LANG SON → Travel Guide + Tips

Lang Son – Vietnam (Travel guide). Bac Son Valley is one of the most beautiful places in this province.

ℹ️ Information about Lang Son
🚍 How to get to Lang Son
☀️ Weather in Lang Son
🏡 Accommodation in Lang Son
🔍 Interesting sites in Lang Son
📍 Map of interesting places
🎫 Book Tickets to Lang Son

Gateway to Adventure: Lang Son Beckons at the Border with China

    • Lang Son province (Lạng Sơn) with its capital of the same name is located 140 km northeast of Hanoi. You can get there from Hanoi by bus or train. However, if you take the train, you will see more of the gorgeous mountain scenery. The history of the province is associated with the Bronze Age, when a trade route passed this city, that connected China (Guangzhou) with India. The economy is 80% dependent on agriculture and forestry, and also on mineral resources. An important spice that is grown is star anise having the aromatic lanceolate leaves.

Lang Son city is suitable only as a short stopover.

    • Just a short distance from Lang Son, it is possible to visit Tam Thanh Pagoda. Below this point is Nhi Tanh cave. A Spring Festival is held here every year on January 15. Games and religious ceremonies attract a lot of visitors and travellers. Nhi Tanh cave is 500 m long, it is a spectacular stalactite cave and it looks like the caves of Ha Long Bay. You can go in to the cave by stairs from the pagoda. Thanh nhà Mac is a hill, which also belongs to the historical west part of the town.
Thanh nhà Mac in Lang Son.

Lang Son has practically no visiting foreign tourists.

    • Above the town of Lang Son you will see the rock in the shape of a woman who holds a child – Vong Phu. According to legend, this woman is waiting for a man who went to war and waited so long she petrified to stone. Lang Son town has held Ky Lua market every 2nd and 7th day according to the lunar calendar, where you can meet many ethnic minority people of the Tay, Dao, Nung, and Hmong.

Accommodation in Lang Son

Dong Dang town is an historical monument at the border with China.

    • Dong Dang has a rich war history, and it is also known for its devastation. There is the Dong Dang border gate with China in Dong Dang town, also known as The Gateway of Friendship (Youyi Guan). Vietnamese and Chinese residents pass through the gate so they can sell food and items in another country.
Women from Red Dao – Lang Son (Photo „Red Dao“ from Wagner T. Cassimiro „Aranha“ licenced under CC BY 2.0.)

About 30 km from the town is the fascinating Mau Son mountain.

    • The highest point – Mau Son mountain is 1,600 meters above sea level and attracts lots of travellers. Mau Son mountain fascinates everyone, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia and Vietnam. You will see many stone houses from the time of French colonization in Vietnam. During the winter, this region can be covered with snow and it can be very cold. There will be a cable car build in 2017.

The old military base was built at Mau Son mountain.

    • A few years ago it was still closed for motorcycles, but it is now open for travellers and visitors. In this area you will see many stone villas from the period of French colonization, but some of these villas are closed for visitors. During the winter, this area may be covered with snow, and the roads can be difficult to pass. At the beginning of the 20th century a military base was built as protection from the enemy of China.
The road to the Mau Son mountain in Lang Son province.

Do not forget to visit the valley and the agricultural area of Bac Son.

    • Another stunning place to visit is the Valley of Bac Son, which is not far from Lang Son town, about 70 km. The whole valley is surrounded by mountains ranging in height from about 500-1,200 meters. The top of the mountains can be accessed from here, and you will be fascinated by the view of the whole area. The valley is covered by rice fields, flowing rivers and lakes. In Bac Son you can find some typical homestays of local residents. One of the most beutiful view to the area you will find on the Nà Lay peak and it is not so hard to climb there.

Book Tickets from Hanoi to Lang Son

Bac Son Valley offers an amazing landscape views and typical homestays.

    • The second biggest ethnic group in Vietnam – the Tay, live in Bac Son district, but also in Lang Son province. The total area of the Bac Son valley is almost 700km² . There is a very fertile land suitable for agriculture, rice and sweet potatoes or corn are grown here. Agriculture is the main source of income for local residents. When to visit Bac Son? The best time to visit Bac Son is from August-September, rice fields are spectacular before the harvest season.
Bac Son valley in Lang Son province.

🚍 How to travel from Hanoi to Lang Son:

From Hanoi to Lang Son by train or bus:

    • From Hanoi to Lang Son – there are buses + vans and trains from Hanoi to Lang Son town. Use a search engine of transport links Baolau, here you can buy train (hard or soft seat) and some bus tickets to Lang Son. Some buses and vans from Hanoi run to the Lang Son – Friendship Border Station (it is about 20 km from the town of Lang Son). It is also possible to arrive from the city of Cao Bang by local bus.
    • travel by train from Hanoi to Lang Son takes about 4 hours (train tickets costs about $3-4/pp)
    • you can also travel by VIP car or Van (ticket costs only about $11/pp, check Baolau and book tickets online)
    • bus tickets from Hanoi to Lang Son cost about $6-8/pp (eg. Hoang Long, bus tickets at
    • Book and buy train and bus e-tickets from Hanoi to Lang Son on Baolau ➜ or ➜

From Hanoi by train to Nanning in China (via Lang Son):

    • a popular travel route by international sleeper MR1/T8702 train of Vietnam + China Railways
    • travel by train from Hanoi – Gia Lam Railway Station to Nanning via Lang son takes about 12 hours
    • read carefully this article: How to get to Nanning from Hanoi?
Soft seats and berth cabin in train (photo: Baolau).

🚍 How to travel from Hanoi to Bac Son:

    • There should be a bus from My Dinh bus station in Hanoi (20 Phạm Hùng, Mỹ Đình).
    • This bus is running probably only in the morning (You have to ask at the station for the exact time), but you need to verify this information before you leave Hanoi.
    • Bus tickets from Hanoi to Bac Son you can buy at the My Dinh bus station.

☀️ Weather in Lang Son + The Best Time to Visit:

The weather in Lang Son can be described as humid subtropical, with distinct seasons throughout the year. It is a good idea to prepare before you arrive to Lang Son Current weather in Lang Son.

    • The best time to visit Lang Son is during the months of October to April. During this time, the weather is relatively cool and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The average temperature during these months ranges from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius, and the air is crisp and refreshing.
    • However, if you prefer warmer weather and don’t mind a bit of rain, the summer months of May to September can also be a good time to visit Lang Son. The temperatures during this time can range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, and the lush greenery of the region is in full bloom.
    • Overall, Lang Son has a lot to offer for tourists looking to explore the natural beauty of Vietnam. Whether you visit during the cool and dry months or the warm and rainy season, you’ll be able to enjoy all that this wonderful city has to offer. Just be sure to pack accordingly for the weather and bring comfortable shoes for exploring the stunning landscapes or driving a motorbike.

🏡 Accommodation in Lang Son:

Lang Son offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious hotels. Here are some of the most popular options:

    • Guesthouses: Lang Son has many guesthouses that offer affordable accommodation for budget-conscious travelers. These guesthouses usually have basic amenities such as comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi, prices are low.
    • Hotels: Lang Son has a range of hotels to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the hotels are located in the city center, while others are situated in more scenic locations outside the city. These hotels usually offer more amenities such as air conditioning, swimming pools, and on-site restaurants.
    • Homestays: For a more authentic experience, visitors can opt for a homestay with a local family. This allows visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and way of life. Homestays usually provide a comfortable room, shared bathroom facilities, and meals cooked by the host family.
    • Resorts: Lang Son has several resorts located in scenic areas outside the city. These resorts offer luxurious amenities such as spa services, swimming pools, and on-site restaurants.

Accommodation in Lang Son (hotels) – Book Here

A few recommended hotels in Lang Son:

Vi’s Boutique Hotel
Song Long Hotel
Muong Thanh Hotel
Hoa Biển Hotel
Vinpearl Hotel


🔍 Places of Interest in Lang Son:

    • Nhi Thanh Cave: Nhi Thanh Cave is a natural wonder nestled in Vietnam, known for its mesmerizing limestone formations and serene atmosphere, making it a popular destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts.
    • Tam Thanh Pagoda, Bac Le Temple: Tam Thanh Pagoda and Bac Le Temple are sacred sites where visitors can immerse themselves in the rich spiritual traditions of Vietnam. These historic places are brimming with cultural significance and beautiful architecture.
    • The Fortress of the Mac Dynasty: The Fortress of the Mac Dynasty is a historical stronghold that offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s past. It stands as a testament to the architectural and military prowess of the Mac Dynasty, a prominent ruling family.
    • Bac Son Valley: Bac Son Valley is a stunning agricultural region with rice terraces and picturesque landscapes. It’s a paradise for photographers and nature lovers.
    • To Thi Mountain and Phu Vong: To Thi Mountain and Phu Vong are picturesque peaks offering breathtaking panoramic views. Hiking enthusiasts can conquer these summits while enjoying the natural beauty and tranquility of the surrounding landscapes.
    • Thành Nhà Mạc Historical Place: Thành Nhà Mạc Historical Place is a site of historical importance, showcasing the legacy of the Mạc Dynasty. It provides insights into the region’s history and heritage.
    • Ky Lua Market and Festival: Ky Lua Market and Festival are vibrant celebrations of Vietnamese culture, featuring colorful markets filled with local products and lively festivals with traditional music, dance, and culinary delights.
    • Đông Kinh Market: Đông Kinh Market is a bustling marketplace where locals and tourists can find an array of goods, from fresh produce to handcrafted souvenirs. It’s a great place to experience the local market culture.
    • Mau Son Mountain: Mau Son Mountain is a captivating natural attraction, known for its lush forests and cool climate. It’s an ideal spot for outdoor activities like hiking and bird watching.
    • Dong Dang City: Dong Dang City is a vibrant urban center in Vietnam with a unique blend of modern and traditional elements. Visitors can explore its streets, taste local cuisine, and learn about the local way of life.
    • Friendship Gate in Dong Dang: The Friendship Gate in Dong Dang is a symbol of international goodwill, marking the border crossing between Vietnam and a neighboring country. It stands as a testament to peaceful relations.
    • Đền Mẫu in Dong Dang: Đền Mẫu in Dong Dang is a revered temple where locals come to pay their respects to deities and ancestors. It’s a serene place for reflection and spiritual connection.
    • Keng Tao Cave (Hang Keng Tao): Keng Tao Cave is a captivating natural wonder with mesmerizing rock formations and underground passages, making it a fascinating destination for cave explorers.
    • Chi Lang Border (Ải Chi Lăng): Chi Lang Border holds historical significance as a fortified border area. It’s a place where battles and conflicts have shaped the region’s history, and remnants of the past can still be seen.

📍 Lang Son – tourist map:

Frequently Asked Questions about Lang Son:

1. How to book bus/train tickets from Hanoi to Lang Son?

    • You can book bus or train tickets from Hanoi to Lang Son online on Baolau or

2. Is there a flight to Lang Son from Hanoi?

    • No, there is no flight from Hanoi to Lang Son because Lang Son has no airport.

3. How to move in Lang Son province?

    • The best way is to rent a motorbike if you can drive. Your IDP is necessary if you want to drive a motorbike in Vietnam. You can book your motorbike in Hanoi online with Bikesbooking.

4. What is the travel time from Hanoi to Lang Son?

    • Travel by train from Hanoi to Lang Son takes about 4 hours.
    • Travel by tourist bus from Hanoi to Lang Son takes about 4-5 hours.

5. Is there a border crossing to China in Lang Son?

    • Yes, there is the Dong Dang border crossing and you can travel via this border crossing to China. There is also a popular railway route from Hanoi to Nanning via Dong Dang in Lang Son.

6. How far is Lang Son from Hanoi?

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Lang Son is about 160 km by tourist bus or train.

7. What are some popular tourist attractions in Lang Son?

    • Lang Son is known for its stunning natural beauty, historical landmarks, and cultural heritage. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Lang Son include the Tam Thanh Pagoda, Nhi Thanh Cave, Mau Son Mountain, and Dong Dang Border Gate.

8. How do I get to Lang Son?

    • Lang Son is located about 150 kilometers from Hanoi, and can be reached by bus, train, car, or motorbike. There are also several trains that run from Hanoi to Lang Son, with a travel time of about 3 hours.

9. What is the best time of year to visit Lang Son?

    • The best time to visit Lang Son is during the months of October to April, when the weather is cool and dry. However, if you prefer warmer weather, the summer months of May to September can also be a good time to visit.

10. What is the local cuisine like in Lang Son?

    • Lang Son is known for its delicious and unique cuisine, which includes dishes such as Thang Co (a spicy soup made with horse meat and organs), Nem Chua (fermented pork), and Chao Long (rice porridge with pig organs). There are also many street food vendors and local markets where visitors can sample a variety of dishes.

11. What are some outdoor activities to do in Lang Son?

    • Lang Son offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking in the mountains, exploring the caves, and visiting the waterfalls. Visitors can also go kayaking or rafting on the Ky Cung River, or take a bike tour through the countryside.

12. What are some cultural events in Lang Son?

    • Lang Son is home to many cultural events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Tam Thanh Pagoda Festival, the Mau Son Mountain Festival, and the Nung Ethnic Group Cultural Festival. These festivals feature traditional dances, music, and food, and are a great way to experience the local culture.

13. Is it safe to travel to Lang Son?

    • Lang Son is generally a safe place to visit, but visitors should take standard precautions such as avoiding carrying large amounts of cash, being aware of their surroundings, and keeping valuables out of sight.

14. How to travel solo in Vietnam?

    • Discover the wonders of solo travel in Vietnam as you explore ancient temples, cruise through scenic landscapes or karst sceneries, hike various national parks and ethnic villages and connect with the warm-hearted locals, creating a personalized journey of cultural immersion and breathtaking experiences.

15. What are the most interesting things or facts about Vietnam?

    • Vietnam, a country with a captivating allure, is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes, including the mesmerizing limestone karsts of Halong Bay, the terraced rice fields of Sapa, and the bustling waterways of the Mekong Delta. Its rich history unfolds through ancient temples in Hanoi, the imperial city of Hue, and the Cu Chi Tunnels, providing a glimpse into Vietnam’s resilience during wartime. The country’s vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality further enhance the allure of this Southeast Asian gem. Read this: 15 Interesting Things of Vietnam.

16. What to expect from Vietnam Culture?

    • Expect a vibrant cultural tapestry in Vietnam, characterized by traditional values, a strong sense of community, and a deep-rooted respect for family. You’ll encounter a fusion of French, Chinese, and indigenous influences in art, architecture, and cuisine. Traditional water puppetry, folk music, and dance performances showcase the country’s artistic flair. The importance of rituals and festivals in daily life adds a colorful dimension, while the warmth and friendliness of the Vietnamese people make for a welcoming and enriching cultural experience.


Interesting Facts about Lang Son: Description
1. Gateway to the Borderlands:

Lang Son, nestled in the northern part of Vietnam, serves as a gateway to the borderlands, sharing its boundaries with China. The town’s strategic location has played a pivotal role in shaping its history, as it served as a vital trade route and a cultural crossroads for centuries. The echoes of cross-border interactions resonate in Lang Son’s architecture, cuisine, and traditions, making it a fascinating destination for those intrigued by the intersections of cultures and histories.

2. Tam Thanh Cave and Nhi Thanh Cave Complex:

Explore the mystical depths of Lang Son through the Tam Thanh Cave and Nhi Thanh Cave Complex. These ancient caves are adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, creating a subterranean landscape that captivates the imagination. The caves hold historical significance, having served as shelters and strategic points during various conflicts. Visitors can embark on a journey through these natural wonders, marveling at the geological formations while contemplating the layers of history embedded in the cave walls.

3. Dong Kinh Market:

Dong Kinh Market stands as a bustling testament to Lang Son’s role as a vibrant trading hub. The market is a kaleidoscope of colors and scents, with vendors offering a diverse array of goods, from traditional handicrafts to fresh produce. Exploring Dong Kinh Market provides a sensory journey, where the rhythm of daily life unfolds against the backdrop of historical architecture. The market is not merely a place to shop but an immersion into the dynamic energy of Lang Son’s commercial and cultural exchanges.

4. Mau Son Mountain:

Majestic and serene, Mau Son Mountain graces the landscape of Lang Son, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and distant horizons. The mountain is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventurers, with trekking trails leading to its summit. Atop Mau Son, the sea of clouds and the cool mountain breeze create an ethereal atmosphere. The mountain is not only a natural wonder but also a retreat where visitors can find solace and connect with the untouched beauty of northern Vietnam’s highlands.

5. Historical Citadel of Lang Son:

The Historical Citadel of Lang Son stands as a silent witness to the town’s tumultuous past. Built during the Ming Dynasty, the citadel reflects architectural influences from different eras, showcasing a blend of Chinese, French, and Vietnamese styles. Exploring the citadel allows visitors to trace the footsteps of history, from ancient battles to colonial periods. The well-preserved structures within the citadel’s walls tell a story of resilience and endurance, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts seeking to unravel the layers of Lang Son’s past.

6. To Thi Mountain and Ky Cung Temple:

Ascend To Thi Mountain to discover the spiritual enclave of Ky Cung Temple. The temple, perched on the mountain’s slopes, is a place of tranquility and reverence. Dedicated to To Thi, a legendary figure in Vietnamese folklore, the temple invites contemplation amid serene surroundings. The panoramic views from To Thi Mountain complement the spiritual ambiance, providing a retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in the cultural and natural beauty that defines Lang Son’s landscapes.

7. Lang Son’s Culinary Tapestry:

Lang Son’s culinary scene is a delightful tapestry of flavors, reflecting the influences of its borderland location. Local specialties such as „chao,“ a savory rice porridge, and various noodle dishes showcase the fusion of Vietnamese and Chinese culinary traditions. Exploring the town’s eateries and street food stalls provides an opportunity to savor unique flavors and engage in the culinary heritage that has evolved through centuries of cross-cultural interactions.

8. Bac Le Temple:

Bac Le Temple, situated in Lang Son, is a cultural gem dedicated to worship and heritage. The temple, with its intricate architecture and serene courtyards, pays homage to revered deities and historical figures. Visitors can witness traditional ceremonies and rituals, gaining insights into the spiritual practices that have endured through generations. Bac Le Temple stands as a living testament to the intertwining threads of culture and faith that define the essence of Lang Son.

9. Lang Son’s Silk Weaving Tradition:

Lang Son has been a center for silk weaving, contributing to Vietnam’s rich textile heritage. Delve into the town’s silk workshops to witness the intricate process of transforming raw silk into luxurious fabrics. The skilled artisans showcase the artistry behind traditional silk weaving, using age-old techniques passed down through generations. Exploring the silk workshops allows visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship that defines Lang Son’s contribution to the world of Vietnamese textiles.

10. Lang Son’s Festivals and Celebrations:

Experience the vibrancy of Lang Son’s cultural calendar by participating in its festivals and celebrations. Events such as the Ky Cung Temple Festival and the Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year) celebrations offer a glimpse into the town’s festive spirit. Traditional performances, colorful processions, and communal gatherings characterize these celebrations, creating an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. Immersing oneself in Lang Son’s festive traditions allows visitors to forge connections with the community and witness the town’s cultural vibrancy in full bloom.

BOOK your STAY in Lang Son

➡️ Where to go from Lang Son:

You can continue to Cao Bang, Ha Long Bay, Hanoi.

Go back to places of interest

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