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Vietnam

Along the banks of the Red River lies Hanoi, a city locked in time yet simultaneously leaping forward. Hanoi’s atmospheric Old Quarter, beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake and classic colonial architecture will leave you enchanted. There are excellent museums and art galleries to tour and when you get hungry, you’ll find the northern streetfood is both abundant and delicious. Pull up a chair at one of many charming cafes to watch life unfurl and gain a sense of the city’s timeless rhythm.

Not far from Hanoi waits the fairy tale landscape of Ninh Binh, where sheer limestone cliffs rear straight up from paddy fields, and rowboats will bring you on a mesmerising journey through river caves. No visit to the north is complete without a cruise on Halong Bay to soak in the sight of thousands of islets and the bay’s deep emerald green waters.

Places to visit:

  • Halong Bay   - For many the seascape of Halong Bay is synonymous with Vietnam. Cruises lazily sail emerald green waters among thousand of rugged islands and islets, stopping at some of the most spectacular caves through which visitors can wander, viewing impressive, centuries-old formations. Halong Bay's mystical beauty has made it a bucket list attraction within the country, but it's still possible to find secluded corners to call your own.  

  • Hanoi - Founded over 1000 years ago, Vietnam’s capital city is rich in history, with the streets of its rambling Old Quarter dating back to the 14th century. Wandering these tree-lined lanes past crumbling colonial facades will transport you back in time. However, today's Hanoi is about much more than the past. The ancient city is being invigorated with modern cafes, world-class restaurants, and cool art galleries. When the sun goes down, you have your pick of watering holes, from sophisticated rooftop bars to buzzing bia hoi.

  • Mai Chau -The Mai Châu valley’s proximity to the capital makes it an ideal overnight escape. Here, small, homestay-filled ethnic minority villages sit in among a patchwork of paddy fields surrounded by soaring mountain peaks.

  • Sapa - Sapa town stands at the head of a deep valley of magnificent rice terraces that are still worked today as they have been for centuries. Backdrops don’t get much more spectacular. Enticing ribbons of road lead the eye down to the valley floor, white-water rivers rush among rice fields, and lush green mountains stretch into the distance as far as the eye can see. The highest peak in the region, Mount Fansipan, crowns the ragged ridge line high above town.

 

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When to visit

Weather in Halong Bay 

If you’re coming to Halong Bay, try to visit from April to June or September to November. You’ll have a better chance of enjoying sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. Other times of year, downpour or heavy mist is common, and  tropical storms can sometimes cause cruise cancellations. However, if you’re on the water during this time you can experience a more mystical side of Halong Bay, with its famous karsts shrouded in mist. Temperatures in January can be frigid, so be sure to bring warm layers.

Weather in Hanoi

The best time to visit Hanoi is usually from April to June or from September to December. From April the days are normally hot, occasionally above 30 degrees with clear skies. September to November sees cooler temperatures of around 25 degrees and sunny skies -- perfect for exploring the capital.

If you’re coming to Hanoi in June, expect soaring temperatures with humidity highs of 40 degrees, and the rainy season is full swing (June to August). December is cool, misty and atmospheric, however from late December until March temperatures are surprisingly cold with lows of 10 degrees. You’ll want to bundle up.

Weather in Sapa 

Vietnam’s Northern destinations such as Sapa have a much cooler climate than the rest of the country, particularly from late December until March. Sapa sees the occasional snowfall in January, so be prepared. Hotels in the area are equipped with heated blankets and local spas offer herbal baths for you to soak in and warm up. Sapa is near-perfect in late April, as flowers bloom and skies are clear. Early October is also lovely, as its impressive tiered rice paddies turn golden just before harvest.

Weather in Mai Chau

March to May and September to November are the best times to visit Mai Châu. October is perhaps the most ideal month because harvest takes place and the rice takes on a glorious golden hue.

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Official language
Vietnamese
Currency
Vietnamese đồng (VND)
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