Halong Bay was formed by millions of years of geological changes, which created thousands of islands. While you are planning to go to Halong Bay, why don’t you pay a short stay at some nearby destinations? You will have an unforgettable trip in Vietnam – we promise!
Sapa is considered the tourist capital of mountainous north area of Vietnam, it is also known as “the Tonkinese Alps” because of its location 1500 meters (4921 feet) above sea level and on the western edge of a high plateau. The special location of Sapa makes it the only place in Vietnam has snow in winter time. Sapa is famous for both its breathtaking, dramatic scenery and its rich cultural diversity.
Coming to Sapa, you should do some trekking to Ta Van, Cat Cat and learn about the life of ethnic people. The local market is another highlight that you shouldn’t miss, especially love market, which is held on every weekend. The local folks love talking with tourists and unlike other parts of Vietnam, English is used widely in Sapa. The cable car is available now in Sapa to Fansipan mountain, but the traditional trekking route is still one of the challenges for adventure lovers. Besides, O Quy Ho Pass should be written down on your list, it is one of the most spectacular passes and to be the most photographed pass of Vietnam.
Mai Chau is a nearby village and is a perfect place for short relaxing and experiencing Vietnam’s village life in a remote setting. Mai Chau is not a good place for trekking but it pleased you with emerald mountains and green terraces. The best time for visiting Mai Chau is in Spring, from February to May, during that time, the plum flowers bloom brightly and strawberries are ready for you to harvest.
YEN DUC VILLAGE
Yen Duc is a lovely village hidden among green paddy field. While the rice field is not a unique feature of the village, Yen Duc is remembered because of the friendly local. You can feel the warm welcoming as soon as you arrive.
The meaning of visiting this village is to get your hands on daily tasks of local people. You will have chances to do some fishing with bamboo baskets, join in rice making process, broom making, and cooking class.
Your experience will not be fulfilled without “puppet water show” – a traditional and unique form of art which is still fascinated and performed in Vietnam. The show in Yen Duc was performed by local farmers after their day word, and it tells stories, folk tales and legends related to daily life activities: the celebration of the rice harvest, dragon and phoenix dancing, and much more.
Ninh Binh is a lovely destination which is blessed with magnificent landscapes. The city of Ninh Binh may offer little to no interest to the international tourist, but surrounding area has plenty of options for travelers who want to spend a few days discovering the wealth of natural attractions without being annoyed by crowds. The Tam Coc – Bich Dong is known as inland Halong Bay, while Trang An is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coming to Ninh Binh, you cannot miss Trang An area, just less than 10 km from the city center, this distance is extremely suitable for biking. One interesting figure is that Trang An is home to about 577 plant species including 10 species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Hanoi – the heart of Vietnam, through the history of Vietnam, this city has changed, suffered and been rebuilt. But still there is some things old, some things that you only feel while staying in Hanoi.
Hanoi is a charming city mixing of old and new Vietnam culture, of Oriental and French colonial architecture styles. The age-old area – Old Quarter is embraced by skyscrapers of business districts, the French colonial buildings stand next to Buddhist pagodas. The Old Quarter is the ancient commercial streets of Hanoi, each street named after original business hundreds of ears ago.
Many tourist-favorite attractions are within walking distance from Hanoi Old Quarter: Hoan Kiem Lake, Water Puppet Theater, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Museums and so on. Walking around street can be exhausted sometimes, cyclos are available on every street corner, and they will take you for a city tour or from one attraction to another attraction. Some of the cyclo drivers can speak English, they love to tell you about the city and you might realize how much people here love the city.