Memos from Asia

4 Coolest Places in Northern Vietnam for a Delightful Spring Break

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Northern Vietnam is the only region in the country where Spring is a big hit. Mother Nature is a little unfair as she only nourishes this part of the country with four significant seasons and not the other two. Jokes aside, visiting Northern Vietnam is one of my favorite leisure possibilities with Hanoi as the accent of the trip. Therefore, I’m happy to encourage you to do the same! If you’re setting out to Northern Vietnam for a spring break, move a little further afield and uncover other parts of the region besides the capital city. Here are four of my favorite destinations for an absolute spring break in Vietnam!

Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Spring has come and your inner soul keeps calling for a reach to the sea. If kicking back on the cruise deck is what you’re searching for, pack your back and head to Halong Bay right away! The chilly weather puts on a mystical beauty with limestone mountains cuddled by the mist, making it a great call for travelers on a romantic holiday.

Cruises are weaving a pattern in Halong Bay

If you think Halong Bay is the only thing to quench your thirst for travel, think again! To spruce up your spring break, check out the Sun World Halong Complex and rock this gigantic theme park in your own way! Known as the largest amusement park all over the North, Sun World Halong Complex will bring you up in the air with its Queen Cable System and blow your mind with the relaxing Japanese Garden.

If you’re looking for a better idea to unleash your adventurous side, then Dragon Park is the right place to be! You’re about to scream your heart out at the sudden turns and loops, hover in the air, and get back to your inner peace with a boat trip down the river.

Last but not least, Quang Ninh province is a top call for pilgrim events as it’s hosting one of the most sought-after Buddhist festivals up on the peak of Yen Tu Mountain. Pay a visit to this site from lunar January to March and immerse into a holy and serene ambiance with the Vietnamese locals!

Ninh Binh Province

Hop on a two-hour drive from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and spend at least two nights in this ancient capital! Dotted with the infinite ranges of limestone mountains, mystic caves, and the golden carpets of rice fields, Ninh Binh makes an utter spring retreat!

Hiking up the mountain

One of the top things to do in Ninh Binh is setting sail on a wooden boat down the river in Trang An Landscape Complex. Ninh Binh is a sweet blend of beautiful scenery and dramatic history. A spring break to this quaint city will transport you back to as far as the 10th century where Ninh Binh was selected to be the official capital during the two dynasties of the Dinh and the Tien Le.

Set sail

And for passionate shutterbugs, you can’t let Mua Cave slip out of your hand! Asking yourself why? I’ll let you in on a little secret: the peak of the Mua Cave overlooks the magnificent rice fields from afar, which brings you a one-of-a-kind background for your Instagram shot.

Side note, the path leading to the top of Mua Cave comprises 486 steps. Therefore, if you’re a faint-hearted person, consider giving this site a pass! Otherwise, feel free to conquer the peak yourself for a rewarding panorama in the end!

To cap off what I have to say about where to go in Ninh Binh, I want you to spend half a day strolling around Bai Dinh Pagoda. Dubbed as the largest Buddhist temple across Southeast Asia, Bai Dinh is a masterpiece of what we know as Buddhism architecture.

Encompassing 539 hectares, Bai Dinh Pagoda leans on the thriving mountain range with a vast green space covering a majority of its footprint! To fully explore the best features of this massive holy shrine, come over on the 6th of lunar January and indulge in its significant event – the Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival!

Sapa, Lao Cai Province

The Northwest of Vietnam has carried its torch on Sapa for a few years now. The rolling hills and mesmerizing nature aren’t the only things that make Sapa the top of the crop. This cloudy town attracts a great drove of travelers when spring arrives. Cherry blossoms fully bloom on the hills. The tribal ladies hit the love market hunting for a significant other. Children get together in the alleyways and their laughter echo for miles.

Rice fields in Sapa

What you experience in a mountainous town like Sapa surely sets itself apart from the sprawling city life of a metropolis like Hanoi. To max out your experience when visiting Sapa during Spring, we want you to pay a visit to an ethnic family, join them in a home-cooked meal, hike down the green rice field after sunrise, and dye your own indigo pattern fabric!

Beauty of the mist

If you tag your kids along, why not get them in the cable car system reaching the Peak of Fansipan while admiring the panoramic vista underneath? Find it available at Sun World Fansipan Legend! This is definitely a big hit to the kids!

Chasing the clouds

Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Province

To cap off this curated list, I want to take you to a lesser-known hilly land in the Northeastern side of the capital city. Located 80 kilometers from Hanoi, Tam Dao is an off-the-grid destination for a spring break in Northern Vietnam. This little, quaint town is still unshown to the masses, making it a pleasant and serene setting to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Houses perched on the mountain

Nourished by the mild weather all year round, Tam Dao makes a perfect getaway from the chaotic cityscape of Hanoi. Tam Dao was once the apple in the eye of the French during the earliest years of the 20th century. Its gigantic, thriving primitive forest becomes the spotlight pulling in travelers wishing to unplug from digitals. To fully enjoy your spring break in Tam Dao, make sure to come over in January when cloud chasing is a big hit for shutterbugs.

Tam Dao at night

What is your destination of choice from the list above? Mine personally is Tam Dao because I treat my spring break pretty seriously and Tam Dao allows me to have a proper break with fewer tourists around. Jokes aside, go for any of the above you like and I hope you have a pleasant time like I did!

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