The beautiful Northern Vietnam allures global visitors by its stunning rolling rice paddies, magnificent limestone formations and the colorful hill tribes of the far north as well as the ancient culture and rich history of the Red River Delta. Follow vietnamtour.co.za to uncover the hidden charms of the North. 

1. HANOI

Vietnam's capital races to make up for time lost to the ravages of war and a government that as recently as the 1990s kept the outside world at bay. Its streets surge with scooters vying for right of way amid the din of constantly blaring horns, and all around layers of history reveal periods of French and Chinese occupation – offering a glimpse into the resilience of ambitious, proud Hanoians. » FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HANOI

2. HALONG BAY

Towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forest rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Designated a World Heritage site in 1994, Halong Bay's scatter of islands, dotted with wind- and wave-eroded grottoes, is a vision of ethereal beauty and, unsurprisingly, northern Vietnam's number one tourism hub. » FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HALONG BAY

3. SAPA

Sapa is oriented to make the most of the spectacular views emerging on clear days; it overlooks a plunging valley, with mountains towering above on all sides. Views are often subdued by thick mist rolling across the peaks, but even when it's cloudy, local hill-tribe people fill the town with colour. » FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SAPA

4. NINH BINH

Ninh Binh is a good base for exploring quintessentially Vietnamese limestone scenery. Few Western tourists head here, but many Vietnamese flock to nearby sights, including the nation’s biggest pagoda and the Unesco World Heritage–listed Trang An grottoes. » FIND OUT MORE ABOUT NINH BINH

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