Top 10 best attractions in northern Vietnam 2023

Vietnam's vast and beautiful north is home to a wide range of spectacular landscapes, ethnic villages and tranquil destinations. With destinations ranging from the inland of Ha Giang, to the bustling streets of Hanoi and the coastal islands of Lan Ha Bay, the north has an experience for everyone.
Northern Vietnam has four seasons, unlike the year-round heat of southern Vietnam. As a result, the northern landscape is made up of lush green jungles, rolling mountain ranges, green streets and seasonal destinations.
Visiting the north can be enjoyable for everyone. Visitors who enjoy the outdoors can enjoy activities such as climbing, hiking and motorcycling. On the other hand one can explore the lively and fascinating streets of Hanoi. And beach lovers can visit the many hidden coves of Halong Bay.

1. Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular travel destination in Quang Ninh province. Halong, which means "landing dragon", is the centre of a very large area that includes Bai Tu Long Bay to the north and Lan Ha Bay to the south.

The bay comprises thousands of limestone islets of various shapes and sizes. Halong is a priceless jewel of Vietnam and the world.

2. Ninh Binh

Before Hanoi, Ninh Binh was the capital of Vietnam under the Dinh, Le and Ly dynasties (968 - 1010 BC). For this reason, there are many historical buildings and ancient complexes that you can explore. Ninh Binh is a fascinating and peaceful place with inspiring landscapes.

Visitors have easy access to almost all destinations here. With many limestone mountains, Ninh Binh is well known for its nickname "Halong Bay on earth". So if you have visited Halong Bay before, Ninh Binh can offer you a whole new experience that you have never had before.

3. Ha Giang

Ha Giang province is located in the northernmost region of Vietnam, about 400km northwest of Hanoi. Like Sapa, Ha Giang's most popular destination is the beautiful mountains. This enigmatic province is a showcase of incredible scenery, limestone cliffs, winding rivers and more.

Ha Giang is also home to many ethnic minority groups, such as Hmong, Tay, Dzao and Nung, in addition to its breathtaking scenery. This makes Ha Giang a fascinating place where tourists have convenient access to the most rural and real aspects of Vietnam.

4. Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Sunday Market is often held every Sunday from morning till 2:00 pm, near the mountainous highlands and the Chinese border. The market has come to existence since the foundation of Lao Cai Province. From then on, the market only opens once a week on Sunday. 

In the highlands, where many distinct ethnic groups meet to buy and sell local products rarely seen elsewhere, Bac Ha market is considered the largest. On weekends, throngs of villagers from the surrounding hill tribes walk to the market to purchase and exchange food, animals, clothes and household goods.

5. Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is rich in a number of natural aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Limestone forests, mangroves, seagrass beds, caves, swamp forests, beaches and lagoons make up the island's biodiversity. This is why the Vietnamese authorities have designated it a national park.

Good opportunities to trek and climb in Cat Ba National Park, rent a kayak or book half-day or full-day kayaking and diving trips, watch the sunset directly over the neighbouring islands and Lan Ha Bay at the gun fort.

6. Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay is almost overlooked by tourists because of its location, situated to the east of Halong Bay, far away from Cat Ba Island and adjacent to the China Territorial Sea. It is also so unpolluted and pristine, a "must see" place for travellers who prefer wilderness.
The best way to discover this area is to book a cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay with different optional itineraries from 1 day, 2 days or 3 days.

7. Lac Village in Mai Chau

Lac Village seems to be a romantic dreamland not far from Hanoi (about 100 km). The village is a lush valley with rice fields dotted with clusters of stilt houses of a quiet town.
The village of Lac, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mai Chau, captivates visitors with the rustic charm of the mountains, the gentleness of the girls in the highlands and the comfort of the inhabitants here.

8. Capital Hanoi

Hanoi is the largest city in Vietnam. This city has been the capital of Vietnam for over a thousand years since the Ly Dynasty and through most of the Vietnamese dynasty. With this time span, Hanoi still retains its unique charm and culture to this day. If this is your first time in Vietnam, Hanoi Sightseeing Tour is a must-see destination that you will never want to miss.

9. Mua Cave

The cave brings you one of the best panoramic view of one of the nicest sceneries in Viet Nam- that’s Ninh Binh- which is known as a wonder of the world, the Telegraph from UK said “It’s an area known locally as Vietnam’s ‘Inland Halong Bay’” or Mua Cave – The Vietnamese “Great Wall of China”

Ninh Binh is 5km from Mua Cave and is a popular stop on tours of Tam Coc. This cave (the name means "cave of the dance") is not terribly spectacular on a sleepy path between rice fields, but there are panoramic views from the top above.

10. Fansipan Peak

There are 4 main destinations in northern Vietnam and Sapa is a very important one. Sapa is a small, quiet mountain village in Lao Cai province. Here you can find the highest mountain peak in Indochina - Fansipan.

For many climbers, adventurers and travellers with a passion for conquering nature, the summit of Fansipan has always been a meeting place. There is nothing better than doing your best to climb a majestic peak. But, the cable route has now welcomed thousands of tourists to Sapa to fulfill their fantasy of conquering the highest peak in Indochina in 15 minutes.

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