With exquisite natural settings and long-lasting culture, Vietnam is an attractive destination for foreign travelers. Millions of travelers of all ages come to Vietnam each year with an aim to conquer this small yet beautiful S-shaped land.
While the eastern part of the country is naturally blessed with long stunning coastline and fertile delta, the western region is covered with the green of mountainous terrain. And the northwest part is the best places to explore the wilderness of soaring mountains. With various choices suitable for different ages, the mountainous Northwest is undeniably a perfect destination for North Vietnam group tours. Let’s see the top must-see destinations in the northwest that travelers should not miss.
1. Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai
Located in Yen Bai Province, Mu Cang Chai is an amazing destination in the Northwest to visit. This district is said to be the heaven of terraced rice fields.
Traveling to Mu Cang Chai, you will come across Khau Pha Pass – the longest and most dangerous pass in Highway 32. Regarded as one of the four most imposing passes in the Northwest, Khau Pha Pass is situated at an altitude of more than 1,200 meters. “Khau Pha” means the horns that rise to the sky, symbolizing the heaven-touching mountain peaks which rise in the middle of the cloud ocean. Coming across the Pass, you will get the chance to see the jaw-dropping scenery of jungle, steep hills, narrow roads, and most interestingly, the colorful rice fields.
Paragliding in Mu Cang Chai
Visiting the awe-inspiring terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai is voted as the top things to do in Northern Vietnam. The area is at its best in the water-bumping season (between May and June) and the rice ripening season (between September and October). From May to June, the fields look like a huge mirror sparkling under the sunlight, while in early October, the yellow of the ripening rice covers the whole area. The green of the forest, the yellow of the fields, and the white of the cloud altogether make up a spectacular scenery that would capture travelers’ hearts from their very first look.
2. Sapa, Lao Cai
Sapa cannot be a better choice if you are considering where to go in Vietnam. This small town in Lao Cai Province has always been among the top tourist attractions in Vietnam.
Sea of cloud in Sapa
Located in the highest mountain range in Indochina, Sapa is a little town where there presents the cluster of modern and conventional lifestyle. Taking North Vietnam group tours to Sapa, you will stand in awe when seeing the marvelous mountains soaring in front of your eyes. You can get a cable car or hike to Fansipan Peak – the summit of Indochina to step on the cloud and take a bird’s eye view over the whole area. In the winter, when it gets freezing cold, Sapa might be covered with the white of snow – a scenery that can hardly be seen in a tropical country.
Ethnic people in Sapa
Sapa also attracts people with the indigenous cultures of the locals. Different ethnic groups live together in Sapa. People from different groups like Tay, Dao, and H’mong integrate and make up a diverse yet united community. Visiting Sapa, travelers can live in the traditional stilt houses, wear the colorful costumes of different groups, and sample their traditional foods. Consequently, it would be a great opportunity to get a deeper approach to the local life, which you can only learn through books and media.
Sapa also represents the influence of western cultures. In the town stand many western architectural works, namely the ancient villas, the Cathedral and its front square. Interestingly, the traditional Love Market, where the single come and find their lovers, takes place in the square in front of the church every Saturday night. The conventional and western cultures stand close to each other and create a strange yet harmonious vibe.
3. Ha Giang
Ha Giang, with its distinctive cultures and majestic natural scenery, is another must-stop place for North Vietnam group tours.
Ma Pi Leng Pass and Nho Que River
Most of Ha Giang land is mountainous terrain. The province locates Ma Pi Leng Pass, which is considered the “King of Vietnam Passes” with regard to its winding roads embracing the lush mountains. Deep beneath the Pass stands the beautiful Nho Que River. Ma Pi Leng Pass is hence the favorite destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Additionally, Ha Giang is home to Dong Van Rock Plateau – the masterpiece of nature. This UNESCO-listed Global Geopark is littered with the ethereal karst formations that are nearly 400 million years old, which are not only geologically but also culturally significant. Thanks to these appealing natural spots, this land is voted to be the top place for intrepid group tours in northern Vietnam.
Ha Giang in spring
More than 90% of Ha Giang population are ethnic people coming from different groups like H’Mong, Dao, Tay, Muong, and Nung. Having not been touched by mass tourism, the people here still preserve their traditions and norms well. The province, hence, is a promising land for cultural exploration. You can pay a visit to some famous attractions (Hoang Su Phi Town, Meo Vac, Vuong Family’s Mansion, and Khau Vai Love Market) to explore the valuable culture of these groups.
With the majestic landscapes and distinctive cultures, Northwest Vietnam holds a strong appeal that would steal visitors’ hearts. A tour to the famous attractions in the Northwest will definitely bring you unforgettable experiences that would last a lifetime.