Visit Northern Vietnam
Northern Vietnam embodies the best of Vietnam. From the exciting capital Hanoi and magical Halong Bay, to the rugged limestone hills around Sapa, Mai Chau and Ha Giang, this area is unmatched in terms of scenery, colour, and beauty.
Venturing up into the hills north-west of Hanoi will feel like entering an entirely different world with lush green valleys, cut open by rice paddies and framed by the misty peaks of mountain ranges, home to many of Vietnam's surviving minority tribes.
Top itineraries in Northern Vietnam
Discover the best of Vietnam, taking in the country's vibrant northern capital Hanoi, the emerald waters of Halong Bay and the historically rich central coastal towns of Hue and Hoi An. Then, fly south Ho Chi Minh City and the magic of the Mekong Delta and the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels.
The Mekong Delta is often referred to as 'Vietnam's rice bowl'. This rich agricultural land supports a thriving population of farmers, who make their living amidst the abundant waterways that form the mouth of the mighty Mekong River, one of the world's great waterways.
A 13-day trip to northern Vietnam, visiting a mix of the main highlights including Hanoi and Sapa, and some less-frequently visited attractions: Mai Chau and Ninh Binh.
Top places to stay in Northern Vietnam
A great value hotel located in the business district, close to the attractive French Quarter of Hanoi.
Located in a quiet bay, the Chen Sea Resort & Spa is a small and intimate beachside resort that only has 36 villas meaning that it always has a relaxed and exclusive atmosphere
Boutique Hoi An Resort is a stylish oasis just footsteps from Cu Dai beach and offers fantastic value for money
Where to go in Northern Vietnam
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.
The stilted village of Mai Chau in the mountainous Mai Chai District is just over 80 miles from Hanoi and more easily accessible than Ha Giang and Sapa; this makes it a perfect place to experience northern Vietnam's rich rural culture if you're only in Hanoi for a short time.
When to go to Northern Vietnam
Spring and summer in the north tend to be hot and humid with heavy downpours, while the winter can get quite cold, especially in the mountains. The autumn is arguably the best time to visit, with temperatures averaging around 25ºC and rainfall at its lowest. Along the central coast, the wet season starts in September, when typhoons bring torrential rain and hurricane-force winds. The spring is generally dry and pleasant, followed by a hot summer (June to August), when temperatures are often in the high 30s.
Northern Vietnam articles
Test your knowledge of Vietnam and Cambodia with our quiz to find out how well you know these favourite destinations.
Find out how to dodge the monsoon and why Vietnam's May is one of the best times to visit its bustling cities, verdant mountains and golden sands.
Learn when the Vietnamese New Year is, how it's celebrated and how best to enjoy it yourself with our helpful guide.
Meet our Northern Vietnam experts
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