Backpacking amongst the younger generation is largely a 21st Century thing. Independent travellers have always sought adventure but the growth in low cost airlines and budget accommodation has meant a huge increase in numbers of those doing it. Often it is a year before they go to university, a gap year taking a break from studies or a year after graduation. Independent travel is great but it is not for everyone. Certainly those a little older may not have the time or inclination to travel independently. That does not mean they are not inclined to travel and Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists. If you are looking for adventure tours in Vietnam they are certainly available. Some include activities such as hiking, climbing, hiring a motor bike and kayaking while others recognise that adventure involves experiencing different cultures and seeing a stunning environment without major physical effort. Vietnam adventure tours offer both.
Vietnam has much to offer but when it comes to such tours the North is the place to go. The environment outside the cities has changed little. Indeed as soon as you leave Hanoi you are in a rural environment where village life has changed little over the years.
When you begin to look at adventure tours in Vietnam there are some places that experienced tour companies will advise are included:
• The Sa Pa Terraces are north-west of Hanoi into the Northern Highlands, a region that has a border with China. Local farmers tend these terraces that are famous for rice and vegetable production. They sit below the highest mountain in South East Asia, Fanispan which is over 3,000 metres high. This is a wonderful region for hikers and climbers while those interested in the life of the indigenous tribes will learn a great deal in the Highlands.
• Mu Cang Chai in Vietnam’s Yen Bai Province in the north-east is another beautiful environment. Rice is the main crop, grown on narrow terraces on steep slopes. Harvest time, and its celebration is early in October if your Vietnam adventure tours are possible at that time of the year; the tours will certainly be running.
There are some places of interest elsewhere in Vietnam that has over 30 national parks across the country. Heading southwards from Hanoi there are some obvious candidates for inclusion in Vietnam adventure tours.
• Mai Chau is a very scenic area close by. It is the home of the Ban Lac whose ancestors were Thai. The area is known for its stilt houses of timber and bamboo. They are at least 3 metres off the ground as protection against water and shelter for their animals.
• Ha Giang is another north-east province sharing a long border with China. It has limited agricultural potential and hence is among the poorest provinces in Vietnam. Limestone and granite peaks dominate this forested region which has a fairly complex climate. The vegetation is stunning and varied. Temperatures are cooler than in lowland areas which is encouraging for those wanting to explore. The tiger is not totally extinct but the likelihood of seeing one is extremely remote. Please read more about the northeast of Vietnam at https://www.vivutravel.com/vietnam-travel-destinations/northeast-vietnam-travel-guide
• The markets in the north-west are a real experience. The Bac Ha Sunday market is a real treat even if you are not going to buy. After all your adventure tours in Vietnam will organise your meals anyway.
• Ba Be Lake is the largest natural lake in Vietnam and is found in the north-east province of Bac Kan. Limestone cliffs surround the lake. There are three islands in the lake and forests cover the region. Three rivers run into the lake and the waterfall on Nang, Dau Dang is a real treat.
• When it comes to waterfalls, Ban Gioc takes some beating. It forms the border with China and tourists have different views depending on their location. There are actually two falls except during monsoon season where it blends into one. It has three stages and the noise of the water can be heard from far away. The spectacular Tongling Gorge, 1,000 metres long is nearby.
• Quang Binh borders Laos to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, only 40 kilometres at its narrowest. It is a hilly region sloping down to a sandy coastline. The region which suffered bombing during the Vietnam War has several rivers flowing from west to east. It is a botanist’s heaven with a huge range of species while the diversity of fauna is exceptional. Primates, gecko and gaur are some of the highlight and there are over 200 species of birds and butterflies.
If you only have time for a few national parks then here are examples that can be included in all Vietnam adventure tours:
• Bach Ma near the ancient Imperial City of Hue in Central Vietnam had a hill station built by the French in the 1930s and it gradually became a holiday retreat. After a period when it was abandoned it then became a holiday destination for Vietnamese because its elevation means that it is cooler than lowland areas. The Asian elephant is found here as well as red shanked langur and white-cheeked gibbon.
• Cat Tien is a lowland forested park further south. Unfortunately some of the fauna that inhabited the park no longer survive; one horned rhino and water buffalo. Although tiger and clouded leopard did live here there are no recent sightings. Having said that there is still a huge variety of fauna and bird life. Asian elephant, sun bear and gaur are probably the most impressive mammals.
Everyone has their own idea of what is an adventure. When it comes to adventure tours in Vietnam there are a huge number of alternatives even before you begin to think about the coastal regions (there is 3,000 kilometres of coast in Vietnam) and all the activities related to coast and sea. You should do some research on what you would like included in an adventure tour and certainly ask questions before you get your wonderful Vietnam holiday.
Vivutravel is local travel company in Hanoi and we are expert in organising the adventure tours in Vietnam, especially to the hidden north Vietnam. Should you want an unforgettable adventure tour of a lifetime, contact Vivutravel now to get a free Vietnam adventure tour itinerary and quote for suggestion and consideration.