Hanoi is a perfect base for multiple day trips to the northern parts of Vietnam. While there are plenty of activities on offer in Hanoi itself, you should definitely consider a day trip or two in this region. This way you can truly discover what Hanoi and its surrounding areas are all about. Enjoy our list of the 8 Best Day Trips for Hanoi, Vietnam below.
Read more: 10 fun things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam
Why not spare two days of your trip to see Sapa in the Northern parts of Vietnam? You may not ever want to leave, with cascading rise terraces, mountains to trek and valleys to visit. It´s spectacular, and you will certainly not regret it. The distinct and unique culture is not to be missed, as this part of the country is home to some of the ethnic minorities in Vietnam. You will also find a vide selections of local villages that you can visit during your stay 🙂
However, you are not only here to hang out in town. Sapa is the place where hikers launch themselves into an awe-inspiring country side and tiny hill-tribe villages that seem a world apart. Once you have stepped out into the lush terrace fields, you will understand the real charm of this stunning area.
Check out: Hotels and Homestays in Sapa
2. Halong Bay
A trip to Halong Bay should be on any travelers bucket list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most world-renowned natural wonders in Southeast Asia.
The cascading mountains arrayed across the water for miles with hidden caves just waiting to be explored, is truly spectacular. A day cruise would give you a head start to explore the 2000 islands in the area. It would certainly be impossible to explore every single one though.
Read more: 2 days in Halong Bay, Vietnam
3. Ninh Bihn
You will find one of the most hidden gems in Northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh. This wonderful place is located just 100 kilometers from Hanoi. More importantly, you will explore an area truly off the beaten path, with its maze of rivers and waterways.
Ninh Binh boasts of majestic landscapes such as hundreds of limestone cliffs emerging from the ground, all scattered across the rice fields. Further, the scenery and views are breathtakingly beautiful, and the atmosphere is serene and laid-back.
Check out: Tour Operators in Ninh Binh
Haiphong is perhaps and overlooked Vietnamese city, but everyone should still give it a chance. Look past the urban, industrial feel to explore the French, unique styled colonial architecture that’s hidden in the old center of town.
If you are into wide boulevards, sprawling local markets, twisting laneways and hectic wet markets, you will love wandering around Haiphong. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by picture-perfect building facades and street scenes.
Check out: Accommodation in Haiphong
5. Cat Ba Island
You will find Cat Ba Island hidden away between rocky cliffs. Surrounded by a few, but beautiful sandy beaches, tiny fishing villages, caves and waterfalls this is the perfect place as a stopover for a Halong Bay tour. The island is situated amongst thousands of limestone karst, and the location is truly beautiful.
It´s also known as one of the cheaper locations from where you can go on and explore Halong Bay. However, the island has so much more to offer than just this. There are many beautiful spots, far away from the crowds, where you can relax, soak up the sun and enjoy the adventurous activities on offer. And after visiting Hanoi and Sapa, it can be quite refreshing to get away to a small town like this.
Grab yourself a scooter and start exploring this are for a few days. You will not regret it 🙂
Check out: Accommodation in Cat Ba Island
6. Ba Vi
You will find Ba Vi National Park, located approximately 60 kilometers west from Hanoi. This is a superb choice, if you are looking for a quiet getaway for a day or so. Here you can explore hidden caves in the mountains, relish at the views from an altitude of 800m or just get lost staring at the beautiful backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest. Perhaps one of the more laid back tips from our list of day trips from Hanoi, Vietnam.
7. Tam Dao Hill Station
Tam Dao is nestling in spectacular vistas northwest of Hanoi. Surrounded by forest-clad peaks, this is the perfect weekend escape if you are looking for a useful base for hiking. The town was formerly a French hill station, founded in 1907 by the French. However, most of the villas were destroyed during the Franco-Viet Minh War. Today the town is formed with concrete architecture, and whilst it is not a must-visit destination, you will still have a great time up in the clouds on Tam Dao Hill Station.
8. Mai Chau Valley
Three hours from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, you will find the “hidden sister” of Sapa, namely Mai Chau. The landscape here can be described by wide-open rice fields, towering cliffs, karst mountains and quaint wood- and bamboo villages. This rural valley certainly is an absolute gem, and its unique culture and atmosphere attracts visitors from all over.
If you are looking for adventure, this might not be the place for you. However, if you are looking for hiking, biking and relaxation, you will love this idyllic valley placed in such beautiful surroundings.
Check out: Accommodation in Mai Chau Valley