5 Amazing Countryside Escapes from Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam is a long, narrow country that is between the South China Sea and the Laos and Cambodia borders. Vietnam has one of the most striking landscapes that range from forested mountains, lush rice terraces, picturesque valleys, fertile delta and gorgeous beaches. And often seen in this beautiful country are booming modern cities, traditional villages, colonial towns, archaeological sites and beautiful islands.
The country’s capital, Hanoi lies in the north of the country, right in the heart of the red river delta. And although it may lack the physical beauty of the Mekong delta in the south and the bustling river life, there is still an enormous wealth of spiritual and historical sights to explore. The city is often referred to as “the Paris of the orient”. The city reflects a blend of indo-Chinese and French colonial influences with its broad tree-lined boulevards, parks and lakes, beautiful temples and villas. Hanoi is a very vibrant city. Its vibrancy can be seen and felt in the tangle of streets also known as old quarter. This has been the city’s commercial heart since the 15th century. Hanoi is a wonderful base for excursions where you can sample life in rural Vietnam.
Although the city offers plenty of adventures and activities you could get involved in, getting some time away is inevitable. Having some time to relax and unwind is a must in any vacation. Because it makes you more comfortable and a little more refreshed after visiting days. And as much as you would love the city of Hanoi, after all the adventures you would need to escape the intensity of the city and find some peace. Even if it’s just for a couple of days. Whether you’re visiting and exploring the northern Vietnam or living there, below are our favorite Hanoi peaceful escapes in the surrounding countryside.
Surrounded by touristy mountain, rice terraces and a diversity of hill tribes in the remote northwest of Vietnam lies a favorite Hanoi getaway. Sapa is a quiet town frequently used as a trekking base in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains and touring rice paddies and traditional villages. This touristy mountain brings cool alpine air that comes as a welcome relief from the sticky humidity of Hanoi. Trekking is the main activity in Sapa. There are many organized tours that aid tourists in mountain hikes and exploring remote villages and nearby rice paddies. With these tours, one can see beautiful waterfalls and have the opportunity to taste their food. Along with experiencing their customs and the way of life among the local tribes.
You can get to Sapa easily when you take the Sapa express bus from Ly Thai To in Hanoi. This takes roughly about five and a half hours.
Cuc Phuong National Park
This is one of Vietnam’s oldest and largest national parks. And one of the countries less visited attractions. Although Vietnam isn’t known for its wildlife conservation, Cuc Phuong, however, acts as a sanctuary for the variety of species that live in the park. Visiting the park is a terrific way of taking a close look at Vietnam’s nature. Fees generated from tourism are used to protect the park’s wildlife and improve the park. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season, November through February.
Do you want to visit Cuc Phuong national park? Then you can take a bus from Giap Bat Bus Station in Hanoi. And that should take you roughly about two to three hours.
This is a non-descript town famous for its surrounding scenery. Which makes it a perfect escape from Hanoi. The town is set in an idyllic valley, boxed in by hills. The small town is a perfect world away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The villagers are mostly white Thai and their women are master weavers producing plenty of traditional textiles daily. If you’re looking for somewhere to relax, enjoy biking and hiking, this calm town of Mau Chau fits the bill nicely.
You can get there by taking a bus from My Dinh station in Hanoi. That’s about a four-hour ride.
Tam Coc lies two hours to the south of Hanoi. It is best appreciated on a rowing boat ride, with the sound of the river lapping against the oars. You get to see fishermen in rowboats and people in the water gathering shrimps. There is another way to explore the area. Some people instead of going on a boat ride, opt for a motorbike ride. This way they can easily visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, which houses two temples. There is also the bird valley, a park full of tree-covered trails which lead you to secret caves.
If you would love to visit this quiet town, you can take a bus ride from Giap bus station in Hanoi to Ninh Binh and take a taxi the rest of the way to Tam Coc.
Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island
With its aqua-green water and clusters of limestone rocky outcrops springing from the water like sea dragons, sandy islands, floating villages and vast caves, ha long bay looks like a scene from a fantasy world. Little wonder why ha long bay remains till date one of the most famous tourist attractions in Vietnam. It is located east of Hanoi. This bay features over 2000 jungle-covered islands laced with intriguing caves, sinkholes, and lakes. Nature have sculpted many of the islands over the centuries into fantastic formations.
If you would love to visit ha long bay, you can book a trip with a tour agent in Hanoi. You can also travel independently if that’s what you prefer by taking a bus ride to Bai Chay from Dinh bus station. From there a taxi to the wharf.
The above mentioned are 5 beautiful countrysides you can escape to. So if you’re looking for a sweet escape from Hanoi, these carefully picked relaxation spots won’t disappoint you.
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