Vietnam: Naturally beautiful

This post will give you a better idea on how incredible Vietnam is not just for the average backpacker who is looking to party their way through South East Asia. Here are my top five places to go and see the beautiful landscape of Vietnam.

These places include:

  1. Sapa
  2. Halong Bay
  3. Hué – Hoi An (Hi Van Pass)
  4. Phong Nha
  5. Mui Ne

Lets start at the top of the country and work our way down shall we. In that case our story begins in Sapa, north of Hanoi. Easy to get to with a night bus from the city centre of Hanoi. Sapa is a mountainous landscape that is mainly used for farming. Going to Sapa does however mean a lot of walking around.. Trekking about with a local guide, and home stay is the only way that you will want to do the Sapa region. Our guide was a wonderful lady who managed to get us all rather pissed on her “happy water” also known as rice wine. That is more similar to vodka than anything else I’ve ever drank. It was a very strange drink as we all work up in the morning feeling fresh as ever. Thank god we did too as it was another full day of trekking across the rice planes, which takes more balance that you would expect. Was rather funny to see a couple of people slid into the rice fields though and get rather wet to say the least.

A couple of days well spent in the Vietnamese countryside, for a very cheap yet wonderful adventure. Sapa is a must do.

Halong Bay is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, which is clearly why it has made my list. It did after all do the place justice, even though we went on a booze cruise (castaway) while we were there, there are many different ways that you can approach seeing this magical place. Listen to the  myths and story about the place, they even go to say that Halong Bay was created by the tears of dragons, hence the emerald pigmentation of the water. Don’t forget you swimming costume as you have to go for a late night swim in the glowing plankton.

The only draw back I can tell  you of at Halong Bay is the litter that can be seen in the water at times. Although they are starting to crack down on it and clean the place up once again so its back to its true raw natural state.

“Waters created by the tears of dragons”

Hi Van Pass. This has been one the best things I have done whilst away. It was amazing. I had the best time Mo-pedding around those windy roads the twist around the coastline between Hué and Hoi An. Everyone should do this. There are so many bike companies that allow you to drive either one way or the other, depending on which direction you are going around Vietnam in and they will collect their bikes from your hostel/hotel. One thing I know for sure. You will not be disappointed by the incredible views that you will be taking in along the way. Driving yourself also allows you to stop of as often or as little as you would like. There are places such as the elephant spring that you can stop at and have a spot of lunch before continuing on your journey. The only spot of bother we had on our journey was the number of little goats that were running around on the road, highly unpredictable.

Phong Nha national park, is a world heritage sight that contains a network of 300 caves and grottos. It’s truly a breath taking place to be, and always fun to go explore the caves while you get covered in mud in some, others you are able to swim around or you can just walk around and look at the most amazing caves that are surrounding you. There are also gardens, zip lines, treks and waterfalls all around in Phong Nha. One hike we took also was more jungle less pathway, but it is always fun to go a bit more off roading from time to time. The best way to get around has to be on a scooter, as it allows you to go wherever, whenever.

The big sand dunes of Mui Ne is my final one on the list. This is a massive sand dune, that has become a tourist trap. The sweet little fishing village in Mui Ne is truly beautiful and is always busy, so defiantly eat the sea food while you stay here. There are two different types of sand dunes so make sure you get to see both if you have time, because one is red and the other is white. They do also have fun activities on the dunes, such as quad biking and sand surfing.

I hope you have a wonderful time exploring these amazing places as much as I did.

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