Southeast of Hanoi, 80km along National Highway No.1 or No.5 is Hung Yen, a small historic city on the banks of the Red River.
Formerly called Pho Hien, it was a very busy trading port in the 15th century. As a commercial gateway to the capital Thang Long, it was a multicultural city with a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese. Pho Hien’s golden age was in the 17th century and it crumbled early in the 19th century as the Red River narrowed and roads took over from shipping.
On Wednesday, Hung Yen is a totally different city but much of its heritage has been preserved.
Here are some photos of heritage sites in Pho Hien, taken by The Saigon Times Group’s journalist Tran Minh.
Hung Yen Church was built in the 17th century when Western trade and civilization started coming to Vietnam
Thien Hau Temple built in 1640 is dedicated to Lam Tuc Mac, the nautical goddess of China. The temple had also doubled as a meeting place for merchants
The Hung Yen Church facade