2. Sa Pa

One of the great ways to really get to know a country is through its food, and this doesn’t always mean finding restaurants or street food to eat like a local. One of the places to go in Vietnam with a food connection is Sa Pa. Rice is a staple in Vietnam, just like all over Asia, and they are either grown in paddy fields at ground level, or terraces are carved out of mountainsides, creating the most amazing scenery. The rice terraces of Sa Pa are in the Muong Hoa Valley in the north west of Vietnam, close to the Chinese border. The town of Sa Pa being a frontier town has an interesting history, and is also one of the major market towns of the region, so as well as the terraces, there are plenty of things to see here, including the gorgeous natural beauty of the Hoang Lien National Park.