- For the former country, see North Vietnam
Of the three regions, the oldest is Northern Vietnam, where the Vietnamese culture originated over 2000 years ago in the Red River Delta, though Vietnamese people eventually spread south into the Mekong Delta.
Northern Vietnam includes the following subregions:
- Northwest (Tây Bắc) (6 provinces: Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Điện Biên, Hòa Bình, Lai Châu, Sơn La). This subregion is located on right bank of Hồng River. Lào Cai and Yên Bái are sometimes listed in subregion Đông Bắc.
- Northeast (Đông Bắc) (9 provinces: Hà Giang, Cao Bằng, Bắc Kạn, Lạng Sơn, Tuyên Quang, Thái Nguyên, Phú Thọ, Bắc Giang, Quảng Ninh.)
- Red River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Hồng) (10 provinces: Bắc Ninh, Hà Nam, Hà Nội, Hải Dương, Hải Phòng, Hưng Yên, Nam Định, Ninh Bình, Thái Bình, Vĩnh Phúc.)