Vietnam has so much to offer its visitors, from tours of its beautiful landscapes, to full-on adventure experiences for the more intrepid individuals. Where the latter are concerned, here is a run-down of some of the more popular Vietnamese adventure activities.
Whether you are a hardened canoeist, or just someone who fancies dabbling around shores in a kayak, you are spoilt for choice in this beautiful countryside. There are some wonderful bays, marshes and rivers in Vietnam. These offer amazing water visibility, as well as an abundance of marine wildlife to be uncovered. To the north east of Vietnam lies Ha Long Bay, a long stretch of coastline that is world-renowned for its limestone cliffs and islands. This area is a magnet for kayakers, who enjoy the combination of tranquil waters, and the inlets and caves that can be most readily explored by boat. The one not of caution is that some of the natural geology of this area lends itself to unpredictable passages – so travelling with a guide to some of the more obscure islands or cliffs is the recommended option.
Traveling across the countryside on horseback is a very popular pastime in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Hmong is a ubiquitous animal beloved of native riders, and is popular with trekkers of all nationalities. Whether you are wishing to undertake a gentle tour of the interior, or a more vigorous canter along Vietnam's long beaches, horses are ideal. Riding rates are usually charged by the hour, although if you are planning to embark on a full day's sightseeing with your trusty steed, then you can rent accordingly.
Hiking and trekking
The famous Ho Chi Minh trail is a popular visitor draw. This comprises an intricate series of paths, trails, and even tunnels that were used by Vietcong fighters during the long war of resistance against America and their southern government allies in the 1960s and 70s. This trail runs from the north of the country to the south, bypassing the Truong Son mountain range, and concluding in neighbouring western Laos. Nearby Ho Chi Minh you'll come across the extensive Cu Chi underground system, and there are also Vinh Moc tunnels. While the portion of the trail that runs above sea level will take you over some of Vietnam's most breathtaking landscapes, the locations below the ground, while certainly worth a visit for interested parties, can be a problem for claustrophobic visitors.
Boasts over 1,800 miles of coastline. This equates to a vast area of beaches with scope for water sports. Near the Mekong Delta to the south of Vietnam, you'll come across Vung Tau and Nha Trang. These resorts have been well geared towards visitors, and contain some of the country's most popular and extensive beaches. Whether you wish to dive beneath the seas, or simply explore the turquoise waters with a snorkel, you can hire equipment from any number of outlets.
Phan Thiet in central Vietnam is another magnet for water sport enthusiasts, while Mui Ne is renowned for its sand dunes. Many visitors gravitate to Ha Long Bay in the north, for its veritable maze of islands and inlets to be explored.