Vietnamese mountain lodge named among world’s most unique
Update: May 11, 2018
Sa Pa in Viet Nam's northern province of Lao Cai has become more touristy in recent years, so it is important for those who love the pristine beauty of the town to find a place where they can breath in the fresh air, dive into the green jungle, gaze over the vast paddy fields and experience ethnic culture.

Aware of that demand, National Geographic has the answer: Topas Ecolodge in Ban Lech Village.

Naming the lodge on its new list of Unique Lodges of the World, the U.S.-based publisher suggests to its readers to “wake in the morning to the mist rising with the sun, and spend your days exploring the surrounding forests and ethnic villages, and you’ll start to feel the pull of the hill tribes’ centuries-old lifestyle, native to these mountains and virtually untouched by the modern world.”

This is because “the stilted common buildings at the heart of the lodge were sourced from a nearby community of ethnic Tay people; and private guest bungalows swirl along the ridgeline, ensuring a spectacular view no matter which one you check in to.”

Opened in 2005 on a mountaintop far from the emerging tourist hub of Sa Pa Town, Topas Ecolodge offers its guests a rare experience of culture, as there are five different native tribes in the region with distinctive languages and lifestyles.

Surrounded by mountains and green rice paddies, the hilltop resort, which was ranked first on the “21 places to stay if you care about the planet” by National Geographic last year, brings a feel of isolation from the rest of the world.

All of its 33 white bungalows overlook a spectacular landscape view of terraced rice fields and magnificent mountains, including the rooftop of Southeast Asia, Mount Fansipan.

Other lodges in Asia that made the list are Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Malaysia, Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia, Twinkle Valley in China, and Zhiwa Ling Hotel in Bhutan.