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Three Vietnamese Destinations Shine with ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards 2024

In a significant recognition of their commitment to cleanliness, waste management, and environmental awareness, three enchanting Vietnamese destinations – Hue, Vung Tau, and Quy Nhon – have been honored with the prestigious ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards 2024. The announcement took place at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024, held in the picturesque capital of Laos, Vientiane, from January 22 to 27, 2024. This accolade not only celebrates the beauty and cultural richness of these destinations but also highlights their dedication to sustainable tourism practices.

These three places have previously received the ASEAN Clean Tourism City Award. Quy Nhon received the honor in 2020, while Vung Tau and Hue had each received it three times before.

The recognition was based on 108 criteria divided into seven major categories: environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, environmental protection and cleanliness awareness-building, the presence of green spaces, health safety, urban safety, and security, and the quality of tourism infrastructure and facilities.

Huế: Preserving Imperial Grandeur with Cleanliness
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Nestled along the picturesque Perfume River, the ancient city of Hue is renowned for its imperial history and architectural marvels. The city has seamlessly blended its historical charm with a modern commitment to cleanliness and sustainability. From the well-preserved citadel to the vibrant markets, Hue has become a shining example of a destination that values both its rich heritage and the environment. The ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award recognizes Hue’s efforts to maintain its imperial grandeur while adopting eco-friendly practices.

Vũng Tàu: Where Pristine Beaches Meet Environmental Consciousness
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Vũng Tàu, a coastal gem with stunning beaches and panoramic views, has been recognized for its pristine landscapes and a dedication to environmental preservation. The city’s authorities have implemented innovative waste management systems and initiatives to ensure the cleanliness of its beaches and public spaces. Vung Tau’s recognition at the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards is a testament to its commitment to providing a delightful and sustainable experience for both locals and tourists.

Quy Nhơn: Balancing Natural Beauty and Environmental Responsibility
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Quy Nhơn, known for its tranquil beaches and pristine landscapes, has struck the perfect balance between preserving its natural beauty and promoting environmental responsibility. The city’s efforts in waste management and environmental education have not gone unnoticed, earning it a well-deserved place among the recipients of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards. Quy Nhon stands as a model destination that demonstrates how responsible tourism can enhance the allure of a place without compromising its ecological integrity.

The ASEAN Clean Tourist City Awards 2024 have cast a spotlight on three remarkable Vietnamese destinations – Hue, Vung Tauand Quy Nhon – for their dedication to cleanliness, waste management, and environmental awareness. These cities not only showcase the diverse beauty of Vietnam but also serve as inspiring examples for other destinations aiming to harmonize tourism with sustainability. As Hue, Vung Tau, and Quy Nhon continue to welcome visitors with open arms, their commitment to a cleaner and greener future will undoubtedly make them even more appealing to travelers seeking responsible and enriching experiences.

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Some Experiences You Need to Do in Cao Bang

Tucked away in a remote area of Northern Vietnam, Cao Bang Province is bursting with beautiful geo-cultural sites. With five major river systems and 47 lakes, water plays a vital role in shaping the landscape and local life. Much of Cao Bang is protected as UNESCO Global Geopark. The province’s extraordinary diversity makes it a spectacular place to explore, especially for adventure travellers. Here are seven stops in Cao Bang you must not miss.

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Bản Giốc Waterfall

Located on the border between China and Vietnam, Bản Giốc is the fourth largest waterfall in the world. Measuring 300 meters wide, the falls are absolutely breathtaking in size. The vast area and range of different falls and pools within the park is captivating. Set in a striking valley and surrounded by lush jungle, Bản Giốc feels like a paradise of its own. 

TIP: The best time to visit is during the dry season from October to April. At the end of the dry season, a daily release of water from the dam-controlled Quây Sơn River takes place between 10:30am and 1:00pm, bringing the falls up to their full flow.  

Trúc Lâm Phật Tích Pagoda

A short but steep walk brings you to this traditional Vietnamese-style temple. The design of Trúc Lâm pagoda fits perfectly into the hillside. As you climb higher to the main temple area, a valley filled with karsts unfolds below. A stunning spot not far from Bản Giốc Waterfalls, Trúc Lâm Pagoda can easily be visited in the same day.

Ngườm Ngao Cave

The Ngườm Ngao cave system has some of the most unique stalactite formations in Southeast Asia. As you step foot into the cave, the formations change with each new cavern. The entire cave system is 2,144 meters long, but local authorities have only opened 948 meters to visitors to preserve its natural beauty.

TIP: Don’t forget to bring drinking water for this trip: the one-kilometre walk can easily take an hour or more. 

Thang Hen Lake System

The Thang Hen Lakes are made up of 36 miniature lakes that are all connected through caves and underground passageways. In the rainy season, water levels rise to form a single lake, which meanders through a valley of karst peaks for over 300 kilometres. While the lake is picturesque, it’s the rock formations and scenes of daily life that make Thang Hen worth visiting. 

TIP: Hire a local guide to bring you to Tuyệt Tình Cốc, also known as The Mountains Eye. This single karst peak is home to a cave that runs through one side to the other, forming a giant hole in the mountain.  

Ethnic minority groups

Cao Bằng Province has over nine ethnic groups, which have lived in these valleys for centuries. The Tày, Nùng, Dao, and H’mong are some of the most well-known, and each minority has its own special crafts and way of living. To experience ethnic culture, visit a minority craft village with one of the local guides, or book an ethnic homestay during your trip.

Cao Bằng City

Anchored around the Sông Bằng River, Cao Bằng City has grown into a bustling centre of development. With a small but contemporary selection of hotels, shops, and restaurants, it’s the perfect base for exploring the rest of the province. You’ll find many northern specialities to try in town, such as Phở Chua (sour noodle soup) and Bánh Cuốn (steamed rice rolls). Cao Bang City also has several festivals which are unique to the region. 

Pác Bó Historical Complex

Pác Bó Historical Complex is a memorial and museum founded on the site where Hồ Chí Minh began his revolution. Here you can take a look at the cave where Ho Chi Minh lived in hiding, and the river where he fished and wrote poetry. This tasteful tribute to the life and work of Ho Chi Minh is an important pilgrimage spot for the Vietnamese.

Cao Bang Travel Tips

Transport to Cao Bang

The distance from Hanoi to Cao Bang City is around 280 kilometres. Travel time can be around eight hours depending on type of transportation. Day and overnight buses are available from Hanoi to Cao Bang. Buses leave from the My Dinh Bus Station. Private charter and group tours to Cao Bang are also available. Local and online travel agencies can help you book your trip.

When to Visit Cao Bang

The best time to visit Cao Bang is during the dry season, from October to April. It’s worth noting that North Vietnam can get quite cold during the winter months, from November to February, so pack accordingly. Rainy season — from May to September in North Vietnam — can be beautiful, just be prepared for hot and humid weather.   

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Ha Giang: markedly different geography and culture makes a difference

Ha Giang is just 300 kilometres from Hanoi, but the life that unfolds in the province is a world apart from most other places, given its topography and ethnic diversity.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Between September and November is the most ideal time to visit Ha Giang with dry climate and cool weather with average temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius.

From the end of September to early October marks the ripening of its terraced rice fields, which are a spellbinding sight.

Buckwheat flowers blooming in November is another unique sight in the northern highland’s province.

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WHAT TO EXPLORE

Nestled in the middle of a valley, the Dong Van Old Quarter, also called Dong Van Old Town, is a unique gem in Vietnam’s final frontier that is surrounded by high Rocky Mountains and limestone formations.

The old town was formed in the early 20th century with a few Hmong, Tay and Chinese families settling down here.

Now, the town has 40 two-storied houses with a touch of Chinese architecture such as yin-yang tiled roofs, yellow walls and red lanterns hung on the gables.

Since 2006, the town has attracted tourists by organizing a lantern festival on the 14th, 15th and 16th days of each lunar month, around the full moon time. All the local families hang red lanterns, display their special product – ethnic brocade – and sell their traditional food to boost tourism, somewhat like what the more famous Hoi An ancient town has been doing.

A cup of coffee at the Pho Co Café, one of the few places that have retained its Chinese-Vietnamese architecture, is a highly recommended experience.

Another cultural-commercial highlight of the town is its flea market, held every Sunday morning. It is a place to shop for local products made by ethnic minorities such as the Mong, Dao, Giay, and Tay and a place for young women to hang out with friends in their colorful traditional costumes, shopping and having fun.

Located in Sa Phin Valley of Dong Van District, the Hmong King’s Palace, the seat of the H’mong kings Vuong Chi Thanh and Vuong Chinh Duc, who ruled over the region during the French colonial era up until Vietnam regained independence in 1945, takes visitors to another age.

The palace consists of six two-storied houses with a total of 64 rooms, all connected to each other. The architecture features the Qing Dynasty style, with green pebbles, pine woods and terra-cotta tiles as the main building materials.

Admission fees cost VND20,000 per person.

Leaving Dong Van Town, a 25-kilometer road through steep paths and rugged mountains leads to the Lung Cu Flag Tower, which proclaims the nation’s territory and sovereignty, and is mark of pride for all Vietnamese citizens.

Built at the summit of Rong Mountain at the height of 1,700 meters above sea level, the octagonal monument is 33 meters tall and on top of the tower flies a 54-square-meter flag that represents 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Visitors have to climb 389 stone steps and another 140 steps on a spiral iron staircase to get to the tower. A panoramic view of Ha Giang awaits those who reach the summit.

The Ma Pi Leng Pass is often described as one of the four most dangerous passes in Vietnam. Soaring over the pass is a mountain 2,000 meters high that is hugged tight by the Hanh Phuc (Happiness) Road connecting Ha Giang Town with the districts of Dong Van and Meo Vac.

The road was completed in 1965 after 11 years of construction mostly by workers belonging to the Hmong ethnic group.

Negotiating the pass is a tough task even for the most seasoned travellers and some foreign tourists have died driving off the pass.

“Ma Pi Leng pass is such a wonder of the world which lies right on the border of Vietnam and China. The pass offers breathtaking landscapes and exotic walking trails along the mount. Love this!” said Victor from Denmark.

“This might be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. A bit dangerous, I suggest you pay for a service with a driver,” Zupanc Nina wrote on Tripadvisor.

Currently, some tour operators also offer one-day tours for inexperienced tourists to navigate Ma Pi Leng Pass. Experienced tour guides will take them through the rugged curves and steep cliffs.

A boat trip on the Nho Que River’s turquoise waters at the foot of Ma Pi Leng Pass is another highly recommended travel experience.

Hire a motorbike taxi (xe om) to reach the pier and pay VND100,000 per person for a 30-minute boat trip.

Visitors can also request special photo stops along their way down Tu San, known as one of Southeast Asia’s deepest canyons.

There are 23 tourist boats that transport thousands of visitors who come to admire this majestic wonder every year.

“Before the Covid-19 outbreak, this place was crowded with tourists during weekends and holidays. Now we only get tourists traveling in groups to ensure safety,” said boatman Trieu Chuong.

Along both sides of the river are rice fields planted by the Giay people.

Pho Tro, a small village on the outskirts of Pho Bang Town in Dong Van District, is characterized by traditional ‘trinh tuong’ houses with yin-yang tiled roofs.

As part of a rural renovation program, local authorities have improved infrastructure to develop tourism here. The village now has spacious headquarters and an elementary school. Cemented pathways provide easy access to every house. Households have received subsidies under the program to build bathrooms and indoor toilets.

As noted earlier, visiting Ha Giang from September until November is an opportunity to visit Hoang Su Phi District, famous for 3,000 hectares of terraced rice fields that form wavy, mesmerising golden yellow carpets.

There aren’t many places to stay in Hoang Su Phi, but homestays are available in villages or motels in Vinh Quang Town for VND250,000 to 550,000 ($10.68 to 23.50) a night.

It gets cold at nights and early in the morning, so taking a jacket along is a good idea when visiting Hoang Su Phi. Extra care has to be taken when driving on the road from Ha Giang Town to Hoang Su Phi because it’s narrow, winding and crowded with trucks.

WHERE TO STAY

Built atop a mountain in Yen Dinh Commune in Bac Me District, the P’apiu Resort is particularly favored by well-to-do couples who wish to enjoy a peaceful, secluded atmosphere and green landscapes.

The resort is also unique in that all its staff are local ethnic minority residents. Room prices start from VND9.8 million a night.

The Hmong Village resort in Quang Ba District, around 50 kilometers northeast of Ha Giang Town, has 25 bungalows surrounded by green trees and picturesque natural scenery.

Bungalows designed in the shape of rattan baskets that Hmong women sling on their backs to carry rice and other things are a distinctive feature of the resort.

It also has a community guesthouse that can accommodate up to 40 people at VND400,000 a night. A night’s stay in the bungalow’s costs from VND2.4 million ($105.31).

To gaze up on the rice terraced fields during the golden season from their windows, the Hoang Su Phi Lodge and Kinh Homestay in Nam Hong Village are ideal options.

Dong Van and Meo Vac districts offer budget-friendly homestays with prices ranging from VND100,000-230,000 per night.

WHAT TO EAT

Given the diversity of ethnic minority communities who live in Ha Giang, a culinary exploration of the province is a rewarding exercise.

The xoi ngu sac (five-colored sticky rice) – red, yellow, blue, purple and white – is made by using fruits, roots and leaves of plants. Glutinous rice is soaked in water for 6-8 hours and divided into five parts. Apart from the original white color, the other parts are dyed with a natural food coloring agent and steamed until tender.

The dish can be found at the weekly flea market in Dong Van Town.

From mid-October onwards, the Ha Giang rock plateau blooms with buckwheat flowers, a season which has already made the place a major tourist attraction. Residents use these flowers to make a signature dish – triangle buckwheat cake – that is difficult to find elsewhere.

The buckwheat seeds are harvested, dried and crushed into fine powder. The power is mixed with water to make flat round cakes that are then steamed for about 10 minutes. The cakes bought at the markets can be taken home as a special gift.

Tourists can buy this cake from street food vendors or food stalls in the Dong Van flea market.

Thang den is another signature dish made with glutinous rice flour in Ha Giang. It looks like banh troi, the cake with a sweet filling that is popular in Hanoi.

The thang den is made by mixing glutinous rice flour with sugar, shaped into balls and steamed. They are served with a syrup made with sweetened coconut milk and ginger. A bowl of thang den is topped with peanuts and/or black sesame seeds.

Though the steamed rice roll, banh cuon, is a popular dish in the north of the country, the version in Ha Giang is quite different. It is filled with pork/egg and mushroom, topped with dried shallots and served with a bowl of delicious bone broth flavored with fresh coriander, chopped scallions and Vietnamese pork sausage.

In Ha Giang’s chilly mornings, a bowl of hot broth with banh cuon makes for a great breakfast.

The most popular restaurants to try this dish are: Ms.Ha’s stall at 31 Dong Van Town; and Ms. Cuc’s stall opposite to Ha Giang Town’s social security center.

A special porridge favored by the Hmong people in Ha Giang is made of the root of the monkshood aconite plant, known as au tau, which grows on Ha Giang’s highest mountain peak, Tay Con Linh.

The process of cooking the porridge is very time-consuming, because the roots can be poisonous without being processed and cooked in the right manner.

After harvest, the roots are soaked in water for a night and then simmered on a fire for about four hours. They can then be turned into dough and mixed with glutinous rice and pork trotters.

The porridge is only sold at night and is served with fried minced pork, pepper, herbs and sour bamboo shoots.

You can find this treat at Ngan Ha Restaurant at 161 Tran Hung Dao Street.

The black chicken hotpot is a not-to-be-missed dish on a cold day in Ha Giang. It is normally had with cabbage, peas and other vegetables that make the hotpot sweeter.

Unlike ga ac, a kind of black chicken in the Mekong Delta, the Hmong variety is a rare breed found in the northwestern mountainous provinces of Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Bac Kan. It is a favorite of the Hmong people, who believe that it helps enhance human vitality, including libido, and is good medicine for heart disease.

The hotpot is served at Oanh Hieu Restaurant in Dong Van Town and at Phan’s Restaurant on Hai Ba Trung Street.

HOW TO GET THERE

Ha Giang Town is 300 kilometers from Hanoi and the most popular method of transportation is by overnight sleeper bus, for which tickets can be booked/bought at the My Dinh Bus Station. The journey of around six hours to reach Ha Giang Town costs VND200,000-350,000 ($8.54-15) per person.

On arrival, hiring a motorbike for VND150,000 a day is probably the best way to explore the undulating paths that embrace the province’s mountainous terrain.

With one’s own motorbike, take National Route 2 to Vinh Yen Town, turn into National Route 2C past Tuyen Quang and Viet Quang towns to reach Ha Giang. This is the easier route, though slightly longer.

Source: VNExpress International

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Ta Xua, a high-altitude haven in northern Vietnam

Nestled at an altitude of over 2,800 above sea level, Ta Xua stands as one of the highest mountain peaks in Vietnam. It located in Bac Yen District, Son La Province, and borders Tram Tau District in Yen Bai Province, and is about 240 kilometres from Hanoi.

Ta Xua has a cool climate all year round and is known as a captivating cloud hunting destination from October to April.

Ta Xua is known for its steep and winding roads near dangerous cliffs. Travelers can get to Ta Xua by motorbike or car, or even trek to the summit if you’re feeling adventurous. There are different trekking routes from Yen Bai and Son La.

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WHERE TO VISIT

Dinosaur Backbone

The renowned “Dinosaur Backbone” area is approximately 15 kilometres from the heart of Ta Xua and about 5 kilometres from Hang Dong Commune in Bac Yen District. It leans against the Ta Xua Mountain range, overlooking a valley that plunges hundreds of meters deep.

The area features a 1.5-kilometer trail, regarded by backpackers as one of the most beautiful places in the north to witness cloud formations. Often, thick clouds linger from early morning until 10 a.m.

On clearer days, from this area, visitors can immerse oneself in the surroundings of lush forests, terraced fields, and Hmong houses dotting the mountainside.

Dolphin Cliff

The Dolphin Cliff is characterized by two large rocks resembling dolphins swimming in a sea of clouds. The cliffs are adorned with patches of moss, adding to their wild and natural beauty, blending with the surrounding landscape.

To reach the Dolphin Cliff, starting from Bac Yen Town, follow the road leading to Ta Xua Commune. Along the way, visitors will encounter a fork with road signs: one direction to the “cloud paradise back” (8 kilometres), and the other leads to Ta Xua Tea Hill.

Choose the latter, and visitors will arrive at the Dolphin Cliff. Visitors staying at Lu Tre Homestay will find it convenient to reach the Dolphin Cliff when heading towards the hydroelectric dam.

Turtle Cliff

A rock outcrop shaped like a turtle’s head sits at an elevation of 2,100 meters along the path to Ta Xua’s peak. To access the Turtle’s Beak, you’ll need to traverse approximately one kilometer of high slopes with sharp rocks.

Camel’s Ridge

From the center of Ta Xua Commune, travel about 7 kilometers in the direction of the Commune People’s Committee to reach the Camel Ridge.

This attraction in Ta Xua offers splendid morning views, making it an ideal addition to your travel itinerary.

Lonely Tree

The lonely docynia indica tree graces a small hill at Gio Peak, located at the intersection of Xim Vang and Hang Dong, just over 1 kilometer from the heart of Ta Xua. Standing by the tree, travelers can gaze upon the Suoi Sap River. On clear days, the river exhibits a clear and azure hue.

The Lonely Tree is revered by backpackers as a symbol of resilience amidst Ta Xua’s rugged terrain and is often cited as one of the best spots to witness the captivating sunset, especially in the early evenings.

Primeval forest

The Ta Xua primeval forest occupies the southeastern slopes of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, extending from an altitude of 2,600 meters to the summit. This forest exudes an enchanting, mystical charm, with its constantly changing altitude along the Phu Sa Phin range.

Within the forest, visitors can encounter various rare species of flora and fauna, such as the moss forest. Meandering forest paths combined with dappled sunlight create a fairy tale-like atmosphere.

Ancient tea hill

Ta Xua’s ancient Shan Tuyet tea is celebrated as one of Vietnam’s most distinguished teas. The Shan Tuyet Ta Xua Tea Hill, situated at an altitude of over 1,500 meters above sea level, remains shrouded in clouds throughout the year, resulting in a humid and chilly climate.

These ancient tea trees, aged over a century, receive minimal sunlight, endowing them with exceptional medicinal properties and a unique flavor. Ta Xua tea leaves possess a snowy-white fur-like layer, while the brewed tea reveals a clear and viscous yellow hue. Its initial taste is smooth and astringent, with a sweet and fragrant aftertaste.

Ta Xua Steppe

The Ta Xua Steppe, located along the same route to the Dolphin Cape and the Lonely Tree, lies about 10 kilometers from the commune center. The road is wide with gentle curves, and near the Dolphin Cliff, visitors will encounter signs guiding you to the Ta Xua Steppe. This expansive natural landscape not only offers breathtaking views but also serves as an ideal setting for recreational activities, sports, and camping adventures.

Cloud-watching cafes

Ta Xua boasts several cafes with names like Mi Oi, Hien Coffee, Thao Coffee, H’mong Coffee, and Ban Coffee. These cafes offer stunning views, making them perfect for cloud-watching and ideal spots for photography enthusiasts.

Even during cloudless periods, they provide a serene place to enjoy a cup of hot tea while marveling at the majestic natural surroundings, witnessing the gradual descent of the sunset, or simply unwinding. Prices for drinks range from VND30,000 (US$1.20) to VND60,000.

WHAT TO EAT

When it comes to culinary delights in Son La, the must-try specialty is mac nhung (solanum dulcamara) porridge. As the fruits in the fields ripen after each harvest, they are picked, washed, and transformed into various dishes, with the most renowned being porridge.

This dish boasts a unique blend of bitter, sweet, and spicy flavors, perfectly suited for the chilly weather in the Ta Xua highlands.

In addition to mac nhung porridge, visitors have an array of options to choose from. They can savor a hearty pot of black chicken hotpot, indulge in salmon or sturgeon, or relish popular northern mountain dishes such as buffalo meat, nam pia (internal organs with excrement soup), bamboo-tube rice, sour meat salad, and five-colored sticky rice.

HOW TO GET THERE

Travelers can access Ta Xua using a range of transportation modes, including motorbikes, personal cars, and passenger buses. Starting from Hanoi, the route takes you through Son Tay Town, over Trung Ha Bridge, along Highway 32, and rightward towards Phu Yen and Bac Yen Districts along Highway 37.

The main road leading to the heart of Ta Xua has been paved with concrete, making it much more accessible than in the past. Even 16-seat vehicles can make their way to the summit.

Travelers can opt for passenger cars offered by bus companies such as Khanh Thinh, Quang Nghia, and Nguyen Hang, at a cost of VND700,000 per person for a round trip. These cars usually depart from Hanoi around 10 p.m. and arrive in Ta Xua after approximately five hours, with brief stops along the way.

Once travelers arrive in Ta Xua, they have the option to rent a motorbike for convenience. However, if they aren’t confident in their riding skills, it’s advisable to consider hiring a local motorbike taxi driver, as the roads in the region are quite steep, narrow, and filled with twists and turns.

WHERE TO STAY

While Ta Xua is a burgeoning tourist destination, it lacks large hotels or upscale accommodation options. Nevertheless, approximately 20 homestays and motels dot the area, catering to a range of budgets from VND200,000 ($8) to VND1 million ($42) per night.

Accommodations are mainly concentrated in the central and adjacent areas, featuring community-style houses (stilt houses) and some private rooms. They include Xa Homestay, Nam To Homestay, Mua Tru Homestay, Bao Chau Homestay, and Long Anh 1 Homestay.

Additionally, guesthouses like Phu Hoa, Tra May Ta Xua, Thu Bien, Hai Hang, and Nguyen San provide alternative choices.

For those seeking a unique experience, Homestay Lu Tre stands out as the highest-altitude accommodation establishment in Ta Xua, situated approximately 7 kilometers from the central area. Some high-clearance vehicles and motorbikes can reach the doorstep, while others can park at the gate, with guests covering the remaining 300-meter distance on foot or using a motorbike shuttle service. Accommodation options include bungalows, houses, and stilt houses.

Ta Xua also beckons camping enthusiasts. By selecting the right spot, visitors can relish the opportunity to witness the sunrise or sunset from the mountaintop.

While cloud hunting is a highlight of Ta Xua, it’s essential to consider the weather. Checking the forecast is advisable, and it’s best to select a day with low nighttime temperatures, pleasant daytime warmth, and ample sunshine. Familiarize yourself with the direction of the sunrise in the cloud hunting area to capture the best angles for your photographs.

Avoid arriving in Ta Xua during the evening and try not to travel in large groups. When traveling by motorbike taxi, it’s a good practice to inquire about the fare and engage in a bit of bargaining.

The estimated cost per person for a two-day, one-night stay ranges from VND1.5 million to VND2 million ($62-82). During holidays and peak seasons, it’s advisable to book accommodation in advance, as Ta Xua tends to fill up quickly.

The area can accommodate a limited number of tourists simultaneously, typically around 700-800, so planning ensures you secure your spot at this destination.

Story by Tam Anh

Sources: VNExpress International

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Sapa, Vietnam : Weather,Climate, Seasons

Nestled amidst the breathtaking mountainous landscape of northwestern Vietnam, Sapa offers a captivating blend of cultural charm and natural beauty. But planning a trip to this enchanting destination requires consideration of its unique weather patterns. From the crisp, cool air of winter to the misty embrace of summer, Sapa’s climate fluctuates dramatically throughout the year. Understanding the intricacies of Sapa’s weather can help you choose the best time to visit, pack effectively, and make the most of your outdoor adventures. This comprehensive guide provides a detailed breakdown of Sapa’s weather, encompassing its climate, seasons, rainfall patterns, temperature variations, and tips for navigating unpredictable conditions.

Sapa Vietnam Weather Overview

Sapa’s weather is characterized by its mountainous setting, which profoundly influences its climate. Situated in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, Sapa enjoys a subtropical highland climate, marked by distinct seasons and notable temperature variations throughout the year. The town’s elevation, ranging from 1,500 to 1,650 meters, contributes to its cooler temperatures than those found at lower altitudes.

What is the climate like in Sapa?

Sapa experiences a diverse range of weather conditions throughout the year, from chilly winters to warm summers. The climate is significantly influenced by its location in the mountains, leading to distinct seasons and unpredictable temperature swings. The mountain terrain creates varying microclimates within the Sapa region, resulting in localized weather variations.

Key aspects of Sapa’s climate:

  • Subtropical Highland Climate: Sapa’s climate belongs to the subtropical highland category, characterized by distinct seasons and significant temperature fluctuations.
  • Mountainous Influence: The presence of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range plays a crucial role in shaping Sapa’s weather, leading to cool temperatures, frequent rainfall, and occasional fog.
  • Elevation: Sapa’s elevation, ranging from 1,500 to 1,650 meters, contributes to its cooler temperatures compared to lower altitudes.
  • Microclimates: The mountainous terrain fosters diverse microclimates within the Sapa region, leading to variations in weather patterns within close proximity.

When is the best time to visit Sapa for good weather?

The ideal time to visit Sapa depends on your personal preferences for weather and activities.

  • Spring (March – May): Spring offers pleasant weather with milder temperatures, occasional rain, and vibrant greenery. It is a good time for hiking, trekking, and exploring rice terraces.
  • Autumn (September – November): Autumn presents clear skies, comfortable temperatures, and stunning autumn foliage, perfect for photography and leisurely walks.
  • Winter (December – February): Winter in Sapa brings chilly temperatures, occasional snow, and breathtaking winter scenery. It’s ideal for enjoying a cozy atmosphere and experiencing the unique charm of Sapa in winter.

Average temperatures throughout the year in Sapa

Sapa experiences a wide range of temperatures throughout the year, with distinct variations across the seasons. Here’s a breakdown of average monthly temperatures:

MonthAverage High (°C)Average Low (°C)
January146
February167
March189
April2111
May2314
June2516
July2517
August2417
September2315
October2012
November179
December157

Seasons in Sapa Vietnam

Sapa experiences four distinct seasons, each offering unique characteristics and appeal. Understanding these seasons will help you choose the time that best suits your travel preferences.

Winter in Sapa

Winter in Sapa (December – February) is a magical time, characterized by crisp, cool air, occasionally dusted with snow. The landscape transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of frosty mountains, misty valleys, and snow-covered rooftops.

  • Temperature: Average high temperatures range from 14°C to 16°C, while average lows hover around 6°C to 7°C. Snowfall is infrequent but can occur, especially in higher elevations.
  • Weather: Days are often sunny and clear, with occasional fog and misty mornings. Nights are cold and crisp, requiring warm clothing.
  • Activities: Winter offers the perfect setting for cozying up in a local café, savoring traditional cuisine, and admiring the snow-capped landscapes. Enjoying winter festivals, like the Sapa Winter Festival, provides a unique cultural experience.

Spring in Sapa

Spring in Sapa (March – May) heralds the arrival of warmer days and lush greenery. As the weather transitions from winter’s chill to the warmth of summer, the landscape comes alive with vibrant colors.

  • Temperature: Average temperatures gradually rise from 18°C to 23°C, making it comfortable for outdoor activities. Nights are cool, with average lows ranging from 9°C to 14°C.
  • Weather: The weather is generally pleasant, with sunshine, occasional showers, and milder temperatures. Foggy mornings may occur.
  • Activities: Spring is ideal for hiking and trekking, immersing yourself in nature, and witnessing the beauty of blooming flowers and flourishing rice terraces.

Summer in Sapa

Summer in Sapa (June – August) is the wettest season, characterized by warm temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rainfall. While the weather can be unpredictable, it also brings an enchanting misty ambiance to Sapa’s scenery.

  • Temperature: Average temperatures range from 24°C to 25°C, with high humidity and frequent rain showers. Nights are warm, with average lows ranging from 16°C to 17°C.
  • Weather: The weather is often cloudy and rainy, with occasional bursts of sunshine. Foggy days are common, adding a mystical touch to the landscape.
  • Activities: Summer is a great time to explore Sapa’s waterfalls, immerse yourself in the local markets, and enjoy the tranquility of the misty mountains.

Autumn in Sapa

Autumn in Sapa (September – November) is a magical time with warm days, cool nights, and a vibrant tapestry of fall colors. As the season progresses, the mountains transform into a breathtaking canvas of reds, yellows, and oranges.

  • Temperature: Temperatures drop from 23°C to 17°C, offering pleasant days and cool evenings. Nights are crisp, with average lows ranging from 15°C to 9°C.
  • Weather: The weather is generally sunny and clear, with crisp air and occasional showers. The skies are often clear and blue, perfect for photography.
  • Activities: Autumn is ideal for hiking, biking, exploring the local culture, and capturing the stunning scenery of Sapa’s fall foliage.

Rainfall in Sapa

Sapa experiences a significant amount of rainfall, particularly during the summer months. Understanding the rainfall patterns is crucial for planning your trip.

How much rain does Sapa receive?

Sapa receives an average of 2,000 mm of rainfall per year, with significant variations across the seasons.

MonthAverage Rainfall (mm)
January134
February127
March153
April178
May220
June335
July503
August493
September345
October216
November112
December90

Rainy season in Sapa

The rainy season in Sapa typically runs from June to August, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in July and August. During this period, expect frequent showers, occasional downpours, and high humidity.

  • Impact: Rainy season can make outdoor activities challenging, especially hiking and trekking. However, it can also create a mystical atmosphere with misty mountains and waterfalls.
  • Preparation: Packing a waterproof jacket, umbrella, and appropriate footwear is essential.

Impact of rainfall on travel plans

Rainfall can impact your travel plans in Sapa.

  • Transportation: Heavy rainfall can affect road conditions, leading to delays or cancellations for transportation.
  • Outdoor Activities: Hiking and trekking can be challenging during heavy rain, as trails can become slippery and muddy.
  • Photography: Cloudy skies and rain can limit photography opportunities, but also add a unique and atmospheric quality to photographs.

Temperature variations in Sapa

Sapa experiences significant temperature variations throughout the year, with distinct differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures.

Daytime temperatures in Sapa

Daytime temperatures in Sapa generally range from 14°C to 25°C, depending on the season. Spring and autumn offer comfortable daytime temperatures, while summer brings warmer days with high humidity.

  • Warmest Months: July and August are the warmest months, with average highs reaching 25°C.

Nighttime temperatures in Sapa

Nighttime temperatures in Sapa can be significantly cooler than daytime temperatures, especially during winter. Average lows range from 6°C to 17°C, depending on the season.

  • Coldest Months: January and December are the coldest months, with average lows around 6°C to 7°C.

Variations in temperature by season

  • Winter (December – February): Daytime highs average 14°C to 16°C, while overnight lows dip to 6°C to 7°C.
  • Spring (March – May): Temperatures gradually rise, with daytime highs reaching 23°C and overnight lows ranging from 9°C to 14°C.
  • Summer (June – August): Warm days with average highs of 24°C to 25°C and humid nights with lows around 16°C to 17°C.
  • Autumn (September – November): Pleasant days with average highs ranging from 23°C to 17°C and cool nights with lows from 15°C to 9°C.

Weather conditions for outdoor activities

Sapa’s diverse weather patterns can influence your enjoyment of outdoor activities. Understanding the best weather conditions for specific activities is crucial for a successful trip.

Trekking and hiking in Sapa

Trekking and hiking are popular activities in Sapa, offering breathtaking views and cultural immersion.

  • Best Weather: Spring and autumn provide optimal conditions for trekking. The weather is pleasant, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures.
  • Considerations: Avoid trekking during periods of heavy rainfall, as trails can become slippery and muddy. Pack layers of clothing to adjust to temperature fluctuations.

Cycling tours in Sapa

Cycling tours offer a unique way to explore Sapa’s scenic landscapes and charming villages.

  • Best Weather: Autumn is ideal for cycling tours with clear skies, pleasant temperatures, and dry trails.
  • Considerations: Spring can also be enjoyable for cycling, but be prepared for occasional showers. Avoid cycling during heavy rainfall, as roads can become slippery.

Best weather for outdoor adventures

  • Hiking and trekking: Spring (March – May) and autumn (September – November) offer the most favorable conditions.
  • Cycling tours: Autumn (September – November) is the ideal time for cycling tours, with clear skies and dry trails.
  • Waterfall exploration: Summer (June – August) is the wettest season, perfect for witnessing waterfalls at their fullest.

Packing tips for Sapa weather

Packing appropriately for Sapa’s diverse weather is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Essential items to pack for all seasons

  • Waterproof jacket: A waterproof jacket is essential for all seasons, especially during the rainy season.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Pack sturdy walking shoes for hiking and exploring Sapa’s cobblestone streets.
  • Layers of clothing: Pack layers of clothing to adjust to temperature fluctuations throughout the day.
  • Sunglasses and sun hat: Protect yourself from the sun, especially during the summer months.
  • Insect repellent: Mosquitoes can be prevalent, especially during the warmer months.
  • First-aid kit: Pack a basic first-aid kit for minor injuries.

Clothing recommendations for different times of the year

  • Winter (December – February): Pack warm clothes, including sweaters, jackets, scarves, gloves, and a hat. Consider thermal underwear for extra warmth.
  • Spring (March – May): Pack light layers, including sweaters, a light jacket, and a waterproof jacket.
  • Summer (June – August): Pack light, breathable clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts, and dresses. Pack a waterproof jacket for rain showers.
  • Autumn (September – November): Pack comfortable layers, including sweaters, a light jacket, and a waterproof jacket.

Tips for staying comfortable in changing weather conditions

  • Layer your clothing: Wearing layers allows you to easily adjust to temperature fluctuations.
  • Pack a raincoat or umbrella: Be prepared for sudden rain showers, especially during the rainy season.
  • Carry a small pack with essentials: Keep a small backpack packed with a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, and water.
  • Stay hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the hot and humid weather.
  • Be prepared for fog: Fog can be common in Sapa, especially in the mornings and evenings. Pack a scarf or face mask to protect your face.

Local weather patterns in Sapa

Sapa’s weather is influenced by its unique geographical features and local weather patterns.

Influence of nearby geographical features on Sapa’s weather

  • Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range: The Hoang Lien Son mountain range plays a major role in shaping Sapa’s weather, creating a cooler and wetter climate compared to lower altitudes.
  • Fansipan Peak: Sapa’s proximity to Fansipan, the highest peak in Southeast Asia, influences its weather patterns, particularly in terms of snowfall and fog.
  • Muong Hoa Valley: The Muong Hoa Valley, which surrounds Sapa, contributes to the area’s unique microclimates and distinct weather patterns.

Microclimates within the Sapa region

The mountainous terrain of Sapa creates various microclimates within the region, leading to variations in weather patterns within close proximity.

  • Hilltop villages: Hilltop villages experience cooler temperatures and higher rainfall compared to lower lying areas.
  • Valleys: Valleys often experience milder temperatures and less rainfall than hilltop villages.
  • Rice terraces: The areas surrounding rice terraces can experience unique microclimates, influenced by water bodies and elevation.

Weather forecasting accuracy in Sapa

Weather forecasting in Sapa can be challenging due to the mountainous terrain and the influence of microclimates.

  • Accuracy: Forecasts for Sapa can be accurate in terms of overall weather patterns, but may vary in accuracy for specific locations and times.
  • Local awareness: Paying attention to local weather patterns, such as fog and rainfall, can help you stay informed and adjust your plans accordingly.

Important Notes

Weather can be unpredictable in Sapa, so it’s crucial to stay informed and adaptable.

Importance of checking weather updates before traveling to Sapa

  • Before your trip: Check weather forecasts for Sapa before your trip, and be aware of potential weather conditions.
  • During your trip: Stay updated on local weather patterns during your trip by checking forecasts and speaking with locals.

Flexibility in travel plans based on weather forecasts

  • Be flexible: Be prepared to adjust your travel plans if necessary, depending on weather conditions.
  • Alternative activities: Have backup plans for indoor activities in case of rain or bad weather.

Frequently asked questions

What is the hottest month in Sapa? July and August are the hottest months in Sapa, with average highs reaching 25°C.

What is the coldest month in Sapa? January and December are the coldest months, with average lows around 6°C to 7°C.

Does it snow in Sapa? Snowfall is infrequent in Sapa, but it can occur in higher elevations during the winter months.

What should I pack for Sapa? Pack layers of clothing, a waterproof jacket, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, a sun hat, insect repellent, and a basic first-aid kit.

Sapa’s weather adds an element of excitement and unpredictability to your travel experience. By understanding its climate, seasons, and rainfall patterns, you can prepare for anything and make the most of your adventures in this captivating region. From the chilly embrace of winter to the misty charm of summer, Sapa offers a unique and unforgettable experience throughout the year. Embrace the weather as part of your journey and enjoy the beauty of this enchanting destination.

Make your plan to Sapa,Vietnam right now by apply a Vietnam visa at vietnamvisapro.net. We, a reputable and reliable Visa service, will assist you turn your plan into reality at the very first step.

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Best time to visit Hanoi-How many days in Hanoi is enough?

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a bustling metropolis that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern culture. From its ancient temples and pagodas to its vibrant street markets and trendy cafes, Hanoi has something for everyone. But with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to this vibrant city. One of the most common questions among travelers is how many days are enough to explore Hanoi. In this blog post, we will answer this question and also discuss the best time to visit Hanoi.

Hanoi is worth being visited?

Before we dive into the ideal duration of a trip to Hanoi, let’s first address the question of whether Hanoi is worth being visited at all. The short answer is yes! Hanoi is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vietnam. It is a city steeped in history, culture, and delicious food. Here are some reasons why Hanoi is worth being visited:

  • Rich history: Hanoi has a long and fascinating history, dating back over a thousand years. The city has been influenced by various cultures, including Chinese, French, and Vietnamese, which is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.
  • Vibrant culture: Hanoi is a city that never sleeps. Its streets are always buzzing with activity, from street vendors selling their wares to locals practicing tai chi in the parks. The city also hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing its rich cultural heritage.
  • Delicious food: Hanoi is known for its mouth-watering street food, from pho (noodle soup) to banh mi (baguette sandwich). The city is a food lover’s paradise, with countless options to satisfy any craving.
  • Affordable: Compared to other popular destinations in Southeast Asia, Hanoi is relatively affordable. Accommodation, food, and transportation are all reasonably priced, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers.

How Many Days in Hanoi is Enough?

Now that we have established that Hanoi is worth being visited, let’s discuss “How many days in Hanoi is enough?“. The answer to this question depends on your travel style, budget, and personal preferences. Some travelers may be content with a quick one-day visit, while others may want to spend a week or more in Hanoi. To help you decide, here are three suggested itineraries for 1, 2, and 3 days in Hanoi.

Itinerary: 1 day in Hanoi

If you only have one day to spare in Hanoi, don’t worry; you can still experience the best of the city. Here is a suggested itinerary for a jam-packed day in Hanoi:

TimeActivity
8:00 AMStart your day with a bowl of pho at one of the many street food stalls in the Old Quarter.
9:00 AMVisit Hoan Kiem Lake, a picturesque lake in the heart of the city. Take a stroll around the lake and admire the Ngoc Son Temple located on a small island in the middle of the lake.
10:00 AMExplore the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, where you can find everything from souvenirs to traditional handicrafts. Don’t forget to bargain with the vendors!
12:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some authentic Vietnamese dishes like bun cha (grilled pork with noodles) or banh xeo (savory pancake).
1:30 PMVisit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, and a beautiful example of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
3:00 PMTake a cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) tour around the French Quarter, where you can see the colonial buildings and tree-lined boulevards.
5:00 PMHead to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to Vietnam’s beloved leader.
6:00 PMEnjoy a traditional water puppet show, a unique form of Vietnamese entertainment that dates back to the 11th century.
7:30 PMEnd your day with a dinner cruise on the Red River, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city at night.

This itinerary may seem hectic, but it will give you a taste of Hanoi’s top attractions in just one day. Keep in mind that you may not have time to fully explore each destination, but it will give you a good overview of the city.

Itinerary: 2 days in Hanoi

If you have two days to spend in Hanoi, you can slow down the pace and explore the city in more depth. Here is a suggested itinerary for two days in Hanoi:

Day 1TimeActivity
 8:00 AMStart your day with a cup of Vietnamese coffee and some banh mi from a street vendor.
 9:00 AMVisit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and the One Pillar Pagoda.
 11:00 AMExplore the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the country’s diverse ethnic groups and their cultures.
 1:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some regional specialties like bun bo nam bo (beef noodle salad) or cha ca (grilled fish with turmeric and dill).
 2:30 PMTake a leisurely walk around West Lake, the largest lake in Hanoi. You can also visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam.
 4:00 PMHead to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater for another water puppet show.
 6:00 PMEnjoy a traditional Vietnamese dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Old Quarter.
Day 2TimeActivity
 8:00 AMStart your day with a visit to the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” This museum offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s turbulent history.
 10:00 AMVisit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as the political center of Vietnam for over a thousand years.
 12:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some northern Vietnamese dishes like bun thang (chicken noodle soup) or banh cuon (steamed rice rolls).
 1:30 PMExplore the Temple of the Jade Mountain, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples.
 3:00 PMTake a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple.
 5:00 PMEnd your day with a sunset cruise on the Perfume River, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city.

This two-day itinerary allows for a more relaxed pace, giving you enough time to fully explore each destination. You can also add or remove activities based on your interests.

Itinerary: 3 days in Hanoi

If you have three days to spend in Hanoi, you can take your time and explore the city at a leisurely pace. Here is a suggested itinerary for three days in Hanoi:

Day 1TimeActivity
 8:00 AMStart your day with a bowl of pho at one of the many street food stalls in the Old Quarter.
 9:00 AMVisit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and the One Pillar Pagoda.
 11:00 AMExplore the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the country’s diverse ethnic groups and their cultures.
 1:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some regional specialties like bun bo nam bo (beef noodle salad) or cha ca (grilled fish with turmeric and dill).
 2:30 PMTake a leisurely walk around West Lake, the largest lake in Hanoi. You can also visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Vietnam.
 4:00 PMHead to the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater for another water puppet show.
 6:00 PMEnjoy a traditional Vietnamese dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Old Quarter.
Day 2TimeActivity
 8:00 AMStart your day with a visit to the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” This museum offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s turbulent history.
 10:00 AMVisit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as the political center of Vietnam for over a thousand years.
 12:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some northern Vietnamese dishes like bun thang (chicken noodle soup) or banh cuon (steamed rice rolls).
 1:30 PMExplore the Temple of the Jade Mountain, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples.
 3:00 PMTake a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple.
 5:00 PMEnd your day with a sunset cruise on the Perfume River, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city.
Day 3TimeActivity
 8:00 AMStart your day with a visit to the Bat Trang Ceramic Village, located just outside of Hanoi. Here, you can learn about traditional ceramic making and even try your hand at making your own pottery.
 10:00 AMVisit the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, which showcases a collection of Vietnamese art from ancient times to the present day.
 12:00 PMStop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some more Vietnamese delicacies.
 2:00 PMTake a trip to the outskirts of Hanoi to visit the Thay Pagoda and Tay Phuong Pagoda, two beautiful Buddhist temples nestled in the mountains.
 6:00 PMEnjoy a farewell dinner at one of Hanoi’s rooftop restaurants, where you can take in the stunning views of the city while enjoying delicious food.

This three-day itinerary allows for a more immersive experience in Hanoi, giving you enough time to explore the city’s top attractions and also venture out to nearby destinations.

Best time to visit Hanoi

Now that we have discussed how many days are enough to explore Hanoi, let’s talk about the best time to visit the city. Hanoi has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and cool, dry winters. The best time to visit Hanoi is during the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) months when the weather is pleasant, and there is less chance of rain.

If you don’t mind the heat and humidity, you can also visit Hanoi during the summer months (June-August). However, be prepared for occasional heavy rains and high temperatures. The winter months (December-February) are also a good time to visit Hanoi, but it can get quite chilly, especially in the evenings.

Another factor to consider when planning your trip to Hanoi is the festivals and events that take place throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals include Tet (Vietnamese New Year), which usually falls in January or February, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, which takes place in September or October. These festivals offer a unique opportunity to experience Vietnamese culture and traditions.

FAQs

1. Is Hanoi safe for tourists?
Yes, Hanoi is generally considered a safe city for tourists. However, like any other destination, it is always advisable to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

2. What is the currency used in Hanoi?
The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND). However, US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas.

3. What is the best way to get around Hanoi?
The best way to get around Hanoi is by walking or using public transportation. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are also available, but make sure to negotiate the fare before getting in.

4. What are some must-try dishes in Hanoi?
Some must-try dishes in Hanoi include pho (noodle soup), banh mi (baguette sandwich), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and banh xeo (savory pancake).

5. Is it necessary to tip in Hanoi?
Tipping is not expected in Hanoi, but it is always appreciated for exceptional service.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the number of days you should spend in Hanoi depends on your travel style and preferences. However, we recommend spending at least two to three days in the city to fully experience its rich culture and history. The best time to visit Hanoi is during the spring or autumn months, when the weather is pleasant and there are many festivals and events to enjoy. With this guide, we hope you can plan the perfect trip to Hanoi and make the most out of your time in this vibrant city.

Make your plan to Hanoi,Vietnam right now by apply a Vietnam visa at vietnamvisapro.net. We, a reputable and reliable Visa service, will assist you turn your plan into reality at the very first step

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SOME TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN VIETNAM

Some Top Tourist Attractions in Vietnam

Before planning a trip to Vietnam, you must do a lot of research to find out the top tourist attractions to visit. Among the top tourist attractions in Vietnam, iconic sites like Ha Long Bay, the Imperial City of Hue, and the historic Old Quarter of Hanoi are must-sees. Thanks to such a huge stretch from the North to the South, over 3200 kilometers, crossing various topographies, Vietnam holds in itself a collection of mountains, deltas, rivers, caves, lagoons, ocean, canals, hills. Vietnam Travel lists top destinations below which shows the best features of the country.

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  1. Ha Long Bay

Leading the chart of the top tourist attractions in Vietnam should not be something else but the sensational Ha Long Bay. The UNESCO World Heritage Site added another sight to see in their list presenting the world’s most spellbinding karst seascape, Ha Long Bay even twice. One was in 1991 and the other one was in 1998. Situated along the Gulf of Tonkin, there lies thousands of limestone islands scraped away by nature into breath-taking rock formations. It is highly recommended to spend an overnight tour to fully appreciate the iconic views this site has to offer.

The best times to visit Ha Long Bay are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and dry, providing ideal conditions for exploring the bay’s iconic limestone islands and enjoying outdoor activities.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the local culture, consider timing your visit to coincide with one of the region’s vibrant festivals or events. The Ha Long Carnival, held annually in late April or early May, is a lively celebration featuring street parades, traditional music and dance performances, and delicious local cuisine.

To fully appreciate the wonders of Ha Long Bay, an ideal duration of stay is 2-3 days. This allows ample time to embark on a cruise through the bay, exploring its hidden caves, secluded beaches, and floating villages. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in various activities such as kayaking, hiking, and visiting nearby attractions like Cat Ba Islands.

Speaking of top activities, a Ha Long Bay cruise is an absolute must-do. These multi-day cruises offer the chance to witness the bay’s incredible scenery up close while indulging in luxurious amenities. Other popular activities include exploring the mystical caves like Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave, hiking to scenic viewpoints like Ti Top Island, and participating in water sports like kayaking or swimming in the bay’s emerald waters. Additionally, don’t miss out on discovering the fascinating things to do in Ha Long City, such as visiting local markets, enjoying fresh seafood, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife.

2. Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, attracts millions of visitors each year. Hanoi has a long history of 1000 years of culture and civilization that attracts visitors of its old age. Traveling to Hanoi, you cannot miss Long Bien Bridge (over 100 years old), Hoa Lo Prison (Hilton House), Temple of Literature, Bat Trang pottery village, Hoan Kiem LakeNgoc Son Temple and many different kind of museums such at Vietnam museum of EthnologyVietnam Fine Art Museum, etc. Besides, Hanoi Old Quarter is a favorite place of many travelers.

The best times to visit Hanoi are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings. If you’re seeking to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural tapestry, consider timing your visit to coincide with one of Hanoi’s iconic festivals, such as the Lunar New Year celebrations or the Mid-Autumn Festival, both of which showcase traditional music, dance, and culinary delights.

To fully experience the city’s charm, an ideal duration of stay in Hanoi is 3-4 days. This allows ample time to explore its historic Old Quarter, visit iconic landmarks like the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and indulge in the city’s renowned street food scene. Top activities in Hanoi include taking a cyclo tour through the bustling streets, attending a traditional water puppet show, exploring the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and embarking on a day trip to the picturesque Ninh Binh province, renowned for its stunning karst landscapes. Don’t miss out on discovering the diverse range of things to do in Hanoi, from exploring ancient temples to sampling local delicacies in bustling markets.

3. Sapa

Sapa located in Lao Cai Province, about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Traveling to Sapa to discover the north mountainous area of Vietnam with the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan—the country’s highest peak. In Sapa, you can both enjoy the beauty of nature with stunning mountains, colorful paddy fields and experience our various culture of H’Mong ethnic minority. Here, travellers can spend their time hiking in the villages of Cat CatY Linh HoLao Chai and Ta Van Villages. If, you love to discover the remote village where less tourist travels, you can go to Can Cau Village to visit local market and Love market as well. After all, your memories to Sapa would be filled with the exotic cuisine, the colorful costumes of the ethnic minorities and the stunning of nature.

The best times to visit Sapa are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and dry, providing ideal conditions for trekking and enjoying the town’s picturesque landscapes.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the local culture, consider timing your visit to coincide with one of Sapa’s vibrant festivals or events, such as the Bac Ha Sunday Market or the Gau Tao Festival, where you can witness traditional dress, music, and dance performances by the region’s ethnic minority groups.

To fully appreciate the wonders of Sapa, an ideal duration of stay is 3-4 days. This allows ample time to embark on guided treks through the verdant rice terraces and visit remote hill tribe villages, as well as explore the town’s charming French colonial architecture and bustling markets.

Top activities and things to do in Sapa include trekking through the breathtaking Muong Hoa Valley, visiting the Love Waterfall and Bamboo Forest, exploring the Bac Ha Sunday Market for traditional handicrafts and textiles, and indulging in local delicacies like Thang Co (a unique sour soup). Additionally, adventurous travelers can partake in thrilling experiences like a Mt. Fansipan climb or a motorbike tour through the winding mountain roads.

4. Ninh Binh

If Ha Long Bay is the rocky limestone destination in the northern far seas, then Ninh Binh is would be the equivalent on the mainland. Located around 95km south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh and its’ neighboring area Tam Coc are filled with similar sights from the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay. Being the perfect place to start an adventure around Vietnam and Cambodia, Nan Binh is a favored spot for tourists to post on social media, especially for its natural and untouched beauty.

In addition to the captivating natural features that Ninh Binh has to offer, the city is known to be the ancient capital of feudal Vietnam during the 11th century under the Dinh and the Early Le Dynasties. A two-day trip all around Ninh Binh would give you an ideal insight into how the ancient Vietnamese once ruled their country against the major outside force from China.

The best times to visit Ninh Binh are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and dry, providing ideal conditions for exploring the region’s iconic limestone landscapes and enjoying outdoor activities.

To truly appreciate the wonders of Ninh Binh, an ideal duration of stay is 2-3 days. This allows ample time to explore the breathtaking Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its stunning karst formations, caves, and tranquil waterways, as well as visit nearby attractions like the ancient capital of Hoa Lu and the stunning Bai Dinh Pagoda complex.

Top activities and things to do in Ninh Binh include taking a mesmerizing boat tour through the limestone karst formations of Trang An, exploring the ancient temples and citadels of Hoa Lu, embarking on a cycling adventure through the picturesque countryside and rural villages, and indulging in the local cuisine, which features unique dishes like goat meat and specialties from the nearby Cuc Phuong National Park.

5. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh

Located in Quang Binh province, central Vietnam, this mysterious land is endowed with breathtaking landscape of limestone mountain ranges, wild forests and stunning rivers. This place which is recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, famous for the largest cave in the world with whole ecosystems and forests within, called Son Doong cave. Son Dong cave is 5km long, 200m high and 150m wide. But it is not Son Dong, with more than 300 caves, many waterways, mountains and forests, Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park is now a famous destination for tourists from all over the world to trekking, hiking, cycling and kayaking.

Adventure awaits year-round in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, but the dry season (March-August) offers ideal conditions for exploring. Hike through lush rainforests, delve into the world’s largest caves, or kayak on crystal-clear rivers. Aim for a stay of 2-3 days to experience the park’s highlights, like Paradise Cave or Phong Nha Cave. Don’t miss a boat trip down the Son River for a truly unforgettable experience!

6. Hue citadel

Knowing as the place of the last reign – Nguyen dynasty, Hue is considered one of Vietnam’s most historic towns and the former imperial capital of the country. The emperor’s residence, palaces, and temples are some of the historic sites left standing inside walls of the Imperial Enclosure that spans for around 2.5km along the Perfume River. Other landmarks are the citadel’s main entrance, the Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its intricate interiors, Dien Tho Residence which serves as the Queen Mothers’ chambers and lastly the Hall of Mandarins housing its’ well-preserved ceiling murals.

Hue, Vietnam’s former imperial capital, is best explored during the dry season (February-August) when skies are clear and temperatures comfortable. History buffs will be enthralled by the city’s vibrant past, evident in its magnificent Hue Imperial Citadel and royal tombs. Hue also boasts a rich festival scene, with the Hue Festival offering a spectacular display of traditional performances and colorful parades. To fully appreciate Hue’s imperial charm and cultural treasures, a 2-3 day stay is ideal. Don’t miss a boat trip on the Perfume River, exploring bustling local markets, and indulging in Hue’s renowned royal cuisine.

7. Da Nang

Da Nang will surprise you by its modern, cleanness and nature. Da Nang has so many things to offer from Hai Van Pass, Marble Mountain, Ba Na hills to the Golden bridge. The fresh and beautiful white sand beach also Nang are also one of the reasons to hold tourist stay longer at this city. The amazing traditional food here is also one thing visitors could not resist.

Da Nang’s charm unfolds throughout the year, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. For sunshine and warm seas ideal for swimming and lounging on the beach, April to August offers the most pleasant weather. This peak season coincides with the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival, a dazzling spectacle that usually takes place in April or May (check specific dates as they follow the lunar calendar).

If you prefer smaller crowds and don’t mind occasional rain showers, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (September to November and March to May). You might even snag some travel bargains during this time. Three to five days is a good amount of time to explore Da Nang’s beaches, historical sites, and surrounding attractions. If you’re planning day trips to Hoi An or My Son Sanctuary, factor those into your itinerary.

Top activities in Da Nang include relaxing on pristine beaches like My Khe Beach, exploring the Marble Mountains with their stunning caves and pagodas, and getting a dose of history at the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Adventure seekers can try surfing or scuba diving, while foodies will delight in Da Nang’s fresh seafood and flavorful central Vietnamese cuisine.

8. Hoi An

Hoi An is the place where not only attracting newcomers but also encouraging many tourists to come back again. It is famous for being an ancient town where the rustic yellow-walled tubed buildings line up. The town was built and developed by the Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese in which the Chinese architecture is the main theme throughout the whole site. The most sought-after destinations are the Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Tra Que Herb Village, and Kim Bong Carpentry Village. Besides, there are plenty of restaurants with lots of variety at cheap price, the night markets are great and the people are lovely. It truly is a paradise for visitors to go and explore.

The dry season (February to August) offers sunshine, warm temperatures, and minimal rain, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. However, this coincides with peak tourist season. For pleasant weather with fewer crowds, consider the shoulder seasons (March to May or September to November). March to April boasts comfortable temperatures and coincides with the Full Moon Lantern Festival, transforming Hoi An into a magical spectacle with glowing lanterns illuminating the Thu Bon River.

Throughout the year, Hoi An comes alive with vibrant festivals. The Full Moon Lantern Festival, held on the 14th day of each lunar month, is a must-see, while the larger Festival of Lights in February celebrates Vietnamese traditions with lantern displays and performances.

2-3 days is a good amount of time to explore Hoi An’s captivating ancient town, with its well-preserved architecture, tailor shops, and Japanese Covered Bridge. Foodies can delve into Hoi An’s culinary scene, while beach lovers can relax on nearby Cua Dai Beach. If you’re planning day trips to My Son Sanctuary or Da Nang, factor those into your itinerary.

Discover the enchanting streets of the ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get custom clothing made by skilled tailors, a Hoi An specialty. Take a boat ride on the Thu Bon River, adorned with colorful lanterns at night. Learn about Hoi An’s history at museums like the Fukian Assembly Hall and the Tan Ky House. Relax on the pristine sands of Cua Dai Beach or try water sports. In the evening, take a boat trip and release floating lanterns, a beautiful local tradition. Don’t forget to explore the vibrant things to do in Hoi An, including sampling delicious local cuisine and participating in traditional lantern-making workshops.

9. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City is such a young and modern city born and raised for roughly over 300 years. Traveling here, you will see the attractions influenced by the French-era architecture such as Vietnam’s own Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market. The Central Post Office, Reunification Palace are also visited by travelers.

Let’s not stop here, Sai Gon by night attracts you by its vibe and personal charming, please wander around Bui Vien streets, or taste local cuisine such as Huynh Hoa Bread (Banh my Huynh Hoa), Sauce Noodle (Bun mam), Nam Vang vermicelli (Hu tieu Nam Vang), Crab noodle (Banh canh cua), grilled pork noodle (bun thit nuong0, etc. Ho Chi Minh is also as a stop-over for tourists of they want to visit Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnel, Cao Dai temple, Vung Tau and the other southern provinces.

The ideal time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season from December to April, when the weather is most pleasant, offering clear skies and comfortable temperatures for exploring the city’s vibrant streets and historical landmarks.

The city’s calendar is dotted with cultural festivals and events, such as the exuberant Tet Festival in January or February, where the city bursts into celebrations of the Lunar New Year Attending this festival is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local traditions and witness the city at its most festive.

For travelers wondering about the ideal duration of stay, three to four days are recommended to fully experience the city’s top attractions and hidden gems. This allows ample time to delve into the rich history at the War Remnants Museum, marvel at the architectural wonder of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, and indulge in the culinary delights of street food tours in District 4.

Discover the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, from exploring iconic attractions like the Ben Thanh Market and the Reunification Palace to immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s night markets. Indulge in local delicacies, shop for souvenirs, and soak in the bustling energy of places like Binh Tay Market in Chinatown. Additionally, experience the charm of Nguyen Hue Street at night, lined with dazzling lights and bustling cafes, offering a perfect blend of culture and entertainment.

Incorporating these elements into your itinerary will ensure a memorable journey through the heart of Vietnam’s most dynamic city, where traditional charm meets modern vitality. Whether you’re a history buff, food enthusiast, or simply in search of adventure, Saigon’s warm embrace has something for everyone.

10. Phu Quoc

Unlike Bali or Thai Lan, Phu Quoc is an isolated tropical island located down South of Vietnam with 150km of coast in which you can reach there by plane at Phu Quoc International Airport. Phu Quoc is well known with many white sandy beaches and a perfect combination from mountain to forest and sea. With such a balmy weather, Phu Quoc is a good choice for all travelers who love nature and seek for a place to balance sightseeing and beaches. You can spend your time at your luxury resort or walk along the sandy beach to enjoy the fresh air or dipping yourself under the fresh green water of the sea. At the end of the day, Phu Quoc will end up with the colorful sky to complete your day with such a customized romantic dinner next to the beach. Travelling to Phu Quoc will bring you pleasant and relaxed.

The best times to visit Phu Quoc are from October to April, when the weather is dry with little rain, perfect for beach activities and exploration. This period also includes the peak tourist season, so for those seeking a quieter experience, the shoulder seasons of April to June or October provide a more tranquil atmosphere.

The island’s vibrant culture comes to life with festivals and events that are not to be missed. From the traditional Tet Festival celebrating the Lunar New Year to the Viet Traditional Music Festival, these cultural showcases offer a deep dive into the island’s rich heritage.

For an ideal visit, 2 to 5 days in Phu Quoc allow for a comprehensive experience, giving you enough time to explore the central town of Phu Quoc Islands, the serene Phu Quoc beaches likes Khem beach, Sao beach, Long beach, the bustling south, and the untouched eastern part of the island.

Top activities in Phu Quoc include exploring the Phu Quoc National Park, lounging on the pristine Sao Beach, and indulging in the tranquility of Khem Beach. For adventure seekers, snorkeling, scuba diving, and trekking are among the must-do activities. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, enjoy the local cuisine, or simply relax on the beach, Phu Quoc caters to all desires, making it a must-visit destination on your Vietnam journey.