Not only Hanoi, the northern region of Vietnam also has many impressive destinations for foreign visitors such as terraced fields or beautiful bays.
Located in the center of the northern province of Hoa Binh is Mai Chau, a district with green trees, beautiful mountains and a diverse and vibrant culture.
Mai Chau is home to seven ethnic groups: Mong, Dao, Muong, Hoa, Viet, Thai, and Tay. In addition to green valleys, Mai Chau also stands out with stilt houses built 3m above the ground.
Cat Ba island
Cat Ba archipelago has more than 360 islands, the largest island named Cat Ba. There are many beautiful places on the island for your exploration. Up to over 50% of the island's area belongs to the Cat Ba national park, which is created to protect the rare Cat Ba langur.
Cat Ba Island is also home to the Cannon Fort, built in 1942. You can visit the fortress and take advantage of the altitude to take some great photos of the scenery below.
Bai Tu Long Bay
Without a doubt, Ha Long Bay is one of the most popular destinations in the North of Vietnam. However, it is not the only beautiful bay worth exploring in the area.
Bai Tu Long Bay, which is very near to Ha Long Bay, also boasts with a submerged karst plateau, crystal blue waters and a group of small islands.
In fact, many people prefer Bai Tu Long Bay because it is less crowded. The best way to visit Bai Tu Long Bay is by boat as the boat will take you to the highlights across the bay.
Bac Ha is small and the best way to explore it is to go to the town square. There are a number of local eateries that serve delicious, inexpensive food and there are many beautiful handicraft shops.
However, what really makes Bac Ha worth a visit is the Sunday market. Every Sunday morning, residents from all over the region gather in Bac Ha, which becomes a concert of vivid colors and sounds.
People of different ethnic minority groups come to the tow to buy and sell goods. This is a great opportunity to see many ethnic groups in a beautiful setting.
In fact, Tam Coc is one of the most spectacular destinations in the entire region.
The best way to explore Tam Coc is to take a boat ride along lush green fields and between striking limestone cliffs. You will go through three "tunnels" through the mountains, and be "floated" on the river gently.
On the boat, vendors can tempt you with beautiful local souvenirs and handicrafts.
One of the most remote provinces in the country is Ha Giang. Located close to the border with China, Ha Giang province is known for its lush green forests and granite mountains.
It is a great destination to explore the diversity of ethnic groups in northern Vietnam and participate in outdoor activities such as camping or hiking. Ha Giang owns hundreds of spectacular landscapes.
However, the most prominent is the Ma Pi Leng Pass. The open-air market is a regular activity in Ha Giang, where local people come to attend weekly or monthly events. One of the most vibrant markets is Dong Van Market, held every Sunday.
The mountainous town of Sapa is known for its rich cultural diversity as well as stunning scenery.
Sapa is inhabited by ethnic minorities including the Mong, Dao, Muong and Tay. The town overlooks the vibrant Muong Hoa Valley and stunning terraced rice fields.
If you want to learn more about the local residents and their culture, go to Sapa for a night market or live a few days in a homestay facility. You can walk to remote villages and then spend the night eating and experiencing with the hill tribe inhabitants.
If you can visit only one place in the North of Vietnam, let's stay in the capital Hanoi. Hanoi is an interesting mix of Eastern and Western culture.
French imprints are evident through cuisine as well as architecture, especially the Old Quarter in Hoan Kiem district. Hanoi has many beautiful temples, and a visit to the 11th-century Temple of Literature is an exciting activity.
The Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which are located next to each other, are also the main attractions in the capital city, and both are outstanding architectural works.
Ha Long Bay
One of the most popular destinations in the country is Ha Long Bay. Its reputation is well deserved, because it's really beautiful. Ha Long means the descending dragon, representing the silhouette of limestone outcrops rising above the water.
A day trip or overnight boat trip are a great way to experience the beauty of Ha Long Bay and see as many islands as possible.
You can go swimming, find caves to explore or find some more remote islands that are uninhabited when traveling through Ha Long Bay.