Postcards From… The Highlands of Vietnam
The spectacular highland region of northern Vietnam is, for many visitors to the country, a highlight of their tour. The town of Sapa, situated at 5000 feet above sea level in the remote mountains of northwest Vietnam is best known for its cultural diversity and spectacular highland scenery.
This area of the Hoang Lien Son Mountains is close to the Chinese border and is known as the Tonkinese Alps.
The surrounding scenery of rugged mountains covered with terraced rice paddies and lush vegetation is textbook south-east Asia, and is home to a number of different ethnic groups.
There are eight main ethnic groups in the Sapa region, including the H’mong, Muong, Giay, Dao, How, Thai, Tay and Xa Pho.
The H’mong are by far the most populous, with over 50% of the population belonging to this group. Most of the local population still wear their traditional dress on a daily basis, with each ethnic group having a different color and style, which all makes for a very colorful experience.
In addition to strolling the streets of the colorful villages, trekking in the stunning countryside is a popular activity giving a great insight into local life.
This region is a spectacular area to visit and easy overnight luxury trains and ‘VIP’ style buses from from Hanoi make the area easily accessible and well worth a visit.