Whether you’re looking for mountain splendor, or the city life in the largest town of Vinh, Nhge An Province is full of things to do year round. Nghệ An is a nature lover’s paradise.
Nghệ An is the largest and most diverse province of Vietnam, well known for its scenic beauty and fledgling tourism industry. As a result, there is no shortage of cultural relics with historical significance, lush ancient forests, and beautiful beaches with shimmering waters.
This makes Nghệ An the perfect vacation destination if you want to escape from the bustle of everyday life. The largest city in the province is Vinh. This costal city makes a great base for exploring the vast region, comprising of both mountains and beaches.
Vinh and Nghệ An’s best things to do
Whether you enjoy spending an afternoon wandering in the canopy of rainforest trees or shopping in mega malls, Nghệ An won’t disappoint. It has something to suit all ages and budgets. Upscale travelers can choose to spend the night in one of the Vinh’s best luxury hotels. Wake up refreshed to tackle the day. Now let’s take a look at the best things to do in Nghệ An.
Here are the top tourist activities in Nghe An, Vietnam, in no particular order:
1. Stunning Sunflower Fields in Nghia Dan District
The sunflower fields in Nghệ An continue to attract people from all over the world who are looking for a romantic getaway. These fields span over an area of more than 100 hectares near the Nghĩa Đàn district. These flowers blossom twice every year- from April to May and November to December. According to official statistics, over 15,000 people visit the sunflower fields every year.
2. Boat Cruise thru the Dao Che Green Tea Islands
The Dao Che Green Tea islands are perfectly-rounded hills, each having rows upon rows of lush green trees. Taking a boat to the unspoiled islands to visit the local plantations is among the most refreshing activities you can partake in during your visit to Dao Che. The boats will periodically stop on a few islands to allow you to explore the stunning fields before taking you through the rest of them.
Some boats also offer free Wi-Fi and karaoke if you’re in the mood to sing. The boats get fairly crowded, but you can get a good bargain for groups of 6 to 10 people. If you’re worried about the boat getting too crowded, try to bring a few friends along for the ride. And while you’re in the green tea islands, don’t forget to take a few green tea extracts!
3. Explore Ho Chi Minh’s Home
Tourists swarm to the Vietnamese hero Ho Chi Minh’s hometown. Ho Chi Minh’s house is located near Nam Dan town, about 16 km west of Vinh. The locals have carefully preserved Ho Chi Minh’s home and the surrounding areas, including a few artifacts such as the bed he slept in and his belongings. Buildings back then had a very simple design, until foreign influence changed the local architectural style.
The Kim Liên Museum served as the childhood home of former President Ho Chi Minh. The museum is only 2km away from the temple of Hoàng Trù. The museum consists of bamboo wattle walls and palm leaf thatch roofs that are a re-creation of the original design.
Very few locals speak English here and all the information is written exclusively in Vietnamese, but they should be able to help you out with general directions.
Address: Kim Liên, Nam Đàn District, Nghệ An
4. Sea Bathing at the Cua Lo Beach
No trip to Nghệ An without a visit to the famous Cua Lo Beach. The beach has a unique arch shape that stretches over 10km. It spans from Cua Hoi to Cua Lo, attracting travelers in search of a counter-culture vibe, and retains an authentic Vietnamese atmosphere despite being flocked by tourists all year round.
The food here is famous for its squids, crabs, oysters, tamarind and so on seafare. You can also enjoy interesting activities such as mountain climbing, sauna, swimming, and more. The beach turns into a virtual ghost town during the off-season, such as the winter months, so make sure to visit during the peak season.
5. Khe Kem Waterfall
In the heart of the Quynh Giang rural district of Nghệ An lies the Pu Mat National Park, famous for its Khe Kem waterfall. It’s frequently visited by tourists who want to immerse themselves in the fresh atmosphere. To get here, you’ll have to follow the National Road No. 7 and carefully trek along the Lam River to reach the Pu Mat National Park.
Once you see clusters of small fields and villages surrounded by streams and green bamboos, you’ll know you’re there. The locals here have an interesting way of killing the chickens. They don’t go for the throat but strangle them underwater until they drown. It’s widely believed that chicken meat tastes much better that way. Spoiler alert: it usually does!
6. Plan a Trip to the Nghệ An Citadel
This citadel was originally constructed in the year 1804 and remodeled in 1831, taking inspiration from French architecture. Later on, the French colonists repurposed the citadel as a prison to execute political prisoners. Although the citadel doesn’t offer much other than a brief detour into the dark history of Vietnam, it does contain some American war relics you should see.
Address: Đào Tấn, Cửa Nam, Thành phố Vinh, Nghệ An
7. Reach the Peak of the Phu Xai Lai Leng Mountain
Phu Xai Lai Leng is the tallest mountain in Nghe, straddling the border of Laos and Vietnam. With an altitude of over 2720 meters above sea level, the mountain appears like a majestic wall to the locals, holding strategic importance for the country. Even in good weather conditions, trekking the mountain will is a rewarding chore.
Although their peaks are tough to climb, you shouldn’t face many hurdles if you’re a trekking enthusiast. If you need any help hiking through these mountains, just ask the friendly locals and tour guides for some assistance.
8. Trek Up the Quyet Mountain
Located only 5km from Vinh City towards the South, where the Lam River washes into the sea, is the Quyet Mountain. It’s being repurposed as a large ecological hub of the Nghệ An region with impressive historical and cultural artifacts. It offers a wide range of entertainment options as well.
If you reach to the top of the Dung Quyet Mountain, you’ll get a glimpse of all its surroundings – the home of former President Ho Chi Minh towards the west, the beautiful Cua Lo Beach towards the east, and the Lam River towards the southeast.
The mountain is said to be the birthplace of famous poet Nguyễn Du. Further up, you’ll see the Xuan Thanh Beach in the Hà Tĩnh province and capture a picturesque view of the bustling life in Vinh city.
9. Chill Out at the We Pub
We Pub has a western feel to it, thanks to all the music, cocktail parties, and bustling nightlife that attracts foreigners and locals alike. While you won’t get to taste much of the local cuisine here, We Pub makes for a good retreat to help you recover from the cultural shock you’ll likely get if this is your first tour of Vietnam.
Address: 62 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Hưng Bình, Thành phố Vinh, Nghệ An
10. Explore the Tham Om Cave
The Tham Om cave is entirely the work of nature. The cave is located at a height of 15m and is oriented towards the northeast. It was identified as an archeological excavating site as a result of recently-discovered human and animal fossils. These relics are over 200,000 years old, which indicates that the Tham Om caves were home to the first modern Vietnamese people.
Address: Hang Thẩm Ồm, Quỳ Châu District, Nghe An
11. Truong Bon Historical Site
The Truong Bon Historical site is on an area spanning across over 200,000m² in National Road 15A along the 5km long Truong Bon section. It’s a tomb built to pay homage to war veterans of the past. The monumental structure preserves an important piece of history dating back several decades into the past.
Address: QL15, Mỹ Sơn, Đô Lương, Nghệ An
12. Book a Boat Tour of the Giang River
For Vietnam’s best boat tour, check out Vinh Guru Tours. Spend over six hours on this humbling boat cruise from Pu Mat. This tour will reveal the high level of biodiversity of the forests, moody waters, and bewildering waterways. Enjoy the natural beauty provided by an ecosystem that has been meticulously maintained despite Nghe An’s rapid urban development.
13. Traditional Weaving Village Within Vinh City
The ethnic minority in Quy Chau district have managed to preserve their now ancient brocade technique of weaving wool which is vanishing. Local authorities have tried to preserve this method and built cooperatives and villages that develop brocade. The locals are obsessed with the traditional craft and spend several years mastering the trade. Many companies offer a tour of the village, most notably Vinh Guru. You can check them out here.
14. Bai Lu
Bai Lu lies in the Nghi Loc district in Nghe An. Its name was derived from the Lu San Mountain that has been standing for thousands of years. Bai Lu is unique because of how it blends the crystal clear water with the bright green forest. More importantly, Bai Lu has a thriving ecosystem that has managed to resist environmental changes due to rapid urban development. While here, make sure to go up the Lu Mountain to catch aerial views of the turquoise sea.
Tourists still come to the museum to pay their respects to the former President.
Address: Quốc Lộ 46, Kim Liên, Nam Đàn, Nghệ An
These are just some of the activities you can try in Nghệ An. Make sure to try them all to make the most out of your trip.