Adventures in Vietnam

Adventures in Vietnam

With a surreal landscape of limestone islands in Halong Bay, some of the world's most spectacular caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, buzzing cities with a tornado of motorbikes in Hanoi, and with an absolutely breathtaking and exotic outdoor appeal, Vietnam is a thrill seeker's paradise. Whether you are into watersports like kayaking, diving, snorkeling and surfing, or you pump your adrenaline inland with activities such as trekking, cycling and motorcycling, there are world-class adventure opportunities for every adventure seeker.


As Southeast Asian country, Vietnam's climate may vary drastically and is monsoon-dependant. As such, you need to carefully plan your trip and what season will suit best itinerary so you can make the most of this wonderful country.

If you are into surfing and kitesurfing, the best time to catch the waves is from November to April. If you are surfer, however, you might want to avoid these months as the water visibility is quite poor; the best time for you dive would be during the months of June, July and August.

If you like outdoorsy activities that involve climbing and trekking, you might want to avoid the rainy season from May to September.


From highland valleys to limestone mountains, Vietnam is blessed such dramatic scenery that surpasses any trekker's expectations.


Whether you are an experienced hiker or an amateur, Vietnam can become a dangerous place to trek if you explore remote paths on your own. As the country is also full of unexplored terrain, you should hire a local guide. Fortunately, they usually speak English, they are unexpensive and they can communicate with tribal villagers.

Whether you are on a budget or not, it might be worth it to invest in boots with ankle support if you are planning on trekking in Vietnam.

Best trekking

The best area to go trekking is Northern Vietnam where you will find ethereal mountain paths and beautiful trails across wonderful national parks. Trekkers from all over the world flock to Sapa, Vietnam's trekking Mecca. Boasting dramatic scenery, spellbinding tribal villages, impressive mountains and bright green rice paddies, Sapa attracts so many hikers that trails can get very crowded and there are plenty hiking operators and hire stores (renting out sleeping bags, boots and waterproof gear). Although there are many hikers around, you'll need a local guide to explore remote paths.

Bac Ha is another unmissable spot for trekkers, which offers fascinating highland hiking opportunities, along with picturesque village homestays. While Mai Chau offers ethereal landscapes and the mysticism of tribal villages, Dong Van offers top-class mountain scenery.

If you go to central Vietnam, it is imperative you hike across the limestone hills of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park where you'll also be able to explore the world's largest cave, Hang Son Doong.

Nature lovers are in for a treat in Southern Vietnam, which boasts amazing national parks, such as Yok Don National Park, where you might get a glimpse of a mammal, and Cat Tien National Park, home to crocodiles.


Riding a motorcycle in Vietnam is probably the best way to get your adrenaline pumping, particularly because your survival instincts will be at their prime when you try to find yourself at a 4-way intersection with no traffic lights and tsunami of bikers on the road. Apart from the thrill of survival, motorbiking is the best way to soak in the local culture, not only because it's Vietnamese's favourite mode of transport, but also because commuting on two wheels allows brings you a step a step closer the country's smells, people and scenery. Riding a motorcycle is also an exciting way to explore a city and it shows you the place from a different perspective.


Dotted with a good left-hand break, Bai Dai beach is an ideal spot for experienced surfers. Amateurs, however, should head instead to Mui Ne, which boasts multiple breaks around the bay, including short- and left-handers. In season and when conditions are perfect, you can catch some of the best waves in Vung Tau.

Diving and snorkelling

Although Vietnam's underwater world is not as impressive as other Southeast Asian countries', it might still be worth seeing, but don't expect excellent visibility. The most popular diving spots are around Nha Trang, Cham Islands and Phu Quoc Island. Just do some research before hiring a tour operator as there are some dodgy dive shops in the country. Go online and look for reputable dive schools with certified instructors and equipment in optimum conditions.

Vietnam - Unmissable Experiences

Vietnam - Unmissable Experiences

Dotted with a unique heritage, alluring landscapes, aromatic and sensational cuisine, and an exotic and mystic air, Vietnam's highlights are limitless. From a thrilling motorbike ride to hiking the evergreen hills around Bac Ha, from its spicy noodle soups to its rice wine, and from its ancient craft industries to grand colonial mansions from the French era and the skybars of 21st-century glass-and-steel highrises, there is a large range of unmissable experiences that cater to every taste, every whim and, ultimately, every kind of traveller.


Boasting subtle flavours and a vast diversity, Vietnam is a culinary superpower and sampling these glorious dishes is a treat to every traveller. Thanks to its position on the map, the north of Vietnam has benefitted from Chinese cuisine, which has influenced the soups of the north. Meanwhile, spices are king in southern cuisine, and herbs and complex techniques enrich the central coastline.

Another secret to Vietnam's top-class cuisine is that its ingredients are locally sourced and seasonal, therefore, they are all fresh and the result are heavenly dishes with complex textures. Vietnamese cuisine is so complex that dishes are expected to balance sour and sweet, crunchy and silky, fried and steamed, soup and salad. Therefore, this is a great country to indulge yourself in the local specialties.

Hoi An

Boasting historical lanes, beautiful temples and pagodas, this ancient port is Vietnam's most civilised and cosmopolitan town. Here you treat yourself to a banquet even if you are on a budget, wander along the riverside and bike the back roads. Whether you want a thrill or to chill, Hoi An won't disappoint.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Phong Nha-Ke Bang is one of Vietnam's most exciting parks, where you can hike through the rainforest and watch as the mountain rivers course through ravines.

But more adventures await underground where the most intrepid travellers will find Hang Son Doong, the world's largest cave. The prehistoric atmosphere is such that caving expert Howard Limbert stated, "Watch out for dinosaurs. That's what we called this place when we first discovered it." This is thrilling and unique experience you can't miss out on when you visit Vietnam.

Perhaps less unique but equally exciting is the opportunity to go zip lining and kayaking in Hang Toi. Another highlight is the out-of-this-world beautiful Paradise Cave.


Whether you are looking to shop till you drop, soak in the local culture or a precious combo, street markets are Vietnam beating heart. From the floating markets of the Mekong Delta to the tribal gatherings in highlands and the streets bursting with souvenirs in Hoi An, Vietnamese markets are a vibrant attraction, colourful display of local culture and a shopaholic's paradise. If you really like markets and you visit the north of Te country, you might want to check out the region around Ba Ha, where you will find a large number of interesting markets.

Halong Bay

Categorised as a World Heritage Wonder, Halong Bay is where karst limestone peaks meet shimmering seas. With more than 2,000 different islands to see, you need to book a cruise to see everything. One of the main activities here is to rent a kayak and paddle into dreamy lagoons. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of these touristic attractions, head to Lab Ha Bay, which, despite being less touristic, is equally stunning.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

Located on opposite ends of the country, these two cities are usually either the first or last place s traveller sees. Surrounded by orbiting motorcycles, this buzzing cities are indulge yourself in a wealth of history, fun shopping. delicious food and an exciting nightlife. Whether you wander the the streets of the Old Quarter, score inexpensive souvenirs or explore the French Quarter, you'll never get bored in this buzzing cities.


History lovers, rejoice! There's a city in Vietnam where you can satisfy your inner culture-loving self and this is Hue. Over 150 years, from the 19th century all through the early 20th, Hue was the capital of the country and as such it is dotted with valuable national treasures such as the Hue Citadel, its royal residences and elegant temples, admirable walled defence and gateways. This city also housed some of the country's most striking pagodas and royal tombs.

The Dalat Washing Machine

The Dalat Washing Machine

While most tourists explore Vietnam by travelling along the coast, it's worth going off course and dip inland to the town of Dalat. Located in the province of Lam Dong, Dalat will give you a break from the country's tropical hot weather and will welcome you into a town blessed with spring weather and is dotted with elegant French-colonial villas rather than stark socialist architecture.

It's not Dalat's interesting History nor its colourful European-style buildings, dreamy lake and beautiful farms thick with strawberries and flowers what attracts visitors from far and wide, but the fact that the town is home to Vietnam's biggest Washing Machine. This is not about laundry service but about the opportunity of a lifetime to have a crack at canyoning.

Safety first

When you choose a tour company to embark on this adventure, make sure they look legit. Remember that in Vietnam they are a bit loose when it comes to safety rules and although canyoning might be good fun, it can also be very dangerous.

They usually take you in groups, and only good companies will have tour guides that will look after every member of the group. Just remember that sometimes more is less or the other way around. Just because one company offers a tour package that is more experience than another, it doesn't mean that they are offering a better service. Instead, you should always try to negotiate and ask around. Read reviews of the companies online, ask fellow travellers who have done this experience before if they can advise you and how much they paid. All in all, you need to be informed and prepared before you book a tour.

Just because you want to be safe it doesn't mean you have to be anxious or nervous. On the contrary, if you are apprehensive, your instincts will prompt you into grippin the rope like there's no tomorrow when you are on the edge of the cliff. If you don't relax and let the rope slip through your fingers, you won't be able to rappel down the cliff face. Therefore, you must need to be confident while canyoning.

The first rappel

After walking for a few minutes, you come across the first abseil which is an 18-metre rappel down a dry vertical rock face with a fast flowing waterfall cascading next to it. At the bottom, you have jump into the chilly river. Then you'll have to paddle and swim before reaching a small patch of rapids. Water slides and slippery rocks will then propel you into the bottom pool. Although it might be unnerving to water slide, it is actually pretty safe, but you must follow the guide's instructions to avoid any potential hazards.

While nerve-racking for those who have never done natural water sliding, the activity is actually quite safe and as long as you follow the guide's instructions you will avoid any hidden dangers.

Then another exciting 16-metre dry rappel follows, and you have to jump as high as possible into the abyss.

The abyss in Dalat

You won't get much time to catch your breath after slithering down slides before you come face to face with the biggest challenge of the them all, abseiling down Dalat's 25-metre high waterfall. Although this is a thrilling experience, it is also terrifying. Apart from the fact that abseiling down a cliff is already a difficult task, add a waterfall to that and it gets tricky. To start with, it's slippery and you are trying to remain steady and avoid small crops of rocks while you have water ploughing into your face.

The real challenge, however, is when you reach the point when the rope is not long enough for you to reach the floor and the only option is to push off the rock and jump.

The Dalat Washing Machine

After falling into a pool and swimming you reach the infamous Dalat Washing Machine. You abseil down the cliff while jets of water hit you from every direction. You hang and then are swept into a whispool that drags you under and the water spins you around like a washing machine, hence the name.

Vietnam Travel Tips

Vietnam Travel Tips

Boasting a vibrant culture and dramatic landscapes, Vietnam's might be an explorer's paradise, but it's not exactly the easiest country to visit. From tour scams to poverty and poor infrastructure, there are certain factors that can dampen your sunny holidays. That is why you a little preparation will steer you in the right direction.

Here are some tips so you can be prepared when you travel:

Have your visa ready

Prior travelling, find out what you need to get your tourist visa and make sure you have the right documentation. The requirement to get a tourist visa vary depending on where you are from so check on the embassy's website what you need to do to get this visa.

Be friendly

Unlike other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnamese people don't often come in the rescue of lost travellers or freely approach them. Although they don't seem interested in tourists, while Thais are open and curious about travellers, they will help you if you approach them. Therefore, don't be shy, be friendly and don't be afraid to ask for directions if you need them.

Be careful when you get a taxi ride

Unfortunately, taxi scams are not uncommon in Vietnam. That is why it is important to have a sense of where you are going. If you feel like your driver is stalling and taking the long way there, just ask him to pull over and then you can get a new taxi. Arrange a pickup from the airport or hotel, so you can avoid overpaying when they see you are in need and carrying luggage. Looking buses up online doesn't cost a thing and it might save you a great deal of money on taxis.

Look into night buses

Booking an overnight bus might also save you on accommodation costs when you have to cover long distances. It also allows you to maximise the time of your trip as you don't waste a day travelling, but you can sleep on the way. To maximise your rest, book a top bunk and away from the loo. Speaking of which, bathrooms on buses are a cruel joke of lfe, so you might want to avoid them; therefore, try not to drink any liquids until you've made it to you destination.

Plan a realistic travel itinerary

Most travellers like to fly in Hanoi, travel southbound and fly out from Ho Chi Minh, so they can cross the country and have a sense they have seen everything. Although this is a fantastic way to explore Vietnam, you need at least three weeks to travel the country from North to South or the other way around, and see it at your leisure. If you are rushing to make it to the other side of the country, you will miss out on the experience of discovering Vietnam and instead of enjoying that experience, you'll feel stressed out and rushing about.


Sure riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience, but if you are not a pro or Valentino Rossi, for that matter, you might want to avoid renting a motorcycle. Let's just say traffic in Vietnam can be a bit daunting and too many tourists have unfortunately lost their lives while driving a two-wheeled vehicle.

If you don't want to leave Vietnam without experiencing life on a motorcycle, then you can always get an experienced Vietnamese rider to show around.

Weather can be somewhat temperamental

Southeast Asian countries are famous for their humid and hot weather. But their weather is also famous for going from sunny skies to the Biblical Great Flood that prompted Noah to build an ark.

Weather in Vietnam varies from one region to another. You can expect hot wet summers and cool dry winters up North, while Souther Vietnam is defined by only two seasons - wet and dry.


This is Southeast Asia and haggling is a national sport and part of the fun of being a tourist. Just remember that there are no set prices, so don't be shy and haggle away, particularly because it is common in Vietnam to inflate prices. Locals won't only inflate prices when you are a tourist but also if you look like you are loaded, so try to look too fancy.