The north of Vietnam consists of mountains in the far north and west, stunning Halong Bay, the Red River Delta and the scenic limestone landscapes around Ninh Binh and Mai Chau.
Vietnam’s northernmost major town, Sapa is set in a mountains gateway for trips into Vietnam's hill tribe region and is famous for its pristine environment, unparalleled scenery, the highest mountain in Vietnam and the more than 30 colourful Vietnamese hill tribes who live in the area.
As Sapa has become increasingly popular, many visitors are now heading to the far north of Vietnam in Ha Giang province on the border with China. 90% of the population here are ethnic minorities and the landscape is very special indeed.
Mai Chau further south and easily accessed from Hanoi is an area of rich rice paddies dotted with White Thai villages - an area for trekking or cycling out into the countryside.
Ninh Binh, known as Dry Halong Bay is the place to experience quintessential limestone cliff scenery and to get off the beaten track close to Hanoi.
Other highlights of the north include the famous battlefields of Dien Bien Phu, the spectacular caves at Phong Nha and the stunning scenery around Mu Cang Chai. For classification purposes we have designated Northern Vietnam as everything north of Dong Hoi.