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40 dead, 22 missing as downpours, flash floods pound northern, central Vietnam

rain storms of vietnamHundreds of search and rescue officers are looking for victims buried by a landslide that collapsed seven houses early morning on October 12 in Hoa Binh Province. Photo by VnExpress

The death toll continues to mount as heavy rains leave a trail of destruction. 
Heavy rains have triggered flash floods in northern and central Vietnam over the past two days, leaving 40 dead and 22 missing and causing havoc in many provinces.

A landslide in the early hours on Thursday in Hoa Binh Province has collapsed seven houses, burying 18 people. So far, three people have been rescued and eight are confirmed dead.

The incident has increased Hoa Binh's death toll to 15, the highest among all provinces. Nghe An and Thanh Hoa have reported eight deaths.

Five deaths have been reported in Son La Province, while three people are missing and hundreds of houses and many hectares of crops have been destroyed.

In Yen Bai Province, four people were killed and 11 people are missing, including a Vietnam News Agency reporter who was swept away when a bridge connecting Highway 32 in Nghia Lo Commune collapsed.

The floods are the result of a tropical depression that is sweeping through northern and central provinces.

Vietnam has already suffered destructive stormy weather this year. Floods in northern Vietnam killed at least 26 people and washed away hundreds of homes in August before Typhoon Doksuri, the strongest to hit the country in years, killed at least eight people in the central region last month.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.

Source: VnExpress

10 most beautiful places in Vietnam: Rough Guides list

Your favorites may not make the cut, but rest assured that Ha Long Bay and Sa Pa will be there.

Rough Guides, one of the most respected travel guides, has just released the top 10 most beautiful places in Vietnam, as voted by its readers. There will be some surprises and possibly a few snubs. But we can't name every single place that we love right?

10. Cat Ba

The island has managed to keep a relatively low profile even though it's right there in Ha Long Bay. With a national park covering half of the island, Rough Guides describes it as “a paradise for travelers who come here to hike, climb and kayak (the waters and coral reefs are protected too).”

Cat Ba National Park. Photo from Vuonquocgiacatba 

9. Da Lat

The central highlands city is known for its “French Colonial-era villas” and “a cool and temperate climate." The website forgets to mention its incredible street food.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Nguyen Ngoc Luan

 

8. Da Nang

The coastal city, Vietnam’s rising star in tourism, is usually praised for its friendliness and high-quality services. With icons such as the Dragon Bridge, the Han River and the Marble Mountains, Da Nang is another great choice in central Vietnam, aside from the next-door Hoi An.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Chu Ngoc Anh

7. Phu Quoc

It is hard not to be enchanted by this magnetic island of the south. Travelers from around the world fly in to enjoy its sun-kissed beaches and amazing (and cheap) seafood.

 

6. Ha Giang

Known as the country’s best place for motorcycle riding, the beauty of mountains and valleys seems so much closer from the saddle.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Tran Anh Tuan

 

5. Ho Chi Minh City

Last year the city was ranked 18th on a global list of fastest growing tourist cities by MasterCard. The southern metropolis offers visitors diverse choices, from the buzzing daily life and delicious coffee to festivals and sporting events.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Y Ho Nhu

 

4. The Mekong Delta

We think many places of the Delta deserve their own entries in this list. But it's still great when Rough Guides readers love the region for its culinary offerings and unspoiled bucolic beauty.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Pham Tri Long 

3. Ha Long Bay

We probably don’t have to explain about this choice. Just look at the picture.

Photo from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism 

2. Sa Pa

The northern highlands region as a whole is so charming. And this little town is clearly the jewel of the crown.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Vu Ngoc Hoang 

1. Hoi An

The winner: this centuries-old ancient town tops the list thanks to its “heady mix of wooden-fronted merchant houses, graceful bridges and ornate temples.”

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Le Tien Dung

 
 

Surprise omissions

Readers of Rough Guides may have overlooked these destinations. Or maybe the list should have been expanded because a top 10 is simply not enough. So we add them here for you.

Quang Binh

What makes the central province stands out is its majestic cave system. The "Kong: Skull Island" film crew chose it as the fictitious birthplace of their giant gorilla.

Son Doong Cave

 

Ninh Binh

Although it may not be as famous to Western tourists as it is to the locals, or at least not yet, Ninh Binh and its poetic scenery is definitely worth a try.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Ninh Manh Thang

 

Hanoi

It’s a big surprise not to see Vietnam’s capital in the top 10 list, especially after Pinterest listed it as one of the most popular places for global travelers. Check out the Old Quarter and the city’s street food options to be amazed.

Photo from VnExpress Photo Contest/Phan Van Hien