When you think about Vietnam you probably think about temples, or food, or history. You probably don’t think about outdoor adventures. Vietnam is not well-known as an adventure destination – but it’s actually a great place to enjoy an adrenaline-fueled vacation.
Vietnam is full of amazing landscapes and outdoor attractions. There really is a lot here to keep you active and enjoying the great outdoors. It’s not just food and culture – the country offers plenty more than that. You’ll find amazing activities to get your adventure fix, from biking to hiking, kayaking to paddle boarding. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor adventurous activities in Vietnam.
1) Cycling in Sapa
When you think of Vietnam you probably picture a place very like Sapa. This is a landscape dotted with green rice paddies, an emerald green landscape with rolling hills and people working the land. The best way to explore the landscape of Sapa and its surroundings is by pedal bike. It’s a peaceful and beautiful way to explore, and you’ll see some lovely little villages, cute cafes, traditional farms, and wide-open views. You can join an organized tour or take off under your own steam to explore this wonderful place.
2) Motorbiking From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
You’ll immediately know, as soon as you set foot in the country, that the Vietnamese are big fans of this mode of transport. In fact, go to any city and you’ll find it very difficult to cross a road given the number of mopeds and motorbikes coming and going. You’ll find it much less stressful if you join the Vietnamese in their obsession. Motorcycling around the country is the perfect way to see the sights and get to know the place. You can join a motorbike touring group or you can head off on your own, taking Highway 1 or going out along the scenic route between the farms, stopping off at places like Phong Nham-Ke Bang National Park and Hue, where you can chill out on the beach. Heading off on a motorbike is the ultimate in travel freedom and adventure.
3) Kayaking in Halong Bay
Halong Bay is one of the most impressive sights in the whole of Vietnam. It has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and therefore is one of the places you must visit when you come to Vietnam. And if you want to make your visit more adventurous and interesting, combine a boat trip around the bay with some kayaking. Halong Bay is dotted with towering limestone islands which soar out of the emerald water. It is a beautifully atmospheric place and is certainly best seen from water level. Rent your own kayak and explore on your own, or take a kayaking tour or vacation to see the islands from a great vantage point.
4) Diving in Phu Quoc
If you’re looking for diving opportunities you may not think of Vietnam. But this country is alive with possibilities for getting to know the world underwater. One of the best spots to choose for scuba diving is Phu Quoc. This is actually an island, and is located closer to Cambodia than to Vietnam itself. It is a quiet, beautiful place with the best diving in the country.
5) Trekking at Mt Fansipan
Mount Fansipan is the highest peak in the country. When you want to get active and fit, this is the place to come. Mt Fansipan is over 3,000 meters high and is found in the northwest of Vietnam in Lào Cai Province. Trekking in the area around the mountain, as well as making your way to the top, is a rewarding way to spend your time in Vietnam. When you reach the summit you will be rewarded with views right across the best scenery in the country.
6) Paddleboarding in Mui Ne Bay
Mui Ne Bay is not far from Ho Chi Minh City and is one of the best places in the country for getting active on a paddle board. Located on the east coast, Mui Ne Bay is a lovely beach resort and there are a variety of operators willing to hire you all the equipment you need to get active on the water. Paddleboarding is a fun cross between surfing and ocean kayaking, and it is a great way to get active and get fit. It’s also good fun, and the climate in Vietnam makes this the perfect place to try this activity.
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Photo credits: Jorge Cancela and Everjean via Flickr