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Around Vinh city

Cua Lo Beach

Cua Lo is pleasant enough, with white sand, clean water and a shady grove of pine trees – but the concrete, karaoke, massage parlours and litter won’t suit all travellers. Still, it’s an option for a cooling dip and seafood lunch at one of the many beach restaurants.

Huge government hotels face the beach and behind them are uninspired guest houses (r 200,000-250,000d). Most hotels offer ‘massage’ and karaoke; some with prostitutes. In summer, rooms can go for triple (or more) the usual price.

Cua Lo is 16km northeast of Vinh and can be reached easily by motorbike (130,000d including waiting time) or taxi (around 90,000d one way).

Kim Lien

Ho Chi Minh’s birthplace in Hoang Tru, and the village of Kim Lien, where he spent some of his formative years, are 14km northwest of Vinh. For all that these are popular pilgrimage spots ( 7-11.30am & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, 7.30am-noon & 1.30-5pm Sat & Sun)  for the party faithful, there’s little to see other than re-created houses of bamboo and palm leaves, dressed (barely) with a few pieces of furniture.

Ho Chi Minh was born in Hoang Tru in 1890 and raised there till 1895, when the family moved to Hue. They returned in 1901, but it was to the house in Kim Lien, about 2km from Hoang Tru. Not far from this house is a shrine-like museum, and a shop packed with Ho memorabilia.

No English-language information is available at either site. From Vinh, xe om (motorbike) drivers charge 100,000d (including waiting time), taxis ask for around double that.

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