Northeast Vietnam Travel Guide
Northeast Vietnam is rich in history and agriculture, as well as seeing a significant growth in tourism and industry. A few of the most popular attractions that pull in the tourists on the Vietnam private tours include scenic Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay. Elsewhere, the port city of Haiphong is well-known as a vital artery to promote the country’s trade and industry.
Most visitors to this region of Vietnam rarely go much further than Halong Bay, but for those that continue to explore the northeast it is possible to witness ancient royal citadels, lush national parks, towering waterfalls, and dramatic mountain passes.
The mountainous regions have plenty of ethnic minority villages that make it possible to experience trekking, while there are also the lakeside retreats that are perfect for getting a break from the stifling heat of the intense summer months.
A visit to Cao Bang on the Vietnam holiday packages makes it possible to see some of Vietnam’s most stunning scenery, with plenty of waterfalls and sweeping verdant hills.
The climate in northern Vietnam is usually a lot cooler than other areas of South East Asia with a similar longitude. The weather in the north has two distinct seasons: warm to hot wet season and cool to cold season. The summer season lasts from May to October with temperature that is quite hot and can reach 37° C in the peaks for the months of June-July.
The cool season can last from November to March and starts to warm up from April time. Plus, the winter months have a lot of drizzle and cloud. On average, the winter temperature is in the region of 17.2° C. But, for the mountainous regions in the north can get a lot colder and stays below 10° C for extended periods.
There are plenty of places in the north of Vietnam that get quite frosty, so it is essential to pack accordingly. Heavy mists are quite common and have the potential to last for several days, which has a negative impact on visibility. This is certain to limit the ability to view the stunning vistas if planning to travel at this time of the year.
Highlights of northeast Vietnam
In spite of the fabulous scenery in the northeast, this region is still far from being one of the most visited destinations in the country. This region of Vietnam is achingly beautiful with backdrops of splendid terraced rice paddies that make a great place to spend some time while touring the country. Plenty of areas in the north are quite remote and isolated, but this difficulty in travel can make the journey more worthwhile when it is possible to see a region that is still unspoiled by tourism.
Thai Nguyen is a common starting point for the Vietnam tour packages that are taking place in the northeast. An organized tour through a travel agency is a great way to experience this type of travel and particularly useful for those tourists with limited knowledge of travelling off the beaten track. Any well planned tour package can last for 3-5 days and include four-wheel drive vehicle with driver, accommodation and food.
Even though Halong Bay continues to dominate the travel itinerary for travellers to the northeast of Vietnam, there are still plenty of other worthwhile and lesser-know highlights in this part of the country.
A visit to Mong Cai makes it possible to get close to the land border with China which has a variety of attractive features. This can include Tra Co Beach which is a separate island located several kilometres to the east. This sand stretches for nearly 17 km which makes it quite easy to find a quiet spot, but this isn’t the most inviting beach with its coarse sand. Also, along the beach it is possible to take a ride on a hydrofoil for a trip to Dao Cai Bau (Van Don Island), which is a region of Halong Bay.
Haiphong is the third largest city in Vietnam with a total population in the region of 2 million people. It is located in the northeast near the bank of the Cam River. This city has a very laidback atmosphere with plenty of charming colonial-era buildings and tree-lined boulevards. There are numerous dinky cafes along the streets that make it a perfect place for the coffee devotee. Beyond the café culture, this isn’t a lot in this city for the tourist, except to use as a layover point to catch a ferry to Cat Ba Island. But it is still a friendly town that makes it possible to get a break from the more lively tourism centres.
Ba Be Lake
Ba Be Lake is a must-see destination on the Vietnam holiday packages with plenty to see and do, especially for those travellers that decide to explore the Ba Be National Park. The park is rich in stunning scenery with interesting landscapes and geology to discover, as well as plenty of fauna and flora. A boat or kayak tour is the best way to get a full appreciation of what the lakes have to offer. By exploring the clear waters by boat it is much easier to see the picturesque landscape that includes caves, valleys, waterfalls, and more. Local attractions to Ba Be Lake include Tien Pond, Puong Cave, and Dau Dang Fall.
A half day trip to the majestic sight of the Puong Cave makes it possible to explore the cave system with its stalactites and stalagmites. This is a quite large cave at about 300 m in length and 30 m in height. It is approx 5 km from the main town and while exploring into the cave it is possible to see the thousands of bats that have made this natural wonder their home.
Any tour to discover the northeast of Vietnam would be incomplete without a trip to Ha Giang to visit Quan Ba heaven gate, twin mountains, Dong Van rock plateau, Ma Phi Leng pass and meet several ethnic minorities in Ha Giang to learn about their unique culture and daily life.
The province is famous with the thundering Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao cave and a lot of historical sites. Cao Bang is picturesque and a place to continue your northeast Vietnam tour to Ba Be lake or Dong Van of Ha Giang.