Conde Nast Traveler’s readers have selected three destinations in Vietnam – Sapa, Hoi An and Halong Bay – to be among 50 of the most breathtaking sites across Asia.
Vietnam’s three destinations among top 50 most beautiful places in Asia
Besides fresh and cool air, Sapa is famous both for its fine, rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity, Conde Nast Traveler commented.
Sapa lies in the very northwest of Vietnam near the Chinese border. Along with Halong Bay, it is the “other” major excursion from Hanoi. Time permitting you can do a circuit around the northwest highlands which takes in Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu, Lai Chau and finally Sapa before heading back to Hanoi. This would take at least a week by private vehicle and longer on local buses. During the wet season roads can be treacherous with landslides common. The best time to visit is from March to May and from September to mid-December.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town with mossy houses, wooden bridges and ancient wells is always a magic magnet for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists.
Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination in Quang Ninh province. It features thousands of limestone karats and isles in various sizes and shapes.
Towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forest rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Halong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’ and legend tells that this mystical seascape was created when a great mountain dragon charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouging out valleys and crevasses.