Mong Cai Town lies by the bank of the lovely Ka Long River. It harbors the international Bac Luan Border Gate which connects Mong Cai with Guang Xi Province in China. It is 178 km from Ha Long City, 350 km from Ha Noi. Mong Cai Border Gate Market is where economic and trade activities and cultural exchanges between Quang Ninh and Guang Xi and Vietnam and China take place. It is also the bridge spanning tourist centres of Vietnam and China.
Móng Cái city consists of 16 wards and communes namely Hoà Lạc, Ka Long, Ninh Dương, Trà Cổ, Trần Phú, Hải Sơn, Bình Ngọc, Hải Xuân, Hải Hoà, Vạn Ninh, Hải Yên, Hải Đông, Hải Tiến, Quảng Nghĩa, Vĩnh Thực, Vĩnh Trung. Viet people (Kinh) make up more than 90% of the total population while people of other ethnic groups namely Dao, Hoa, etc. account for 10%.
Tra Co area
7 km from Mong Cai by road, Tra Co is a famous tourist attraction in Vietnam. It has a cool and fresh climate and a tranquil and spacious atmosphere. The famous cultural historical sites are mainly located in Trà Cổ area such as Trà Cổ communal house, Trà Cổ church, Linh Khánh pagoda, Xuân Lan pagoda. Trà Cổ beach with 17 km long is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Thousands of tourists come to Tra Co every year to bath. Not far from the beach are located 3-4 metres high sand dunes, peaceful fishermen’ villages, verdant pine trees, and a rich mangrove ecosystem. - Tra Co Communal House Festival takes place boisterously from the 30th of the fifth lunar month to the 6th of the sixth lunar month attracting a crowd of pilgrims from home and abroad.
The economy structure here is commerce-tourism-fishery. Three areas (commerce area, tourism area and industry area) will be set up according to the overall plan. Móng Cái border gate appears to be a really convenient trading place between Vietnam and China with lots of bustling activities all day and night. The annual number of vistors to Móng Cái is 100 times more than that of its habitants which brings this city a lot of profit.
Móng Cái Border Market
The market is comprised of three zones; all situated in the sub-district of Hoà Lac, 1 km from the Bắc Luân border crossing. There are thousands of households here, almost all of which are bilingual in Chinese and Vietnamese.
Goods traded in the market and exchanged across the border are varied. Chinese goods imported into Vietnam include: speciality fabrics, ready-made dresses, mosquito nets, shoes, sandals, electronics, toys, candies and fruit. Vietnamese goods exported to China are mainly seafood products and agricultural foodstuffs such as tea, coffee and sesame.
Also in the market are traditional northern medicinal ingredient stalls, with Chinese physicians feeling your pulse and writing out prescriptions for the correct medicine.
The Móng Cái Border Market has developed not only into a trade centre for the exchange of goods, but also a place for cultural meetings and exchange between China and Vietnam. It is located on the banks of the beautiful Ka Long River; the international border to the Chinese province of Kwang Si. Móng Cái is a place of direct trade and economic and cultural exchange between the provinces of Quảng Ninh and Kwang Si.
Previously, Móng Cái was the provincial capital of the former Hai Ninh Province. Following border hostilities between Vietnam and China on February 1979, the township was destroyed, seeing the loss of many economic and cultural traits; in particular the ancient quarter along the Ka Long River. Since 1991, following the betterment of relationships between the two countries, trade exchange at the border has increased substantially.
After shopping, tourists can enjoy Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. Many famous Chinese restaurants offer dishes and wines from famous Mao Ðài wine to normal wines: Thần Phụ tửu, Khổng Phụ Tửu, Ngũ lương dịch... Chinese specialities: Beijing roasted duck, cay tê soya cheese.
Mong Cai- Tra Co is a bustling tourist and trade center, yet atmospheric and romantic as well.