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Nam Dinh travel guide

Nam Dinh is a less visited town by tourists, only 90 kilometers (60 miles) away from Hanoi. But a good choice for those who like to travel off the beaten track, love local living and rich culture,  eat traditional dishes of Vietnam and immerse yourself into rustic beauty of the rural landscape.

If your expectation is what’s is mentioned above. Let’s plan a trip to Nam Dinh. Here is an ultimate travel guide of Nam Dinh version 2019 with up-to-date information on things to do, what to eat, where to stay and so on.

At a glance

Nam Dinh is located in the south of Red River Delta, 90 kilometers south of Hanoi. Knowns as a hidden treasure destination in Northern Vietnam, less visited by foreign travelers. Nam Dinh has a lot to offer from historic Tran temple, Co Le Buddist temples to a paradise for nature lovers of Xuan Thuy national park. It is also famous for its specialties with yummy dishes, especially, homeland to well-known rice noodle soup dish. Nam Dinh is worth a visit if you aren’t a big fan of touristy spots. 

Best time to visit Nam Dinh

It has a tropical climate. You can see it all year round. But if you want to avoid from the heat. Don’t travel Nam Dinh during summer time from May to early August. 

If you do like a festival, January in Lunar calendar is the best time to see those festivals

How to get to Nam Dinh 

From Hanoi, there are 3 ways to get there by train, by bus or car, by motorbike. In my opinion, traveling by car or bus is the best way because it is really convenient

By train 

Please get to Hanoi railway station at Le Duan street for catching a train to Nam Dinh with the following schedule

By car

Hire a private car from Hanoi, cost roughly around $80 for a day trip to Nam Dinh. If you are going to Xuan Thuy national park within a day, the cost for car rental is $115 per car

By limousine Dcar

There are several companies offers transfer services by Limousine Dcar 9 seaters to Nam Dinh city

Long Giang limousine

If you are staying in Hanoi Old Quarter, Quang Trung street, 500 meters from Hanoi Cathedral is the best location to pick up the minivan. They do drop off within Nam Dinh city area.

Schedule

5.00am- 5.30am-6.00am-7.00am-8.00am-9.00am-10.00am-11.00am-12.00pm-13.00pm-14.00pm-15.00pm-16.00pm-17.00pm-18.00pm-19.00pm-20.00pm-21.00pm. This schedule is applied for both city Hanoi and Nam Dinh.

Ticket rate : 105.000VND per person

Duration : 1 hours and 30 minutes

Hotline : 091 305 34 45

Xe Vietnam 

If you are staying in Hanoi Old Quarter, please take a taxi which costs around 60.000VND (2.6 USD) to Vietnam Circus Federation which is next to their office

Schedule

Every half an hour from 5.00am to 21.00pm 

Ticket rate : 105.000VND per person. For Nam Dinh to Noi Bai airport is 150.000VND per person

Duration : 1.5 hours excludes transportation within the city for dropping off.

Phuc Loc Tho Limousine

They have limousine bus 18 seats, Dcar limousine 9 seaters. This company isn’t a good choice for those who are staying in Hanoi Old Quarter area. If you are staying in Cau Giay Dist, it is really convenient. There are several pick-up location such as 171 Trung Kinh Street, lane 75 Tran Thai Tong street, no 8 Ton That Thuyet street which is next to My Dinh bus station 

Schedule 

Every 1 hour from 5.30am to 20.30pm 

Ticket rate : 100.000VND per person

Duration : 1.5 hours excludes pick up within Hanoi or Nam Dinh area.

Hotline : 02283 656565

Note

If you would like to get to other places, not in the city center, Giap Bat Southern bus station is the best choice. They are many local buses going to every district of Nam Dinh area. 

By motorbike

Following the national highway 1A to Phu Ly city and turn left into national way 21A. There is a sign for turning. Keep going 30 more kilometers, you’ll reach Nam Dinh city 

From Nam Dinh to Giao Thuy area : Going pass Do Quan bridge keep going straight to Lac Quan bridge, take a left turn at the second T-Junction, you will get to Ngo Dong town in Giao Thuy, take a right turn at an intersection with a traffic light to get to Giao Thien where the national park located. 

From Nam Dinh to Hai Hau area: Going pass Do Quan bridge, turn right at the first turn in Vu Huu Loi street, going straight to the local ferry to ride cross the river to get to Thinh Long town. The beach is right behind the town

How to get around Nam Dinh area

By bus

There are local bus within the city 

Bus no 1 : Tan De to Quat Lam beach (you might get off at 

Bus no 2 : My Loc to Thinh Long beach

By taxi

Nam Dinh taxi : 0228.3.86.86.86

Mai Linh taxi : 0228 3252 525

Hoang Sa taxi : 0228.6.285.285

Hoan Kiem taxi :0228.6.28.28.28

Among these companies above, Mai Linh seems to be a reliable one. 

By motorbike

There are a few stores offers motorbike rental services

Ngoc Dieu motorbike rental 

Address: 443 Dang Xuan Bang, Nam Dinh city 

Mobile : 091 862 68 99

Vi Hoang motorbike rental 

Address: 153 Nguyen Du

Hotline: 0228.3849.290

Binh Tan motorbike rental

Address : 551 Tran Thai Tong, Nam Dinh city

Hotline : 0228 3681 789

Where to stay in Nam Dinh city

There isn’t much choice for accommodation in Nam Dinh area. There are several hotels below, kind of the best choice for a place to stay in Nam Dinh city area.

Nam Cuong hotel

Located in Dong A street, the new part of Nam Dinh city, it is a brand new 4 stars hotel. There are 166 rooms, well equipped. From the hotel, walking distance to Rong wholesale market located in Tran Hung Dao street, Tuoc Mac lake. There is an onsite restaurant served Western, Asian, Vietnamese food and also a bar. 

This is perfect those who like a comfortable stay in Nam Dinh area.

Room rate : $89 per room per night

Lakeside 1 hotel in Nam Dinh

Great location near Vy Xuyen (Central lake in Nam Dinh). There are 60 rooms with 3 stars standard. Walking distance to the central lake, Feb 3th park, a statue of the famous military general Tran Hung Dao who lead Vietnamese defeat Mongolians in 13th century

Room rate : $25 for a standard room

Vy Hoang hotel

The very first 3 stars hotel in Nam Dinh area with 100 rooms. If you only need a place for staying overnight with breakfast and simple facilities, actually, some of its facilities are a bit old because of being used for a long time. This hotel is a good choice. Location is great, walking distance to the lake, the general statue, a local wet market and a well-known local eatery of Kem Xoi (Sticky rice with ice cream) 

Room rate : $25 for a standard room

Huy Anh resort

A top resort in Nam Dinh area with Western-style villa with lots of green trees. There is a bar, restaurant and a swimming pool inside the resort. Located in a good location, walking distance to Thinh Long beach. 

Rate :$35 per room per night 

Address : Zone 1, Thinh Long Beach, Hai Thinh, Hai Hau, Nam Dinh

Hotline : 0988571756

Son Nam hotel

Located in the heart of Nam Dinh city, on Le Hong Phong street. There are 65 rooms with 3 star standard with daily buffet breakfast. There is also an onsite restaurant. 

Things to do and see in Nam Dinh area

Nam Dinh old cathedral

Located on the seaside of Xuong Dien area in Giao Thuy Dist. Its architectural styles is a great combination between oriental style in term of its roof shapes like a Buddhist temple one and Western style of Gotic.

Xuan Thuy national park

Ramsar area Xuan Thuy national park

A must-see spots in Nam Dinh, 150 kilometers south East of Hanoi with 12.000 hectares. If you are a nature lover or an adventure traveler, this is the right choice. Cruising among mangroves forest like what you have seen in discovery channel will be a memorable experience. The national park is home to thousand species of bird from China coming over for staying away from the cold weather from November to April, there are 9 s of them listed in the Red book, is perfect for those who like bird watching as well as witness local lives as it goes every day. 

Tran temple 

Main way path Tran Temple

Located in the outskirt of the city, where locals pay reverence to the rulers of the Tran dynasty. The temple was built in 1695, is dedicated to 14 kings and their family in the Tran Dynasty

Co Le Buddhist temple

Stupa at Co Le Buddhist temple

One of the most famous attractions in Nam Dinh region. Built during the Ly Dynasty since the 11th century. This is a Buddist temple but we feel like a great hall of a Catholic church

Vi Khe bonsai village

Vi Khe bonsai village in Nam Dinh

5 kilometers away from Nam Dinh city. The village is 700 years old, located on the bank of the river. There are tons of bonsai trees in various shapes. It is amazing to check it out, you can find a bonsai tree look like the famous temple of literature in Hanoi. 

Nam Dinh Old Quarter

If Hanoi has 36 streets, there are 40 streets in Nam Dinh starts with the name “Hang” means shop such as iron, tin, bowl, tray and so on. It used to be a trading area where the street named after the product. There are several houses left. There is a street called Ben Ngu where lots of Chinese used to live 

Bui Chu diocese

Bui Chu Diocese Nam Dinh

Known as the cathedral of Vietnamese Catholic. Built by a Spanish priest in 1884 under French colonial period, 78 meters long, 22 meters wide, 15 meters high. There is two bell house 35 meters high. People love it because of its beautiful architecture. The church is considered as a symbol of local fishermen to witness their fishing life on the water. 

Phu Nhai church

Phu Nhai cathedral Xuan Truong

First built in 18 century. There are 5 times, the church was built. The most recent time is in 1993. This is one of the biggest Roman Catholic church in the Indochina region. This is a must-visit place in your Nam Dinh trip 

Thinh Long and Quat Lam beach

Thich Long beach Nam Dinh

Two most famous beaches in the region. Its water isn’t crystal clear like other beaches in Central Vietnam because the Red River flows into the ocean so the color of the water is like soil color. 

If you are a seafood foodie, there is lots of fresh and affordable one on these two beaches. 

Countryside museum

Farming tools in countryside museum Nam Dinh

Located in Giao Thuy Dist, 30 kilometers from the city. The museum has preserved the quintessence of rural Northern Vietnam from farming tools to typical rice farmers house. If you have ever come to Nam Dinh, it is worth a visit for a great museum about the rural life of a Vietnamese rice farmer. 

The ruined church

Ruined church in Nam Dinh

This is a well-known spot for Vietnamese youngsters and photographers. Built in 1943 under the design of a French. In 1996, the sea water started to invade into the mainland for over 1 kilometer. Some of the structures on the water has been fallen because of the weave. Nowadays, the church has been wasted but it plays a very important role in the spiritual word of the local Catholic followers. 

Bach Long salt field

Thinh long salt field

Located in Giao Thuy Dist, Bach Long is a tranquil setting commune without rice paddy field like other rural villages in Northern Vietnam. You can witness sunrise when local starts a new a day working on the salt field. In Bach Long area, white is the color of life. Bach Long is a great escape from bustle and hustle of Hanoi Old Quarter to enjoy peaceful life and experience hands-on activities of processing salt with locals. 

What to eat in Nam Dinh. Specialities in Nam Dinh

Pho bo (Rice noodle soup with beef)

Pho Nam Dinh beef noodle soup

The most well-known,  a signature dish of Nam Dinh people. You feel the featured taste of broth: sweet flavor from cow bones stewed in a long time, fragrance smell from the green onion. Everything makes a perfect flavor of Nam Dinh’s Pho.

Where to try : There is a small Pho restaurant in the T-Junk between Truong Chinh and Do Chau street. Mr Tang’s Pho in 23 Hang Tien street or Mr Dan’s Pho in 142 extended street of Bac Ninh

Xiu Pao – Char Siu – BBQ pork bun

Originated from China, there used to be lots of Chinese living in the old quarter of Nam Dinh city. When it was brought to Vietnam, locals change some ingredients in order to reduce its tasty to lighter flavor. Made of wheat, pork, egg, rice powder, lard. This is one of Nam Dinh’s specialities. Come try it!

Where to eat : Tran Hung Dao street near a kinder garden

Kem Xoi (Sticky rice with coconut ice cream)

Sticky rice in Nam Dinh

A very common dessert for local. Made of glutinous rice cooked with split peas mixed with ice cream and dried young coconut make its taste the best.

Where to try: 132 Nguyen Du street. 

Please note that it is closed during lunchtime from 12.00pm to 13.30pm 

Bun Cha (Grilled pork with vermicelli and fresh greens)

Unlike Hanoi style, there is no meatball, no grilled skin of pork, they use lean pork marinates with spices. The meat is put into a bamboo stick and grill on charcoal, then use a hand fan in order to make it isn’t overcooked.

Where to try : Truong Chinh Street, Hang Dong street

Banh Cuon (Vietnam steamed rice roll with black fungus) 

A well-known dish among local for a long period of time. Feel fragrance smell of its steamed rice roll, the crunch of dried onion, Traditional flavor of the village Kenh’s Banh Cuon 

Banh My Ba Lan (Poland bread) 

Known as one of the local specialities. Its brand is famous for over 50 years. Refer to its origin, in 1969, during Vietnam War period, those countries in Soviet Union had supported Vietnam a lot from weapons, machines to food, sugar…

Poland is also a part of the Soviet Union. But they have no weapons, machines, the food so they had given Vietnam a workshop making bread with its capacity over 1.500 tons per year. 

After the war, the workshop kept producing tons of bread every day for locals and others in nearby provinces.

A loaf of Balan bread is thick, fragrant and plump. You can make a good baguette with some pate, pork, pickled vegetables, fresh green herbs or just eat a plain bread

Where to try : Hang Thao Street

Pro tips for travelling Nam Dinh

+ Check the weather forcast in advance to avoid disappointment due to bad weather like storms, typhoons

+ You may want to enjoy BBQ seafood on the beach which is a pretty cool experience

+ What to bring: Sun cream, sung glasses, insect spray, hats, umbrella, swimming suits for a summer beach holiday

+ Don’t wear shorts when visiting temples, Catholic churches.

ATM in Nam Dinh

There are lots of ATM among famous Vietnamese banks such as Agribank, Vietcombank, ACB, Techcombank….. Please see the link below to look for one near your place

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Please note that most of banks accept 2.000.000VND ($90) per transaction  for cash withdraw

Nightlife in Nam Dinh

There are a few karaoke stores and bars within the city

Please click on the link below for details

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Frequently asked questions for travelling Nam Dinh

Nam Dinh travel guide 2019

Independent travel guide Nam Dinh

How to get to Nam Dinh?

How to get around Nam Dinh

What is things to do and see in Nam Dinh?

Travelling tips and advices for Nam Dinh

Where to eat in Nam Dinh?

What to eat or specialties of Nam Dinh?

Good accommodation in Nam Dinh

What is the good hotel or homestay in Nam Dinh?

Nightlife in Nam Dinh

Is it worth visiting Nam Dinh

Shopping guide in Nam Dinh

Off the beaten track travelling in Northern Vietnam

We hope this ultimate Nam Dinh travel guide 2019 will help you some ways in planning a trip to Nam Dinh. If you would like a hassle-free holiday, Hynam Travel do offer tours to Nam Dinh within 1 day, 2 days, 3 days. Please contact us for the best travel advice

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