The Rice fields in the mountains of Sapa are an unmissable place in Vietnam. It’s way up in the North, near to China, so normally visited whilst you are stopping in Hanoi.
Everyone who comes to Vietnam can’t leave until they have visited Halong Bay. It’s the most famous attraction of the country and well worth the trip.
For me, arriving in Vietnam for the first time was a daunting and intimidating experience. There’s lots of backpackers getting their luggage from the carousel and from here most of them will be heading to the old quarter in Hanoi.