5 Adventurous Things to do in Vietnam
Vietnam is a country that caters for any travellers needs. With its glorious, white sand beaches, luscious paddy fields, captivating history, mouth-watering cuisine, towering mountains, gigantic caves and much more, you are sure to find a number of things to keep you entertained.
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous then you’ve certainly picked the right country.
Let me take you on a journey from the mountainous town of Sapa in the North, all the way South to the kite surfing capital of Mui Ne.
Here are my five favourite adventurous things to do in Vietnam!
1. Climb Mount Fansipan in Sapa
At an impressive height of 3143 metres, Mount Fansipan stands proud and tall above the rest of the surrounding Hoang Lien Son mountain range.
It is the highest peak in Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and is situated in the picturesque town of Sapa.
Travellers from all over the world flock here to trek among the vibrant green valleys, terraced paddy fields and welcoming minority villages. The most famous trek of them all, is certainly reaching the overshadowing peak of Mount Fansipan.
The rather understated but iconic, triangular monument at the peak of the mountain is 19 kilometres from Sapa but you will start your ascent from a rugged, concrete building further up the mountain range.
Adventurers can choose whether they want to tackle the climb in one, two or even three days. If you are looking for a real challenge, then I highly recommend the one day option, it will test you both mentally and physically.
The climb is very steep, strenuous and challenging but at the same time highly rewarding. You are even presented with a small medal and certificate if you successfully make it to the peak…and back down, of course.
If it’s a clear day, the view from the peak is sensational. With views of the whole mountain range covering Northwest Vietnam, Yunnan in China and the Son La province.
More often than not, the view at the summit is not great, but don’t let that dishearten you; the scenery on the way up is just as impressive. With views of the route to Laos, the beckoning town below and the surrounding range, you’ll have the chance to take once in a life time photos at various points along the way.
You should accept this challenge sooner rather than later, as construction is already underway to build a cable cart, which will sadly decrease the charm of this natural landscape.
Hotels and agencies in the town offer guided treks to the summit. It is advised to take a guide for safety and directions, unless you are very experienced.
2. Ride a Motorbike via The Hai Van Pass
Motorbikes and Vietnam go hand in hand. Many travellers opt to travel the whole of the country using this form of transport, while others ride chaperoned and some not at all.
If you are going to drive one stretch of Vietnams glorious landscape then I urge you to strap up your helmet and ride the tantalising, intertwining road of The Hai Van Pass.
The Hai Van Pass was made famous by the legendary British, T.V show, Top Gear. Starting from Hoi An and ending in Hué, the overall journey is host to some spectacular views, spiralling roads, enormous bridges and interesting pagodas.
On one side of the road, you can see the incredible, vertiginous hills and on the other, sensational views of the glistening sea, perfect beaches and bustling settlements below.
There are various options for driving this route. You can drive yourself, ride chaperoned or drive yourself while being accompanied by a guide, the choice is yours. Travel agencies offer routes from Hoi An to Hué and vice Versa. Many will have vehicle drop offs at either side so you don’t have to worry about driving back, unless you want to.
3. Mountain Biking Nha Trang
Nha Trang is best known for its beautiful beaches, lavish hotels and touristic vibe.Taking a mountain bike ride into the rural, hidden, back roads is a great way to escape the crowds and see a slice of real Vietnam.
You can pretty much choose your own itinerary and route, as many of the reputable companies offer a degree of flexibility with these type of tours. Be sure to stop off at The Po Nagar Cham Towers. It is a Hindu Cham built between the seventh and twelfth centuries and is one of Nha Trang’s most famous sites.
If you feel like relaxing after a hard and sweaty days cycling, then you can stop off at one of the many mud baths dotted around the area for a chance to rest and unwind.
If you’re looking for something a little more high octane, then you can choose to speed down one of the near by mountain roads instead. Vans loaded with your mountain bike will drive you to the top and then you can enjoy the free fall at very high speeds as you descent back towards earth.
4. Go Cayoning in Dalat
Dalat is famous for its cool temperatures, red wine and its vast agriculture, but it is also host to some of the best conditions for canyoning in the country.
Wide, refreshing rivers and powerful waterfalls have carved through the hills to create a haven of adventure and fun. You will find yourself jumping, sliding, climbing and abseiling your way along the river bed and admiring the awesome view while you get your adrenaline fix.
There are lots of companies offering a full day of canyoning in Dalat so make sure you use a reputable company as safety is paramount for this sport. You may also want to consider your group size as cheaper tours usually mean higher group numbers. This can be a bit of a pain at times and cause the day to be a bit stop and start.
5. Kite Surfing in Mui Ne
Mui Ne is Vietnams number one destination for kite surfing. Shops based on the beach cater for all levels of expertise and budgets. They offer special beginner lessons for those with little or no experience and rather than booking a full day of kite surfing, you can choose to do a few hours to see whether or not you enjoy this exhilarating sport.
The conditions for kite surfing are pretty good all year round and they are particular favourable from late October to April. If you want to catch a glimpse of the professionals then be sure to head there in February as Mui Ne is host to an annual international competition where the skills of the worlds best will be sure to inspire you.
So that’s it, my five adventurous things to do in Vietnam. I hope you get the chance to do at least one and feel free to leave a comment on your experience. Happy travelling!