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Taste the flavours

Tempt your tastebuds with a vast array of local flavours from the street side vendors, fertile valley farms, village markets, cafes, upscale restaurants and at the shared table of the family home stay. Give your palate permission to experiment and you will be rewarded.

The food in the northern highlands is milder than in the south, with its complex sweet, sour and salty layers flavoured with pepper, tamarind, lime soy and fish sauce rather than chilli. Many of Vietnam’s signature dishes were created here including: phở, a special rice noodle soup evolved from a beef broth dating back more than a hundred years; bún riêu, a patty crab soup with tomato, green onion and vermicelli noodles; and bánh cuốn, which literally means ‘rolled cake’, made from rice noodle filled with minced pork and mushrooms.

Salute, prost, chuc se quai
…cheers in any language

It is perhaps the cooler climate that makes rice and corn wine the preferred tipple in the Northern Highlands. The custom is to drink it in one shot and then shake hands with the person you are drinking with. Be careful as it can be hard to escape with having just one or two!

Tea for two
…breathe in the fragrant fields

The Northern Highlands is famous for its tea and the hills are decorated with fragrant terraces. Green tea is at the heart of hospitality in Phu To and in Yen Bai the Shan tea leaves are also called ‘Snow tea’ for their ‘white as snow’ buds; Ha Giang tea plantation is home to trees a thousand years old; and in Moc Chau the oolong style tea is grown at Moc Suong Farm where owners will be happy to show you round.
 

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