Welcome to Phu Tho, a province located in the northern region of Vietnam. Steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, Phu Tho offers a captivating destination for travelers seeking to explore Vietnam's rich heritage. From ancient relics to scenic landscapes, Phu Tho has something for everyone. Here's a comprehensive travel guide to help you make the most of your visit to Phu Tho.
Most Popular Attractions
Hung Kings Temple Complex
Begin your Phu Tho journey by visiting the Hung Kings Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant cultural and historical landmark of Vietnam. Explore the temples, shrines, and monuments dedicated to the Hung Kings, legendary founders of the Vietnamese nation. Witness the traditional rituals and ceremonies that take place during the Hung Kings' death anniversary, held annually on the 10th day of the third lunar month.
Xuan Son National Park
Immerse yourself in nature at Xuan Son National Park, a stunning protected area characterized by lush forests, mountains, and waterfalls. Embark on hiking trails, enjoy picnic spots, and discover the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the park. Don't miss the beautiful Silver Waterfall, which cascades down amidst the verdant landscape.
Nghia Linh Mountain
Climb Nghia Linh Mountain, a sacred peak in Phu Tho. At the summit, you'll find the Nghia Linh Temple, dedicated to the legendary general Trung Sisters, who fought against Chinese invaders in ancient times. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and pay respects to these national heroines.
Explore the scenic beauty of Phu Tho on two wheels. Rent a bicycle and pedal through the countryside, rice fields, and traditional villages. Interact with friendly locals, experience their way of life, and witness the rustic charm of rural Vietnam.
Traditional Craft Villages
Phu Tho is renowned for its traditional craft villages. Visit villages such as Chu Hoa Village (known for bronze casting) or Thanh Thuy Village (famous for making traditional drums) to witness artisans at work and learn about their traditional crafts. You can even try your hand at creating your own handicrafts under the guidance of skilled craftsmen.
Experience the vibrancy of Phu Tho's local festivals, which showcase the province's cultural richness. The Hung Kings' Death Anniversary and the Phet Hien Quan Festival are particularly noteworthy events. Witness traditional performances, processions, and enjoy the festive atmosphere as the locals celebrate their heritage.
Best Places to Stay
Viet Tri City
Stay in Viet Tri City, the capital of Phu Tho, for a convenient base with access to amenities, restaurants, and transportation options. You'll find a range of accommodations, including hotels and guesthouses, suitable for different budgets.
For an immersive cultural experience, consider staying in a homestay in one of Phu Tho's rural villages. Live with a local family, engage in daily activities, and gain insights into their traditions and way of life. It's an opportunity to forge connections, learn about local customs, and create lasting memories.
Taste Banh Chung, a traditional sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves. Made from glutinous rice, mung bean, and pork, this delicacy is usually enjoyed during the Lunar New Year celebrations and other special occasions. It represents prosperity and is a symbol of ancestral worship.
Sample Banh Gio, a pyramid-shaped savory rice dumpling. Filled with minced pork, mushrooms, and shallots, it is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. Banh Gio is a popular breakfast or snack option in Phu Tho.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Phu Tho is during the spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is mild and pleasant. These seasons offer comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities and exploration.
It's important to note that Phu Tho experiences distinct seasons, with hot summers and cool winters. If you plan to visit during these periods, be prepared for the weather conditions and pack accordingly.
How do I get to Phu Tho from Hanoi?
Phu Tho is approximately 80 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. You can travel to Phu Tho by bus or private car from Hanoi. The journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
Are there English-speaking tour guides available in Phu Tho?
English-speaking tour guides might be limited in Phu Tho. However, you can arrange for guides through local tour agencies or your accommodations to enhance your exploration and understanding of the region.
Is it safe to drink tap water in Phu Tho?
It's recommended to drink bottled or filtered water in Phu Tho to avoid any potential stomach discomfort. Bottled water is readily available at convenience stores and supermarkets.
Are there any specific cultural customs or etiquette to be aware of in Phu Tho?
When visiting temples or cultural sites, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. It's also polite to ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas. Respecting local customs and traditions will ensure a positive and culturally sensitive experience.
Phu Tho invites you to delve into its rich history, immerse yourself in its cultural heritage, and explore its picturesque landscapes. Whether you're paying homage to the legendary Hung Kings, cycling through the countryside, or savoring local delicacies, Phu Tho promises an unforgettable journey filled with authenticity and warm hospitality.