Don’t spoil your Vietnam holiday with standard sightseeing. Here are the fun ways to enjoy it.
When I’m asked about Vietnam, I always tell them two things. First, I will go there again. And two, I would recommend them to go there with a guide of a local friend. Vietnam is among the most incredible countries I have visited with the vibrant chaos of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay with its beautiful islands et al. But to enjoy all these special places, you can’t do it alone. Even reading the travel guide book won’t help much. You need someone local to help you out. Well, here are the seven unique places which I personally recommended, which most of them aren’t in the standard sightseeing lists.
#1 Sapa. Burn that extra fat of yours, head to the hills of Sapa for amazing views across the jungle and mountain ranges of north-west Vietnam. Trekking equipment is cheap and easy to come by so don’t worry if you’re not a natural mountain geek, you’ll soon be up there, gazing at the views as the mist rolls in across the peaks.
“Looks like you’re going to get a bargain of the century there by paying just a fraction for everything from food, drink, party and cruising to some paradise islands too.”
#2 Nha Trang. The beaches of Nha Trang are superb. Check out several boat and snorkeling trips there. Looks like you’re going to get a bargain of the century there by paying just a fraction for everything from food, drink, party and cruising to some paradise islands too. And hey, you definitely need to go for a mud baths here too.
#3 Cai River Valley. This is for whitewater rafting junkie. You’ve got to do it via the Sailing Club White Water Rafting, the only whitewater rafting outfit that I know of. The rapids are are graded between class 1 and 3 so it’ll suitable for those who are about to embark on this adventure. This, you do not want to miss it. Trust me.
#4 Ben Tre. A little off the beaten track, you need to head to Ben Tre to experience life on the banks of the Mekong River without having to worry about too many tourist crowds. Cruise along the river, stopping at a coconut candy factory to sample the sweet treat the area is famous for. If you’re with your other significant half and for a touch of romance, set sail at dusk to catch fireflies and watch the sunset.
#5 Tunnels of Vinh Moc. This is a must visit place and this time you can’t run away from the crowd. Yet it is all worth the experience. Located not too far north of Da Nang and Hue are the tunnels of Vinh Moc, an elaborate complex of shelters built by villagers during the war. The tunnels were a success and no villagers lost their lives, though they had to live in absolutely awful conditions. It’s a very insightful place to see, and there are also the similar Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam.
“Located not too far north of Da Nang and Hue are the tunnels of Vinh Moc, an elaborate complex of shelters built by villagers during the war.”
#6 Fishing village of Mui Ne. While the town of Mui Ne itself did not impress so much and neither did its beach, the sights in and around Mui Ne are not to be missed. The old fishing village is extremely picturesque especially its colourful fishing boats. This sight you can’t find it elsewhere except here. There is also a great little river canyon walk nearby, as well as white sand dunes where you can watch the sunrise or try sliding down the dunes on a board.
#7 Travel on the Reunification Express. It is not a place, but almost. It is the local train experience. The rail lines of the so-called Reunification Express run virtually the length of the country, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh. It’ll take between 30 and 40 hours to travel between the two cities, so I wouldn’t recommend you to be on board all the way. Just do one section only, between Hanoi and Hue. That alone will take you around 18-hour exciting journey.