3 Off the Beaten Path Adventures in Vietnam


This is a guest post by Ali Dempsey of the travel company Global Basecamps. 

The natural beauty of Vietnam includes winding rivers, lush jungles, and untouched forests. Explore the hidden lagoons and caves found on the rocky coastline and cliffs of Halong Bay.  There are also ample hiking opportunities that allow travelers to visit traditional tribal villages, giving a unique insight into Vietnamese culture.  Discover the beauty and culture of Vietnam with these off the beaten path Vietnam tours.

Northern Vietnam Tribal Trails: Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa Valley located in the mountains of Northern Vietnam is an ideal trekking location, where travelers can take in incredible views and experience the unique culture of the hillside villages.  Begin your journey with a scenic hike to Sa Seng village.  As you hike towards Ta Van and Hau Thao village you can enjoy a panoramic view over the Fansipan Mountain.  Stopping for a picnic lunch at the church of the Black H’mong village will be a highlight of the day.  The hike afternoon progresses through rice paddy fields.  Topas Eco Lodge, situated in the lush green hills of Sapa Valley is a great home base for trekking and exploring the surrounding region.  With just 25 lodges situated in the hills, it is a unique and relaxing experience.

Hike around the local ethnic villages to truly experience the unique mountain culture of Vietnam.  Travelers also have the opportunity to visit Bac Ha ethnic market, as well as other local markets in the North-Eastern mountainous areas.  Each market is unique and has different treasures and cultural aspects. Visit the small communities of Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Dong Van, which are some of the most scenic villages in Northern Vietnam.  Ban Gioc Waterfall, located on the China-Vietnam border, is another incredible experience on this journey, as it is one of the largest waterfalls in Vietnam. Nearby, you can also visit one of the largest caves in the area, Nguom Ngao.

Vietnam Remote Trek: Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Pu Luong Nature Reserve, which stretches from Mai Chau in the North West to Cuc Phuong National Park in the South East, is an area of immense beauty, culture and biodiversity.  The reserve is located along two parallel mountain ridges and divided by a central valley.  The region has lush forests, limestone cliffs, beautiful rice terraces and stunning scenery.  Climb the Pu Luong mountain range and you will pass through numerous minority villages.  You can trek through forest and villages where you will see farmers working on rice paddies.  Visit this unique area of Vietnam and experience everyday life and culture of the Thai and Muong people by staying in local villages with traditional home stay accommodations.

Custom Mekong Delta Experience

The Mekong Delta is rich with culture, surrounded by lush flat floodplains, complex waterways and friendly locals.  After cruising the Mekong River and the Xep canal, visit the small surrounding village where you can visit a dried Longon factory, fruit gardens and orchards.  You can also take a ride in a horse cart to Quoi Son village and visit local beekeepers on their farm.  Enjoy a traditional music show at the village and ride on a sampan through the small canals.  Consider staying at a traditional home stay to further immerse yourself in the culture.

Vietnam Rice FieldsBike along the roads surrounding the Mekong Delta and you will pass villages, orchards, ancient houses, and bridges.  A short boat ride later can take you to a traditional family-run brick kiln, among other traditional cottage industries.  Be sure to visit the Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta.  Also explore the town of Chau Doc, where you can climb and summit Sam Mountain, which offers stunning views of the Mekong Delta.

Whether you want to explore the coastline of Halong Bay, trek the hills of Sapa or anything in between we can help plan your custom tour! All of our Vietnam travel options can be completely customized to fit your travel style and meet your trip priorities.

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Ali Dempsey is the Marketing Associate at Global Basecamps.  She writes the company blog and manages the Global Basecamps social media accounts.  While living in Shanghai, China for 4 years she had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Asia and hopes to someday continue her journey to other parts of the world.

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