HANOI, August 9, 2017 – When the French were expelled from Vietnam, the Country was seemingly free but it wasn’t until the mid-70s and the end of the Vietnam War that the unified country could look forward. It still took some years before Vietnam embraced the outside world but the regime in Hanoi has opened its arms to foreign tourists and the quality it revealed has ensured that year on year the number of oversea travellers booking Vietnam northeast and northwest tours is increasing. Many land in today’s capital, Hanoi, and even if they venture no further than the North, there are plenty of things to do and see.
Hanoi itself has become one of the favourite tourist cities in the whole of Asia. It has wide boulevards, a legacy of the French, and the colonial architecture is intermingled with traditional wooden housing as well as modern developments. The Old City is very interesting and there are several notable landmarks such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Museum of Literature, and of course countless pagodas and temples. Heading out from Hanoi, the North has many jewels it is happy to reveal and Halong bay is definitely the most beautiful place to visit on your Vietnam holiday.
The mountainous regions north of Hanoi towards the borders with China and Laos are stunning:
Sapa in the north west is famous for its terraces where the hill tribes grow their rice. They shimmer in the sun after the famers plant in the water, and as the weeks pass, they change to various shades of green until harvest-time when they are golden. The Town has an interesting market and the whole area is great for exploration.
Ha Giang & Ba Be Lake, close to the Chinese border, are certainly something to add to a Vietnam holiday itinerary. It is a poor region which is rugged and often not suitable for agriculture.
Dien Bien Phu in the north west is the site of a famous victory over the French in 1954 during the war for independence. The victory was decisive and marked the end of the French in Vietnam though it also resulted in Vietnam being divided into north and south.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, with its hundreds of limestone islands, is a lovely place to cruise, even though in high season, there will be plenty more people with the same idea. You can spend a night aboard a boat, swim or simply relax to enjoy sunrise and sunset.
Hoa Lu & Tam Coc, two hours east of Hanoi has often been referred to as ‘’Halong on land.’’ There are limestone peaks and green valleys to enjoy. This was the capital under the Dinh Dynasty in the second half of the 10th Century and there are several significant historical and religious sites to visit.
Mai Chau in Hoa Binh Province has the same natural beauty and is closer still to Hanoi. There are many small villages, inhabited by the White Thai among others. It is a great area for interaction with the villagers and simply exploring on foot or bicycle.
Vivutravel is based in Hanoi and has over 10 years of experience in organising tour packages around Vietnam, especially the north of Vietnam. If you are looking for the best Vietnam travel agency to plan the trip, Vivutravel must be your first choice!