Region of Vietnam.
Asia > Southeast Asia > Vietnam > Northern Vietnam

Northern Vietnam gets fewer visitors than Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the coastal cities in the south, but it is the cradle of the Vietnamese civilization and hence, home to more historical and cultural attractions than the South. Historically, and to this day, it has been significantly poorer than the southern part of the country. Cultural and political differences remain strong - the dialect of Vietnamese spoken here is noticeably different from the South, and there's definitely a more authoritarian feel in the cities.

The largest city in northern Vietnam is the capital of Hanoi, and it's the only attractive one. But there are numerous other sites, such as Ha Long Bay, the mountain resort of Sapa, the limestone karst scenery around Ninh Binh and the historical battlefield of Dien Bien Phu.


  • 1 Ha Long Bay with the islands of Van Don, Cat Bam, Cua Ong, Halong, Quan Lạn


Map of Northern Vietnam

Other destinationsEdit

Get inEdit

Điện Biên Phủ Airport (DIN IATA), Van Don International airport (VDO IATA)

Get aroundEdit



Cycling is a niche but growing activity in Northern Vietnam, progressively getting more challenging the farther you venture out of Hanoi. During your ride, you will be distracted by dense jungle, misty hills and mountains and gorgeous rice terraces. But to explore the region to its fullest, you ought to be an experienced peddler. If you are skilled and brave enough, make sure to ride along the jaw-dropping Mã Pí Lèng Pass between the towns of Dong Van and Meo Vac.


  • Most local markets in the north of Vietnam take place on a particular day each week. For example, Dong Van Market and Can Cau Markets take place on Saturday or Sunday. The markets open at 5AM and close at 3 to 4PM. Ethnic peoples, such as the Hmong, Dzao, Tay, Lo Lo and Tu Di, go to the market from the early morning on by foot, horse and motorbike. They travel in families and groups of young girls and boys in their most colorful clothes. Even if don't sell all of their products, they still meet their old friends and have a chance to drink, chat or share their life stories. Some other markets are exceptional: They are “backward markets”! They take place every 6 days, calculated by the Lunar Calendar.



Stay safeEdit

In the northern part of Vietnam the dangers are small. Just like every other country there are pickpockets and a few scammers, but this is your biggest worry from the locals.

If you visit the wild nature next to the Chinese border, not many animals are dangerous. But a few wild cats are seen now and then in the nature reserves, like the Asian Golden Cat.

Go nextEdit

This region travel guide to Northern Vietnam is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!