Off the beaten path destination – Cẩm Phả City, Vietnam

The hidden treasures of Cẩm Phả

Cam Pha City

Cam Pha City, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam

When you hear the country Vietnam you will probably just think of the most popular places like Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ha Long Bay and a lot more. But have you ever heard about the city of Cam Pha? 

Well, Cam Pha city is found in the north-east region of Vietnam close to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site the Ha Long Bay. It is a city in Quang Ninh province like Ha Long and it is a coal exporting port of Vietnam.

Coal still forms the foundation of Cam Pha’s local economy with other industries like fisheries, quarrying, forestry, and agriculture.


How to get here?

If you’re already in the well-known Ha Long Bay, it’s just 30-45 mins. travel via public buses. You can ride this bus from Bai Chay, Ha Long to Van Don which will only cost you around 20,000 VND ($0.86). See picture for your reference.

Bai Chay - Van Don Bus

Photo courtesy of baoquangninh

Moreover, if you are coming from Hanoi you can take this bus all the way to Cam Pha city. The ticket is worth 120,000 – 150,000 VND ($5-$6.50) per way and it will take 4-6 hours travel depends on the driver and stopovers. Butt-hurting right? Though there are private cars or limousine companies that offer their services of course at a higher price around 240,000 – 300,000 VND ($10-$13). If you have a tight schedule this will be the perfect choice as this will cut the travel time to 3 hours. It will take a different route straight to an expressway to Ha Long and then Cam Pha.

Hanoi - Cam Pha Bus

Photo courtesy of vexere


For your information, I’ve been living here for almost 2 years and I really like the weather. In summer (last week of March to July), it’s really humid with scattered rain showers occur randomly across the landscape as the wet monsoon develops. In winter (last week of August to February), the temperature drops to 5-6 degree Celsius based on my experience. The locals here said there are instances that it reached down between 1-3 degree Celsius.



Still, I have a lot of places to discover here in the stunning city of Cam Pha. Like the Quang Hang Hot spring, Reu Island (Monkey Island), Tuan Mai Beach, etc.

For now here are the historical and picturesque sites I’ve already visited…

Cua Ong Temple

It’s the place where people of Vietnam worship their national hero General Tran Quoc Tuan, who defended the country against northern conquerors.

Cua Ong Temple has a remarkable landscape. The architecture consists of three levels which cater unique holy temples along the way from bottom to top. And at the top, you will see the breathtaking Bai Tu Long Bay.

To get here, you need to ride the same bus (Bai Chay – Van Don bus) for only 20,000 VND ($0.86) and you can say to the driver to drop you at Ðền Cửa Ông.

Cua Ong Pillars

Đen Cửa Ông Pillars Entrance


Đền Cửa Ông

Ðền Cửa Ông

Bai Tu Long Bay

This is a very scenic bay made up of small and large islands. It actually occupies three-quarters of the famous Ha Long Bay yet offers a distinctive experience compare to places that are widely known. Travelers can have experience of the unspoiled natural landscapes and biological diversity within the area.

You can also witness the limestone islands and geological formation formed a long time ago. Having said that, it can be considered as home to much different flora and fauna.

There’s so much to explore in this amazing bay and there’s still a lot to discover. “Visit this site” to know more about the other interesting bays and the perfect cruise for your trip. 🙂

Bai Tu Long Bay


Vịnh Bái Tử Long

Bái Tử Long Bay

Vung Duc Cave (historical site)

A jaw-dropping site composed of 5 unique caves as follows: Thien Dang, Long Van, Ngo Ngang, Kim Quy, and Hang Doi. This place is historically and religiously important to Vietnamese where they worship their Gods. Visitors are required to pay around 60,000 VND ($2.50) for the locals and 120,000 VND ($5) for foreigners, it comes with a tour guide.

To get there, you can grab a taxi or a motorbike for your convenience. There’s no other public transportation available to visit the place.

Ngo Nhang Cave

Ngo Nhang Cave






Thumbs up to Cam Pha City!

I would suggest to come and explore Cam Pha city too if you happened to visit the Ha Long Bay. Like what I’ve said, it’s just 30-45 mins travel from the popular bay. And if you’re looking for a less-crowded place, this is the place to be. It has a wide range of attractions and exciting activities that will keep you thrilled all throughout your trip. It’s a worth-discovering travel destination. See it for yourself! 😊


To know more about my adventures, journey and life experiences. Click here.

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