Founded by Chinese immigrant Mac Cuu in 1674, with the permission of the local Cambodian lords, Ha Tien thrived thanks to its position facing the Gulf of Thailand and astride the trade route between India and China. By the close of the seventeenth century, Siam (later Thailand) had begun to eye the settlement covetously, and Mac Cuu was forced to petition Hué for support. The resulting alliance, forged with Emperor Minh Vuong in 1708, ensured Vietnamese military backup, and the town continued to prosper. Mac Cuu died in 1735, but the familial fiefdom continued for seven generations, until the French took over in 1867. Subsequently, the town became a resistance flash-point, with Viet Minh holing up in the surrounding hills, and even sniping at French troops from the To Chau Mountain, to the south.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Vietnam features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert's guide: the best homestays in Vietnam

An expert's guide: the best homestays in Vietnam

Vietnam’s emergence as one of Asia’s most vibrant destinations shows no sign of abating. And with the rapid pace of change affecting everywhere from hectic …

16 Aug 2017 • Joe Minihane
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

11 Aug 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: Vietnam's last paradise?

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: Vietnam's last paradise?

Planning a trip to Vietnam and keen to explore some of its most spectacular scenery? A little north of the 17th parallel – the demarcation where Vietnam was o…

18 Apr 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month