There are some wonderful parts of Vietnam where life has changed little over generations. Even though there are an increasing number of tourists booking Vietnam tour packages, that has not harmed regions such as the Northern Highlands where ethic tribes live as they always have. Contact with overseas tourists enjoying a Vietnam holiday may have created a market for some of their traditional craft skills, but they plant and harvest the crops as they have always done.
Pristine forests, mountains, waterfalls and streams provide a lovely environment in which to walk and just take in the fresh air. If you are looking for places to trek during your Vietnam tour, think about these places with the North being the first area you should look to. If in doubt speak to a Vietnam travel agent. Read more: Vietnam Tour Overview
• Sapa is a town up near the border with China in the Northern Highlands. Mount Fanispan at over 3,100 metres is the country’s highest mountain while the Terraces on which the locals grow rice are worth seeing from the spring when they are planted and the water glistens, through the various shades of green as the rice grows until late autumn when the golden rice is harvested.
• Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa east of Hanoi has a central valley with ridges either side; forest, limestone and rice terraces add to its splendour.
• Mai Chau in NW Vietnam is a green valley where the villagers, White and Black Thai build homes on stilts.
• Cao Bang is pristine jungle, mountains and streams close to the Chinese border. The Ban Gioc Waterfall is surely the highlight?
• Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay is popular yet still ripe for exploration. The Bay itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cat Ba is the largest island, situated in the SE of the Bay. You can combine trekking with enjoying the lovely beaches and warm blue seas.
• Ba Be National Park in the North East includes a lake by the same name. It is a forested area with caves to explore, waterfalls, rivers and valleys.
• Cuc Phuong National Park south of Hanoi is the oldest in Vietnam, established over half a century ago. Botanists love this place with its wide range of flora.
Vietnam has so much to offer with a mix of history, culture, fine cuisine and the chance to get away to enjoy its remaining wild areas.