If you’re happen to be in Hanoi and want to explore further, these can be just the places to visit in the north of Vietnam.
Just 25 km (15 miles) outside of Hanoi, on the other side of the Red River, is Bat Trang. This is a small village, but it boasts a long and impressive history. The village itself is ancient, dating back more than 1,000 years, and it is known for its ceramics.
The ceramic industry at Bat Trang has always been strong, and in the past the village supplied pottery to the Ming Dynasty and even exported goods during the French colonial period. Today, visitors to the Bat Trang Ceramic Village can watch ceramic masters at work, and it is the ultimate place to shop for truly local, handcrafted souvenirs.
The name Huong Pagoda starts to make sense when you learn that it is located in the cliffs of the Huong Tich Mountain, or the Mountain of Fragrant Traces. About 45 miles southwest of Hanoi, the Huong Pagoda is not easily accessible.
The journey will involve a car or bus ride, a boat ride and then either a short hike or a ride in a cable car. Once you arrive, however, you will be treated to incredible pagodas and shrines built right into the sides of the mountain. The Pagoda Leading to Heaven, or Thien Chu, is one of the most famous places to visit in the north of Vietnam worth exploring on your visit.
The scenery of Tam Coc is the first thing you’ll notice. Limestone cliffs poke up from rice paddies, and the river winds through bright green landscapes. The region is is effectively a miniature landlocked version of Ha Long Bay.
Although Tam Coc is just 90 minutes south of Hanoi, it can feel as though it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In Tam Coc, a boat ride is the best way to get around, so join a sampan tour for epic views. Tam Coc is named for its three major caves, which you can sail through in a sampan if you’re feeling brave.