Vietnam is a wonderful country to explore, with a rich history and culture, not to mention areas of outstanding natural beauty. In fact, it’s the latter that we’re going to focus on in this post, to give you some hints on how to get the best out of your trip if you’re keen to discover Vietnam’s natural treasures.
We’ve picked out a few places that you really shouldn’t miss if you want to see the best of Vietnam’s landscapes – you can book a tour that takes in these and other destinations around the country with Explore Worldwide.
Halong Bay is regularly named as one of the most beautiful spots in Vietnam, as well as being renowned the world over for its unusual islands and rock formations. Halong Bay is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an outstanding example of a karst landscape. The isles and islets are made from limestone that has been carved into weird and wonderful shapes by the elements.
There are sea caves here, as well as rock towers topped by little pockets of greenery – a truly breathtaking sight. The only way to explore properly is to get out on the water and there are two excellent options open to you. One is to take a cruise in a traditional Junk boat and the other is to paddle yourself around in a kayak. You can, of course, do both if you’d like, allowing you to get a wonderful overview of the bay, as well as a close-up look at some of its most interesting formations.
Mai Chau Valley
To escape from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s cities, spend a few days hiking in the stunning Mai Chau Valley. This area in the north of the country is where you can see traditional village life in action, with the region home to many indigenous tribes whose way of life has changed little over the years.
This too is a karst landscape, with mountains and caves to be admired, as well as the well-kept paddy fields that line the lower slopes of the peaks. You can break up your walks by stopping in the various villages nestled among the hills. Many of the people here are part of the White Thai tribe, which is distantly related to people in Thailand, Laos and China.
Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s most famous seaside resorts and, although it’s been developed to cater for tourists, it’s still a real gem. The sweep of golden sand along the coast seems never-ending, while there are uninhabited islands tantalisingly close to the shore.
If you fancy a break from the beach, you can head to one of the waterfalls that are located nearby. Among the most picturesque are the gently-cascading Ba Ho waterfalls in the heart of the jungle and the enchantingly named Fairy Spring waterfalls, where you’ll also find a pool that you can swim in.
The Mekong Delta covers a vast area of south-west Vietnam and is an amazing place to explore for many reasons. The people that live in and around the delta are well-adapted to life on the water, so it’s wonderful to see them going about their business in their boats.
A tour along the canals and various tributaries that feed off the Mekong River is a must if you truly want to appreciate this stunning ecosystem, which is home to orchards, swampland, paddy fields and bird sanctuaries. A river boat tour around the area is truly fascinating, allowing you to see how Vietnam’s natural assets have been utilised by its people to great effect.