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Nam Dinh: More than a land of churches

Thursday, June 02, 2022, 12:00 GMT+7
Nam Dinh: More than a land of churches
Hung Nghia Church features sophisticated architecture. The church is a popular backdrop for photographers in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hai Yen / Tuoi Tre

While Nam Dinh Province in northern Vietnam might not be as famous as nearby Hai Phong City or Quang Ninh Province, the architecture beauty of this 'land of churches,' along with the local cuisine and loving people, is not to be missed.

Nam Dinh sits about 90 kilometers from Hanoi and is accessible by motorbike, train, and commercial coach.

The province, which features some of the most beautiful churches in the country, is a bastion of religious tourism, complete with Gothic cathedrals.

But there is more to Nam Dinh than just its churches.

The province’s traditional culinary delights are also a major reason for a visit.

Some must-try dishes include xiu pao pastry, nem nam Giao Thuy (Giao Thuy fermented pork roll), and Sa Chau fish sauce.

Being nearly 100 years old, Hung Nghia Church in Hai Hung Commune, Hai Hau District has a very European vibe. It’s the grey color tone, together with its gothic architecture, feels like being transported to Hogwarts. Photo: Hai Yen / Tuoi Tre

Being nearly 100 years old, Hung Nghia Church in Hai Hung Commune, Hai Hau District, Nam Dinh Province has a very European vibe. Its grey color tone, together with the Gothic architecture, feels like a journey to Hogwarts. Photo: Hai Yen / Tuoi Tre

Located in Hai Trieu Commune, Hai Hau District, Phuong Chinh Church was inaugurated in December 1998. Its architecture is a unique tourist draw. Photo: Hai Yen / Tuoi Tre

Located in Hai Trieu Commune, Hai Hau District, Nam Dinh Province, Phuong Chinh Church was inaugurated in December 1998. Its architecture is a unique tourist draw. Photo: Hai Yen / Tuoi Tre

Hai Ly ruined church, also known as Heart Church, in Hai Hau District, was designed by a French architect and built in 1943. Despite being abandoned, it is still a popular tourist site in Nam Dinh due to its primitive and peaceful beauty. This is also the best place to see the sunrise in Nam Dinh. Photo: Long Leo/ Tuoi Tre

Hai Ly ruined church, also known as Heart Church, in Hai Hau District, Nam Dinh Province was designed by a French architect and built in 1943. Despite being abandoned, it is still a popular tourist site in Nam Dinh due to its primitive and peaceful beauty. This is also the best place to see sunrise in the province. Photo: Long Leo / Tuoi Tre

The early morning at Quat Lam Beach is typically busy, with local fisherman returning to shore with boats full of seafood. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

The early morning at Quat Lam Beach is typically busy, with local fishers returning to shore on boats full of seafood. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

Bun sung (fig vermicelli) is a popular dish in Nam Dinh. This noodle soup is priced at only VND10,000 (US$0.43) per bowl and includes crab paste, fermented figs, and pork crackling. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

'Bun sung' (fig vermicelli) is a popular dish in Nam Dinh Province. This noodle soup is priced at only VND10,000 (US$0.43) per bowl and includes crab paste, fermented figs, and pork crackling. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

Giao Thuy fermented pork roll is made from slices of pork and pigskin mixed with powdered grilled rice and wrapped in banana leaves. The fermented pork roll should be eaten with fig leaves. Photo: Le Xuan Son / Tuoi Tre

'Nem nam Giao Thuy' (Giao Thuy fermented pork roll) is made from slices of pork and sliced pig skin mixed with powdered grilled rice and wrapped in banana leaves. The fermented pork roll should be eaten with fig leaves. Photo: Le Xuan Son / Tuoi Tre

Xiu pao pastry is known for its golden crust and buttery, fatty filling. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

'Xiu pao' pastry is known for its golden crust and buttery, fatty filling. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

Sa Chau fish sauce is made manually. After being fermented, the fish sauce is dried under the sun to give it a more pungent flavor and beautiful color. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

Sa Chau fish sauce is made manually. After being fermented, the fish sauce is dried under the sun to give it a more pungent flavor and beautiful color. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre

In addition to well-known dishes such as beef noodle soup and fermented pork roll, tourists visiting Nam Dinh can enjoy various kinds of tasty sweetened desserts. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

In addition to well-known dishes such as beef noodle soup and fermented pork roll, tourists visiting Nam Dinh can enjoy various kinds of tasty sweetened desserts. Photo: VEDUGX / Tuoi Tre

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Thanh Ha - Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre News

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