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 US-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 is the first in Vietnam and the 5th in Asia to make the National Geographic list.
Last year, it was also ranked first by the site on the list of “21 places to stay if you care about the planet.”
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.