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Explore the rural north of Vietnam

The rural north of Vietnam is all about getting out of the cities and striding off into the towering mountains, visiting the remote villages that are dotted among the forests and rice terraces. 

Experience the unique cultures and traditions of the region’s many ethnic communities, take in views of valleys shaped by rice paddies, and jump on an ox cart (or pull on your hiking boots) to explore the peaceful countryside. 

Combine a wellness focus and sublime spa treatments with your rural explorations in many places. This part of the country is best experienced at a relaxed pace as you embrace the slower side of life and fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty and cultural diversity.

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Tribal women in traditional dress in Sapa
Woman in north Vietnam
Rural town in northern Vietnam
Topas Lodge

 Experience the rural north at a relaxed pace

Immersing yourself in the rural north

Ky Son (60 km northwest of Hanoi)

Just over an hour’s drive from Hanoi, but a world away from the city’s bustle, the ancient village of Ky Son is home to a delightfully restored traditional family home that offers visitors seeking rural peace and tranquillity all the comforts of an upmarket guesthouse.

Moon Garden House centres on a courtyard overlooking rice terraces and a lake. Explore life in the Vietnamese countryside - on foot, by bike or in an ox cart - while trying your hand at cooking local dishes, enjoying herbal baths and massages, and practising tai chi.

Mai Chau (170 km southwest of Hanoi)

Set deep in the mountains and tropical forest of Mai Chau, surrounded by traditional communities, the Avana Retreat provides a mix of remarkable landscapes, tribal heritage and more than a splash of wellness and luxury. Surrounding the thatched-roof villas are bamboo forests, waterfalls and hidden lagoons, while meditation, yoga and spa treatments are the order of the day on site.

Take a kayak on the lake, trek through the terraced landscapes and wild forest, learn ancient crafts and discover more about the Muong and Hmong cultures.

Sapa (200 km northwest of Hanoi)

The eco-credentials and natural views are what set the bungalows at Topas Ecolodge apart. Perched atop a hillside deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park, this rural retreat offers simple comforts delivered responsibly.

Hike through the hills and learn about the culture of the Red Dzao tribes, visit local markets and try a traditional herbal massage. Unwind in the eco-friendly infinity pool, head out on nature hikes or take a bike ride through the rolling hills.

Mu Cang Chai (270 km northwest of Hanoi)

Perched high in the remote rice paddies, and surrounded by atmospheric morning mists that give way to blue skies and stunning views, the Mu Cang Chai Eco Lodge’s traditional, stilted houses are based on ancient Hmong designs. 

What the Lodge lacks in luxurious features, it makes up for in immersive experiences. Wander through deep valleys sculpted with terraces and dotted with water buffalo, discover traditional Thai communities and customs in Hmong villages, and bathe in natural hot water springs with valley views surrounding you.

We think you may like this journey…


From Phở to Paddy

Embark on a journey through Vietnam’s less-visited north - lush rolling hills, remote villages and friendly locals, with a side of morning noodles in Hanoi.

Price from: £1,990 US$2,490
Ideal length 14 days
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