Written by

Situated on the China-Vietnam border, Mong Cai is a beautiful small town. Located on the southern banks of the Beilun River, the city is home to lush greenery, diverse history, art, culture, and whatnot! It is filled with several unexplored beaches that are waiting to be clicked. The tranquillity of these beaches will make you stay a little longer there. Mong Cai is considered one of the wealthiest towns in Vietnam. The mong cai market is the prime spot for traders across the globe, primarily for Vietnam and Chinese traders. Let us explore this place a little more in detail and find out what else it has for us.

Mong Cai History

Ka Long River in Mong Cai city

Image Credit: N509FZ for Wikimedia Commons

Around 1978-79, Mong Cai faced great tension from both Vietnam and China. But Vietnam saw this place as a hub to acquire Chinese goods at considerable prices, China saw it as an emerging destination featuring amenities like a golf course, and more. Two major fights initiated by the Chinese broke out on the 16th and 17th of February 1979, respectively.

Vietnamese platoon defended the outrage with a loss of 422 men and a loss of 750 Chinese casualties. The war is well known as the Sino-Vietnamese War.

Must Read: Homestays In Vietnam

Things To See In And Around Mong Cai

Mong Cai is a small town in Vietnam. It is home to many beautiful landscapes and is known for its culture and heritage.

Here is the list of things to see in and Around Mong Cai.

1. Tra Co Beach

Fantastic view of Tra Co beach in Mong Cai

Image Credit: Maoileann for Wikimedia Commons

Golden sand, clear jade blue-coloured water, and trees with the brightest green shade. This place is none other than the Tra Co Beach. It is shaped like a giant sickle. Stretching over 17 km, this beach is a perfect spot to witness apricot sundown. It is free from any industrial disturbance and city-life complexities. The soothing sound of waves, warm sun rays, and light winds, makes it a perfect way to relax yourself. The beach celebrates a festival, named Tra Co Beach festival, generally in the month of July. It is celebrated in honour of the spirits which are believed to protect the community. The dates are not fixed and make sure you check them beforehand. Visitors can also participate in the festival for different traditional games, cooking games, or even pig races.

It is located 10 km away from Mong Cai and can be reached easily by bus or cab. The beach experiences an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. A minimum temperature of 16 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 29 degrees Celsius make it a perfect beach temperature. Neither too hot nor too cold. Therefore, the summer months are the best time if you are planning to visit here.

2. Vinh Thuc Island

Awastructing view of the Vinh Thuc island in Mong Cai in Vietnam

Image Credit: Bùi Thế Tâm for Wikimedia Commons

This small island is spread over 500 hectares and about 700 families. There are a lot more realistic life experiences that you can collect. Since the locals are friendly with everyone, you may watch or join them fishing or farming. You may also choose to hike to the Vinh Thuc Lighthouse, which is 28 metres high and about 86 metres above sea level.If you are tired and do not wish to do such activities, then you may simply enjoy a romantic walk along the casuarina with your loved ones in an irresistible atmosphere. You may enjoy rowing a SUP along with your family. Also, 2 beaches on this island are less crowded, named Dau Dong and Ben Hen.

During summers, this place becomes a perfect destination for swimming and camping. It has a mild temperature, is less crowded, and is exceptionally beautiful. Just a small tip: Since no credit cards are accepted here, do carry some cash in VND.

Suggested Read: Temples In Vietnam

3. Sa Vi Cape

Sa Vi Cape entrance in Mong Cai

Image Credit: Phó Nháy for Wikimedia Commons

Sa vi Cape, Cape Sa Vi, or Cape Got are all names of this northernmost place in Vietnam which is located approximately 10 km away from Mong Cai. At the entrance, it has a 3 pine-shaped signboard, and a poem is written on it. It was written by a revolutionary poet named Huu, and it says, “From Tra Co’s Casuarina forests to Ca Mau’s mangroves forests”. From this place, you can witness the azuring beauty of Tra Co beach.

The border information centre building is located a few minutes away (inaugurated in 2009). It has a square with two parallel lines made of stone pillars. These stones were specially bought from Ninh Binh province. This design symbolises a soldier guiding the national border.

4. Mong Cai Market

Clothing store in Mong Cai market

Image Credit: User:Sengkang for Wikimedia Commons

Mong Cai Trading Center, informally known as Mong Cai Market, is the largest trading hub on the border of Vietnam and China. With the very first ray of sun, the market starts witnessing the loading and unloading of several goods from large trucks. The traders come from both places, Vietnam as well as China. Not just for wholesalers or retailers, this place is a boon for locals and tourists. You get whatever you want at very decent prices because almost all the products come here from China. Products here range from ready-to-wear products to electronic appliances, medicines, and much more. Some buyers are bilingual and can speak and understand both Vietnamese and Chinese languages. Also, you can pay in Vietnamese Dong or Chinese Yuan.

The market is divided into 5 storeys. On the ground floor, all electronic items are sold. The first and second floors are reserved for fashion and all kinds of common goods, respectively. On the third floor, there are shops selling herbal medicines. They sell medicines only after diagnosing your issues and a majority of the time, people have seen improvement. Availability of all kinds of products, cheap prices, and opening timings. The market opens at 7 am and all the wholesalers leave by 1 pm. This market sets a perfect example of cultural exchange.

Further Read: Best Beaches In Vietnam

Mong Cai is a divine place to experience and visit. From local markets to offbeat places and the history of colonial expansion.  If you are tired of all the busy lives while travelling in China or Vietnam, the Mong Cai tour is a must-experience. Dive into the majestic beauty of Tra Co beach or explore Mong Cai market. But do not forget to add this place to your travel list when you book your trip to Vietnam.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit: Khoitran1957 for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Mong Cai

Which Vietnamese city is near the China border?

It is a beautiful city and is located near the China border.

What is the best time to visit Mong Cai?

The best time to visit Mong Cai is from April to July. Despite the heat and occasional rainfall during these months, it is best to visit the grandeur of Lunar New Year celebrations and participate in other activities.

Which are the best places to visit near Mong Cai?

Hanoi, Hoi An, Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Hue are some of the best places to visit near Mong Cai with your family and friends.

What is the speciality of Mong Cai city?

Mong Cai is renowned for its delicious seafood, street-side restaurants, panoramic views of the Vietnamese-Chinese border and more.

What can I shop at Mong Cai market?

You can shop for specialty fabrics, ready-made clothing, electronics, toys, mosquito nets, footwear, confectionery, fruits and more at the Mong Cai market.

People Also Read:

Category: Places To Visit, Vietnam

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month