Northern Vietnam gets fewer visitors than Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the coastal cities in the south, but it's full of culture. Historically, and to this day, it has been significantly poorer than the southern part of the country. Cultural and political differences remain strong - the language is pronounced differently in some ways, and there's definitely a more authoritarian feel in the cities.
The largest city in northern Vietnam is the capital of Hanoi, and it's the only attractive one. But there are numerous other sites, such as Ha Long Bay, the mountain resort of Sapa, and the historical battlefield of Dien Bien Phu.
- Ba Be National Park - sceneric mountains and lakes
- Bac Ha - hilltribe markets near the Chinese border
- Bắc Kạn - place of the beautiful Ba Bể Lake, meaning three combined lakes.
- Co To Island
- Cuc Phuong National Park
- Dien Bien Phu - site of the French defeat in 1954
- Dong Dang - on the border with China
- Ha Long Bay - a world-famous natural wonder
- Sa Pa - popular site for visiting indigenous tribes
- Tam Coc - Ha Long Bay-like karst scenery along the river
In the northern part of Vietnam the dangers are small. Just like every other country there is pickpockets and a few scammers, but this is your biggets wory from the locals.
If you visit the wild nature next to the chinese border, not many animals are dangerous. But a few wild cats are seen now and then in the nature reservats, like the Asian Golden Cat.