There were so much to do in North Vietnam that having adequate time is the only prime concern. During my first visit to Vietnam, I only had eight hours in Hanoi before catching a night train to Sapa. Hiking in Sapa with aborigine tribes such as the Black Hmong and Red Dzao was one of the the many highlights in Northern Vietnam. While enjoying some of the most breathtaking scenery, tribal children and women were often times very persistent in harassing visitors but nevertheless there was no reason to take any offence. Visiting remote places always reminded me that I’ve been very privileged to be given numerous travelling opportunities hence I should never take life for granted.
Upon returning to Hanoi from Sapa, I went on a two days and one night excursion to Halong Bay which was another UNESCO site not to be missed while visiting the North of Vietnam. Again, I was blown away not only by the spectacular natural wonders but also by the warmth of Vietnamese people living on floating houses. I was offered some green tea while observing some of their daily life rituals. The amazing view at Halong Bay was simply out of this world. I had been very blessed with kind weather throughout the entire journey.
Ninh Binh is another province situated 100km way from Hanoi worthwhile a visit. Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, Trang An and Bich Dong complexes had been designated as the UNESCO heritage sites since year 2014. More than one thousand years ago, Hoa Lu used to be the capital city of Vietnam before the capital was shifted to Hanoi since year 1010.
The boat ride in Tam Coc was one of the most calming plus relaxing experiences. One will passed through three caves during the boat ride. Tam Coc was referred by the locals as the Halong Bay on land. There were many mountain goats grazing around the mountainous regions of the Ninh Binh province hence mutton stew is one of the delicacies in this area.
The paddy fields were still very barren but I got to witness hardworking farmers getting ready to cultivate their first crop of the year. I hope to be back again one day somewhere around the month of May when the paddies reached their maximal height. It’ll surely be an awesome sight.