Is Vietnam on your list this year?
Our country is known not only for its pristine pagodas, colonial architecture, natural wonders, and delectable food but also famous for its one-of-a-kind experiences. This is thanks to the perfect reservation of age-old customs and authentic beauty throughout years of colonialism and modernization.
Are you curious yet? Check out the list of 10 amazing experiences you will have in Vietnam below that will transform your trip from ordinary to extraordinary. And the last is for the brave travellers only!
Have a pint of craft beer for just 0.5$ at Bia Hoi Junction in Ta Hien, Hanoi
What a pity if you could not spend a whole evening at Old Quarter’s Bia Hoi Junction.
This vibrant nightlife site is filled with colorful plastic stools spilling onto the street for beer devotees. You can enjoy local craft beers for 0.5$/glass, watching the world go by. Don’t forget to have a pack of boiled or fried peanuts, beef jerky, and other exotic snacks to have with your beer if you do not feel nauseous. 😀
Sandboarding in Mui Ne
Picturesque scenes are not the only thing people remember about Mui Ne. Here, sandhills activities are so popular, such as sandboarding, kite flying, and quad biking. To enjoy these activities, you can contact local tour agencies and operators to organize plenty of day tours to Saharian red and white dunes. Besides, plastic sheds are available for rental at reasonable prices.
Crawling through Secret Tunnels at least 13 meter underground by Viet Cong
This one is not recommended for claustrophobics, we must add.
One of the most thrilling experiences you would have in Vietnam must be crawling through Cu Chi Tunnels. This historical spot, located about 70km from Ho Chi Minh City, has over 120km of underground paths, most of which were installed with trapdoors, living room, kitchen, storage, armory, hospital, and command center.
Although you can only explore a small part of Cu Chi Tunnels, you will still get a sense of what it would be like to live 6 feet underground during the 1960s and 1970s.
Riding a rickshaw through Hoi An Ancient Town
A pedestrian-friendly destination, Hoi An Ancient Town houses Chinese temples, a bridge designed in Japanese style, traditional markets, wooden shops. The journey of discovering this UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be more fun, exciting and chillaxing by riding a cyclo. Some cycle’s drivers, who are able to speak English or French, will happily share with you some local stories during your ride.
Pass the 6 lanes of oncoming traffic in rush hours in Saigon
Traffic in Vietnam is undeniably chaotic yet very well-organized, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. There, car drivers sometimes would even climb on the pavement, run into small alleys to reach their destination on time. Sounds quite dangerous, doesn’t it? But if you are an adventure-seeker, then this is for you. It is important to keep calm when crossing the six lanes of oncoming traffic. The best tip for you is to pass it with a group of locals, walk at a steady pace and keep watching around.
Wandering around local markets
To fully explore the traditions and culture of the country, go straight ahead to the local markets. There you can try authentic Vietnamese dishes, feel a nosy hurry atmosphere with the buzz of haggling, and see colorfully displayed stalls selling fresh products, household items, and apparel. You also can admire unusual sights such as the elderly smoking huge hand-rolled cigarettes, or freshly butchered meat and fish. If you decide to buy something, bargain with sellers would be the best way to purchase an item at an affordable price.
Swimming in Suoi Voi Elephant Springs – the hidden natural beauty of Hue
A group of natural springs, Suoi Voi is located about 50km south of Hue, the Central of Vietnam.
Here you can take part in various activities such as swimming, hiking, and picnicking. If you are looking for private moments, it is highly recommended to visit Elephant Springs on weekdays. A cork-jacket and cabins are available for rent at a relatively affordable price, while food stalls offer snacks and beverages. However, please do not forget to cater to yourself some drinks and foods since vendors around the springs operate on weekends and holidays only.
Exploring Paradise cave in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam is proud of its over 200 limestone caves, most of which have formed above 400 million years ago. Of all caves, Son Doong Cave is the most chosen in travellers’ wishlist, thanks to its status as the largest cave in the world. However, if you are looking for a lesser known site, it is strongly recommended to visit Paradise Cave as it features spectacular shapes of limestone stalactites and stalagmites. It does not matter if you are a biking enthusiast, bird lover, or trekking addict, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a perfect place for all.
Staying with an ethnic family in Sapa
The best way to experience the local lifestyle is to spend a night stay hosted by a tribal family in one of Sapa’s traditional villages. Sapa, located 400km from Hanoi, is a lovely spot for those who want to explore its rugged landscape, have a breath of fresh air and experience the lives of the locals for a few days.
In Sapa, many hill tribes, such as Giay, Hmong, and Red Dao will happily offer you a place to stay in their houses, where you can enjoy authentic local dishes, dress up in traditional costumes, and try your hand at working in the fields.
Have a shot of snake wine
Finally, you have made it!
The exotic drink that you should try in Vietnam is snake wine. It is produced by putting whole snakes (preferably poisonous ones) into a glass jar filled with rice wine. This kind of alcohol is very popular in Vietnam, so you can find it selling in almost all markets and stores crowded with travelers. Of all the vendors, Le Mat Snake Village in Hanoi is the famous spot to take a sip of this eccentric drink, paired with a set of 8 dishes made from snakes. The price for this craziest experience in Vietnam is varied between 600.000 VND to 1.000.000 VND (25 – 45 USD), depending on the type of snake you choose.