Tan Lap Floating Village
Tan Lap Floating Village is another incredibly unique and nature-based weekend retreat from the city. Based only 100 kilometers from the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily make the journey on your bike. Tan Lap Floating Village is truly a special destination. In the heart of Long An Province, people also call this place the “floating eco-tourism village” as many of the homes actually float on excess water when the rainy season takes over. The village is built on the mangrove and you are right in the middle of what seems to be an immense jungle. You are able to bring your tents and camp in designated areas. There are also a multitude of guest houses around the area too.
Con Dao archipelago is a group of 16 islands in the south. The main island, Con Son, is accessible through a boat from Vung Tau or you may choose to fly in from Ho Chi Minh City. These islands are known for the vast range of wildlife and aquatic life. 80% of the island is forested, making Con Dao become great for adventure seekers as you can explore both, above ground and underwater. There’s a dark past to the island as well, as it was a giant jail cell for political prisoners during the wars Vietnam went through.
Accommodation is generally not fancy, though there are a few resorts. Your stay here can either be luxurious or a simple getaway.
Vinh Hy Bay
Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam’s "secret" southeastern shores, is a small inlet dotted with fishing vessels and woven coracle. Vinh Hy is not yet on the foreign tourist map but its time in the sun will come. Nestled beside the 24,000-hectare Nui Chua National Park, a dramatic coastal promontory that looms wild and beautiful from the clear sparkling blues of the East Sea, this is as stunning a stretch of coastline as you could hope to find in South-East Asia. Sun bears, monkeys and barking deer inhabit its forests, as do dozens of bird species. Sea turtles nest in its protected marine conservation zone. In the sunlight, the bay looks like a silver mirror surrounded by strips of white sand and by mountains. Apart from swimming, you can go diving to see ocean creatures and coral reefs of diverse shapes, sizes and colors and climb the mountains to explore the forests and bathe in the springs. This is the pristine Vietnam holiday of your dreams.
Often recommended by Ho Chi Minh City-dwellers as an ideal weekend getaway, Da Lat will welcome you with a little cute French-inspired town surrounded by mountains, year-round cool weather and fresh, unpolluted air. It is about 185 miles (300 kilometers) to the north of Ho Chi Minh City, but the peaceful environment makes it seem like even farther a distance. There is a lot of nature to take in here—lots of trekking, many viewpoints, waterfalls, gardens and lakes. Getting a motorbike and riding around is good choices. You can also do some awesome coffee tours while up there because Da Lat grows some of the finest beans in the world. You can pick your own flowers, roast the beans and make your own cup of authentic coffee.
Cat Tien and Cat Tien National Park
When you’re in this city, you can start to feel a bit cooped up and may yearn to stretch your legs a bit. Want to trade the city sounds of a sea of motorbikes and karaoke machines for the natural sounds of birds and waterfalls? Cat Tien is the perfect weekend spot for those of you looking for a more adventurous and active weekend away. Cat Tien National Park, a 72 thousand hectare land space, is characterized as a vast lowland tropical forest.
The National park is filled with local wildlife, trees that have been around for centuries, and even a species of endangered primates. Rent a bike and cycle deep into the forest and see its extensive and beautiful hiking trails, a great and active way to spend a weekend away from the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.