Ho Citadel, Thanh Hoa
Ho Citadel, Thanh Hoa

Thanh Hoa

Thanh Hoa is located in the north of the Central Region of Vietnam, 160km south of Ha Noi. The province is bordered to the north by Son La, Hoa Binh and Ninh Binh Provinces; to the west by Laos; to the east by the East Vietnam Sea and to the South by Nghe An Province.

Geography of Thanh Hoa
The terrain of Thanh Hoa comprises mountains to the west, hilly buffer zone in the middle, and coastal area to the east. The mountainous terrain has the average altitude of 600-700m above sea level, the highest peak is Ta Leo (1,560m). The buffer zone is with low hills and narrow plains. The flat deltas are river basins created by the Ma and the Chu River and along the coast. Also, there are marshland, sand dunes, sandy beaches along the 102km of coastline of Thanh Hoa.

Five big river systems in Thanh Hoa:

- The Ma River is the longest river in Thanh Hoa starting from Dien Bien Phu flowing through Laos and then making it way into Thanh Hoa via Muong Lat District. The length of the Ma River in Thanh Hoa is 241km. There are several sub-tributaries of the Ma: Chu River, the Buoi River, ...

- The other river systems in Thanh Hoa are the Hoat River, the Yen River, Lach Bang River, Chang River.

Tam Diep Mountains
Tam Diep Mountains, boundary between Thanh Hoa and Ninh Binh Province

Weather and Climate in Thanh Hoa
Thanh Hoa has a tropical monsoon climate with four seasons per year: spring is from February to April, summer is from May to August, Autumn is from September to October and Winter is from November to January.

The summer here is very hot with temperatures of 40-41oC, while the winter is often wet and cold with temperatures reaching below freezing point in the mountains. In the summer, Thanh Hoa is often in the region of the Lao winds (foehn winds) which are dry and hot and which make the temperatures in the region intolerable sometimes. From July to November, Thanh Hoa often suffers from typhoons and floods. The annual rainfall is 1,700mm and the average humidity is 85-87%.

The  Ma River - Thanh Hoa Province
The Ma River - The biggest river in Thanh Hoa Province

Population and culture
Thanh Hoa is home to the Dong Son Culture - the Bronze Civilization that dates back 6000 years ago. The province is home to a number of national heroes who had great influence into the Vietnamese history like Ba Trieu, Le Loi, Dao Duy Tu…

There are several ethnic groups inhabiting in Thanh Hoa: Thai, Muong, Kinh, Hmong, Dao, Khmu, Tho,

The people of Thanh Hoa is famous for the diligent working capability and for the toughness. The students from Thanh Hoa Province are among the bests in Vietnam for their hardworking capability and talents.

Rice field of Thanh Hoa Province
Rice field of Thanh Hoa Province

Tourist attractions and what to see in Thanh Hoa
Thanh Hoa is home to a number of tourist attractions most of which, as of this writing, are only visited by Vietnamese tourists, there are very few foreign travellers who visit the province.

If you love off-the-beaten track holidays, then the below attractions may be visited on your trip to Vietnam:

- Beaches: There are pristine beaches at Sam Son, Hai Tien & Hai Hoa… These beaches are overcrowded with Vietnamese tourists in the summer and empty in the winter.

- Ben En National Park is 36km southwest of Thanh Hoa City. The national park is a great place for watching butterflies which belong to 88 species.

- Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a lovely place for relaxing holidays and adventure tours. You can go cycling or trekking through the forest and staying overnight at houses on stilts of local Thai families.

- The Ho's Imperial Citadel is a good place to learn about the Vietnamese history in the early 15th century and the civil engineering techniques for constructing the amazing architecture.

- The Ham Rong Bridge was where 106 US aircrafts were shot down in the Vietnam War (or American War). The bridge which was well maintained under heavy US bombardments shows lots about the Vietnamese resilience.

Ly Cung - Thanh Hoa
Ly Cung where Ho Quy Ly contained the Tran King before taking the throne from the Tran's Family

Tours and holidays in Thanh Hoa
Paradissa offers cultural and historical tours to the Ho Family's Citadel and Lam Kinh Ancient Capital City, beach vacations at Sam Son and Hai Tien, trekking tours and cycling tours at Pu Luong and butterfly watching tours at Ben En National Park.

Hotels in Thanh Hoa
There are several luxury hotels in Thanh Hoa City and Sam Son Beach. Lovely boutique eclodges are available at Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Budget hotels are available at most towns and cities in the province. Homestays are available at Pu Luong Nature Reserve.

How to get to Thanh Hoa & how to get around
There are flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Tho Xuan Airport. The airport is 50km from Thanh Hoa City.
There are daily trains from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa and vice versa. Alternatively, you can travel to Thanh Hoa by bus or by car. The road trip takes 3 to 4 hours' time.