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.

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 …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
9 tips for backpacking Vietnam

9 tips for backpacking Vietnam

With striking landscapes, large stretches of lovely coastline, intriguing cities and excellent food, it’s no wonder the number of tourists in Vietnam has more…

18 Jul 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City: where should you visit first?

Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City: where should you visit first?

Situated at the northern and southern extremes of this long, thin country, Vietnam’s two main cities lie over a thousand kilometres apart. Southern Ho Chi …

13 Jan 2016 • Helen Abramson 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