Sean’s Vinh Guide

 This page was last updated on July 21, 2021. 

Welcome to my Vinh Guide. I have lived here since 2013. This guide is my collection of hidden gems, delicious treats and interesting places. You can learn not only about Vinh but also about Nghe An and Central Vietnam. Contact me if you have any questions.

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

Top 10 Things To Do in Central Vietnam –

IN VINH –

1. Bot Coffee
2. Quyet Mountain
3. Ho Chi Minh Square
4. No Escape Chicken
5. Coconut Jelly
6. Nocenco Coffee

NOT IN VINH –

7. Nam Dan Eco Zoo (Nghe An)
8. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park & Cave (Quang Binh)
9. Van Long Nature Reserve (Ninh Binh)
10. Trang An Grottoes (Ninh Binh)

Vinh Facebook GroupsExpats and locals Vinh, Nghệ An, Expats and Locals of Vinh City

Accommodation – If you’re visiting, I recommend the Tecco Sky Hotel or the Lam Giang Hotel. If you need a place to stay, contact me. I can help you find an apartment. You can also check out Amai Vinh (Google Map). They have new apartments which are fully serviced and furnished.

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

English Clubs – Hello! English Club is my English club. Click here to learn more about it. Click here to see a list of English clubs in Vinh.

Local 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.

Delicious rotisserie duck in Vinh

See & Do

Ho Chi Minh Square – See the statue of Ho Chi Minh. There’s a small forest with hiking trails.

Central Park – It’s free to the public.

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.

Squid Fishing – Go squid fishing at night with a local. Go to Cua Lo beach and ask someone at one of the restaurants on the beach.

Eat & Drink

Fox (Cáo) Restaurant – This is a great Vietnamese restaurant in Vinh.

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.

Deja Vu – They’re a restaurant, coffee shop and social club. They have a great burger, an English Breakfast and other foreign food (and Vietnamese food too). Every Sunday they have an English club.

Miaow’s Gourmet Pizza – They have foreign (brick oven pizza and lots more) and Vietnamese food.

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 – Bun Cha is the famous dish that Obama had when he visited Vietnam.

Chef Dzung – It’s an all you can eat buffet.

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.

Hutong Hot Pot Paradise – It’s in the CityHub building.

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

Ha Long Frozen Yogurt – It’s the first floor of the London Entertainment building.

Coconut Jelly – It’s near Ho Chi Minh Square.

Thôi đi – This is the best place in Vinh to get egg coffee.

Cháo Canh – A noodle bowl with pork, beef and eggs.

Kebab Torki – You might have to buy two to fill you up.

Kombo Singapore

TH True Mart – They have fresh soft serve ice cream (vanilla only). It’s on Quang Trung Street, next to Bac A Bank.

Fruit-flavored frozen yogurt – It’s 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

Midori (Asian Fusion, it’s healthy and delicious)

Han Quoc Quan (Korean)

Shogun Japanese Street BBQ (inside City Hub)

PJ’s Foodacity – Filipino food and desserts.

Geisha (Japanese)

Fujimo (Japanese, watch a video tour of the restaurant)

Bangkok Thai

The American Steak – They have great cheeseburgers, steak and curry.

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)

The Garden Salad

Artisan Bakery & Cafe – They have bagels, blueberry muffins, chocolate chip cookies and free samples. Plus real fruit smoothies – strawberry or coconut. Upstairs you can sit outside or inside. They have a BLT and other sandwiches. Everything is made fresh on-site.

La Pasteleria Filipina – They offer delicious homemade baked goods such as cinnamon rolls, donuts and macaroons. Delivery only.

Vegetarian

Nhà hàng chay Hoan Châu – The chef graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and he can speak English. They have cooking classes.

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

Dat Thuan Chay

Duyen Lanh

Nhà hàng chay Thiên Phúc

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

Cafes & Coffee Shops

East West Book Cafe – This is a reader’s paradise. It’s basically a library and a cafe combined. It’s mostly Vietnamese books (with some French, English and German). They have A LOT of children’s books.

Nocenco Coffee – It’s two floors with nice views from the rooftop. The architecture here is amazing. You must visit it before you leave Vinh.

La Ca Cafe, Bakery & Playground – They have a really comfortable couch upstairs and their playroom for kids is fantastic.

Ngau Coffee & Store – A taste of Hanoi.

Luxe Paris Cafe – A French style cafe in Vinh.

Lim Coffee – Part museum and part coffee shop. It’s opposite an outdoor playground.

The Garden at Ding Tea – They have rooftop seating.

The Coffee House – There are 3 locations in Vinh.

May Cafe & Sonata Cafe – Both have live music.

Cat Coffee Shop – Hang out and play with cats.

Bars

The Local Wine & Cocktail Bar, Hometown Beer & Cocktail Bar, Texas Beer & Coffee – These are the 3 bars where can mingle with foreigners in Vinh.

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

London Entertainment – 1st Floor: Frozen Yogurt, 2nd Floor: Restaurant, 3rd Floor: Nightclub/Lounge

Zuly – It’s a nightclub.

Shop & Relax

Au Viet Gourmet Market – They’ve got a lot of products from America, Korea and Europe. Location 1, Location 2.

CityHub – It’s 5 floors with Shogun Japanese Street BBQ, Hutong Hot Pot Paradise, Gong Cha Cafe, 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.

Vinh Centre – It’s next to Ho Chi Minh Square. They have a Jollibee there.

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

Hong Ha Shopping Centre – Electronics, computers and repair.

Viet Nga Computer Store – Gaming PCs, laptops and repair.

Guu Music Shop – For your musical instrument needs and classes.

Phương Nam Bookstore – It’s the best bookstore in Vinh. They have English books for adults and kids.

Baker’s Home – For all your baking needs.

Nam Viet Spa – It’s behind the Cleverlearn English center.

Tung Moscow – A shoe shop for people with Western-sized feet.

See & Do Near Vinh

The first 3 places are accessible by train from Vinh.

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

Van Long Nature Reserve (Ninh Binh)

Trang An Grottoes (Ninh Binh)

Nam Dan Eco Zoo – They have a very small zoo, a miniature waterfall you can swim in, an aviary and a tree house. There’s also a place where you can have a BBQ. It’s quiet and surrounded by beautiful nature.

Hồ Thạch Kèn Lake – There are beautiful mountains around it. It’s a perfect place to swim or have a picnic.

Dai Tue Pagoda – A Buddhist pagoda on the mountaintop. It’s been there for 1,000 years. It’s 30 minutes by car (1 hour by motorbike) from Vinh. You can hike there. It’s about 2 hours from Nam Dan. There are scenic views and miniature waterfalls 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.

Dong Du Village Lakeside Farm Stay – It’s a village retreat which offers cultural experiences.

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. And check out the Ozo Treetop Park. It’s also in Quang Binh.

Kèm Waterfall (in Pu Mat National Park)

Rainbow Container Hotel (Cua Lo Beach, watch a video tour of the hotel)

Đảo Chè Tea Islands (Thanh Chuong District)

Vinpearl Water Park (Ha Tinh Province)

Mương Thanh Safari Land – Here you will find a resort with villas, a hotel, an amusement park and water park, a small flower garden and a zoo with a petting area for kids.

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).

Thermal pool at Son Kim Hot Springs

Extra Stuff

ShootingStars – Vinh’s foreign rock band.

“Exploring Vinh” – It’s 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

10 Things You Should NOT Do in Vietnam (from What The Pho)

Vietnam Weekly & Vietcetera – These are email newsletters which give you news and stories about Vietnam.

Photo Credits