Top Destinations in Northern Vietnam Itinerary

Nga Do
Vietnam is one of the most scenic countries I have ever explored. No matter where I go, I’ll find something beautiful, odd, or just different than anything I’ve ever seen before.

More than a thousand miles of coastline to the east and rugged mountains to the west provide endless opportunities for photographers and nature lovers, while brilliant green rice paddies stretch throughout the coastal plains, the Red River Delta, and the Mekong Delta regions.

I don’t think you can go wrong visiting any part of Vietnam, but you’ll find the most spectacular sights in the northern part of the country, and Hanoi makes a great base to explore this region’s many wonders. Here are a few of my favorite “must-see” places:

Hanoi Capital

Top Destinations in Northern Vietnam Itinerary
Photo by huong4487
Hanoi is famous for the huge of culture and long-time historical sites that attract a lot of tourists. The first destination in Hanoi is Ho Chi Minh complex which involves the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, and one-pillar pagoda. These places are home to the national hero in Vietnam is President Ho Chi Minh, where our President read the Declaration of Independence on 2/9/1945, giving birth to Vietnam. After that, you can take the bus to Vietnam Museum of Ethnology displayed the traditional tools of the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam.

In the afternoon, you should take a cyclo tour around Hanoi Old Quarter. Hanoi Old Quarter is constructed both of old-style and modern – styled streets to adapt to the dynamic atmosphere. Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most popular which located inside a complex of Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, and Pen Tower.

At the end of the day, The Water Puppet show is the choice for travelers which is a traditional show of Vietnamese people. It is believed that the performance of actors will bring you the strange feeling. Actually, the farming or legends like the golden turtle and the Emperor are traditional activities.


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Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
Sapa is famous for many beautiful scenes and the unique food of the Northwest forests. Cat Cat village is the village of ethnic groups which is famous for the distinctive customs and practices kept for a long time. Come here, you will approach the life of Black H’mong people where you can discover many interesting facts about their daily life as well as culture and architecture. In Shin Chai village, the woman wears the beautifully embroidered clothes with distinctive an enormous red turban and the silver jewelry so it is an attractive point. They will be around all the time, singing, dancing or anything to make you smile. Moreover, you can teach them songs, poems that you used to love when you were a child.

Sapa is famous for its markets, and on almost every day of 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. 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 is a fascinating and authentic experience. The most famous market in Bac Ha. You can buy several products, such as handicrafts, traditional costumes, and food.

Ta Phin village is surrounded by mountains with the rice terraces. You come to Ta Phin can find many distinctively handmade brocades made by ethnic people. You can buy some products to bring back to your country. For example, there are a bag, purse, skirt, and even a backpack and coat. You will have a lunch cooked by the ethnic group.

The Dong Van rocky plateau

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Photo by trungydang
The Dong Van rocky plateau starts just north of the city of Ha Giang, about a six-hour drive from Hanoi. It is a spectacular part of the remote, mountainous region of Vietnam’s far northeast. Spectacular terraced rice paddies climb to the summits of the surrounding mountains, extending beyond the horizon. Further exploration uncovers more gems: Southeast Asia’s deepest canyon, 22 ethnic minority tribes, pristine lakes, pine forests, stone forests, caves bristling with undisturbed formations, and incredible waterfalls are just a few of the many treats that await the intrepid explorer.

Mu Cang Chai

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Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
Mu Cang Chai is about 280 km from Hanoi, at the foot of Hoang Lien Son mountain range, 1,000 m above sea level. To get to Mu Cang Chai district, you have to go through Khau Phau pass - one of the four Great Passes of the Northwest.

Mu Cang Chai has 2 beautiful seasons that you can arrange time to visit, other seasons to Mu Cang Chai nothing special. Between September and mid-October is the season of nine rice, at this time Mu Cang Chai will be a bright yellow rice, beautiful weather, favorable to visit here. Usually the most suitable time is from about 15-9 to 10/10 every year, before this time the green rice, after about this is almost fully reaped. 

Ninh Binh

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Photo by Quangpraha
Several tranquil rivers meander near the city of Ninh Binh, just 58 miles south of Hanoi. Take a ride on an aluminum rowboat paddled by local village women and marvel at the rugged karst terrain, mountain goats, and lush foliage as you glide along peaceful river waterways through a series of dark grottoes.

You can easily excursion Ninh Binh as a day trip from Hanoi, though if you want to stay longer, check out Cuc Phuong National Park—Vietnam’s oldest national park—and visit one of the Southeast Asia’s largest virgin rainforests, complete with easily-accessed primitive caves, thousands of butterflies, and internationally respected primate and pangolin rescue centers.

Visiting Vietnam with long Vietnam tours packages will give you peace of mind to enjoy the beautiful scenery as well as the more enjoyable experience.

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