The best places to visit in Northern Vietnam

northern vietnam

Northern Vietnam is a hidden gem of the world. The beautiful landscapes and cultural experiences make it worth your time to visit this region in Northern Vietnam, but how do you navigate all its wonderful attractions? This list can help point out some incredible destinations for visitors who want an unforgettable experience!

Mai Chau

The beauty of Mai Chau is one that can be seen with both eyes closed, but you might have more luck closing them if your goal was to explore this district in northern Vietnam. Mountains and greenery are not hard hit as there’s plenty for all tastes here- whether it’s lush jungle or gorgeous scenery–with so much culture too!

With its verdant valleys and stilt houses, Mai Chau is a sort of melting pot that serves as the home to seven distinct ethnic groups: Hmong, Zao Muong Hoa Viet White Thai Tay. In addition, it stands out for its 3 meters (10 feet) high construction which often offers shelter from inclement weather for animals escaping their homes in other regions where they’ve been forced by climate change or human activity.

Cat Ba Island

In Vietnam’s Halong Bay is the Cat Ba Archipelago. While the archipelago boasts more than 360 islands, the largest is titled Cat Ba. Although there are many beautiful places to explore on the island, Cat Ba town is not among these, with its low-rise concrete hotels along a once-lovely bay. Fortunately, more than 50 percent of the island is a national park, which was created to protect the rare Cat Ba Langur, an adorable but difficult-to-spot primate.

Some of the best places to spot langurs are on Monkey Island. And macaques? Plenty of those too! If you’re not lucky enough for that, then take a ferry over there and see if they let loose from their cages at Cat Ba Fort or tour it anyway with some elevation above ground level- perfect timing because this island has amazing views below as well (and don’t forget about Cannon Fort).

Bai Tu Long Bay

The beauty of Northern Vietnam is undeniable, but many tourists are looking beyond Halong Bay to other equally beautiful bays. Bai Tu Long Bay comes in at number two with its sunken limestone plateau and stunning blue water that makes it just as good of a destination for travelers seeking an adventure without the crowds found along much more popular locales such as Phu Quoc Island or Hoi An Ancient Town.

A must-see when visiting this region on your next trip abroad!

Detian Falls

The stunning Detian Waterfall is located on the border between Vietnam and China. The whole area has been designated as a scenic zone, but it’s definitely not just about seeing waterfalls here; you’ll also want to take in all of these beautiful landscape features while hiking along with them! There are three stages – each more dramatic than the last- which make this place truly unforgettable for those who visit…

One of the more unique ways to see Detian Waterfall is by hiring a raft and getting close to the river itself. At 53rd Meerestone, it’s possible for you legally cross between China & Vietnam so maybe want to jump over the border just because new perspective offer!

Bac Ha

Just a few miles from the Chinese border is the small town of Bac Ha. When you visit, your best bet is to explore its square and see what’s going down in this fascinating little slice of life! There are plenty of local eateries serving delicious food at an inexpensive price as well as handmade crafts for sale all around town that will make any traveler happy with their purchase (or maybe even buy some?) The real reason why people come here though has nothing whatsoever to do about cuisine; It’s simply because on Sundays there exists a possible one-of-a-kind marketplace where everyone meets up – foreigners included!

The Sunday market in Bac Ha is a fantastic opportunity to see the colorful and vibrant ethnicities that make up this region. It’s not just Vietnamese people coming here, but also Thai hill tribe members with their weaves selling everything you need for your outdoor adventures!

Tam Coc

Tam Coc is a destination that should not be missed. You can explore this magical place by boat and experience the breathtaking beauty of it all from up close, or you could just float through three tunnels that were carved out by rivulets over time! From aboard your vessel, there may even be vendors tempting (or deterring) tourists with their local goods.

Ha Giang Province

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.

For those who crave adventure, there is no better place than the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Outdoor markets are a regular occurrence in Ha Giang and residents travel out of their way to attend these weekly or monthly events such as Dong Van Market which takes place on Sundays.


The town of Sapa is home not only to many hill tribe members but also has incredible scenery. The nearby mountains provide an escape for those looking to get away from big city life and experience authentic culture on their vacation in Vietnam.

It’s no wonder that this mountainous region attracts travelers who want something more than just another beachfront resort! Sapa is a place where you can get an inside look at the local residents and their cultures. You will be trekking through mountains while learning about life in these remote villages from the hill tribes themselves!


If you only visit one place in Northern Vietnam, it will likely be Hanoi. As the capital of this country and home to an incredible blend of eastern and western culture, there’s no shortage of things to do while here- from architectures that are visible both French colonial influences as well as local cuisine (especially with what’s available around Hoan Kiem District). A must-see attraction? The side by side Mausoleum Of Ho Chi Minh And Museum dedicated respectively under his name which stands out beautifully among other buildings; if not altogether stunning then at least visually impressive enough inside their architecture alone!

Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is a spectacular destination with its name telling you everything about it. Halong means descending dragons and there are outcrops that seem to be coming up from the water, giving this place an otherworldly beauty like no other I’ve seen before or since!

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If you want to get away from the hustle and bustles of life, then consider a day cruise or overnight boat trip. With stunning views one can only find in Halong Bay; it’s no wonder that people have been going there for centuries! While cruising through this area you’ll enjoy swimming near islands (if they’re not too far) with nothing but nature at your feet-perfect relaxation before returning back home again!