Travel to Northern Vietnam – Episode 548

categories: asia travel

Travel to Northern Vietnam - What to Do, See and Eat (podcast)

Hear about travel to Northern Vietnam as the Amateur Traveler talks to Cindy Carlsson about her trip to some popular sites and some way off the beaten track places.

Cindy says, “Northern Vietnam is really amazing. It has a little bit of everything. There’s great scenery, fabulous mountain scenery. There’s beaches. Like the rest of Vietnam, it has an interesting history. It has a phenomenal cultural history. It has great food. It has super friendly people and it’s really authentic. A lot of ethnic minorities got it moved into the area. In some parts of the north, eighty percent of the population is not ethnic Vietnamese, so it’s really interesting.”

Cindy takes us on a virtual tour starting near the old North Vietnam and South Vietnam border at Da Nang. We visit UNESCO world heritage sites at Hoi An and the old Imperial city of Hue. Much of Da Nang is being covered with all-inclusive resorts for the Chinese visitors, there are still beautiful beaches and rich history from the Cham people in the area.

We make a quick stop in Hanoi and make mention of the beauty of Ha Long Bay, and the challenge it is to visit it now that it is a popular day-trip destination.

Then we head north towards the Vietnam, China border where you can go trekking into hill villages of the ethnic Hmong and Yao peoples. This is the part of the country that captured Cindy’s imagination, who is a photographer and fan of beautiful textiles. This is an area of water buffalo and rice terraces, of karst mountains, and colorful markets. You will want to get the iTunes enhanced version of this episode to enjoy Cindy’s photos.

Come explore a side of Vietnam you may not already have heard of.

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right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes
Travel to Vietnam – Episode 76
Travel to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam – Episode 374
Hội An
Imperial City, Hu?
Lào Cai
Sa Pa
Hà Giang Province
Hạ Long Bay
Halong Bay tours
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex
Mỹ Sơn
Vietnam War
Military history of Vietnam
Museum of Cham Sculpture (Danang)
Hmong people
Yao people
Ho Chi Minh
EXO Travel (formerly known as Exotissimo)
Bac Ha Market
Dong Van Karst Plateau
Vietnam UNESCO sites
Travel to Guizhou China – Episode 499
Cindy Carlsson’s Vietnam 2015 Itinerary


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June 2017 – Japan Amateur Traveler Trip
November 2017 – India Amateur Traveler Trip

Travel to Northern Vietnam - What to Do, See and Eat (podcast)

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

7 Responses to “Travel to Northern Vietnam – Episode 548”



Podcast 548 and first one I have heard! Now I know how I will spend much of my time 🙂 North Vietnam is amazing but I wouldn’t spend a day in Hanoi even if you stay longer than 2 weeks. My advice, skip it. Exploring Sapa mountains is exciting but If you are little bit adventurous highly recommend it to do motorbike trips rather than trekking, in fact I would extend this suggestion to whole Vietnam, renting a motorbike in every of the next places and visiting its surroudings:

Ninh Binh, dont miss it, similar but not less enchanting other places in Asia (Yangshuo or Vang Vieng, for instance)

Lan Ha Bay rather than Ha Long it’s almost the same, same but better, you will also visit Cat Ba, save money and less crowded.

Going further, Hoi An and Hue worth a visit, of course and also motorbike trips here are amazing. Reaching My Son by motorbike maybe is not the best idea but go there although, as said in the podcast, its far from being Angkor, dont expect much.

Thanks for this podcasts!

Pd: If you want to practice Spanish, here you can take a look to our experience in Vietnam 😉



beautiful scenery, would love to go there to witness it.

Veronique Samson


Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your podcast. Last summer I was preparing our family 2 weeks North Vietnam trip and your podcast helped me tremendously. I contacted Mrs Carlsson through facebook to get the name of her guide and was actually able to hire him for a 3 nights tour. It was amazing. Hoang was able to tailor an exciting tour suitable for my 70 year old father in law as well as my 14, 13 and 11 year old kids. We also stayed in Hanoi for 5 nights and really loved that city. I am preparing this summer trip to Costa Rica and your podcast was my first go-to to get inspired.



Glad we could help!



Wonderful. Would love to witness the beauty live soon. Thanks a lot.

Trang Tran


SaPa is very very beautiful, i love the place with the spectacular mountain landscapes and cultures of the ethnic minorities there. I used to work as a local guide in Sapa for few years.

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