A Guide to Vinh

What is Vinh? – Vinh is in North Central Vietnam. It’s the capital city of the Nghe An Province. Vinh offers a look at the authentic Vietnamese way of life. Compared to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh has a lot less traffic and the people are more relaxed. You can make some great memories by meeting the locals, trying exotic food and experiencing Vietnamese culture.

Where To Stay – When my friends visit they always stay in one of these hotels. Both of them offer comfortable accommodation and friendly English-speaking staff. I have partnered with Agoda. I will get a tip if you complete your hotel booking through these links. If you’re looking for an apartment in Vinh, you can contact me.

Meet The Locals – Go to Hello! English Club. University students meet every Tuesday morning to practice speaking English. A list of English clubs in Vinh can be found here.

Vinh Guru Tours – They have great tours of Vinh and Central Vietnam. They will happily answer your questions about Vinh, Nghe An or Vietnam. Contact them through their website. A friendly tour guide (who can speak English) will help you.

Experiences

Vinh Market (Vietnamese: Cho Vinh) – A gigantic indoor/outdoor market. It’s interesting to walk around and see what they’re selling.

Bot Coffee – It’s inside Vinh Market. This link is in Vietnamese but it has pictures. It’s hard to find but worth it because of the unique coffee. If you go to the market and show someone a picture of the Bot coffee, they should point you in the right direction.

Quyet Mountain – A short, easy hike to the top on a paved path rewards you with beautiful views of Vinh.

Eat Fresh Seafood & Sunrise Fish Market at Cua Lo Beach – If you get to the beach early enough you can buy fresh seafood right off the boat. If you’re not an early bird, you can go there in the evening and eat fresh seafood next to the beach.

Eel Soup – It’s very popular in Vinh for breakfast. It’s considered a local delicacy.

Rotisserie Duck – This is a family-run food cart. You can get a delicious whole duck for 160,000 VND or half for 80,000 VND. I recommend the half. It’s enough for two people. He’s usually open from 4:30 to 8:00 PM (or whenever he sells out). The cart is opposite VRC. There are two carts that sell duck next to each other. You want the cart with the older guy. He’s in the blue shirt in this picture.

Experiences Near Vinh

All of these are accessible by train from Vinh.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park & Cave (Quang Binh Province)

Van Long Nature Reserve (Ninh Binh Province)

Trang An Grottoes (Ninh Binh Province)

See & Do

Central Park & Ho Chi Minh Square – See the statue of Ho Chi Minh.

Cần Linh Temple – A small Buddhist temple surrounded by a lotus flower pond. It’s next to the Cua Nam Bridge.

Goong Lake – There’s a nice footpath around it.

Vinh Museum – Their website is only in Vietnamese.

Eat & Drink

Saigon Kim Lien Hotel Restaurant – Try the Bo Ne for breakfast. It’s sizzling beef with onions, eggs and tomatoes. It’s served with freshly baked bread.

Ốc Nhớ Sài Gòn – They have amazing fresh seafood. Try the crab noodles or the blood clams.

Vịt 117 – Everything in this restaurant is made with duck. The crispy duck is fantastic.

Bun Dau – A delicious bowl of noodles with vegetables, beef and more.

Bun Cha – 69 Dinh Cong Trang – Bun Cha is the famous dish that Obama had when he visited Vietnam.

Thanh Chuong Chicken – They’re famous for the “no escape” chicken (gà không lối thoát). It’s a chicken which is cooked inside a ball of crispy rice. You can dip the rice in a peanut sauce.

Gà Sạch 113 – Try the crunchy chicken.

Moon – They’ve got delicious finger food. Try the chicken wings.

Coconut Jelly (near Ho Chi Minh Square)

Cháo Canh – 169 Dang Thai Than – A noodle bowl with pork, beef and eggs.

TH True Mart – Soft serve ice cream (on Quang Trung, next to Bac A Bank)

Fruit-flavored frozen yogurt (diagonally across from Happy Bakery)

Fresh fruit smoothies (on the 2nd floor) – They have great fresh fruit. Try the sugar apples or the mangosteens.

Foreign Food

Han Quoc Quan (Korean)

Shogun Japanese Street BBQ (inside City Hub)

Fuji (Japanese)

Geisha (Japanese)

Jam Thai – Try the Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles).

The American Steak – They have great cheeseburgers and steak.

The Pizza Company – This is the best pizza in Vinh.

Gin’s Pizza (Vietnamese / American) – Try the BBQ ribs or the fried chicken sandwich. It’s across the street from Le Viet Thuat High School.

Vuvuzela (Vietnamese / American)

Vegetarian

Bồ Đề – This one is popular with the Buddhist monks.

Nhà hàng chay Thiên Phúc

Nha Hang Anh Quoc – It’s near Vinh Stadium.

Duyen Lanh

Coffee Shops

Ngau Coffee & Store – A taste of Hanoi.

Luxe Paris Cafe – A French style cafe in Vinh.

Nocenco Coffee – It’s two floors with nice views from the rooftop.

The Coffee House – There are 3 locations in Vinh.

May Cafe & Sonata Cafe – Both have live music.

Bars

Wepub & Local Pub – You’ll often find foreigners here.

Beer Hub Snack Bar & Bistro – You can drink Steiger Beer here.

Choa – It’s a coffee shop during the day and a bar at night with live music.

London Entertainment – 1st Floor: Beer Club/Coffee Shop, 2nd Floor: Restaurant, 3rd Floor: Nightclub/Lounge

What To See & Do Near Vinh

Dai Tue Pagoda – A Buddhist pagoda on a mountaintop. It’s 30 minutes by car (1 hour by motorbike) from Vinh or you can hike there (about 2 hours from Nam Dan). The hike is on a dirt road with nice views along the way.

Birthplace of Ho Chi Minh (Kim Liên, Nam Dan District)

The Thai Ethnic Group (Hoa Thu Homestay, Nua Village, Yen Khe Commune, Con Cuong District, Nghe An Province) – The Thai are the second largest ethnic minority in Vietnam. When you visit them you can try on their traditional clothes, sample the local food/drink (such as “ruou can”) and take part in traditional dancing.

Mooc Trail (Quang Binh Province) – This is a map to the Dark Cave. Mooc Trail is one kilometer away from the cave. It’s a wooden footpath through the forest with a clear blue swimming hole and wild orchids.

Kèm Waterfall (in Pu Mat National Park)

Đảo Chè Tea Islands (Thanh Chuong District)

Vinpearl Water Park (Ha Tinh Province)

Mương Thanh Safari Land – A resort and a zoo.

Sunflower Farm – (Google Maps link, Nghĩa Đàn District). It’s open twice a year. Usually from around mid December to early January and early March (depending on the weather and the planting schedule).

Pu Mat National Park

Thermal pool at Son Kim Hot Springs

Extra Stuff

Expats and locals Vinh, Nghệ An – The Facebook group for Vinh and Nghe An.

“Exploring Vinh” – A Digital Book – A group of Vietnamese university students and two volunteer teachers from Finland worked together to create a travel book about Vinh. In it you can discover 10 interesting places in Vinh.

Travelfish Vinh Travel Guide

Au Viet Gourmet Market – They’ve got a lot of products from America, Korea and Europe. Next to Pizza Hut.

MM MegaMart (a big box store) – It’s near the Lam River.

CityHub – It’s 5 floors with Shogun Japanese Street BBQ, Hot Pot Paradise, Gong Cha Coffee, a cinema and more.

Vinh Recreation Center (VRC) – It’s 5 floors with a bowling alley, Highlands Cafe, BreadTalk, King BBQ, a cinema and more. It’s across the street from the train station.

VFC (Vinh Fighting Club) – Inside Ecocity. Offers MMA classes.

Nam Viet Spa & Gym (behind Cleverlearn)

Photo Credits