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Northern Vietnam

Wow, the vistas. This is Vietnam's big-sky country; a place of rippling mountains, cascading rice terraces and the winnowed-out karst topography for which the region is famed.

Halong Bay's seascape of limestone towers is the view everyone's here to see, but the karst connection continues inland to Ba Be's sprawling lakes and the knobbly topped peaks of Ha Giang, until it segues into the evergreen hills of the northwest highlands.

Not to be outdone by the scenery, northern Vietnam's cultural kaleidoscope is just as diverse. In this heartland of hill-tribe culture, villages snuggle between paddy-field patchworks outside of Sapa and the scarlet headdresses of the Dzao and the Black Hmong's indigo fabrics add dizzying color to the highland markets.

The twisting ribbon-roads winding north from Hanoi reveal a rural world far removed from Vietnam's horns-a-honking big-city streets. If you're up for some road-tripping, this is the place to do it.

Explore Northern Vietnam

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northern Vietnam.

Guidebooks

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