Vietnam is a popular travel destination for a variety of reasons: its wonderful cuisine, the friendliness and charm of its people, the history dating thousands of years, buzzing cities and majestic scenery. In addition to the fascinating places to explore, there are also plenty of fun things to do in Vietnam to stay entertained.
A great way to explore the country is from travelling a little off the beaten track or even seeing the well-known places from a different perspective.
Half-day Vespa tour
Exploring a city like Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a Vespa is an experience that cannot be beaten. This type of travel makes it possible to see a side of the local lifestyle that isn’t possible on the normal tourist trail. It gives complete freedom to make regular stops to visit local cafes to sample the tasty food while sitting among the city’s friendly locals. The Vespa tour gives a great insight into the life of local residents, with a snapshot of how socialising, music and food make up the basics of the city.
Alternatively, Hoi An is a more rural destination to experience the Vespa adventure in the fresh air and gives a great chance to tour the countryside while flying over bridges and through rice paddies. There are plenty of local eateries to stop and relax while enjoying homemade food such as shrimp pancakes. While in the region, it is possible to make stops to take photographs at a beautiful fishing village, make locally brewed rice, or learn the art of making rice noodles. A well-planned tour with plenty to see is easily able to fit in half a day. Also, the guides on the Vietnam private tour will provide plenty of useful information to create an all-round enjoyable experience.
Met the local hill tribe people
While the train is a perfectly acceptable way to reach the far north of Vietnam, the road journey gives a great opportunity to really appreciate the fascinating scenery and meet the local hill tribes. A trip to a northern district like Mu Cang Chai gives a truly scenic drive that is dominated by mountainous landscapes with lush-green rice terraces. Mu Cang Chai has several hill tribes and stopping off to visit the local H’mong people can make a very intriguing and humbling experience.
Sapa is a further great place to meet new friends on your travels. Many of the young Hmong girls have a great understanding of English and easily able to hold a basic conversation on a variety of interesting topics. The young Hmong people often act as guides on the trekking adventure to make the experience more interesting.
Fishing with locals
A great experience in a popular tourist destination like Hoi An is to go fishing with the locals. This type of day trip is not only fun and adventurous, but also helps to support the local community and includes history and knowledge of the local region. The adventure starts with a trip to the best fishing spots in a traditional boat, while navigating the winding channels between coconut palms, and also listening to fascinating local stories that are likely to include learning about how the Vietnam War impacted the region. The fishermen have an infectious enthusiasm and this trip is a great way to really appreciate the local culture and community up close.
A street food tour
A great way to start a Vietnam family tour after arriving in a city like Hanoi is to sign up for a street food tour. This gives a perfect opportunity to not only explore the city, but also to get a better appreciation of the different dishes to eat throughout the holiday. This type of tour gives a guided tour of the atmospheric Old Quarter and its narrow alleyways, and well as the bustling markets. By exploring Hanoi on foot you get to really absorb the different smells and sights of the city while sampling the varied and diverse Vietnamese dishes en route. Read more: Vietnamese Food and Drink
While on the street food tour, expect to sample a steaming bowl of pho (rice noodle soup), bun cha (pork patties with fish sauce), bun rieu cua (tangy tomato soup with freshwater crabs), xoi (sticky rice), and Hanoi coffee.
Cycle through the rice paddies
The quiet, peaceful small town of Mai Chau is set in an idyllic valley and the complete opposite of the hustle and bustle in Hanoi. This rural district in northwest Vietnam gives a perfect opportunity to leave behind motorbike-mayhem and all-night parties. One of the relaxing activities to unwind on Indochina travel is cycling through the rice paddies of Mai Chau (or similar other rural districts in the country). Plus, there are likely to be a freshwater stream to take a dip, and regular stops to let a herd of buffalo cross the road. There are plenty of sights in the region to take photographs.
The valley with its rich green and natural landscape helps to create the challenging routes for the travellers in search of a little adventure and exercise. For the more adventurous, a multi-day cycling tour from Hanoi to Mai Chau (about 150 km) is certain to appeal.
Try your first egg coffee
Vietnam is well-known for its coffee-growing heartland located in the central highlands; this country is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world. Coffee shops are widely available and found on virtually every street corner in a decent size city. They range from the traditional cafes with people sitting on low plastic stools to the hipster-style cafes with much higher prices that are appearing in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. A great quality in this part of the world is the wide range of specialty coffees. A unique option includes the delightful frothy egg white coffee, which is worth a taste while in Hanoi. It makes a wonderful treat after spending the day sightseeing. Read more: Coffee in Hanoi, Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City