the Le and Nguyen dynasties. The pagoda also preserves 2 stone towers of the Le Dynasty – precious treasures showing the history of the temple. Nham Duong Pagoda also has archaeological sites such as Thanh Hoa cave and Dark cave, with 1,796 artifacts – mainly fossils of animals dating from 3 to 5 thousand years old.

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Giam Pagoda

Giam pagoda national historical site, in Cam Son commune, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong has Cuu Pham Lien Hoa tower . According to a representative of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Duong province, the temple was built in 1336, worshiping the great physician Tue Tinh.

The hexagonal prismatic tower is the most prominent work of Giam pagoda, made from ironwood, about 8 m high, weighing 4 tons with many intricate carvings. In the middle of the tower is a rotating shaft that helps the whole building to rotate with the push of one person.

Each floor of the tower has 18 statues. There are 3 statues on each side, including a Buddha image in the middle and a Bodhisattva statue on either side. Between the floors, there are support columns carved to simulate the trunk of a bamboo tree. Photo: Kieu Duong

Traditional villages

Chu Dau Pottery Village

Chu Dau pottery village is located in Thai Tan commune, Nam Sach district, Hai Duong province. The Chu is a boat, and Dau is a wharf, meaning a boat is parked on a riverbank. Chu Dau was originally a small village on the Thai Binh river, its reputation spread far and wide until there were traces of pottery reaching its most famous technical and artistic peak in the world centuries ago.

Photo: Ninh Hai/Department of Science and Technology of Hai Duong province

The most typical and unique products of ancient Chu Dau pottery are Hoa Lam vases and Ti Ba vases, also known as father and mother vases. The Pi Ba vase has the shape of a Pi Ba representing the yin nature, the motherland embodies the gentle and gentle Vietnamese woman. The vase of blue flowers represents the yang being the husband, the father, the pillar and the foundation.

Dong Giao wood carving village

Wood sculptures by artisans of Dong Giao village. Photo: @chinhdieukhac/Instagram

Dong Giao wood carving village is located in Luong Dien commune, Cam Giang district, 20km west of Hai Duong city.

Legend has it that the wood carving profession in Dong Giao has existed for over 300 years, but has gradually disappeared. By 1983, the profession was restored and developed as it is today. Dong Giao villagers are skillful and intelligent with their industrious nature, so they constantly create, improve designs, and improve their skills.

Qinghai Water Puppet Village

Hai Duong has 3 puppet wards left: Hong Phong, Thanh Hai and Le Loi. All of them take advantage of the performance venue mixed with houses and fields. As a result, visitors get a sense of closeness when watching.

The puppet is made of fig wood, so it is light and easy to control on the water. As a result, activities become flexible, bringing the most genuine emotions to visitors. Photo: Dieu Huyen

In a small pond in the middle of the village, a water communal house was built as a performance venue. The stories of the fields are cleverly evoked by local people, often familiar with the hand plows. The dance performances of the four spirits, the story of the guy who fished the frog, etc. took place naturally and were enthusiastically responded to by visitors.

Unlike many places, puppetry here has a different control system. If many other wards use poles to pull out the puppets and pull the strings, the people here plug the negative poles under the water and then reconnect the wires. Then, each action and gesture of the “character” will be controlled by their ingenuity and ingenuity.

Hai Duong people still make pottery in Can village (Long Xuyen commune, Binh Giang), embroidery in Xuan Neo (Hung Dao commune, Tu Ky), Chau Khe gold and silver craft (Thuc Khang commune, Binh Giang province), comb making. bamboo in Hoach Trach village (Thai Hoc commune, Binh Giang), Mao Dien hat sewing (Cam Giang), bamboo bed making (Human Quyen commune, Binh Giang); Gai cake making (Ninh Giang), mung bean cake making, Phu Loc wine making (Cam Giang), Kinh Chu stone carving ( Kinh Mon)…

Folk games

The unique folk games are maintained, such as land cannon in Ninh Giang, Tu Ky, Gia Loc; flying kites in Kinh Mon; blowing rice exam in Thanh Ha; molded to he in Nam Sach; beat down at Sat temple; word dance in Binh Giang…

In particular, land firecrackers are folk games held from the beginning of the year to the end of the fourth lunar month. Fireworks matches between villages are usually held in the communal house yard on the full moon and 1st of every month. People believe that the louder the firecrackers are, the better, so that the villagers can have another favorable rainy season and a good harvest.

Many places to preserve this cultural heritage include Minh Duc and Quang Khai communes (Tu Ky district); Nghia An, Ung Hoe, Kien Quoc (Ninh Giang district); Duc Xuong (Gia Loc district)… Hai Duong province also brings the province-wide land firecracker competition into the Con Son – Kiep Bac Spring Festival on the 16th day of the first lunar month every year.

The people of Ninh Giang and Tu Ky maintain the land firecracker folk game. Photo: Hoang Hiep/Hai Duong Newspaper

Specialties

Green bean cake

Referring to Hai Duong, most thoughts about delicious gifts focus on mung bean cake. This dish was born in the early 20th century and although it does not have an eye-catching appearance, the uniquely delicious taste of mung bean cake still holds the interest of many travelers. Ingredients for this dish include green beans, sugar, lard and pomelo flower oil.

Photo: Koel

Experienced people often choose thin green beans, dry them, roast them until golden brown, and then grind them into a fine powder. As for the fried lard, simmer on low heat so as not to burn, then filter and take only the transparent part. The sugar is mixed with water, also continue to be filtered, added grapefruit flower essential oil mixed together skillfully in a reasonable ratio, new delicious cakes. Enjoy the mung bean cake, and sip more tea. The bitter and acrid taste will add to the sweet feeling of the cake.

Fried Worms

Photo: Phan Anh

In Hai Duong, it is found in low-lying fields in Kinh Mon, Kim Thanh, Thanh Ha and Tu Ky districts. Every “September 20th, October and October” when the tide rises and floods the fields, worms crawl up from the ground and swim into the river. Wash, drain, and then pour into a bowl, beat with chopsticks and mix with the above. Use a steamer until cooked and then put in a frying pan. The hot vermicelli rolls of lettuce leaves served with herbs and vermicelli, and then dipped in fish sauce, will feel greasy.

Black rise cake

Appearing in Hai Duong from the 12th century, Gai cake quickly became famous near and far and exists to this day. This is a simple cake, made from farmland ingredients but still makes diners remember it forever. Gai cake ingredients are divided into two parts, including the shell and the filling. In particular, the shell only consists of glutinous rice and hemp leaves, while the core is lard, green beans, coconut and lotus seeds.

Gai cake has a natural sweetness and is not overpowering. Photo: Dieu Huyen.

The most sophisticated processing in the filling. In it, lard is marinated in sugar so that it is crispy like pumpkin jam. Lotus seeds, and green beans are simmered, finely ground and mixed with lard, fresh coconut, and sugar. Gai cake is wrapped in dried banana leaves, and steamed within 2 hours. Besides Gai cake, there is also Gac cake, famous in Ninh Giang.

Thanh Ha lychee

In May and June, all over Hai Duong, especially the land of Thanh Ha, are filled with ripe lychee trees. Clusters of ripe red litchi mixed in the green foliage. Weaving into the gardens, you will enjoy the fresh air, enjoy when you personally pick the bunches of ripe lychees, and feel the fragrance and cool sweetness attached to the tip of your tongue. The characteristic of Thanh Ha lychee is that the ripe skin is bright red, the surface is flat, the pulp is thick, the color is clear, and crisp, the taste is sweet and the fragrance is light.

Photo: Ngoc Thanh

Dong perch vermicelli

The flesh of the perch is firm, and tender and the sweetness is just right. After preliminary processing, the fish is boiled, then marinated with spices, and turmeric powder, and fried with onions and garlic. In some places, this fish meat is also fried so as not to be crushed when eaten with vermicelli.

The broth is also an important part, made from fish broth with added tomatoes, pineapple… A bowl of vermicelli with perch is usually served with water spinach or celery, hotpot… and some other spices. like lettuce, and banana flower.

Rice paper

Typical in Hai Duong is the soft, chewy rice paper, which is not crushed when soaked in water for a long time. To have such rice paper, people here reveal that they only use Q5 rice. Customers who buy this specialty can be processed into many delicious dishes such as stir-fried pork, cooked with fish, chicken…

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