The Most Thrilling Spots in Vietnam for Adventure Travelers
If you’re searching for the thrill of a lifetime, Vietnam features many places that are ideal for adventurers. This Southeast Asian country has become one of the top adventure travel destinations for thrill-seekers and will leave you with many memorable experiences. These spots around Vietnam will allow you to fulfill your wanderlust and have the exciting vacation of your dreams.
The city of Dalat is home to several magnificent waterfalls. Along with their stellar beauty, some of these waterfalls feature natural waterslides that offer great conditions for cannoning and abseiling. If you’re daring enough, you can try jumping off one of the high cliffs into the rushing water. You’ll be surrounded by lush wilderness and a serene mountain setting while you have some fun at these waterfalls. Safety equipment is provided along with instructions on how to use it so that you can avoid certain dangers.
Located in Vietnam’s Lam Dong Province, you can reach these waterfalls by taking an eight-hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City or stay in one of the local budget hotels. Vietnam Coracle states that the rushing water of the falls is particularly spectacular during the region’s rainy season, which runs from April to September. Some of the waterfalls are free to visit while small admission fees are charged at others.
Mui Ne Sand Dunes
These magnificent red and white sand dunes resemble those seen in the Sahara Desert and can be visited any time of the year. In addition to climbing the dunes, GoAbroad.com suggests doing a little sand surfing on a board and attempting some tricks if you have the right skills. You can also go for an off-road adventure in a quad bike or another type of motorized vehicle that can handle the terrain. Vendor stands near the dunes sell refreshments that will help you cool off after your playtime.
You’ll find these dunes near Mui Ne Beach in the southern part of Vietnam. The red dunes are situated south of the white dunes, and you’ll need transportation to travel between them. It’s best to head to these sand dunes early in the morning when the sand isn’t too hot.
If you’re up for some scuba diving, the seaside city of Nha Trang is the place to go. You’ll have the chance to plunge into the seawater of the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area and see an array of colorful fish and other intriguing marine life. The prominent coral reefs provide the perfect backdrop to the underwater setting. Another feature that you’ll have the opportunity to explore is Madonna Rock, which features a series of caverns that have been carved out by the hands of nature.
Before you embark on your diving expedition travel experience, you can go through a quick PADI training course to learn the proper safety precautions and how to get the most out of your dive. When you’re ready to dive, you’ll be taken on a 40-minute boat ride from Cau Da Port to Hon Mun island where diving conditions are safe. Water conditions are usually clearer and allow for greater visibility from April to August.
Situated not far from Nha Trang’s downtown district, the Cai River has become a mecca for whitewater rafters over the years. A raft tour can be arranged with an experienced guide who will help keep you safe while enjoying all the thrills of the rushing rapids. If you’ve never taken one of these adventures before, you won’t be required to have any previous experience to take part in one of these tours. As you journey along the rushing rapids, you’ll also travel down small waterfalls that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
It’s best to choose a tour company that offers hotel pickups from Nha Trang. That way, you can get to know your guide and learn the proper safety protocol on your way to the river. You should also bring swimwear or other clothing pieces that you don’t mind getting wet.
Known for being the country’s highest mountain, Mount Fansipan has long attracted visitors who want to partake in active Vietnam expeditions. According to AdventureInYou.com, this mountain is referred to by locals as “Hua Si Pa,” which translates to “Huge Rock,” and is also considered to be the tabletop of Indochina. At the top of the mountain, a triangular monument stands to honor the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II.
Mount Fansipan is located in the northern part of the country near the town of Sa Pa. To reach the summit, you go on a hike that will last you two to three days. During this trek, you’ll have the chance to see spectacular natural scenery as you climb higher up the mountain. If you are anxious and just want to get to the top of the mountain as quickly as possible, you can take a cable car from the terminal in Muong Hoa Valley and reach the summit in as little as 20 minutes.
If you still have the urge to do some climbing, you can head to these five marble and limestone formations for a rock-climbing adventure. Each mountain is named after one of the five elements. You can choose to either bring your own rock-climbing equipment or join a guided tour group that provides the necessary pieces. There are also several tunnels and caves in these mountains along with grottoes that include monuments celebrating the Buddhist and Hindu faiths. When you reach the peaks of any of these mountains, you’ll be treated to magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding communities.
You’ll find these mountains located just outside the historic city of Hoi An in central Vietnam. Certain tour groups offer hotel pickups from the city and can transport you directly to the site. If you choose to travel to the location on your own, you can rent a vehicle and take a 30-minute drive from Hoi An to the mountains and see some beautiful views of the East Vietnam Sea along the way.
You won’t have to travel far outside of Ho Chi Minh City to find this popular beach for surfing. There are plenty of great waves to catch at the front beach, but The Culture Trip recommends heading to the back beach (past the Jesus statue) if you want to surf on even more spectacular waves. Luxurious resorts and restaurants can also be found near the beach.
Depending on the route you take, the drive time from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau can last from two to two and a half hours. The warm winter weather of Vietnam creates the perfect conditions for surfing the beach-break waves. To get the most out of your experience, trying going to the beach early in the morning when it’s less crowded and the wind speeds and tide are low.
The city of Hanoi is an excellent place to take a cycling tour. Busy traffic and bustling city life will leave you feeling energized while you see landmarks like the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum during your journey. You can also travel just beyond the city limits by bike to explore the vast countryside. According to Traveller.com, you’re bound to see lush rice fields, placid waterways and farmers tending to their crops as you cycle along the rugged rural landscapes.
You can choose from many different cycling routes to take in and around the city. Connect (powered by Garmin) suggests taking the route from Hanoi to Son Tay along the Red River. The best time to take a cycling trip around this part of the country is between October and May when rainfall is minimal and the weather isn’t as hot.
The water off the shore of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island is ideal for jet skiing. This activity has become popular among travelers who want to have some aquatic fun while enjoying their Vietnam sport expeditions. You’ll be treated to a smooth ride thanks to the water’s calm conditions and be able to reach high speeds effortlessly. Resorts on the island rent jet skis that are designed for safety and easy operating.
To reach the island, Discover Phu Quoc notes that you can take a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City. There is also the option of taking a boat ride across the Gulf of Thailand from the Vietnamese mainland to Pu Quoc. Depending on where exactly you catch a boat, you can reach the island in one and a half to two and a half hours. The peak tourist season is from November to March, but the resorts are open year-round so that you can visit the island on your own time.
This mostly uninhabited province of northwest Vietnam is the perfect place for an off-road expedition. You can take a guided motorcycle tour of the province while traveling alongside limestone mountains and lush jungle terrain. Awe-inspiring waterfalls and charming small villages will be passed on your route. Many of the roads are rocky and don’t receive any maintenance, so expect a bumpy ride in certain sections. You’ll also likely cross some shallow rivers on your motorcycle and travel along some winding roads that are situated next to steep dramatic cliffs. According to off road Indochina, you can also stop at the Tien Son Cave and explore the 49 rooms that include colorful stalagmites and a flowing stream.
No flights or trains travel to Lai Chau, so you’ll need to travel by motorized vehicle along National Roads 4, 12 or 32. There are many ideal places to go biking around Lai Chau, and your guide can take you to the best routes.
Halong Bay is one of the top spots for Vietnam expeditions that involve kayaking and exploration. Lonely Planet states that the bay itself is a World Heritage Site that’s located in the country’s northern Quang Ninh Province. You’ll paddle past the bay’s numerous limestone islets and be able to marvel at these spectacular feats of nature. Some of these small islands have even been named after animals because of their unique shapes. The bay also features many caves, including the Sung Sot Cave (also known as “Surprise Cave”). This particular cave includes intricate rock formations and is definitely worth exploring.
Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi or Hai Phong by bus, coach or private vehicle is possible. You can also take a 45-minute seaplane ride from Hanoi to the bay. Ferry service from Hai Phong is available as well. If you don’t mind the heat, you can visit Halong Bay between the months of April and September when temperatures are hot and heavy rainstorms are intermittent. From October to March, cooler weather persists with some wind.
This part of the Mekong River is where the river empties into the Gulf of Thailand. Many people regard the Mekong Delta as the most favorable place to go fishing in Vietnam. Taking a boat ride along the Mekong Delta through the thick jungle will provide you with both a thrilling and rewarding experience. The lush vegetation will create a sense of mystery, but you’ll remain safe as long as you follow your guide’s instructions. During your boat ride, you’ll be able to stop and cast your line to try to catch fish like catfish, black carp and Mrigal carp. Fishing in Vietnam notes that the Mekong Delta is also home to many black shark and Red River giant catfish.
The Mekong Delta is a large area that encompasses many cities that offer easy access to the best fishing sites. Many travelers who want to explore the delta stay in the city of Can Tho, but you can also find suitable accommodations in Kien Giang and Bac Lieu provinces.
A world of adventure awaits you in Vietnam. The country’s prime locations for expedition travel will likely surpass your expectations and make you want to return for future visits.