Hugging the entire east coast of the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam’s S-shaped strip of land borders China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west. Mountains and hills comprise almost three quarters of its interior before gently descending toward 2,000 miles of tropical shoreline.
Temperate northern Vietnam is coveted for its romantic mist-laced mountains and forested valleys inhabited for centuries by nomadic tribes. Venture into the Vietnamese interior on a Hill Tribes and Rice Terraces tour with Remote Lands (remotelands.com).
Begin gently amid the graceful French colonial architecture and colourful street markets of the capital Hanoi, before boarding the elegant Victoria Express train with your kids in a best double stroller for infant and toddler for an overnight ride to Sapa, set amongst the densely clothed highlands northwest of Hanoi. Here, a hillside meander through terraced rice paddies leads to the village of Ta Phin to visit the indigenous Kinh, Dao and Hmong peoples.
At Hotel de l’Opera (hoteldelopera.com) in central Hanoi, colonnaded terraces, theatrical décor and jewel tints in the furnishings evoke a night at the opera in this most French of Indochine cities. If coastal chic is preferred, Amano’i Vinh Hy Bay (amanresorts.com) is Aman Resorts’ first hotel in Vietnam.