Lang Son is the chief town of the province under the same name, yet it mainly serves the travelers as a point to stop off on their way to somewhere else. This is a popular place to cross to and from China, esp. after the two countries reopened the border. The town still contains the remains of a citadel built in 18th century, and there are numerous hilltribe villages around this area, particularly those of the Tay, Nung and Zao. The Vietnamese tourists also stop here to visit Buddhist pagodas built inside Nhi Thanh and Tam Thanh Caves, which are believed to have echo twice (Nhi Thanh) or three times (Tam Thanh). Lang Son is also famous for winter fruits like peaches, pears, plums and persimmons and for grilled ducks and porks, which evidently bear the influence of Chinese Guangdong cuisine.


To cross to China from Lang Son is passing over Dong Dang bordergate which is 20 km from Lang son. If you are entering Vietnam from here, you MUST have the correct entry point (Dong Dang) marked on your visa, otherwise you may be turned away. This can create a problem as you would have already officially left China.