The Ho Family's Citadel in Thanh Hoa
The Ho Family's Citadel in Thanh Hoa

Thanh Hoa Travel Guide

Thanh Hoa Province is 160km south of Hanoi, constantly struck by natural disasters like typhoons, floods and droughts. Thanh Hoa was among the poorest provinces of Vietnam until very recently.

Probably hardship breeds talents that Thanh Hoa has always been home to a number of influential people in Vietnam, many virtually helped to shape up the history of the country such as Ba Trieu (the Trieu Lady), Ho Quy Ly, Le Loi, Trinh Kiem… Students and workers from the province are well-known for their talent and hard work.

Bim Son Thanh Hoa VietnamBim Son, located to the north of Thanh Hoa Province (near Ninh Binh Province)

Tourist infrastructure in Thanh Hoa caters mainly to Vietnamese tourists and not up to international standards in many areas. This is changing nowadays as several luxury resorts are present on the beaches. Staff at restaurants and hotels don't often speak much English still. Prices are quite high in Thanh Hoa City and at Sam Son Beach in the summer (peak Vietnamese tourist season). In other areas, things are relatively cheap. A trip to Thanh Hoa may bring you unexpected experiences!

Corn fields at Vinh Loc, Thanh Hoa
Corn fields at Vinh Loc, Thanh Hoa

Adventure Travel & Ecotourism, Things To Do and Tourist Attractions in Thanh Hoa
Thanh Hoa is rich in history and idyllic in natural landscape but the province is not visited much by foreign travelers. Below you can find more information on the tourist attractions in Thanh Hoa which could be on your travel itinerary planning a holiday in Vietnam.

1/ The Pu Luong Nature Reserve
The untouched nature reserve of Pu Luong is adjacent to Mai Chau – a popular tourist attraction in Hoa Binh Province. The nature reserve offers either relaxing holidays amid pristine nature or wonderful trekking tours through forests and rice terraces. The accommodations available include simple homestay at local Thai people who live on houses on stilts or ecological lodges. The nature reserve is 190km southwest of Hanoi.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam
The Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam

2/ Ben En National Park
The complex of the Ben En National Park includes a pristine lake of 4,000 hectares surrounded by amazing limestone mountains and forests. You can visit the national park on a nature tour or a birding tour, or a butterfly watching tour… which should take 2 days from Hanoi. Accommodations at the national park include a simple guesthouse or homestay with poor conditions. The national park is 200km southwest of Hanoi.

The Muc River at the Ben En National Park in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam
The Muc River at the Ben En National Park in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam

3/ Ho Family’s Citadel
The Ho Citadel dating back to the 15th century is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visiting the Ho Family’s Citadel you can learn a lot about the history of Vietnam, the construction process and the amazing architecture. Agrarian life of local communities is also of immense interest. Ho Family’s Citadel is 150km south of Hanoi and you can day-trip to this site from the capital city.

Ho's Citadel in Thanh Hoa Vietnam
Ho's Citadel in Thanh Hoa Vietnam

4/ Sam Son, Hai Hoa, Hai Tien Beaches
Luxury resorts are springing on the pristine beaches in Thanh Hoa. The most popular of these is certainly Sam Son which is mostly visited by the Vietnamese tourists during the summer. You visit these beaches in the winter, they are mostly empty! A part from the luxury resorts, there are several simple hotels and guesthouses on these beaches.

Sam Son Beach, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam
Sam Son Beach, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam

How to get to and how to get around Thanh Hoa
There are big tour buses which travel between Hue and Hanoi and Ninh Binh daily. You can certainly catch these tour buses and get off somewhere near Thanh Hoa City. There are some tourist attractions near the city that you can travel to by motorbike taxi or taxi or local buses.

Vinh Loc Thanh Hoa Vietnam
The countryside of Vinh Loc District, Thanh Hoa

Alternatively there are several daily trains between Hanoi and Saigon stop at Thanh Hoa City. The train service is quite convenient nowadays. You can get to Thanh Hoa by train from Hanoi, Hue, Quang Tri, Quang Binh easily.

There are daily buses between Hanoi and Mai Chau for those of you who want to visit the Pu Luong Nature Reserve which is quite off the way from Thanh Hoa City.

Tinh Gia Thanh Hoa VietnamThe arid soil at Tinh Gia, to the south of Thanh Hoa (near Nghe An Province)