For the experienced of foreigners in traveling, Vietnam is evaluated as one of the most scenic countries. More than a thousand miles of coastline to the east and rugged mountains to the west, Vietnam country has three regions like Northern, Central and Southern area. In this article, Travel Sense Asia focuses on Northern region which has not only the stunning destinations but also cultural attractions of the diverse ranging from the chaotic highland markets to the hill-tribes in the far north. We offer top 5 best places in Northern Vietnam for your reference.
As the nation’s capital, Hanoi is an architecture and has been the political and both of the eastern and western culture for over a thousand years, with a wealth of sights to explore.
The side-by-side Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum are also major attractions in Hanoi, and both are striking buildings from the exterior. However, you should check the schedule because it opens only from 8.00-10.30 every day, accepting Monday and Friday so you will visit the surrounding area of this complex. When visiting here, you must wear formal clothes and do not make noise during the time.
Next, one of the most popular places in Hanoi is the Old Quarter, you should take a cyclo – a traditional type of vehicle to go around the streets and Hoan Kiem lake, experience a bustling corner of Hanoi. This traditional vehicle would give you the best feeling and views to take photos and easy to watching Hanoi day-life. If you have more time, you can walk around Hoan Kiem lake and try out Hanoi’s street food, which is very delicious and available on each street in the old quarter. Also, it’s would be flexible if you want to stop by and buy souvenirs in the Old Quarter like Hang Ma street, Dong Xuan market.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay is one of the best places in Northern Vietnam. This destination is famous for hundreds of stunning islands which inhabited only by monkeys and feature dozens of caves and innumerable deserted beaches.
Coming Halong Bay, you have an opportunity on visiting the caves on the cruise. While having the lunch onboard, your cruise passes several caves like Fighting Cocks, Duck, Finger, Incense Burner, and Stone Dog. Following to the tour, you come to Dau Go cave in Halong Bay beaches. The grotto is given named from the remaining wooden pieces in the cave. There are three main parts in the grotto, which bring the surprising feeling for you by a colossal pillar supporting the huge vault. Looking at the top of the pillar, there is a monk draped in a long and dark cloak. The grotto as the picture of the ancient citadel and a scuffle of horses, elephants, and people. After that, you should visit other cave, like Sung Sot cave called“ Surprising cave” is a large cave including two chambers.
One of the most attractive things in Halong Bay is Sun World Park. Sun World Halong Park is the largest complex entertainment of Vietnam. Coming Sun World Halong Park, you feel living in a “Dragon Land” with plenty of captivating and novel attraction. Queen Cable car system and Sun Wheel in the park which has reached the world’s record the most capacity cabin. Tourists can easily grace overview from above to get a perfect look of Hon Gai Port, Cai Lan port, Bai Chay Bridge and the entire of Halong Bay on the other side. For complexity, while the young are playing adventurous games, adults can relax by going for a walk in Zen Garden. Additionally, the suggestion for you is visiting in Halong Bay Tour is the Sun’s wax museum.
Sapa is known for its fresh population by its proximity to incredible scenery and the giant mountain. Sapa is home to many hill tribes such as the Hmong, the Dao, the Muong and the Tay.
Cat Cat village is the old village of ethnic groups which attracts tourists from all over the world for its distinctive customs and practices. This is an opportunity to see farms and techniques used by the people in the area. Cat Cat village, the home of the Black H’mong people, who is famous for its brocade weaving craft as well as its gold and silver jewelry making. It is a great chance to purchase some traditional souvenirs from the craftsmen such as twisting flax and weaving fabric.
Nearly Cat Cat village, Shin Chai is a community village which is known for cultural acclimatization. Here the locals will take the time to teach textile weaving and dying, will take the group on a locally built trail to explain the names and function of the local flora of the Red Dao ethnic people. They wear the colorful clothes with distinctive jewelry and the red turban. There will be the opportunity to participate in the village community, there will be a traditional sporting activity and tree planting.
Muong Hoa is known as the largest farmland for rice growing in SaPa, which is one of the most famous places for breathtaking scenery. It is far from town about 14 kilometers. To approach Muong Hoa Valley, you can trek along Muong Hoa River. On the way, you can learn more about how is the rice cultivating. Muong Hoa valley is created by lots of colorful flowers in the various beauties.
From afar, you can grace the rainwater follow dozens of streams downhill to the floor forming the Muong Hoa. Continuously, you follow across the small town and rice fields of the ethnic minority people of H’Mong, Dao and many others. They have been working on the sloping land and living their own ways for hundreds of years.
Sapa is famous for its markets, and on almost every day in the week. Therefore, you don’t worry about missed any markets during the coming time. For distance, Coc Ly Market opens on Tuesday which is a great place to buy traditional costumes and to learn more about the local culture. On Wednesday, Sin Cheng Market is a small market in the Si Ma Cai district, where you can meet several ethnics of the White H’Mong, Flower H’Mong, Tay and Black Dao who sell the beautiful traditional costumes. Sometimes the market can be hard to reach due to road conditions. After one day, Lung Khau Nhin is located high in the mountains of the Tram Ton pass. Various small tribes such as the H’Mong, White Tai and Tai Lu are gathering to sell their products. There are two largest markets organized in the weekend like Can Cau Market and Bac Ha market. Can Cau market is located only 7 kilometers from the Chinese border, and just like the other markets, a fascinating and authentic experience. The most famous and biggest market of Sapa is Bac Ha. You can buy several products, such as handicrafts, traditional costumes, and food. Various tribes are gathering at this market.
Mai Chau is the first town along Vietnam’s gorgeous Northwest Loop if you’re looking to get an authentic view of the many cultures so you should travel to there. You can choose the homestay of Thai and explore caves and waterfalls in the rich, hilly terrain where rice is cultivated by the minority people. Mai Chau is home of the ethnic groups, especially Thai people in Lac village, who cook the rice paddies, lead hikes and pull out a sleeping mat for wandering guests.
Especially, Thai people make colorful clothes by “Tho Cam” materials. They offer many souvenirs for customers such as wallets, bags, embroidered pictures, hats etc. Travelers can find the various colour goods in the Mai Chau market. This market is the mixture of nature and people. You will admire the exquisite talent of the Thai and
enjoy the local specialty food or buying local fresh products all gives you great pleasure.
Ninh Binh is one of the top 5 best places in Northern Vietnam which all offer many stunning sceneries. Providing for tourists a complex of both ancient and new pagodas is Bai Dinh Pagoda. This pagoda is so famous by the largest pagoda in South East Asia has recently been listed as a top attraction in Vietnam and the region. The Bai Dinh pagoda is built by many parts such as Tam The Temple, Phap Chu Temple, Quan Am temple, Bao Thap, Bell Tower and dormitory area for Buddhist monks.
Trang An Landscape Complex is an impressive limestone covered by forest. Why you shouldn’t miss this destination as you can find temples, dozens of valleys and about 50 different caves. When visiting Trang An, tourists can travel along the Ngo Dong River and through the cave. It takes about 2.5 hours to travel around Trang An. Next, Tam Coc is the great place you must visit if you come to Ninh Binh province. Travellers have to sit on the boat and visit caves. If tourists don’t have time, they should visit Trang An.
The best ways to enjoy the scenery are to rent a boat trip. Especially, small boats will be driven by the local woman along the river through caves and past paddy fields and karst formations. Once time, you can combine two places including Tam Coc and Thai Vi Pagoda. Whether one route is better than another is open for debate, we would like to suggest choosing whichever suits your travel plans better. Tam Coc and Trang An are big tourist attractions if you avoid weekends and Vietnamese holiday periods it’s not too overwhelming.
We believe that the detailed list will bring the useful for your trip in the holiday.