One of my favourite cities in all of Asia, Hanoi is a beautiful combination of Old meets Modern. A gateway to the incredible mountains and scenery to the North and the warm beaches and bustling cities to the south.
Hanoi is worth spending at least a couple days exploring, on foot or by bicycle.
I recommend staying at the fantastic Central Hanoi Backpackers Hostel . The dorms are comfortable and at only $5 a night, including breakfast, internet and free beer, they certainly know how to cater to those backpacking Vietnam.
Hoan Kiem Lake: Also known at the ‘ Lake of the Restored Sword ‘ . Legend goes that once the Emperor defeated the Chinese from Hanoi, a giant golden turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared into the lake to restore it to its rightful owners.
All traffic here is banned between 7pm – midnight every Friday to Sunday turning this beautiful place into a meeting place for friends, giving it an almost funfair vibe. If you’re an early bird and like morning exercise, 6am Thai Chi takes place every morning.
An explorers paradise, you are likely to arrive here early in the morning.
Getting lost on a Motorbike, exploring the beautiful countryside is just one of the many fun things to do in Sapa . Drive to the beautiful Thac Bac Waterfall , around 15kms outside Sapa main town. A legend says if you look at the falls long enough, you will see a white dragon peering down into the valley below.
Get off the beaten track while backpacking Vietnam and take a day trip out of Sapa town and visit the incredible Ban Pho Village. One of the friendliest tribes in South East Asia, it stands out among others due to the Mongolian Ban Ha population here.
Settled on a Mountainous Cliff side these guys literally live life on the edge. Come and explore the culture, talk to the villagers and try not to get too drunk off the legendary corn wine they will insist you taste.
There are some truly awesome treks around Sapa and you could spend a few days here exploring. For the more adventurous why not conquer Vietnams highest peak , Fansipan.
Not quite Everest but standing at 3,143m it’s pretty impressive;it is possible to do in a day but most will recommend at least 2 days. You can do this hike solo or with trekking companies in the area.
If you fancy heading off on some even more adventure-fuelled forays, consider treks around Ha Giang .