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Tet 2018


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam

As much as I loved Hanoi the thing that saved me from totally losing my mind when I lived there was being able to escape the intensity of city life during the school holidays and find some peace for a few days in the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re living there or using it as a base to explore Northern Vietnam, here are my favourite Hanoi getaways….  

1. Mai Chau, Hoa Binh


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
In the heart of the Hòa Bình Province is Mai Chau, a district with lush greenery, beautiful mountains and a vibrant culture. Mai Chau is a wonderful place to explore if you’re looking to get an authentic view of the many cultures that have found a home in Northern Vietnam. Mai Chau is a sort of melting pot, serving as the home to seven distinct ethnic groups: Hmong, Zao, Muong, Hoa, Viet, White Thai and Tay. In addition to the verdant valleys, Mai Chau is noteworthy for its stilt houses. These houses are constructed 3 meters (10 feet) off the ground, and they often provide shelter to animals escaping inclement weather.

2. Sapa, Lao Cai


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam 1
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
On paper, Tam Coc can be described as rice paddies surrounded by limestone cliffs and rock formations. In reality, Tam Coc is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destination in the entire region. The best way to explore is by boat, and you can set off on a rowboat that takes you up alongside the lush green paddies and between striking limestone cliffs. You’ll even float through three tunnels that run through the mountains, which were carved over time by the river itself. From your boat, vendors may tempt (or deter) you with local souvenirs and handicrafts.

3. Dong Van Rocky Plateau,  Ha Giang


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam 2
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
One of the most remote provinces in the country is Ha Giang. Close to the border with China, Ha Giang Province is known for its green forests and granite mountains. It is an incredible destination to explore ethnic diversity and to participate in outdoor activities like camping or hiking. As such a scenic province, Ha Giang to home to hundreds of spectacular vantage points. However, few can compare to Ma Pi Leng Pass. Outdoor markets are a regular occurrence in Ha Giang, with residents traveling to attend these weekly or monthly events. One of the most thrilling is the Dong Van Market, which is held on Sundays.

4. Tam Coc, Ninh Binh


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam 3
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
On paper, Tam Coc can be described as rice paddies surrounded by limestone cliffs and rock formations. In reality, Tam Coc is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destination in the entire region. The best way to explore is by boat, and you can set off on a rowboat that takes you up alongside the lush green paddies and between striking limestone cliffs. You’ll even float through three tunnels that run through the mountains, which were carved over time by the river itself. From your boat, vendors may tempt (or deter) you with local souvenirs and handicrafts.

5. Ban Gioc Waterfall, Cao Bang


5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam 4
Photo by Applejuice
Right on the border between Vietnam and China is the breathtaking Detian Waterfall (also known as Ban Gioc). The whole area is known as the Detian Scenic Zone, although the waterfalls are certainly the main attraction. Detian is made up of three stages, which makes the scene more dramatic as well as interesting, with small pools and minor cascades along the way. One of the more unique ways to see the Detian Waterfall is to hire a raft and a guide and get close from the river itself. At the 53rd merestone, it is possible to legally cross between China and Vietnam freely, so you might want to hop across the border just to see the falls from a new perspective.

Tours to Vietnam – Choosing the right one!

There are loads (and I mean loads!) of travel companies offering tours in Vietnam. The choice you make can drastically alter your experience – as we discovered! I strongly advise that you check TripAdvisor reviews, ask fellow backpackers about their personal experiences and shop around, either online or once you arrive in Hanoi. (One tip – the cheapest, especially in Vietnam, isn’t always the best.) In short – do your research!

We were recommended the compan Vietnam Typical Tours, through a well-travelled friend. I can honestly say that from start to finish our Sapa trekking experience was truly unforgettable. We suffered none of the issues that fellow backpackers reported and felt that our encounters with local people were genuine and beneficial to both parties.
I hope that you too, will accompany Vietnam Typical Tours and have exciting experiences and a journey to discover Vietnam perfectly.
Item Reviewed: 5 Great Countryside Areas To Escapes From Hanoi, Vietnam Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nga Do
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