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7 Places to Lose Yourself in the Magic of Northern Vietnam

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Vietnam Travel Guide

Are you trying to find the "authentic" Vietnam? Would you like to explore a new aspect of the nation and venture off the Instagram-famous path? Visit Northern Vietnam.

Even though Ho Chi Minh City and the southern coastal cities receive more tourists than Northern Vietnam, this is a part of the nation that should not be ignored. Of course, if you are a first-time traveler, you should not miss the best halong bay cruise tour, Sapa, and Ninh Binh, but sometimes you can make the best tour of Vietnam by ignoring the crowds and exploring areas outside of the country's main cities.

You can always find something to match your vibe in northern Vietnam, including breathtaking scenery and mouthwatering cuisine. If you are wondering what to do in Northern Vietnam, this article can help you find the ideal solution. Read on!

Places to visit in Northern Vietnam

Ha Giang

One of the nation's most adventurous destinations is the province of Ha Giang, dotted with picturesque karst mountains, meandering roads, steep mountain passes, and foggy towns.

Things to do in Ha Giang

  • Go on the Ha Giang Loop: The Ha Giang Loop is the ultimate highlight of your visit to this town, making holidays to Vietnam the best. The Ha Giang loop begins and ends in Ha Giang City and spans three to five days. You travel to a different location every day, and the scenery on the way there becomes better and better. 
  • Visit Hoang Su Phi: Hoang Su Phi is one of Vietnam's most off-the-beaten travel spots. During harvest season, you can find some of Vietnam's most beautiful rice fields.

Mu Cang Chai

The isolated Yen Bai provincial district of Mu Cang Chai has lately drawn a lot of attention from tourists due to its spectacular rice terraces, a man-made wonder of remarkable beauty.

Things to do in Mu Cang Chai

  • Try paragliding in Khau Pha Pass: At 1,200 meters above sea level, Khau Pha Pass offers the perfect altitude for this thrilling activity. Every year during the golden season, adventure seekers and vacationers are taken to new heights by the Flying Festival on their holidays to Vietnam.
  • Try sticky rice and Com in Tu Le: Tu Le is renowned for its culinary delights, which include sticky rice and Com (green rice). This rice's appeal stems from its lovely scent, which lingers long after cooking and is unique to Tu Le.

Thai Nguyen

Much of Vietnam's exported green tea is grown in Thai Nguyen Province, which is located immediately north of Hanoi and serves as the center of the nation's tea industry.

Things to do in Thai Nguyen

  • Visit Nui Coc Lake: The picturesque scenery and leisurely cruising on a boat on the lake will make this a wonderful weekend getaway destination.
  • Witness Thai Nguyen Tea Hills: For anyone searching for a beautiful backdrop for their picture shoot, a Vietnam travel agency will suggest this is the perfect place. It is ideal for hanging out with family and friends and enjoying the fresh air for walks, especially with the massive green tea hills nearby.

Nam Dinh

Nam Dinh, a village around 90 kilometers (60 miles) from Hanoi, is not as well-known to tourists. However, it is a fantastic option for anyone who enjoys taking off the beaten path and appreciates authentic local life and rich culture, Vietnamese cuisine, and the countryside's natural beauty. Contact local tour operators in Vietnam to explore Nam Dinh in the best possible way.

Things to do in Nam Dinh

  • Visit Co Le Pagoda: It is an old temple that the Ly dynasty's Zen Master Nguyen Minh Khong established. The temple still has the 12-story tower that was constructed in 2005. Standing atop this tower, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the entire Nam Dinh region.
  • Try beef noodle soup: Pho Bo, or beef noodle soup, is a must-try when visiting this area. This dish originated in Nam Dinh, as well as the profession of Pho cooking.

Thai Binh

Thai Binh has various appealing tourist destinations, including stunning beaches and temples. It is a coastal province in the Red River Delta. All you need to make the best tour of Vietnam in Thai Binh is a few days with a motorbike with enough gas and a small backpack to explore the untamed beauty that is nowhere to be seen.

Things to do in Thai Binh

  • Visit Dong Chau Beach: The sandy beach of Dong Chau stretches 5 kilometers along the enormous expanse of the sea. Green casuarinas are arranged in rows along the coast. Here, the waves are soft and serene.
  • Visit Dong Bang Temple: One of Thai Binh's oldest and holiest temples is Dong Bang. Situated by the Nhue River, the temple holds great significance as a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all around Vietnam.

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is in a prime location, nestled among thousands of stunning limestone karsts in the South China Sea. Cat Ba, the biggest of the 367 islands that make up the Cat Ba Archipelago, dominates the Gulf of Tonkin.

Things to do in Cat Ba Island

  • Cat Ba National Park Hike: Nearly half of the island is covered by Cat Ba National Park's dense green vegetation. In 2004, it received the designation of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The endangered Cat Ba Langur calls this place home, among many other species.
  • Visit caves: Cat Ba Island is known for its multi-shaped stalactites and stalagmites. Hospital Cave, Hoa Cuong Cave, Trung Trang Cave, and Phu Luong Cave are a few of the well-known caves you can visit. Don't miss to explore the 300-hectare Trung Trang Cave, one of the island's largest caves, if you are already in Cat Ba National Park.


The last place in our list of the best places to visit in northern Vietnam is Hanoi's capital city. Vietnam's old capital might initially be overwhelming due to its winding streets, endless sea of traffic, and packed marketplaces. However, Hanoi's great cultural traditions and rich past are simply waiting to be explored beneath the surface.

Things to do in Hanoi

  • Explore the temple of literature: The country's Imperial Academy, a school for elite and ruling family members, was once located on these grounds. Years later, it was converted into a school for the best academic performers in the nation. There are five distinct courtyards to discover, all brimming with exquisite architectural details and legendary statues. Contact Threeland Travel to make the best of your tours, as they can provide you with more intricate details of the place than others.
  • Shop at Dong Xuan Market: It is the main market in Hanoi, constructed by the French government and is the center of street shopping. Many wholesalers provide a wide range of accessories, such as clothing, household items, shoes, food, and more. For shopaholics, it is the ideal location.