Sapa is Vietnam’s premier trekking base and you cannot leave the country without at least a day of hiking through the rice terraces, lush valleys and endless karst peaks of the region. Instead of booking a boring hotel, strip back the comfort and spend the night in a village homestay with a tribal family to truly experience the real Sapa. Let them show you what their day-to-day life is like up in the north.
Ho Chi Minh City
If you want to learn more about the Vietnam war, we recommend visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Museum. Here you will be able to read more about this brutal conflict which ravages this country and at the museum there are lots of old tanks, helicopters and war memorabilia.
At the Cu Chi Tunnels, you can go underground and see how the Vietcong used to live, the tunnels are tiny and so if you are claustrophobic it might not be a good idea to enter. You can also fire an AK-47 rifle here in a safe shooting range. This city is also a popular destination for people looking to volunteer in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s old capital, Hue is a must-visit for history lovers. The city is home to many attractions and relics that hark back to the grandeur of Vietnam’s old dynasties. These include the imperial citadel and the tombs of various emperors.
Also in Hue is the Perfume River – cruises travel up and down, enabling visitors to see both the wildness of the nature around Hue and the city’s attractions, and the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is beautiful in itself but also commemorates Thich Quang Duc, the monk who set himself on fire as a form of protest.
A trip down the Mekong Delta is something everyone must do when they visit Vietnam, the memories of a trip like that will last a life time. The Mekong Delta is a key geographical feature of the Mekong River which still provides water, sustenance and life to many rural Vietnamese communities.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay, crowned one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, is the epitome of Vietnamese coastline, with its thousands of limestone karst peaks jutting out of its emerald waters and the hundreds of uninhabited islands topped with dense jungle, scattered around the bay. Taking a tour here is the easiest way to get around as it is a UNESCO Heritage protected site, and most are all-inclusive, with drinks and water activities usually coming at an extra cost. Check out Cat Ba National Park, explore Dau Go cave, and make sure you go kayaking!