Situated over 70 kilometers from Hanoi, Hoa Binh Province overflows with cultural identities and charming venues to lure visitors.
As the gateway to the northwestern region, the province, which boasts various unspoiled tourist destinations, has attracted numerous travelers over the past few years.
Some must-visit places are recommended to holidaymakers in Hoa Binh.
Mai Chau: Hoa Binh's most popular tourist area
Mai Chau is the province's most famous tourist site, which is favored by not only in-the-know tourists from Hanoi and neighboring provinces, but also international visitors.
The place is often selected for a weekend trip to relax and relieve stress. Apart from enjoying the fresh air in the majestic mountainous area, travelers might also admire a picturesque view shrouded by clouds at Thung Khe Pass or Da Trang (White Stone) Pass en route to the heart of Mai Chau District.
Also, the mountainous district features a variety of cultural traits and the Thai ethnic minority's traditional characteristics. Notably, Lac Village is home to a series of ancient structures which are more than 700 years old, including stilt houses, horse barns, and wells.
Travelers to Mai Chau will have a chance to experience locals' daily life, stay in unique homestays converted from stilt houses, and learn about cultural entertainment activities.
Lo Van Tuan, head of the Culture and Information Division in Mai Chau District, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the district is a land of the convergence for some ethnic groups, each of which has different cultural practices.
"Given these highlights, the Mai Chau administration has boosted tourism promotion to entice visitors to the locale,” Tuan said.
"We identify tourism as a spearhead sector."
|Tourists and locals admire the beauty of the Hoa Binh hydroelectric dam in the namesake province in northern Vietnam. Photo : Ha Thuong / Tuoi Tre|
Historic Hoa Binh City
Among the province’s highlights is the Hoa Binh hydroelectric dam, which is one of Vietnam's historic structures. Many tourists visit the place to take photos when they set foot in Hoa Binh City, the provincial capital.
An entry ticket is priced at VND20,000 (US$0.86) for sightseeing outside and VND50,000 ($2.15) for an inside visit.
"In the past, I only saw the historic hydroelectric dam in newspapers or textbooks, but now I am here and can fully enjoy its beauty and magnificence," said Ha Phuong, a 32-year-old Hanoian.
Another tourist spot in Hoa Binh City is Ho Chi Minh Statue on Tuong Hill on the left side of the hydropower plant. The site overlooks the superb panorama of the city.
Furthermore, tourists should not miss Phat Quang Pagoda for their trip to Hoa Binh City.
|Visitors at a place of worship in Da Bac District, Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ha Thuong / Tuoi Tre|
Attractive Da Bac District
Da Bac District is also one of the destinations in Hoa Binh most popular with tourists from Hanoi. Fresh air, charming rivers, and awe-inspiring streams, plus eye-catching homestays all attract travelers.
Sitting on the land of Da Bac, Chua Thac Bo Temple is a famed spiritual tourist site in Hoa Binh Province.
"Among numerous waterfalls I have visited near Hanoi, the place is the most special as I can sightsee, take a bath, and have a meal in the same space at the cascade area in Da Bac," Truong Giang, a tourist from Hanoi, shared his feeling about his trip to Da Bac.
Nguyen Van Toan, head of the Culture and Information Division of Da Bac District, told Tuoi Tre that the district is ramping up investment in homestays in hamlets to better service travelers.
The district often sees lodging facilities and homestays reach full occupancy on weekends, while welcoming many groups of foreigners.
|Tourists barbecue meat in Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ha Thuong / Tuoi Tre|
|Passengers get on a bus on the Hanoi-Hoa Binh route. Photo : Ha Thuong / Tuoi Tre|
Close to Hanoi
It takes visitors some two hours by car to complete the over-70-kilometer-long trip between Hanoi and Hoa Binh Province.
Tourists can opt to take a bus, drive a car, or ride a motorcycle to reach various destinations in Hoa Binh from the Vietnamese capital.
The price of each bus ticket ranges from VND35,000 ($1.5) to VND250,000 ($10.7).
"The number of passengers departing from Hanoi soars on weekends," said Nguyen Van Hung, a 30-year-old native of Hoa Binh Province and a bus conductor.
"Due to the surge, more buses are mobilized to transport passengers to Hoa Binh Province.”
In 2022, Hoa Binh Province welcomed 600,000 visitors, mainly golfers.
The province houses 464 lodging facilities, including 41 hotels, 251 guesthouses, and 170 standard homestays.
Its tourism sector fetched VND820 billion ($35.3 million) in 2022, surging 56.5 percent against 2021.
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