The capital of Thanh Hoa province, Thanh Hoa city is little visited by Western tourists so it retains a strongly Vietnamese flavour; domestic tourists flock to the nearby beach resorts at Sam Son. It lies on a coastal plain through which the Song Ma river flows and rugged peaks surround the town, including the small mountains of Ham Rong and Mat Son, both of which can be seen on a clear day.
Little traditional architecture remains here, but the city that has been re-built since the war against America has wide, tree-lined avenues, quiet backstreets and a number of relaxing parks and lakes. This is not a city to visit for bucket list sights or nightlife, but to experience everyday Vietnamese life, eat some fantastic street food and spend lazy afternoons sipping iced coffee with the locals.
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