Some highlights will help you plan your trip with your time limit. You can follow your purpose and make the list of place that you want to see on the first trip in Vietnam. If your time is comfortable, visit all places, keep the best memory and you will not regret.
Hanoi: The capital of Vietnam, one destination you must see when you go to the North.
- The old quarter: 36 old streets, the streets name was settle related with what people was selling before.
- Hoan Kiem (sword return)lake: the famous one in Hanoi, with the story of the King Le Loi, achieved victory thanks to the help of the sword – given by the metal turtle god.
- One Pillar and Tran Quoc pagoda: some old pagoda will show you about Buddhist and Buddha.
- Long Bien Bridge: let’s take a walk a long Long Bien Bridge (was built by the France) to see the red river, some vendor try to sell their stuff, some teenage take a selfie.
- The Temple of literature: was the first university of Vietnam which was opened to educate the royal.
- Ho Chi Minh mausoleum: rest place of Ho Chi Minh – the greatest hero of Vietnam – Uncle Ho, the one was admired by millions of people in Vietnam and other countries in the world.
- Ethnographic and women’s museum: the culture and the life of minorities of Vietnam, how the Vietnamese woman contribute their life for the independent and development of Vietnam.
- Water puppet show: discovery the beauty of this unique Vietnam traditional art. They will show you daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, catching fishes…), communal entertainment (swimming contest, dragon dancing…), or historical legends (Le Loi returns precious sword…),…
- Street foods: delicious, cheap and very local taste.
Ninh Binh: where is famous about pagoda and caves.
For one who curious about the religious in Vietnam, Bai Dinh Pagoda and the ancient stone church Phat Diem is the best choice.
Trang An: sitting on a small boat and go around the river, you will visit the caves, enjoy cool weather and beautiful caves.
Cuc Phuong national park – the vast natural museum, richest limestone mountain keeping and feeding animal and plant.
Tam Coc – Bich Dong: many winding and arduous cave with many precious artifacts such as stone and two strange dragons.
Ninh Binh is very famous about grilled goat that you should try.
Ha Long Bay: after Hanoi, this place must be in your list.
Sightseeing by boat: misty fog like in a dream, the water is clear like crystal, reflects the islands in the distance far away.
Co To Island: swimming and diving to watch beautiful coral reefs.
Tuan Chau Island: popular tourist resort in the North and the most beautiful islands.
Yen Tu: a system of pagodas, shrines, towers and ancient trees blend with the natural landscape.
Sapa: beautiful, mountainous town. Visit Cat Cat village and falls, then join to the market of minorities ethnic: special market with livestock trading and myriad handcrafted homewares and souvenir stalls. Climbing Fansipan if you like adventure.
Hai Phong: busy city and beautiful beach.
Bao Dai Villa: the summer palace of Bao Dai, Vietnam’s last emperor.
Cat Ba island: charming, with friendly locals, fresh air, clear water, lots of seafood and many outdoor activities.
Do Son Beach: swimming, kite flying or sunbathing among many other beach activities.
Moc Chau: the big plateau of Son La province.
You can go by bus from Hanoi. But in my opinion, you should try with a motorbike to see poetic nature: big cow flocks, giant and endless grass steppes, hills of tea, ellow fields of kale, and so many flowers.
Ha Giang: Home of 17 ethnic minority groups with their own cultures and lifestyles, with beautiful nature and mountains.
Dong Van rocky highland Geopark became the first global Geopark in Viet Nam, the second in Southeast Asia. The whole scene is rocks with various shapes such as petals, flowers, flower branch (Khau vai rock garden, Veo Vac District) or the shape of tiger (Lung Cu rock garden). Van Chai rock garden has green grass that creates the majestic and grandeur beauty for landscape. With the unique cultural and spiritual values associated with the ethnic Mong, Dao, Lo Lo… they live on the plateau, picked up stones to build house, walls. They carved stone to grow corn and renovated the mountainside into a vast of rice.
Meo Vac: the most beautiful that you can see in the Ha Giang province.
Take a motorbike and drive through the fantastic areas of Meo Vac. Visiting Meo Vac market with ethnic residents every Sunday morning to see ethnic residents sell mostly cattle but also dogs, goats and pigs.
The love market Khau Vai is where the ethnic minority Hmong, Tay and Lo Lo come here seeking a life partner or a change in partner, only once a year on the 27th day, third month of the lunar calendar.
Foods: local food is very strange and speciality for the ethnic minority: thang co, thang den, au tau porridge, steamed rice rolls, corn, acohol, …
More places to see in Ha Giang
The Hmong king’s palace (Vuong Chinh Sinh) in Sa Phin village.
Noong lake – near to Ha Giang town. The lake with trees growing in the water.
Ma Pi Leng Pass – The Pass, which goes through the high mountains area.
Hoang Su Phi – untouched nature, ethnic villages and cultural heritage.
The largest city and also the capital of Viet Nam is Ha Noi, which is rising star in Southeast Asia and get more tourist every day. Ha Noi has a thousand years of civilization, and save many monuments: Sword Lake, The Huc Bridge, Quan Su Pagoda, West Lake, 36 ancient towns, …
Ha Noi with for season always brings you so many unforgettable memories, and of course the food is so good, specially Bun Cha Ha Noi (noodle with grilled pork), Pho (beef noodle), La Vong fish ball, Ho Tay shrimp cake…
More places to see outside Ha Noi:
Ha Long Bay – awesome and famous bay in Viet Nam
Sapa, Moc Chau, Ha Giang – beautiful mountainous town of ethnic
Ninh Binh – a model of Viet Nam with forest, mountain, river, beach
Hai Phong – third largest city and a major port near Ha Noi