Top 15 Thrilling Adventure Experiences in Vietnam (Part I)Vietnam, a charming Southeast Asia country, has a variety of things to discover. It’s a land of emerald paddy fields and white-sand beaches, venerable pagodas, vast caves, craggy mountains and friendly minority communities. Travelers rave about Vietnam for many reasons. And one of the most interesting things is the adventure activities. Adventure seekers can challenge themselves with a lot of thrilling experiences from under the sea to the top of the mountain.
Vietnam, a charming Southeast Asia country, has a variety of things to discover. It’s a land of emerald paddy fields and white-sand beaches, venerable pagodas, vast caves, craggy mountains and friendly minority communities. Travelers rave about Vietnam for many reasons. And one of the most interesting things is the adventure activities. Adventure seekers can challenge themselves with a lot of thrilling experiences from under the sea to the top of the mountain.
Check out these 15 incredible adventure activities in Vietnam, and you’ll soon realize they are all irresistible ideas in your travel bucket list.
Conquer the hardest roads of Vietnam’s North Western Loop by motorbike
Anyone who has ever been to Vietnam will be able to tell you, they’re big fans of motorbike. Their feelings mostly start with a serious fear at the first time driving a motorbike in Vietnam then gradually transforms to an extreme excitement.
Motorcycle is an ideal way to get around Vietnam and it is so easy for travelers to independently hire a bike or join a group motorbike tour. If you are confident in your driving skills, then challenge yourself with the winding roads of Vietnam’s Northwest Loop, from Sapa across the immense flank of Mount Fan Si Pan, running through the old French garrison towns of Lai Chau & Son La, via a series of dramatic passes to the town of Hoa Binh and end up in Mai Chau, an attractive area inhabited by the White Thai minority, within easy reach of Hanoi.
Your motorcycling adventure can be done solo but you’d better join a group tour to avoid some unexpected situations on the way.
Kayak around Halong Bay’s islands
Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is described as a spectacular seascape sculpted by nature due to its breathtaking caves and limestone pillars jutting from the emerald water. The splendour and romance of Halong Bay are hard to appreciate if you just stand on the wooden junk. Get yourself a kayak, paddle between the limestone karsts and discover all the hidden caves in the bay.
The gigantic rock formations will swallow you up, and you will find yourself in a fairyland of otherworldly limestone peaks lit up with all sorts of colors. Also, during a Halong kayak trip, use your imagination to enjoy many interesting shaped rocks in there.
In case you tire of the scenery or want to release your muscles, just stop the kayak and go swimming. For adventure seekers, you can climb to the cliffs and jump to the sea. This could be one of the most invigorating things you’ve ever done, but not for the faint of heart at all.
Trek to the top of Mt Fansipan – The Roof of Indochina
At 3,143m, Mount Fansipan is not only Vietnam’s highest mountain but also the tallest in Indochina. If you desire to get your blood pumping during your trip then don’t miss a chance to conquer the top of Mt Fansipan.
It’s located in Lao Cai Province, lies around 7km west of Sapa across the Muong Hoa Valley. A trek here will take you through some remote areas and also the ethnic minority villages. The climb up consumes a lot of energy, right at the moment your feel exhaust, you will be rewarded with a gorgeous and picturesque view from the very top of Vietnam.
Until 2016, there were a few people reached the mountain’s summit each year, only the ones who are keen to challenge their strength, but since the opening of Fansipan Legend Cable Car, the world’s highest cable car stretching 6,292m, a large number of visitors arrive at the top of the mountain each hour.
Paragliding over the terraced fields of Mu Cang Chai
Mu Cang Chai, a mountainous district of Yen Bai Province, about 280 km from Hanoi, is well-known for the brilliant beauty of vast terraced fields. The rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai demonstrate the ingenuity of the human hand in the mastery of nature to create the unique beauty that captivates the heart of all travelers.
Usually, during the golden rice harvest in September, October and May in the watering season are two most beautiful times for paragliding in Mu Cang Chai. The largest paragliding festival in Vietnam will take place at Khau Pha mountain pass (one of Vietnam’s 4 most hazardous passes) of Cao Pha commune, at a height of about 1,270m ASL. If you have never tried paragliding before, don’t worry, a double glider service is a perfect choice for your flight.
Discover a world’s largest Son Doong Cave
On April 5th 2009, the British royal expedition found and discovered a world’s largest Son Doong Cave in Vietnam that shocked the whole world. This is like to have found the underground Everest after millions of year. Located in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Son Doong Cave is one of the most captivating destinations in Southeast Asia for explorers.
It is not easy to get into the cave. You need to pass through Ban Doong ethnic minority village surrounded by dense jungle, followed by the two days of intense jungle trekking and river crossings to reach the entrance. Once inside, a lot of adventure activities are waiting for you to complete a journey including abseiling, climbing, crawling, swimming and snorkelling.
There is a limited availability for trips exploring Son Doong Cave annually, so you’d better planned an itinerary in advance at least 6 months.
Trek in Ba Vi National Park
Ba Vi National Park, 60km from Hanoi capital, is a new destination for international expat community. Once arriving there, you will soon get amazed by its difficult trekking topography along with various entertaining activities and mysterious historical ruins.
Ba Vi National Park possesses a host of intriguing mini hikes and trekking trails. Trekking in Ba Vi National Park is dangerous and not favorable, however, you can self-guided conquer the summits of Ba Vi Mountain Range including King Peak (1,296m), Tan Vien Peak (1,226m) & Ngoc Hoa Peak (1,131m). With other trekking routes to explore the wildlife and the French ruins, don’t take a risk, you truly need a local guide.
Ba Vi National Park is also one of the most sacred areas in Vietnam with the Temple of President Ho Chi Minh (a national hero), the Upper Temple worshipping the God of Ba Vi Mountain Range (one of The Four Immortals in traditional Vietnamese mythology) and a system of 2,500m2 secret French prison.
Scuba diving at Nha Trang
Nha Trang, situated on Vietnam’s south central-coast, is the greatest destination for scuba diving in Southeast Asia. With a six-kilometre stretch of beautiful coastline, an abundance of marine life and thriving colorful coral reefs, Nha Trang offers a myriad of thrilling adventure activities.
The best time for diving season usually lasts from January to August. Nha Trang Bay, Whale Island and Hon Mun Marine Park are among the most popular locations for divers. There are also other 19 pristine islets with clear water for swimming and relaxing.
It is also a Vietnam’s most bustling seaside resort town, offering visitors plenty to keep busy all day long.
Motorcycle from Hue to Hoi An, crossing Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass, or “Pass of the Ocean Clouds”, stretching 20km from Hue to Da Nang, was a national frontier between Dai Viet and Champa. This thousand-metre-high barrier forms a climatic frontier blocking the southward penetration of cold, damp winter airstreams, which often bury the tops under thick cloud banks.
Most buses and cars travel via the Hai Van Tunnels, leaving a more peaceful journey for those who choose to take on the Hai Van pass by motorbike. From Hai Van Pass, you can enjoy the stunning views overlooking the Da Nang and get a glimpse of the rail lines looping and tunnelling along the cliff.
There are so much more extraordinary adventure activities in Vietnam than the 8 adventures outlined above. Check Part II for more adventures in Vietnam!
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