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7 Unique Things to Do in Northern Vietnam for an Unforgettable Adventure

Apr 19, 2023 | Asia, Vietnam | 0 comments

Northern Vietnam is a land of adventure, offering countless unique experiences for those who dare to venture into its captivating landscapes. From the bustling city streets of Hanoi to the breathtaking beauty of the countryside, there are countless cool things to do in Vietnam that will leave you with unforgettable memories. In this article, we will explore seven of these amazing adventures, delving into the culture, history, and natural beauty that make this region so special. So, let’s get started!

Introduction to Northern Vietnam: A Land of Adventure

Northern Vietnam is a place where ancient history meets modern innovation, where vibrant cities give way to stunning natural landscapes. This region of the country is known for its incredible natural beauty, with towering limestone cliffs, rolling rice terraces, and lush, green forests. It is also home to a rich cultural heritage, with a long history of art, music, and cuisine that has evolved over centuries. With so many fun things to do in Vietnam, it’s no wonder that this region is quickly becoming a top destination for travelers seeking adventure and discovery. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most unique and unforgettable experiences that Northern Vietnam has to offer.

#1: Ride on the back of a Grab Motorbike

**One of the most exciting things to do in Vietnam is to ride on the back of a Grab motorbike. Grab is a popular ride-sharing app in Southeast Asia, and their motorbike taxis, known as “xe ôm,” are a fast and thrilling way to explore the city. As you zip through the bustling streets of Hanoi, you’ll have a unique perspective of the city, weaving through traffic and experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of Vietnam up close.

To use Grab, simply download the app on your smartphone, input your destination, and choose the motorbike option. In just a few minutes, a friendly driver will arrive to whisk you away on your adventure. Riding on the back of a Grab motorbike is not only a fun way to get around, but it’s also an inexpensive and efficient mode of transportation. Make sure to wear a helmet, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride!

#2: Explore the Vibrant Streets of Hà Nội (Hanoi)

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a bustling metropolis that blends ancient history with modern innovation. With its narrow streets, vibrant markets, and stunning architecture, Hanoi is a perfect place to wander and explore. One of the best ways to experience the city is to simply walk through its vibrant streets, stopping to sample street food, browse local markets, and soak in the atmosphere.

The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets and French colonial architecture, is a must-see when visiting Hanoi. Here, you can explore temples, browse shops selling traditional handicrafts, and sample some of the city’s famous street food. Don’t miss the chance to try bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich made with a fresh baguette, pâté, and a variety of meats and vegetables.

Another must-see is the Temple of Literature, a Confucian temple and one of the oldest buildings in Hanoi. This beautiful complex is a serene escape from the bustling city and offers a glimpse into the rich history of Vietnam. As you explore the city, be sure to also visit Hoàn Kiếm Lake, a picturesque body of water in the heart of Hanoi, surrounded by beautiful gardens and historic landmarks.

#3: Visit the Beauty of Tam Cốc in Ninh Bình

Tam Cốc, located in the province of Ninh Bình, is one of the most beautiful and enchanting destinations in Northern Vietnam. Often referred to as the “Halong Bay on land,” Tam Cốc is characterized by stunning limestone karsts that rise dramatically from verdant rice paddies, creating a landscape that is truly awe-inspiring. One of the best things to do in Vietnam is to take a boat tour through the winding rivers of Tam Cốc, offering a unique perspective of this breathtaking landscape.

Boat tours typically last around two hours and are guided by skilled local rowers who navigate the shallow waters with ease. As you glide through the tranquil river, you’ll pass through caves, past towering limestone cliffs, and along serene rice paddies. This peaceful journey offers a chance to truly appreciate the natural beauty of Northern Vietnam, making it a must-do activity for any traveler.In addition to the boat tour, there are several other attractions to explore in the Tam Cốc area, such as the ancient capital of Hoa Lư, the stunning Bích Động Pagoda, and the Mua Caves, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

#4: Get a taste of Northern Vietnamese Phở

Phở, a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup, is a culinary staple in Vietnam and a must-try dish for any traveler. This flavorful soup is made with a rich, aromatic broth, tender slices of meat (typically beef or chicken), and rice noodles, garnished with fresh herbs and lime. While phở can be found throughout the country, Northern Vietnam is known for its unique variation of the dish, which is slightly different from the Southern version.

In Northern Vietnam, phở is characterized by a clear, delicate broth that emphasizes the flavors of the meat and spices. The noodles are also typically wider and flatter than those found in the South, and the dish is served with fewer garnishes. To get a true taste of Northern Vietnamese phở, be sure to visit a local restaurant or street vendor, where you can enjoy an authentic, steaming bowl of this delicious soup.As you explore the culinary delights of Northern Vietnam, don’t hesitate to try other local dishes, such as bún chả (grilled pork with rice noodles), nem rán (fried spring rolls), and xôi (sticky rice), all of which offer a delicious taste of the region’s rich culinary heritage.

#5: Go Motorbiking through the Mountains of Hà Giang

For those seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery, a motorbike trip through the mountains of Hà Giang is a must. This remote region in Northern Vietnam is home to some of the country’s most stunning landscapes, with dramatic mountain peaks, lush valleys, and winding roads that offer an exhilarating and challenging ride. Motorbiking through Hà Giang is not only an incredible way to explore the natural beauty of Vietnam, but it also offers a unique insight into the lives of the region’s diverse ethnic minority groups.

To embark on this adventure, either rent a motorbike in Hà Giang city if you are licensed and set off on a journey through the region’s stunning landscapes. If you are not licensed, there are lots of companies that arrange tours, allowing you to simply book a ride and enjoy the views. As a solo traveler, there are also group tours you can join. As you wind your way through the mountains, be prepared for hairpin turns, steep inclines, and narrow roads that will challenge even the most experienced riders.

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit remote villages, where you can interact with local people and learn about their traditional way of life. Don’t miss the chance to visit the colorful markets, where you can purchase unique handicrafts and sample delicious local cuisine. This unforgettable journey through the mountains of Hà Giang is truly one of the most exciting and rewarding things to do in Vietnam.

#6: Trek Through the Stunning Rice Terraces of Sa Pa (Sapa)

Sapa, a picturesque town located in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of Northern Vietnam, is famous for its stunning rice terraces, which cascade down the mountainsides in a breathtaking display of agricultural ingenuity. Trekking through these terraced fields is one of the most popular things to do in Vietnam, offering an unparalleled opportunity to witness the region’s incredible natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

There are countless trekking routes to choose from in Sapa, ranging from short, easy walks to multi-day treks through remote villages and challenging terrain. Regardless of the route you choose, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the rice terraces, which change color throughout the year, from vibrant green in the growing season to golden yellow during harvest time.As you trek through the mountains, you’ll have the opportunity to visit local villages and interact with the people who call this region home. Many of these communities belong to Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups, such as the Hmong, Dao, and Tay people, who have maintained their traditional way of life despite the increasing popularity of tourism in the area. This unique cultural experience, combined with the stunning natural beauty of the rice terraces, makes trekking in Sapa an unforgettable adventure.

#7: Take Your Time and Explore

One of the most important things to remember when visiting Northern Vietnam is to take your time and truly explore the region. With so many incredible experiences to be had, it’s important not to rush through your journey. Instead, allow yourself the time to fully immerse yourself in the culture, history, and natural beauty that make this part of the country so special.From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the tranquil rivers of Tam Cốc, there is no shortage of amazing things to do in Vietnam. By taking the time to truly explore each destination, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the people, places, and experiences that make Northern Vietnam such an unforgettable place to visit.

Conclusion: Do What is Special to You!

Northern Vietnam is a land of adventure, offering countless unique experiences for those who choose to venture into its captivating landscapes. From the bustling city streets of Hanoi to the breathtaking beauty of the countryside, there are countless cool things to do in Vietnam that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re zipping through the city on a Grab motorbike, exploring the stunning rice terraces of Sapa, or enjoying a steaming bowl of phở, the experiences you have in Northern Vietnam will stay with you long after your journey has ended. So, take your time, explore, and discover the unique adventures that await you in Northern Vietnam.