Known colloquially as the ‘final frontier', Ha Giang, in the far north, is the last stop before the border with Vietnam's giant northern neighbour China.
Only recently opened to the public, the site displays evidence painstakingly unearthed by archaeologists of human settlements dating back many thousands of years.
It remains largely untouched by tourists today, retaining the charm of traditional village life and an authenticity that's increasingly rare in Indochina. Terraced rice paddies, verdant forests, winding mountain passes and minority peoples in brightly coloured dress make for wonderful photos and a truly rewarding travelling experience.
Be sure to time your visit with one of the lively local markets that form the backbone of society, when villages come from miles around to trade gossip and hand-made textiles.