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Destinations

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The roof of Indochina. This pretty hill station, at an altitude of 1650 metres, enjoys a refreshing temperate climate. Indeed, was founded by the French in an effort to escape the oppressive heat of summer in the coastal plains. Near the town is the imposing Mount Fan Si Pan (3143m), Vietnam’s highest peak. With this in mind the region can indeed be called the roof of Indochina.

The town itself is a powerful draw for the regions inhabitants, many of them from ethnic minorities. Groups such as the H’mong, Red Zao, Tay and Dzay regularly visit the town, especially on market days . The town also retains some of its former colonial feel with many stately mansions set amongst the stunning mountain scenery. Read more >>

Bac Ha dye market is one of the most popular in this beautiful and rugged mountain region. Held only on Sunday, the market is a focal point for many of the region’s ethnic groups. Groups such as the Flower H’mong, the Tay and the Thai come to trade wares including silver jewelry and embroidered clothing. This spectacularly colourful market is justly well known for its many hand-made craft products and timeless scenes.
Also known as Lake of the ?three seas’, the enchanting scenery of the region is of exceptional beauty. The lake itself stretches for over 9 km in length and 1800m in width. Situated 145m above sea level the lake is the result of 3 valleys that come together in an arc.

Ba Be is not only a region of stunning landscapes, but also a nature lover’s paradise. Nearly forty species of mammals, more than a hundred species of birds and many butterflies can be found in the vicinity. Visits to the nearby Dau Dang waterfalls are possible, as is hiking in the surrounding countryside

The capital of unified Vietnam, Hanoi is one of the most charming cities in South East Asia with its timeless street scenes, tree lined boulevards, numerous lakes and well-preserved architecture. The city was founded in 1010 on the right bank of the Red River and was then known as ?Thang Long’, roughly translated as? “Soaring Dragon.”

Nowadays, this bustling metropolis is a delightful combination of its ancient past and increasing modernity. At the centre of the city lies the atmospheric Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the lake of ?the restored sword’, with the Temple of Jade on a central island. Nearby is the capital’s famed old quarter with its original 36 streets, which have traditionally sold the same wares. Discover the area on a cyclo as you journey through this maze of streets bearing names such as Silver Street, Silk Street and Flower Street to name just a few. Marvel at the traditional ?tube houses’, a style of architecture indigenous to this part of Hanoi, or simply take a stroll through the food market in Hang Be Street.

Listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO 1994, Ha Long Bay is a stunning limestone archipelago stretching over some 1500 square kilometers and comprising nearly 2000 islets. Also known as the bay of ?the descending dragon’, legend has is that the bay was formed when a dragon plunged into the sea whipping its tail from side to side that carved a stunning seascape of craggy limestone karst islands.? However, geologists claim that this ?eighth wonder of the world’ has formed over the last 280 million years as a result of rainwater and the tidal seas eroding the land.
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Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 Phong Nha Ke Bang lies only 50km west of Dong Hoi. The centerpiece of this national park is an impressive limestone gtotto complex. However, the surrounding area is also home to some of the largest remaining continuous tracts of rainforest in Viet Nam today. Awe inspiring and historically significant, the caves were home to Cham Temples as long ago as the 9thcentury. More recently the cave complexes were mentioned in documents from the imperial capital of Hue and French colonial authorities. In the recent past, the caves were used as a garrison and storage centre by the North Vietnamese Army. Many visitors enjoy a sampan trip up the Son River through the stunning karst landscape en route to the famous caves. Visitors should not miss the impressive stalagmites and stalagtites, some measuring up to 17m.
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