Sam Son – The most popular beach in the North Viet Nam
Sam Son Beach is one of the prominent destinations in the North thanks to charming mountain scenery, clear sea with endlessly-stretching sand, and airy atmosphere.
1. About Sam Son Beach
Sam Son Beach is located in Sam Son city, 16 km from Thanh Hoa city and about 170 km from Hanoi. The beach runs nearly 6 km from Lach Hoi estuary to the foot of Truong Le mountain. The gentle sand, smooth waves, clear blue water with moderate salt concentration here are extremely suitable for human health. In addition to these great factors, nature also endows Sam Son with multiple majestic landscapes.
2. The ideal time to visit Sam Son Beach
Since belonging to the climate region of North Vietnam, Sam Son features the tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons, humid, rainy summers and cold winters with little rain. Summer, starting from May to August, is a pretty hot period, making it suitable for swimming. However, since this is also the rainy season, tourists should watch the weather forecast before setting the trip.
In particular, the time around July-August is the storm season in the North, so tourists should pay more attention to the weather in Sam Son. Avoid going to the beach if there are warnings about tropical depressions or thunderstorms to ensure safety for yourself and your family.
3. Guide to travel to Sam Son beach
Only about 170km from Hanoi, the road from the capital to Sam Son beach is quite simple. You can go to Sam Son by private car, motorbike or bus/coach.
You can catch the bus to Thanh Hoa city at My Dinh bus station or Giap Bat bus station. There are numerous trips from 6 am to 6 pm with the price of 80,000 – 120,000 VND/round/person, depending on vehicle type. Some of the reputable cars today are Hai Hien, Hien Can, Tuan Hien, Dong Ly, etc.
It takes about 3-5 hours to travel from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa city by bus. After arriving in Thanh Hoa city, you can take a bus to Sam Son town.
– Rental car
Renting a car to Sam Son is a great and economical option if your group is big. This way helps you fully active in time due to a prior agreement with the car owner.
Depending on the number of people in the group, you can choose a car of 16 seats, 29 seats, 35 seats, or 45 seats with prices ranging from 4 to 8.5 million dong for 3 days. You should actively discuss the garage in advance.
– Motorbike or private car
From Hanoi to Sam Son, you can drive on the expressway Hanoi-Ninh Binh, then follow Highway 1 to Thanh Hoa city.
From Thanh Hoa city, the fastest way to reach Sam Son town is to turn to the main road and Highway 47. Bear in mind that always prepare your vehicle documents and driver’s license before the trip.
Going to Sam Son by train is sure to be an unforgettable travel experience. You can go to Hanoi Railway Station or Long Bien Station to catch a train to Thanh Hoa Station; the fare is about 70.000 – 150.000 VND, depending on the seat type.
Thanh Hoa Station is only 18km from Sam Son town, so when arriving at the station, you can take either a bus to Sam Son (the ticket price is 10,000 VND) or a motorbike taxi and taxi. Remember to exchange prices before going.
4. Vehicles in Sam Son
Transportation in Sam Son is mainly motorbike taxi or taxi. If you want to actively go around, then rent a motorbike; the price ranges from 100.000 – 150.000 VND/each/day)
In case you only need to go around the beach, there are tram, cyclo, and bicycle rental service with the below prices:
– Tram: 30.000 VND for the first km, the following will be 20.000 VND; one tram can carry 6 adults and 2 children.
– Double bicycle: The rental price is from 40.000 – 50.000 VND/hour, suitable for those who want to enjoy the wind and have a romantic experience.
– Cyclo: The popular means to go around Sam Son with the cost of about 50.000 VND/person.
5. Accommodation in Sam Son
Renting a room in Sam Son is quite difficult, especially on weekends and holidays since the number of visitors coming here is super large. Therefore, you should book at least one week in advance to avoid no room available or high prices.
If you prefer the central area near the sea and have a beautiful view, choose hotels on Ho Xuan Huong Street. A few prestigious hotels to refer to are Dragon Sea, Bien Doi, Hoa Hong, Sao Bien, Huong Bien, Thanh Loi, etc., all of which have airy rooms overlooking the coast. The hotel price ranges from 400,000 to 800,000 VND / night, with full amenities.
For a budget plan, you can book motels or hotels far from the sea with a daily price of about 250,000 VND/room /night on usual days and from 300,000-600,000 VND/ room/night on high seasons.
For a luxury trip, you can choose high-end resorts, such as Van Chai and FLC. The room rates here are much higher, about 2,000,000 VND/room /night on average.
Read more: Nha Trang – the famed pearl of the East Sea
6. Tourist attractions in Sam Son
Sam Son city has not only an appealing flat 10km coastline, which is an advantage, but also wonderful landscapes, both of which attract million visitors every year.
– Trong Mai Island
This location stands out with beautiful stone blocks, associated with a famous love story. Three natural stones are placed next to each other, of which the largest is the bottom as a pedestal, while the spire-shape stone on top is like a rooster (Trong); the other next to it shapes a hen (Mai), that’s why the place is called Hon Trong Mai. It is one of the must-visit stops in Sam Son, especially for couples.
– Doc Cuoc Temple
Doc Cuoc Temple is a shrine to worship a god with the same name according to Vietnamese folk beliefs. The temple is located on the top of a mountain called Co Giai in Truong Le mountain range, right next to Sam Son beach. The name Doc Cuoc, meaning one leg, is associated with the legend of a giant man who ripped his own body to fight the enemy both at sea and on the mainland to save the villagers.
The temple was built in the Tran dynasty, to the Le dynasty, it was restored many times. The road to get here is 40 stone steps. The wooden statue of Doc Cuoc only has one arm and one leg. Behind the temple is Mon Lau, built-in 1863, made of wood.
– Co Tien Temple
Co Tien Temple is situated on top of Dau Voi island at the end of Truong Le range to the southwest. Dau Voi is the fifth island in the folk classification system. It is also known as “Dau Son Statue”, which also means Elephant Head Mountain since, in this area, there’s a rock shaped like the head of an elephant crouching to drink water.
Co Tien Temple was built in the Ly period in the style of ancient architecture called Dinh (the T-word upside down), including 3 layers, Tien Duong, Trung Duong, and Hau Cung. Through harsh weather and the devastation of war, the temple was badly damaged, then it was restored by Sam Son people and still retains the ancient features.
– Sam Son Church
A little-known thing about Sam Son is that this place has a very large Christain community. Many churches with unique architecture were built for years, in which the closest church to visit is Sam Son Parish Church.
To reach the church, you can take a tram to the dry seafood market at Bai D, the destination is located at the intersection with Nguyen Du street. The church was built in 1922 with a typical French domed architecture. There is a chapel open from early morning until evening. In addition, there is also a large yard to walk around.
– Truong Le Mountain
The name Truong Le is associated with a myth, which tells that once upon a time, in this mountain, a woman passed away after giving birth, the boy had a handsome face, grew really fast, and extraordinarily strong. Since loving his mother so much, the little boy picked up soil and rock and put it on her body to gradually build up a grave, which is Truong Le Mountain now. The boy grew up and became a giant, he bravely joined the fishermen to defeat sea demons, and later became Doc Cuoc God, respected by the people and built temples to show their gratitude to him.
– Lux Wheel at FLC Sam Son
Lux Wheel is just behind the FLC Grand Hotel, with a diameter of up to 34 meters, divided into 24 cabins, which can accommodate up to 150 guests at the same time.
Opening hours: 7:00 – 22:00 every day.
The ticket price: 100,000 VND/time (15 minutes).
Read more: Phu Quoc – The pearl island to play all week
7. Sam Son Cuisine
For many tourists, the most interesting thing to do when coming here is to enjoy fresh seafood right on the beach. There are two famous Sam Son seafood markets, namely Cot Do Market (on Le Loi Street) and Cho Moi (on Le Thanh Tong Street), which are also two major traditional seafood markets here.
– Fish salad
Fish salad is one of the specialties at Sam Son in particular and in Thanh Hoa waters in general. The ingredients are usually fresh large fish with little bones, weighing around 3-5 kg. Fish are cleaned, sliced thinly, then put in a large bowl. 1kg of fish meat needs 5-7 lemons to squeeze in. The price of one serving fluctuates from 150,000 – 300,000 VND.
– Dried octopus
Sam Son Beach is rich in seafood, including squid – one of the most popular seafood today. The biggest and freshest squids will be dried in the sun of Central land to be the most attractive and delicious ones. Sipping a can of beer while eating dried squid at locations near the sea will give you chilling moments after tired traveling all day.
You can also buy dried squid as a gift for family and friends. The price ranges from 1 million to 1.5 million dong/kg, depending on each type.
– Thanh Hoa sour spring rolls
Referring to Thanh Hoa, people will mention sour spring rolls as a one-of-a-kind specialty.
There are different types of sour spring rolls, such as long rolls, square rolls, etc., all of which are processed into many attractive dishes. Each will give diners a distinctive taste. The price of sour spring rolls is about 3.000-5.000 VND/item.
– Shrimp cakes
This is also a famous Thanh Hoa specialty with a rather sophisticated and complex processing way. Shrimps are washed, peeled, removed the dark thread, and crushed in a stone mortar. To have a beautiful pink color, people pound a moderate amount of baby jackfruit (Gac), then mix with minced bacon that has been fried with fragrant fried shallots. The cake is wrapped in a small-sized noodle paper, then baked on a charcoal stove. A serving of shrimp cakes for 2 people costs 30,000 – 40,000 VND.
– Steamed rice rolls
This is a favored breakfast dish of Thanh Hoa residents captivating tourists by its softness, chewy texture, and distinct aroma. The dish is also extremely cheap; with only 15,000 – 20,000 VND, you will have a plate of hot and delicious Thanh Hoa steamed rice rolls.
– Duc cake
Duc cake is made from non-glutinous rice flour, cooked with clear lime water, added a little fat, and fried shallots. The cake is green because the dough is mixed with vegetable juice, which is completely natural. People often sprinkle a layer of cooked green beans on the cake surface. The price of Duc cake is reasonable, only from 5.000-15.000 VND/ cake.
– Eel porridge
Another traditional breakfast of Thanh Hoa people is eel porridge, which is totally different from other porridge types in the North because it looks like a bowl of soup. The eel porridge is runny, not thick, so it’s easy to eat.
The cooking process is not too complicated but still gives us a rich dish; the eel is stirred with shallots until tender, not crunchy because it can be greasy and unpleasant to eat. The price of eel porridge is from 25.000 – 50.000 VND/bowl.
8. Notes when going to Sam Son Beach
– You should bring some snacks because the food price in Sam Son is relatively expensive. In addition, essential items, such as sunscreen, toothbrush, face towel, medicine, wallet, ATM card, phone charger, etc., cannot be forgotten.
– The waves in Sam Son are especially strong. Besides, offshore currents frequently happen, as a result, if you are not careful, you will be swept away.
– Remember to book rooms 7-10 days in advance on weekends and about 1 month in advance on holidays to ensure you have a place to stay when visiting Sam Son.
– Along Sam Son beach, FLC hubs are set up for everyone to rest even when they don’t buy anything here.
– Avoid seafood restaurants that taxi or tram drivers show you because they usually take a commission from these places, causing the price you have to pay will be higher than usual (around 20%).
– Always deal for a clear price before using any service as the price for tourists, especially foreigners, is usually higher. If you have trouble with this situation, you can call the hotline 0913.568.937, which is used exclusively to receive negative information such as rip-off or forcing guests at Sam Son tourism activities.