Start planning your Vietnamese experience
Written on April 3, 2020
Let’s go straight to the point: how do you manage to remain sane during isolation? Finally having some time to Netflix & Chill is nice of course, but your head must need to get some air. As getting outside is strongly limited and regulated, then we thought you could use some help planning your next escapade, in places so stunning that you can stock enough air and happy thoughts to wait until your next holiday!
We will not talk about many places of course, only one – maybe a couple if you insist – that can melt any heart, and that is Vietnam. Other countries sound lovely too for sure, but did you know that everything is possible in Vietnam? From beach holiday to trekking escapades, with a bit of motorbike in between, everyone can find their perfect experience in this welcoming country.
So for your own sanity, we strongly advise you to take a look at those treasures, some more famous than others, and start dreaming…
MAIN WELL-KNOWN PLACES
One the iconic natural beauties of Vietnam and unsurprisingly one of the most popular destinations in the whole country. With its crystal blue waters scattered with limestone peaks, Halong Bay
sets in the Bay of Tonkin. This stunning coastal area became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
Every year, thousands of people flock to Sapa
to experience the remarkable scenery and discover the amazing cultural diversity of its many villages. The vivid green mountains climb high to the sky before cascading down the other side, and the terraced rice fields form hypnotizing patterns all the way down to the valleys.
It is no wonder that Hoi An
attracts high numbers of foreign and domestic tourists each year. This popular destination has the complete package: rich history, beaches, craftsmanship, arts and many shops, all wrapped up in a colourful old town. The warm yellow buildings and colourful lanterns create an enchanting atmosphere, ideal for a romantic escapade or a pause in between Northern adventures and Southern tastes.
PHU QUOC ISLAND
Also known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta
is a water world where boats, houses and markets float upon the rivers, canals and streams. Every shades of green are represented between the trees lining on the river banks, their reflection in the water, and the agricultural lands surrounding. And every day the most colourful and unique markets happen on the mighty Mekong.
Phu Quoc Island
is an idyllic vision of sandy beaches, thick jungle, and clear blue waters. It has undergone many transformations from an undisturbed island with a population of less than 1000 people, to a quintessential Vietnamese holiday destination.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK DESTINATIONS
BA BE NATIONAL PARK
CAO BANG PROVINCE
Sitting peacefully in the northeast province of Bac Kan, Ba Be National Park
is a haven of extraordinary scenery, fascinating biodiversity and rich culture. The ethnic minority communities live in small hamlets throughout park and still maintain a simple way of life, living off the land and fishing from the lake and rivers. As you adventure through the national park you will have the chance to meet the local people and discover their history and culture. The many different areas of the national park are steeped in mystery and legends, the stories handed down through many generations.
HA GIANG PROVINCE
is an immensely beautiful, sparsely populated frontier region of Northern Vietnam. This mountainous province sits on the north-eastern border with China and is home to many ethnic minority communities. Although the Ban Gioc waterfalls have become a popular attraction, this region is often overlooked by tourists, hence it has kept its unique beauty and culture. In April, 2018, the stunning natural beauty of the region was recognized when UNESCO made the decision to include Cao Bang in their Global Geoparks Network, making it Vietnam’s second entry on the list.
PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK
Vietnam’s ‘final frontier’ rewards you by sweeping views of karst mountains, carpets of flowers, colourful markets
and rich, diverse ethnic minority communities. The mountainous area with towering limestone peaks, share a 270 km border with neighbouring China. Although gaining popularity with tourists, this remarkable area is still off the beaten track and goes unnoticed by many.
The park has a beauty which is incomparable to any other part of the world. Below the rich primary and secondary forests, sits an underground prehistoric cave paradise which exceeds the powers of the imagination. It is one of the largest and oldest karst formations in the world. 400 million years of formation, erosion and tectonic activity have resulted in one of the most stunning cave systems of the world, the scale and beauty of which is almost indescribable. The labyrinth features stalactites and stalagmites, pools, rivers, and even a cave large enough to house an entire New York City block.
DALAT & THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS
Vietnam's somewhat mysterious Central Highland region is often missed off the usual tourist routes. It is a land full of mountains, primitive forests and small ethnic minority communities clinging to their identity amidst mass colonisation of the region.
Dalat sits there in the middle and is somewhat of an anomaly in the hot, humid, jungle landscapes of Vietnam. Visitors could almost mistake the region for a European town. Often nicknamed ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, Dalat has a temperate climate making it an ideal escape from the heat and humidity of other areas.
GOT MORE TIME?
If your thirst for adventures and discovery is not yet quenched, why not extend the trip to Cambodia or Laos (or even both!)?
With just a few more days you can at least visit a famous World Heritage Site in Siem Reap, the unique Temples of Angkor. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Angkor was a former megacity stretching over 400km2 and has been described as the largest pre-industrial city in the world. Needless to say that it is a fascinating place to explore nowadays!
And with another couple of days, we can take you to Phnom Penh, capital city of Cambodia, once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’ for a good reason. Wide boulevards, a smattering of French colonial buildings and a cultural and historical centre all rolled into one, Phnom Penh is a delight for all the senses.
Perfect destination for temple lovers, Luang Prabang, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, resides by the sacred confluence of the Khan and Mekong rivers. Temples and monasteries dominate any visitor’s itinerary here, with its 33 gilded wats and numerous saffron clad monks.
Having received a rush of investment since the 1990’s, once dilapidated French villas have been reimagined as stunning but affordable boutique hotels and hostels. Many of these villas stand today due to Luang Prabang being a royalist stronghold during the wars, and as such escaped the intense US bombing raids that plagued the rest of Northern Laos.
Now, do your brain a favor and start dreaming of all the wonderful things we have in store to make your next trip, the adventure of a lifetime. Contact us
and we will start working on your ideal itinerary!