If you have been in Hanoi for long days already and did make the most of exploring this city, there are still many attractive destinations near Hanoi area waiting for you to come and discover. Let take some days out of Hanoi to discover the real life of Vietnamese Northern citizens.
1. Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is known as one of the most famous UNESCO world heritage sites in Viet Nam. For years, Ha Long with a system of stunning stone islands and breathtaking natural caves has been listed in the 7 Wonders of the World. There are two seperate islands in this Ha Long as limestone and schist islands which carry the diversity and lively underwater creatures. Implicating in these islands are a number of magnificent caves such as Thien cung cave, Trinh Nu cave, Tam Cung caves and many other small versions that make a deep impression on tourist’s mind at the first sight. It takes about 3 hours and a half to go from Ha Noi to Ha Long city by bus. When arriving at Ha Long, you are suggested to get on a tourist boat to enjoy the fascinating scenery of Ha Long bay, which lasts 4 to 6 hours. When you are on the cruise, you can drop by and stop to visit by many spectacular caves and tiny islands.
Photo by Mark
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2. Mu Cang Chai
About 300 kilometers away from Hanoi, Mu Cang Chai, a mountainous land in the Northwest of Vietnam, is famous for the long lasting stretch of hazardous roads, primeval landscapes, grandiose ranges of mountains and the peaceful poetic picture of the ethnic lives. Especially, gorgeous terraced fields look like a green silk ribbon connecting with a blue skyline. When it's time for harvesting, Mu Cang Chai changes its look as thousands yellowish green steps of ladders up to heaven. Annually, when the fields are lush with ripening rice, crowds of photographers and backpackers flock up to this small paradise to contemplate and photograph the fascinating terraced fields.
Apart from enjoying the beautiful landscapes, you can also find out unique cultural features as well as the interesting side in the daily life of Mong ethnic people. Most of people here live a life of deprivation and misery, but the way they treat each other and the tourists always make you feel warm in your heart. There are some things to do that you shouldn't miss when visit Mu Cang Chai as visiting gorgeous terraced fields, trying out Tu Le sticky rice steamed, wallowing in hot spring and exploring the daily life of locals. Mu Cang Chai is becoming more popular and closer to the domestic and foreign tourists on every passing day. Luckily, it still remain the original beauty that people will fall in love with.
BOOK TOUR WITH LOCAL EXPERTS
If you want to explore Mu Cang Chai from Hanoi with our local experts, join Mu Cang Chai Motorbike tour
If you depart from Sapa (Lao Cai), Sapa- Mu Cang Chai Motorbike tour is great choice. Unique and fun.
Perfume pagoda belongs to Huong Son commune, My Duc district - a rural area of Hanoi. This attraction is not only widely known for its lovely visual landscapes but also for its unique Buddist culture. Perfume pagoda is about 70 kilometers from Hanoi center and it takes 2 hours to go Huong Son commune by bus. To get to this famous pagoda, you need to take a boat trip to Yen Vi stream. Majestic Perfume pagoda not only offers the peaceful beauty of smooth peaks and clear water of Perfume pagoda but also the grandiose landscapes on its way up. Apart from visiting the pagoda, you can climb up on a long way to reach to HuongTich cave, the most beautiful cave in the North or you can choose to move up there by cable car.
Photo by cameroonjb
The time from January to the end of the March of the lunar month, especially the 15th day of January to the 18th February is when you can participate and mingle in the jubilant atmosphere of local festival with many traditional activities.
"Beautiful places in nature have scenery that cannot compare to anything handmade"
That statement is definitely right for the beauty of Sapa. To many people who have chance visiting Sapa, this little highland is compared as a beautiful girl with the dreamy eyes in the early morning.
Sapa is about 370 kilometers away from Ha Noi and you can choose to travel to Sapa by bus or train. Scenic Sapa plunges a dramatic 2000 meters above sea level, which offer a stunning view when you get on top. That height results in the different weather condition in Sapa compared with other regions in Viet Nam.
Photo by vietduc1441
Furthermore, the yellow terraced rice fields on the harvest and wooden house of the ethnic people implicating among the forests together with a grandiose range of mountains create picturesque landscapes that make you feel as though you are in a fairyland. Experience Dao people culture, join in their market and try out the locals dishes in every Saturday night will be your worth memories in your trip to the North of Vietnam.
5. Hoa Lu -Tam Coc
Hoa Lu and Tam Coc are in turn renowned as the very first capital of Vietnam in the 10th century and the historical monument. These two historical sites belong to Ninh Binh province which is about 90 kilometers away from Hanoi. Hoa Lu and Tam Coc partly maintain its original layout and architecture, all of which date as far back as the Dinh and Le Dynasties. On your way, you will have a chance to contemplate the beautiful sightseeing of rice fields and peaceful views of Northern rural sites.
Hoa Lu provides an easeful and quiet feeling when you visit the Dinh and Le Kings’ temples, old pagodas that have existed for over hundred years. Continuing your day trip by moving to Tam Coc which resemble a piece of jade surrounded by gorgeous peaks of mountains. Also, Tam Coc is famous for its fantastic caves such as Ca, Hai or Ba caves. When reaching the caves, you will be surprised by the natural springs surrounded by immense rice fields, which gives Tam Coc a magnificent view.
Photo by lubneej_tusiab_heev
It is an easy cycling tour (about 12 km) tour and take a boat trip rowed by the local people on a river in Tam Coc which is considered as "Halong Bay on land", a perfect venue for you to relax and let your mind wander amongst the diverse limestone of Tam Coc.
There are more than fun and delightful to explore destination outside Ha Noi. This is why you need to pack your back right now to be in deep in all these above natural settings.
Are you going to visit Ha Noi, here are some suggested itineraries for you:
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