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Ninh Binh

Northern Vietnam

Vietnam tailor-made holidays

Introduction

Northern Vietnam is a microcosm of the entire country. From the picturesque Halong Bay to the rugged limestone hills around Sapa, Mai Chau and Ha Giang, this area is unmatched in its verdant scenery and breathtaking beauty. Venturing up into the hills north-west of bustling Hanoi feels like entering an entirely different world among the lush green valleys and rice paddies of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, framed by the misty peaks of mountain ranges home to many of Vietnam's surviving minority tribes.

Hanoi

Nestled on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is a vibrant, chaotic capital city known for its blend of Asian and Western cultures. The city’s Old Quarter is a rabbit warren of tiny lanes lined with street food vendors, market stalls and little shops organised by trade. Take a walking tour to fully appreciate its quirks. Hoan Kiem Lake, although in the city centre, is a quiet oasis where locals practice T’ai Chi and visitors can take a breather from all the excitement. And, don’t miss the city’s many museums and landmarks – the Women’s Museum and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are highlights.

Busy streets of Hanoi in VietnamHanoi

Ninh Binh and Halong Bay

Ninh Binh’s beauty lies in its majestic limestone cliffs, verdant national parks and other-worldly river caves. Climb ancient stone staircases for views of the surrounding peaks, sample snails in local bars and explore ornate temples and pagodas. Alternatively, for scenery on a grander scale, head to Halong Bay. Its rainforested limestone islets are best explored by junk boat cruise, where you'll pause to swim in the deep emerald waters or to kayak into hidden caves – ask our specialists for their ship recommendations.

River flowing through Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh

 

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Top itineraries in Northern Vietnam

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Best of Vietnam & Cambodia

17-day tailor-made holiday from £3,240 pp incl. flights

From its great cities and iconic temples to off-the-beaten-track gems, this tour takes in the must-see highlights of two Asian heavyweights – Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lan Ha Bay, Halong Bay

Highlights of Vietnam

12-day tailor-made holiday from £2,995 pp incl. flights

Discover the best of Vietnam, taking in the country's vibrant northern capital Hanoi, the emerald waters of Lan Ha 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.

Fishing Boat, Mekong River, Vietnam

Vietnam & the Mekong

14-day tailor-made holiday from £2,715 pp incl. flights

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.

Orchid cruise, Halong Bay

Northern Vietnam Explorer

13-day tailor-made holiday from £2,550 pp incl. flights

With everything from private tours and luxury stays to indulgent dining and the services of a private driver included throughout, this is a full examination of northern Vietnam’s delighta. Think cyclo rides through Hanoi, a thatched-bungalow mountain retreat and a three-day cruise on Halong Bay.

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Top places to stay in Northern Vietnam

Room, Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi, Vietnam

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi

Contemporary hotel

A great value hotel located in the business district, close to the attractive French Quarter of Hanoi.

Beachfront Villa, Chen Sea Resort & Spa

Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Phu Quoc

Small & intimate resort

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

Facade, Boutique Hoi An Resort, Hoi An

Boutique Hoi An Resort, Hoi An

Contemporary resort

Boutique Hoi An Resort is a stylish oasis just footsteps from Cu Dai beach and offers fantastic value for money

Exterior, Anantara Hoi An

Anantara Hoi An

Traditional hotel

An exquisite blend of local and colonial charm, the Anantara Hoi An is made up of three-story colonial-style buildings that reflect Hoi An's history of trade with both East and West. It also has a world-class spa.

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Where to go in Northern Vietnam

Mai Chau

Mai Chau

The stilted village of Mai Chau in the mountainous Mai Chai District is just a couple of hours from from Hanoi and more easily accessible than Ha Giang and Sapa – the perfect place to experience northern Vietnam's rich rural culture if you're only in Hanoi for a short time.

Sapa

Sapa is perhaps the best-known destination in the hills of northern Vietnam. Discovered by the Western world in the early part of the 20th century, its quiet charm and cooler climate has attracted visitors ever since – just like the hill stations of northern India.

Aerial view of Sang cave and Kayaking area rock island, Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a geological marvel and natural wonder; an enormous stretch of jade-hued sea broken by the eruption of limestone towers that rise above its still waters. Its vastness is such that you will always find a new cave or hidden grotto to explore among its emerald inlets.

Hanoi

Hanoi

Hanoi is Vietnam's compact and charming capital, with a blend of Parisian grace and Asian pace. Stop here on your Vietnam holiday to discover the country's cultural heart – ask our specialists to help you plan your trip.

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When to go to Northern Vietnam

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 40
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 440
  • 330
  • 220
  • 110
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

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.

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Northern Vietnam articles

  • Mekong Delta

    Destination Quiz: Vietnam & Cambodia

    Test your knowledge of Vietnam and Cambodia with our quiz to find out how well you know these favourite destinations.

  • Hanoi, Vietnam

    Visiting Vietnam in May

    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.

  • Tet, Vietnamese New Year

    What is Vietnamese New Year?

    Learn when the Vietnamese New Year is, how it's celebrated and how best to enjoy it yourself with our helpful guide.

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Meet our Northern Vietnam experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0613

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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