Laocai is essentially a border town in many ways. This northern Vietnamese town lies on the border between the country and China. It also stands by the confluence of the Red River and the Nanxi River. Most importantly, however, Laocai functions as an important railway terminal between Hanoi and the lovely French colonial hill town of Sapa. The latter is also the trekking base for hiking through Northern Vietnam. Much of the original town of Laocai and its architecture was destroyed during the Chinese invasion of the late 1970s. As a result, today it is pretty much a bustling modern town and trading hub. It has quite a few local restaurants and bars, serving as the perfect overnight stopover before travelling up to Sapa or further on to China.
Trekking and Hiking
Recommended Vietnam Tours
Places: Hanoi (2 days) → Halong Bay (1) → Hoi An (2) → Hué (2) → Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon (2)
Tour Highlights: Colonial Buildings, Water Puppet Show, Cyclo Ride, Hanoian Culture, Ancient Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Site...