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Northern Vietnam

Northern Vietnam, a large land owns masjestic mountains (Sapa, Ha Giang, Lai Chau,...), beautiful land (Ha Long bay, Bai Tu Long bay,...), the rich culture lands (Bac Ninh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh,...) and is place located Hanoi city, thounsand years capital of Vietnam

Travel Guide: Bac Ninh, Vietnam – The land of Quan Ho folk music

Bac Ninh (Bắc Ninh) is a small land in Northern Vietnam, but very rich in culture and tradition. Bac Ninh is also known as “The land of Quan Ho”, a folk music exclusively to the local. 

Bac Ninh tourism is more famous for cultural and historical sites: Do temple (đền Đô – where worship the Ly kings, a big dynasty in Vietnam’s history), Dau pagoda (chùa Dâu)But Thap pagoda (chùa Bút Tháp), Dong Ho painting village, Dai Bai casting copper village and so on

In this article: How should you travel in Bac Ninh | How to get to Bac Ninh | Main attractions | 1 day itineraries

Bac Ninh Vietnam travel guide
Bac Ninh Vietnam

How should you travel in Bac Ninh

The sites of Bac Ninh are scattered and there are too many sites. To visit all of attractions, you need at least 3 days. So you should divide attractions into regions then pick the suitable one, depending on your time and preference. 

Top things to do, things to see in Hanoi – Vietnam on a 1 or 2-day trip

I’ve lived in Hanoi capital for 3 years and already visited most of the attractions within and without the city. Hanoi is famous for its historical and traditional sites. Some notable sites include Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam, One-pillar Pagoda – a small pagoda with the most unique architecture I’ve ever seen, Hoan Kiem Lake with the legendary story about King Le Loi, Long Bien bridge – a “witness” of history, Hanoi Old Quater with 36 streets existing for thousands of years, or Thang Long ancient citadel – a thousand-year-old citadel, etc.

It would be a mistake when talking about Hanoi without mentioning its cuisine. The city is well-known for its beef noodle (Phở bò Hà Nội), bun cha (Bún chả – vermicelli with grilled pork balls) or La Vong fish balls, etc.

To have a comprehensive view of the city, you should spend at least 2 days discovering it: 1 day for places inside city and another day for some places in the suburb (such as Bat Trang ceramic village, Huong pagoda, Co Loa citadel, or Duong Lam ancient village, etc.).

>> Check Out 500+ Hotels in Hanoi City – Vietnam

Top things to do in Hanoi capital - Vietnam
Top things to do in Hanoi – Vietnam

Travel guide: Ninh Binh Vietnam – Best itinerary for 2 or 3 days

Ninh Binh is one of 3 most visited destinations in Northern Vietnam, the other two are Sapa and Halong bay. Ninh Binh tourism is famous for the charming and majestic nature in Trang An, Tam CocPhat Diem church, Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital and Cuc Phuong national park. 

Sound like a lot to squeeze in just a few days? Don’t worry because I will help you with a complete itinerary with reasonable time schedule from my experiences in Ninh Binh.

In this article: Itineraries for 2 or 3 days | How to get to Ninh Binh | Hotels | Specialties | Attractions 

Ninh Binh Vietnam travel guide
Ninh Binh Vietnam travel guide

>> Check out hotels in Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh travel itinerary

From Hanoi, you can easily get to Ninh Binh by motorbike or bus (less 100km or 60 miles from Hanoi). Usually, tourists stay in Ninh Binh for 2 or 3 days. Following is a popular itinerary for 3 days: 

How to get to Mai Chau? Things to do & see in Mai Chau (Hoa Binh) – Vietnam

As I mentioned in the article of Moc Chau travel guideMai Chau (Mai Châu) is a beautiful valley in Hoa Binh. It is located in the middle of the road from Hanoi city to Moc Chau. Mai Chau – Hoa Binh is famous for its beautiful and majestic landscape as well as diverse culture. Most tourists spend at least 1 day in Mai Chau before getting to Moc Chau. In this article, I will provide you with a preliminary schedule for a trip in Mai Chau.

>> Read more: Moc Chau plateau Vietnam travel guide
>> Check Out 100+ Hotels in Mai Chau (Hoa Binh), Vietnam

Mai Chau valley - Hoa Binh province - Vietnam
Mai Chau valley – Hoa Binh province – Vietnam

Things to do & see in Moc Chau Vietnam. What & where to eat in Moc Chau

Moc Chau (Mộc Châu) is a big plateau in Son La province. It is well-known for poetic landscapes with endless grass fields, huge gardens of plum and apricot trees and various flowers, immense tea plantations and large herds of milk cows. There are many ways to travel to Moc Chau plateau, however, I think the best way is traveling by motorbike. During the trip, you can observe the poetic but majestic beauty of Moc Chau.

If traveling by motorbike is not of your interest, you may get to Moc Chau by bus from Hanoi city, and then, rent a motorbike there. However, personally, I prefer to travel by motorbike from Hanoi because you can take time to observe and explore the beauty of Moc Chau along the road. The following are some of my travel experiences and tips when traveling to Moc Chau.

>> Check Out 100+ Hotels in Moc Chau – Vietnam

Moc Chau plateau in Son La - Vietnam - Things to do in Moc Chau for 3 days
Moc Chau plateau in Son La – Vietnam – Things to do in Moc Chau for 3 days

20 famous specialties and restaurants of Hanoi

After my blog post on Hanoi travel itineraries for 1 or 2 days, many of you asked for recommendation of good restaurants in Hanoi. I couldn’t believe I actually forgot about this!!?? Food is sometimes the reason you travel (and I’m one of those), right!. So this is the list of famous restaurants in Hanoi, adored by both locals and tourists. 

Hanoi cuisine is not only mesmerizing but also diverse and distinctive, so you may have to prepare a really good room and strength for your stomach ready to actually spend a couple days to indulge in all of Hanoi’s specialties. 

>> Check out hotels in Hanoi city

The famous specialties and restaurants of Hanoi
Famous specialties and restaurants in Hanoi – Vietnam

Specialties and famous restaurants 

1. Pho Hanoi (Phở Hà Nội). If you’re finding out about Hanoi tourism, you may have got to know this specialty. There’re lots of Pho restaurants in Hanoi, but if you want authentic and traditional taste of Pho Hanoi, go for 49 Bat Dan street (near the Old Quater) or Pho Thin at 11 Lo Duc street – 2 best Pho in town. 

Visit Tran temple and Phu Day pagoda in Nam Dinh – Vietnam

I just had a travel trip of spirituality in Nam Dinh province to thank Gods and pray for my family, on the occasion of my younger sister has been selected by a famous high school. Our trip lasted 2 days and we visited 2 sacred places, Tran temple (Đền Trần) and Phu Day pagoda (Chùa Phủ Dầy)

>> Check hotels in Nam Dinh at Agoda

Religious architectures in Nam Dinh - Vietnam
Religious architectures in Nam Dinh – Vietnam

Before telling about my trip, I want to explain the big difference between Pagoda (Chùa) and temple (Đền) in Vietnamese culture, although they have very same architecture. The pagodas in Vietnam always worships the Buddha, they may worship many other Gods but always have the Buddha. And temples never worship the Buddha, they worship a great man (kings, queens, generals,…), a sacred animal (Wale, tiger,…) or even something that are respected. 

Best things to do & to see in Cat Ba island- Vietnam. What & where to eat in Cat Ba?

Cat Ba is the biggest island of Hai Phong city, famous for very beautiful beaches, national park, Lan Ha bay (a miniature Ha Long bay ),… and interesting activities. There are many ways to travel to Cat Ba. You may combine travelling to Ha Long bay then get to Cat Ba by ferry, or go to Cat Ba from Hai Phong city.

>> Check Out 50+ Hotels in Cat Ba Island – Vietnam

Cat Ba islands travel guide - Things to do in Cat Ba for 1 day?
Cat Ba islands travel guide – Things to do in Cat Ba for 1 day?

Halong Bay Vietnam: Attractions and Specialties

Halong Bay – Unique marvel of nature

Located 150km from Hanoi, Halong Bay – Vietnam is a spectacular island waters of Quang Ninh, a top-leading marine tourism site in Vietnam. With outstanding value in the universal landscape and geology, Ha Long Bay has twice been recognized by UNESCO as a world natural heritage.

Halong bay - Vietnam
Halong bay – Vietnam

Halong Bay with nearly 2000 multifold “pearl” islands above sea level, covering an area of ​​over 1500 square kilometers, creating an extremely poetic and majestic natural wonder. The abundance of styles and the diversity in shapes of thousands of islands creates a forest of natural sculptures, a rare natural impression over the world with the fortified attraction and capacities satisfying the rich imagination of humans.

>> Learn More: Halong bay – Vietnam travel guide article

Travel guide: Ban Gioc Waterfall- the most spectacular waterfall of Vietnam

Ban Gioc waterfall, located on the Vietnam – China border in Cao Bang province, is considered the most spectacular waterfall of Vietnam. Standing at the foot of waterfall, the cool atmosphere from the dense water vapor will literally bring you to the heaven of freshness and relaxing.  It will be very big regret if you miss this attraction during your stay in Vietnam. So pack up together with some of my experience and get to Ban Gioc Waterfall now!

In the articles: Attractions on route | How to get to Ban Gioc | Hotels | Itineraries 

Ban Gioc waterfall - Cao Bang - Vietnam
Ban Gioc waterfall – Cao Bang travel guide

Attractions on Ban Gioc Waterfall trip

While Ban Gioc Waterfall is the absolute final destination and the main highlights of the day, Cao Bang also offer its visitors a generous number of destinations to incorporate with the trip to Ban Gioc Waterfall. Check out Thang Hen lake, Nguom Ngao cave (động Ngườm Ngao), Pac Bo cave (hang Pắc Bó – where Ho Chi Minh president used to live). If you have enough time, consider combining Ba Be lake and Ban Gioc waterfall to make a circular trip to include all of the main attractions in Cao Bang. 

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