Ha Tien

Ha Tien is a town lies next to Cambodian border, which has nice, beautiful beaches and landscapes. Although it is quite a famous destination to tourists if they want to travel overland to Phu Quoc island and Cambodia, it does not have too many tourists due to its remoteness. So if you want to spend time in some places that are not touristy and nice, then Ha Tien is an ideal choice.

Ha Tien is “Special Economic Zone” so you can stay there visa-free for up to 15 days. It is possible to travel to Phu Quoc island as well without a visa if you’re lucky or with a small bribe. You must have visa if you want to travel elsewhere.

In Ha Tien you can visit Mui Nai beach (very quiet and clean water), Thach Dong pagoda (a pagoda built inside a mountain with an interesting legend about a peasant that saved a princess from a huge eagle), Da Dung moutain (a group of large caves), Ha Tien town (with a night view of), Mac Cuu tomb (Mac Cuu was the founder of Ha Tien town), Phu Tu islet, Hon Chong beach, Trem island(Ha Tien),…

Ha Tien

Thach Dong pagoda

The Khmer-style wat located just out of town only helps to emphasise the feeling that you’re not really in Vietnam anymore — a feeling that carries through to Ha Tien’s dusty streets and languid riverfront. In some ways, it feels like other cities located further up the Mekong like Savannakhet in Laos, or Kratie in Cambodia(Ha Tien).

Ha Tien was in fact part of Cambodia until 1708. It was founded with the permission of the Khmers by a Chinese immigrant named Mac Cuu in 1674, only to be absorbed into Vietnam 30 years later. As of 2008, the border with Cambodia is open, offering visas for US$25, and from the moment your bus pulls in to town it will be stormed by motodops wanting to take you across. Most will find it completely incomprehensible if you don’t want to go to Cambodia, bartering with you as you try to explain to them you’re staying in town. Even if you insist repeatedly, you might still find one or two drivers waiting outside of your hotel, ready to take you at a moment’s notice should you change your mind. If you do want to go to Cambodia, the border provides convenient access to the beach towns of Kep and Sihaounkville(Ha Tien).

ha Tien

Perhaps it’s in response to the open border, and the tourist traffic that they’re expecting, but the town seems to be experiencing a subtle shift. A few hotels have been closed for major refurbishments, and several new hotels have sprung up. Though it doesn’t have a lot in the way of sights, and it currently lacks much tourist infrastructure, Ha Tien could definitely be an attractive stop for travellers on their way between Cambodia and Vietnam — in the meantime, the motodops will keep waiting(Ha Tien).

Orientation in Ha Tien

Ha Tien sits on a corner of land, bordered on two sides by water. To the south is the To Chau River, to the east is the expansive Dong Ho (East Lake), which is actually an inlet of the sea. Approaching from Rach Gia, you’ll cross the To Chau Bridge, and arrive on Vo Van Road, which serves as the town’s western border. Most of the town’s life occurs between Vo Van and Dong Ho, much of it along the riverfront.

Ha Tien

To Chau bridge

Life in Ha Tien was formerly centred on a picturesque pontoon bridge that draped across the entrance to Dong Ho. The market sat on one bank, the bus terminal on the other. In 2008, the bridge was dismantled, the pontoons set afloat, and plans were put in place for a concrete bridge — though that has yet to materialise. For the time being, the bus station has been inconveniently moved almost a kilometre north-west of town, while the market has migrated west, near the To Chau Bridge(Ha Tien)

Transportation to Ha Tien

There are no direct bus from Saigon to Ha Tien. You must first go to Rach Gia or Chau Doc, and then take another bus to Ha Tien.
From Cambodia (Kampot, Kep, Kampong Trach), you can hire a motorbike taxi to bring you to Ha Tien

Ha Tien

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