If you are nature and wonder lovers and wish to stay away from touristic places, it is worth going to the Northern mountain areas of Vietnam for once in your life as you can see real paradises on earth. For your whole trip, there is only one feeling of merging into the nature, the mountains and the sky. There will be only you enjoying spectacular landscapes and breathing fresh atmosphere. So let’s discover the best places to go in the Northern mountain areas of Vietnam as well as plan an exotic adventure trip that brings you life-time experience:
1/ Nghia Lo and Mu Cang Chai – paradise of terraced rice fields:
They are rural districts of Yen Bai province and well-known for their breathtaking terraced rice fields stretching from the root to the top of mountains. You can consider visiting to Nghia Lo and Mu Cang Chai in different times of year to get their most beautiful times.
In June, it will be falling water season there when the first rains come and all hill tribe people come to their fields to prepare for a new crop season. With terraced rice fields, the local people need watering from the top of mountain and it will come from top to the bottom. That’s why it is called the falling water season. It is also a good time to travel to Mu Cang Chai for shooting as you may see everywhere farming activities from ploughing with buffaloes to plant rice. The local farmers go there in groups with their beautiful and colorful costume.
From June to mid-September, it is the middle of the crop with fantastic green terraced rice fields like a lovely and peaceful carpet of rice.
In the late September, it is called harvest season of the rice crop and it is considered as the best time for traveling to Mu Cang Chai. You will see yellow silk of rice fields stretching endlessly. Especially, you can catch amazing photos of local hill tribe woman working on the terraced rice fields, harvesting the rip rice grains and shoulder bags of the fruit home through mountains and hills as well as over swinging suspension bridges. You can even see ethnic kids playing around while waiting for their parents.
2/ Xin Man, Hoang Su Phi, Yen Minh, Quan Ba, Dong Van, Meo Vac – paradise of rolling steep mountains, snaking roads and rocks.
Those sites are situated in Ha Giang province and are unlike any other places that you may visit in Vietnam. They are really untouched areas and so strange to tourism that its local people have no idea of tourists. When visiting to the hill tribe houses, you will learn much more about their distinctive tradition, customs and beliefs.
3/ Ban Gioc Waterfall and Nguom Ngao Cave: Those sites are located in Cao Bang Province, around 90Km from Cao Bang city. Ban Gioc Waterfall lies in the border between Vietnam & China and each country own a part of the waterfall but visitors coming from both countries can enjoy the view of the whole waterfall. It becomes the best-known waterfall in Vietnam thanks to its location as well as impressive beauty of jade-blue water flowing through a pastoral landscape, bamboo groves and limestone pinnacles. Just near from Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave is totally intact with original beauty of mysterious stalagmites and stalactites.
4/ Thac Ba Lake and Ba Be Lake: Both Thac Ba Lake in Yen Bai Province and Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan Province are famous artificial lakes where offer light trekking routes to hill tribe villages of Tay ethnic people. The most surprising parts of your trip to those lakes are beautiful boat trips cruising around the lakes and you will see local fishermen working hard on the lakes for catching fish, shrimp, crab, etc.
5/ Bac Son Valley: Bac Son is a rural district of Lang Son Province and it is situated 160Km from Hanoi city. Traveling to Bac Son, you will be amazed by incredibly high mountains of about 500-1200 meters. Those mountains combining with the valley's paddy fields create an amazing landscape that you can only see its panoramic view after climbing to the top of a mountain. The pathways lead you through paddy fields and you have a chance to see the beautiful river crossing the rice fields. You can also see the daily life of Tay People with their traditional stilt houses. Best time to Bac Son Valley is from July to November as you will get its best beauty of green and yellow rice fields.