Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City – those are just a few of the famous cities that are common on the travel itinerary on the tours of Vietnam. But, there are plenty of alternatives or off-the-beaten-track destinations that are well worth a visit in Vietnam.
Here are a few of the great alternative destinations to visit in Vietnam:
Hon Gai Peninsula
The Hon Gai Peninsula is a relatively unexplored territory and connected to the mainland via a sand bar. Even though this place isn’t the most provisioned, it is a remote destination to visit on the Vietnam tour packages to get a break from the done and dusted tourist trail. Hon Gai Peninsula has miles of deserted and gorgeous beaches; the Dai Lanh beach is one of the finest places to use as a base. Most of the accommodation in the region is simple and basic with not much in the way of tourist infrastructure. Travelling around is best achieved by hiring independent transport.
Bai Tu Long
Bai Tu Long is quite similar to the spectacular Halong Bay with its seascape of islands and grottoes, but is a lot quieter and relatively free of travellers. The more savvy tourists are starting to book the tour of Bai Tu Long for the more relaxing scenic tour with a much lower chance of queuing or being crammed into a boat. A great trip in Bai Tu Long includes an overnight stay on an island like Quan Lan or Van Don, with these islands providing great karaoke venues, restaurants and guesthouses.
Bach Ma National Park
For visitors to Hue an overnight excursion to Bach Ma Mountain is certain to give a great alternative to sightseeing the historic and cultural attractions. It is located approx 45 km south of Hue and easily reached by travelling on your own or by organising a tour. Even though the roads leading up the mountain can be quite perilous, the atmosphere on arriving at the top is quite serene. Try to travel to this part of Vietnam when the weather is good to really appreciate the panoramic views. There is plenty of wildlife in the national park, but the opportunity to see most of these animals is quite small. For the active traveller, there are a few hiking trails, such as the Rhododendron Trail, which make it really easy to navigate the park and reach some of the breathtaking waterfalls. There are one or two trails that are quite advanced and it helps to be relatively fit to attempt. On arriving at the top of the mountain, this is a great place to rest and relax and be social with locals and other tourists.
The Cham Islands are a fascinating cluster of granite islands that are surrounded by aquamarine seas, and easily reached by those travellers on a planned visit to Hoi An. A Cham island excursion is possible by booking a speed boat journey that takes approx 60 minutes to complete the 15 km trip offshore from Hoi An. But, this isn’t a practical trip in the winter because of the potentially high seas. Even though the island accommodation is quite limited with a sole guesthouse, it is still a rather pleasant stay. Alternatively, there is the option to camp on the beach for the night. The Cham Islands make a perfect destination for snorkelling and scuba diving with the local waters rich in coral reef and colourful fish. PADI certified guides are available to give a tour of the best dive sites in the region. Also, to get an authentic feel of local life in Vietnam it is possible to visit the tiny fishing village. With electricity only provided at set times by generators, these islands make a very peaceful and quiet place to stay for a day or two.
It is quite surprising now many travellers on the Vietnam travel packages choose to skip Da Nang. In fact, this coastal city is great for its varied attractions, fantastic seafood and most beautiful beaches. Da Nang is centrally located between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Once a primary R&R spot for US troop during the war, this part of Vietnam is becoming more tourist-friendly with a variety of surrounding attractions that are well worth a look.
Some of the best attractions surrounding Da Nang include the amazingly unique and beautiful Marble Mountain, a relaxing visit to Lang Co beach, a trip to the Ba Na Mountain Hill Station, and a motorbike trip that travels up and along Monkey Mountain, which is a splendid national park that stands nearly 695 m above sea level. Even though the best places to visit are quite spread out, it is still worth the effort to visit Da Nang on the Vietnam tours.
Doc Let is located approx 45 km north of Nha Trang and an uncrowded, low-key and quiet destination for a completely relaxing time on the holiday in Vietnam. This beach resort has pleasant ocean-view accommodation, but moving further in town makes it possible to find the more budget-friendly guesthouses. Things to do in Doc Let include snorkelling the nearby coral reef, a day exploring the area by boat, kayaking, or relaxing on the beach. Nearby to Doc Let is a hidden away archipelago known as Whale Island, and also the large island of Hon Lon that give a few areas of natural beauty to explore.
Located in the central highlands of Vietnam, Kon Plong is a frontier-style town that is quite peaceful and rarely visited by tourists. It is placed at the top of a kilometre-high mountain which helps to create the mind-blowing trip up and down by motorbike. Even though there isn’t a lot to do there and the weather gets quite cool in the summer, it is still a nice place to visit for a short break and accommodation includes a few decent quality guest houses. Kon Plong has a population in the region of 31,500 people and spans a total area of 2248 sq km.