Thoughts on Northern Vietnam

It was a fantastic ten days in Vietnam; I should be more precise North Vietnam. From what I’ve heard, the South is different. The northern part has different landscapes such as mountain and rice fields in Mai Chau, plateau and river in Ninh Binh, or limestone karts in Halong Bay. Visiting Northern Vietnam will satisfy all tourists – from the adventurous to the organizer travelling travel agencies.

The people are very relax and calm. As a solo traveller, people were very friendly and always happy to help me; several times I was just sitting on the Hoan Kiem Lake quay, and will randomly have small chats with locals. I also find them very stylish, for example, because of pollution they often wear a mask when on motorbikes. Outside of Hanoi, people use the ugly green medical-like mask, in Hanoi folks design their pollution mask matching it with the jacket they are wearing.

Food is fantastic, although I have been disappointed by the Pho. By disappointed I mean, I though they would all be fine, but some were below ok. Regardless, I had several dishes, springs rolls, egg rolls, salty peanuts, some veggies dish as well, and of course RICE! You’ll have plenty of it!!

My few cents on tourism, It is well developed in Vietnam, not as much as Thailand though. But I strongly recommend, especially when traveling solo or within a group of adults to do all your trips/activities by your own. Try as less as possible to book with travel agencies, they often impose they schedule, and you may feel like you’re not really on vacations. I remember meeting a group of tourist mentioning they went to Halong Bay with a travel agency, and the agency only let them swim for twenty min, by the way, they were coming from Denmark.

In any case, Vietnam should be in your list of countries to visit; you won’t be disappointed. The country has it all to make your stay memorable.

Bon Voyage!

Destination Vietnam | Mai Chau day 2

After the breakfast made by the host family we headed out towards the village to see a bit of the local lifestyle. We couldn’t see much since we only stayed in the main road. Nonetheless, during that three hours trek we did get to see, local houses, daily routine of the folks, markets, women working in the rice fields easily recognizable with the famous Vietnamese conical hat Non La.

Amazing right! A little video bonus while I was trekking…

The trek ended at the same place where we had lunch the previous day. They served us our meal, and I must say I was a bit disappointed – it was very much the same food as the day before. I will realize later that all the homestay or daily tours provide the same type of dish including rice, of course.

Lunch done; we went for a bike tour. Nothing particular to see except for the daily routine of the inhabitants and that includes kids in schools, fruits markets, cows in the road, etc.

The bike tour lasted a little less than an hour. After that, we got to the minivan direction Hanoi. Traffic is crazy in Hanoi, so the bus tries to leave as soon as possible from Mai Chau. (around 2-3pm)

Later that night in Hanoi, I checked-in at local restaurant in Ma May street where you can go in the kitchen and choose what you want. I went for the following…


This was a summary of my 2days/1 night tour in Mai Chau with Ethnic Travel. Next is another 2days/1night tour with the same agency in Ninh Binh, located south of Hanoi.

Please note that I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned above and that this is not a paid advertisement. This information is presented here strictly for the benefit of my readers.

Destination Vietnam | Mai Chau day 1

Before going to Northern Vietnam, my friends told me I must visit Sapa, a city located in the mountains close to the China border and known for its paddy fields as well as its indigenous population. Thus, a Sapa tour was my first request at the travel agency (Ethnic Travel) , but they said, although it is worth travelling to, there is no rice field anymore (it has been harvest.) Instead, they suggested the city of Mai Chau for similar scenery and fewer tourists. I was down. Let’s go to Mai Chau!

Sunday morning 8am the bus picked me up at the hotel, and after few stops at other hotels, we were on the road to Mai Chau for almost 3 hours. Since it is a high-speed road the ride is pretty chill, nothing especial to see on the road. I was asleep for the most part.

In Mai Chau, the first stop is at a family house that work with the agency. They prepared a delicious lunch…

…and after a quick nap you start trekking and end up soon in the Vietnamese Continue reading