NORTH OF VIETNAM
HANOI – THE CAPITAL OF NORTH VIETNAM SINCE 1954 AND FOR THE UNITED COUNTRY SIVE 1976
It is famous of “city of lakes” and along the Red River. The population is estimated at 7.7 million people. It experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam, with 4 distinct seasons. Summer, from May until August, is characterized by hot and humid weather with abundant rainfall. September to October is fall, characterized by a decrease in temperature and precipitation. Winter, from November to January, is dry and cool by national standards. It is also famous with 36 old quarters and rich culinary.
HA LONG BAY – QUANG NINH PROVINCE – IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long Bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà Island to the southwest. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets. The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem.
SAPA – A FRONTIER TOWNSHIP AND CAPITAL OF LAO CAI PROVINCE IN NORTH-WEST VIETNAM.
Sa Pa is a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority peoples. The total population of 36,000 consists mostly of minority groups. Besides the Kinh (Viet) people (15 percent) there are mainly five ethnic groups in Sa Pa: Hmong 52 percent, Dao 25 percent, Tay five percent, Giay two percent, and a small number of Xa Pho. Most of the ethnic minority people work their land on sloping terraces since the vast majority of the land is mountainous. Sa Pa is now in full economic boom, mainly from the thousands of tourists who come every year to walk the hundreds of miles of trekking trails between and around the villages of Dao villages of Ta Van and Ta Phin.
BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET – 3-HOUR DRIVE FROM SAPA
Bac Ha is considered one of the most wonderful and colourful markets in extreme north Vietnam where thousands of local people in their traditional attire buy and sell the local products. Dogs, cats, pigs, horses… are all on sales. This is a golden opportunity to take your best photos!
TRANG AN, NINH BINH PROVINCE – AN SCENIC LANDSCAPE COMPLEX
It is located in the districts Hoa Lu, Gia Vien, and Nho Quan of Ninh Binh Province in northern Viet Nam. The heritage property is spread over a large area of 10,000 hectares. The three components are the Trang An Ecological Area, the Tam Coc-Bich Dong River Landscape and the Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel. The three areas share a common geological and ecological environment characterized by dramatic limestone karsts, permeated with a network of caves, and bound together by flooded inland waterways of high biological diversity.
BAN GIOC WATER FALL – CAO BANG PROVINCE
Over thousands of years the waterfall has eroded its crest and slowly moved upstream. It currently appears to be two waterfalls most of the time but when the river is swollen due to summer rains can form one fall again.
In Vietnamese, the two falls are considered as two parts of one waterfall with the sole name Bản Giốc. The two parts are thác chính (Main waterfall) and thác phụ (Subordinate waterfall). The waterfall drops 30 m (98 ft). It is separated into three falls by rocks and trees, and the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs can be heard from afar.
It is currently the 4th largest waterfall in the world after Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls, and Niagara Falls.
MU CANG CHAI – YEN BAI PROVINCE
The rice terrace fields in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and Ze Xu Phinh have been recognized as national landscapes by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. There have been local festivals in Yen Bai and the Mu Cang Chai rice terrace fields have been used to attract both domestic and international tourists. Mu Cang Chai Rice Terrace has been recognized as one of the unique landscapes of Vietnam and was at the highest ranked national landscape in 2007. One issue faced by the local people was keeping the water sources on the land and ground for growing rice on the slope of mountain. The Hmong people developed a way to retain water by making the levelling the land on the mountain to create the rice terrace fields.
Mai Chau, Hoa Binh Province
Mai Châu is a rural district of Hòa Bình Province. The district is located at about 160 km from Ha Noi. The scenery of Mai Châu attracts many tourists, Mai Chau is a completely different world of pure air, untouched nature and fascinating tribal culture. Mai Chau Ecolodge is located right at the heart of Mai Chau valley within walking distance to Lac and Pom Coong villages. It offers Meditation and Eco-Tour Retreat is a deeply transformational process, guided and facilitated by experienced local. There are many activities offered to tourists such as walking tour around Lac village, water buffalo on the field, biking around the town, seeing Thai ethnic museum, 1000 steps cave, enjoy local foods, etc. You could also hire a car to enjoy a scenic drive along Hoa Binh Lake, another Halong Bay in North Vietnam. Kayaking or boat trip is available.