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North Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Information: This section covers the different parts of Viet Nam from North, Central, to South with the information of each city or destination.
 

Hanoi

Not only being the capital city, Hanoi is also regarded as a political, cultural, commercial and tourist center of Vietnam.

Its first establishment could be dated back to the year 1010 under the reign of King Ly Cong Uan and this city used to be named as Thanglong, Dongdo, and finally Hanoi. Due to its long history, Hanoi has gotten numerous relics of the past including fine ancient architectures such as Mausoleum of president Ho Chi Minh, Fine - Art museum, the Temple of literature, One-Pillar Pagoda, Tay Phuong Pagoda and etc.

Hanoi city has a land area of 2,139 km2 and a population of over 3 million, situated on the right bank of the Red river which is spanned by 3 bridges, the old Long Bien bridge, the new Chuong Duong and ThangLong bridge.

Especially, in traditional handicrafts such as bronze molding, silver carding, lacquer embroidery etc. Many consumer goods, hand-works and table delicacies are highly appreciated by visitor from all-over the world.

Hightlights of Hanoi :

  • HoChiMinh mausoleum - Temple of literature
  • Hoan Kiem lake - One-pillar pagoda
  • Tran Quoc pagoda - 36-ancient street old town of Hanoi
  • Ngoc Son temple - Hai Ba Trung temple
  • Truc Bach lake - Thu Le Park and zoo
  • Museum of Fine Arts - Co Loa citadel
  • Military museum - Saint Josept cathedral
  • Lake of Ho Tay - Thang Long bridge
 

Haiphong

Haiphong, the third largest city of Vietnam after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, is a seaport about 106 km from Hanoi. It is a bustling, industrial center. The residents of Haiphong work in numerous factories such as: workshops, shipyards, glass industry, textile, cement and food canning factories. In contrast, there are many French colonial houses in Haiphong.

The most famous attraction is the Du Hang Pagoda which is one of the most ancient pagodas in the city. Apart from exquisite architectural style, it contains many valuable relics of ancient Vietnam.

About 20 km away from Haiphong is the white sandy Do Son Beach. It is a small beach strip on the coast, good for swimming. There is an attractive resort with casino, with magnificent scenery to see the mountain temple of Den Ba De.

The other nearby attractions are the flower village of Dong Hai, Cat Ba National Park, and the Ha Long Bay.

Highlights of Haiphong

  • Do Son Beach
  • Catba National Park
  • Du Hang Pagoda
  • Wood Carving Village of Bao Ha
 

Hoalu

Formerly was the capital of Vietnam under the Dinh dynasty from 968 and the Early Le dynasty from 950 to 1009. This is area covered of about 3 square km.

Being a famous place for magnificent grottoes, Hoa Lu is an attractive resort with many interests such as: sailing for sightseeing lots of grottoes, the ancient citadel.

Highlights of Hoalu:

  • Tam Coc Cave
  • Temples of Dinh's King and Le's King
  • Bich Dang Cave
  • Hao Lu Old Town
 

Hoa Binh

HoaBinh, situated 74 km from Hanoi is the rest base for minority visits in the Muong Guest house at Hoa Binh. There are many hill-tribes people such as Muong and Thai ethnic minorities. Full day in Hoa Binh will be spent consisting of musical instrument. HoaBinh is also a mountainous area which visitors can enjoy climbing into.

Highlights of Hoa Binh

  • Village of Muong, Thai ethnic minorities
  • Mountain trekking.
 

Cuc Phuong National Park

The Cuc Phuong forest is located 140 km South West from Hanoi. This is one of primeval forests in Vietnam, which attracts a lot of tourists. There are 64 species of fauna and nearly 2,000 species of flora including kinds of rare tree.

Anyone who loves nature will find that biological wonderland, will have plenty of offers. This park is very popular with day trippers. It's an absolute Heaven for biologists spending a whole lifetime to inspect species of insects. Actually, the Cuc Phuong national park is well-known place where biologists in many countries come to explore of animal and to inspect species of insects.

 

Tamdao National Park

Tamdao National park, is about 80 km northwest of Hanoi in the mountains of the same name in Vinh Phu province. The town, which is essentially the Dalat of the North, was found by the French in 1907 and originally called "Cascade d'Argent". At present, a few Westerners go to this region, but more are expected in the near future.

 

Halong

Situated 170 km Hanoi, Halong is a picturesque bay with 3,000 islands, called in Vietnamese "the dragon descending to the sea", is famous for magnificent scenic area.

It is also one of the wonderful sceneries in Vietnam with an area of about 1,500 square kilometers. Halong is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottoes created by the wind and waves. There are many species of animals seldom found on the mainland including monkeys, tropical birds and a rich abundance of marine life. Sailing in Halong Bay is interesting entertainment. From a panorama of the bay, visiting to the caves and grottoes with mysterious scenery is recommended.

Highlights of Halong:

  • Bai Chay Beach
  • Virgin Cave (Hang Trinh Nu)
  • Monkey Island
  • Grotto of Wooden Stakes (Hang Dau Go)
  • Hang Hanh Cave
  • Pelican Cave (Hang Bo Nau)
  • Tra Co Beach Resort
  • Yen Tu Mountain
 

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National park is about 135 km from Hanoi and is about 80 km the east of Hai Phong. Half of the island and 90 sq. km of surrounding inshore waters were designated a National Park in 1986. The type of eco-system found here is based on tropical evergreen forests, a coastal mangrove belt, lakes, sandy seashores and off-shore coral reefs. In all, the island has 350 hectares of forests and 250 hectares of primitive jungle.

A survey by Hanoi's Biological Institute in 1991 showed that the island has 28 varieties of animals, 37 species of birds and over 60 species of plants. The sea surrounding it abounds with turtles, pearl oysters, conches and hundreds of varieties of fish and other marine flora and fauna.

 

Sapa

Lying at the elevation of 1,560 m above sea level, Sa Pa is the famous resort in Vietnam, built since 1992. To go to Sa Pa travelers take the train from Hanoi Station. Arriving at the 290th milestone, it is Lao Cai station. Here travelers go nearly 40 km then come to Sa Pa. The temperature ranging from 17 c to 23 c, in winter there is a fog or snows and the temperature may be below 0 c. Sa Pa is the place to provide vegetable seeds, precious medical plants, the forest here abounds deer, foxes, geckos partridges… and also famous with Thac Bac (the silver Falls), Cau May (Cloud bridge).
 

Sonla

Sonla is a peaceful town surrounded by minority villages, which consist of the Black Thai, Muong and H'Mong people living in stilt houses.

You can make a plan to Muong La where is a minority settlement. It is not general tourist excursion, but many ethnologists visiting the country may like to make it.

Highlights of Sonla:

  • Ethnic Minority
  • Villages Orchards
 

Dien Bien Phu

Dien Bien Phu is a famous place for fierce battle between the Vietnamese People's army and the French army force. That's historic battle of Vietnamese people as well as the people in the world.

Being about 492 km from Hanoi, Dien Bien Phu is also regarded as an attractive spot for people who like to discover the war's history. Today, the site of the battle is marked by a small museum. Visitors can visit Dien Bien Phu museum, HinLam hill, the French troops memorial, the Hamlets of the Black Thai and H'mong ethnic people.

Highlights of Dien Bien Phu:

  • Hill Tribes (Thai, H'mong)
  • Former Dien Bien Phu Base (Hinlam Hill, Al Hill etc)
  • Historical Museum
 
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