Binh Lieu - Little “Sapa” of Quang Ninh province
Binh Lieu has been mentioned most on travel forums in 2016. It is a mountainous district north of Quang Ninh province, 108 kilometres away from Halong City and 270 kilometres from Hanoi. Binh Lieu is considered a “little Sa Pa” with its pristine natural beauty, year-round temperate climate and diverse local cultures of Dao, Tay, and San Chi ethnic groups. Each season, Binh Lieu has something attractive to offer. Notably, the spring is the festival season. In the fall and winter there is the harvest and new rice ceremony. Travel services in Binh Lieu are still poor, however, the pristine natural beauty and the local people’s hospitality is the major reason for tourists to visit Binh Lieu. Tourists should prepare snacks and water for the travel to Binh Lieu.
Wild escape to Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi
Ba Vi National Park is an ideal destination for people who love nature and trekking but do not have time for long-term trips. Just 40 km from the city center, the national park offers a great escape from the city with cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle, and tropical rainforest. The park currently has three sightseeing routes. The first is geared more for the spiritual tourist with ancient temples and pagodas. The second is exploring ruins existing from the French Colonial era and the last is for the adventurous tourist with untouched forest and diverse plants. The tourism services available, offered by the locals, are quite accessible and affordable. To discover the national park, tourists can go for walk or hire motorbikes for the price of VND150,000 per day. The entrance fee to the park is VND40,000 per person.
Ninh Binh beautiful landscapes
Being about 90km away from Hanoi to the south, Ninh Binh is a famous travel destination for its unique scenery. With over 1,400sqm of natural area, Ninh Binh has charming rivers, jungles and mountains hidden within a diverse system of fauna and flora. Ninh Binh is endowed with many places of interest, which are well known both inside and outside of Vietnam. Some examples are: Trang An Landscape Complex, having received the UNESCO certificate recognizing it as a world cultural and natural heritage, Tam Coc-Bich Dong and Van Long nature reserves. All of which will appear in the blockbuster ‘Kong: Skull Island’, debuting in 2017.
Along with its famous natural beauty, Ninh Binh is rich of traditional cultures with 1,499 historical sites and 443 traditional festivals. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and Bai Dinh pagoda always lures large volumes of tourists every year as a must-do to get a sense of the spiritual cultural offered here. If you want to immerse yourself in nature, you can join ecotourism tours to explore Cuc Phuong National Park, Thung Nham ecotourism zone, and the Red River Delta biosphere reserve. Coming to Ninh Binh, tourists have numerous choices in resorts, hotels and cruises in a wide range of prices. The cruises offered here are famous for its burned rice, goat meat and Nhech fish salad.
Amazing Son Doong Cave, Quang Binh
Being recorded the largest cave in the world; Son Doong cave is the most attractive destination for foreign tourists. A local farmer named Ho Khanh in 1991 first uncovered the cave, but when asked how to get back to the cave, he had forgotten. 20 years later the cavers of the British Cave Research Association found it. With the aim to preserve and keep the cave’s original status quo,
Son Doong only welcomes 500 tourists from January to August every year with the entrance price of $3,000 per person. In order to join the adventure, tourists have to book the ticket far in advance and pass a stringent health check. The grueling route exploring Son Doong and En caves and Doong village lasts six days and five nights with the support of 25 professional guides and porters, tourists will have the opportunity to admire the spectacular view of the imposing caves, and the primeval forest with diverse plant life that has survived without the impact of the human.
Iridescent time at Hoi An, Quang Nam province
Being known as the ancient trading port of Vietnam in the 16 th century and the world cultural heritage, Hoi An Old Quarter was listed in the top 10 most attractive destinations of Asia in 2011. Attracting tourists with its unique architecture of old buildings painted in yellow and decorated with vibrant lights and colorful lanterns. On the 1 st and 15 th day of every lunar month, tourists will have opportunities to admire the beauty of the red lanterns strung across the streets and engaged in lights dropping on the Thu Bon River. Hoi An is loved dearly thanks to the local’s hospitality and its signature cruise. Its cruise was listed in the top most attractive destinations of Asia, with is numerous dishes offered being so appealing. Some examples are Cao Lau, Mi Quang noodle soup, chicken rice and Banh Xeo. In addition, Hoi An is well-known for its traditional cultural features with numerous handicraft villages, including Kim Bong carpentry village, Thanh Ha pottery village and Phuoc Kieu bronze casting village, as well as numerous historical sites.
Cosy and wild exploraton in Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh province
Quy Nhon, a coastal city of central Vietnam, was voted to be the top destination in Southeast Asia by the travel magazine Rough Guides of the UK in 2015. It is one of the travel destinations luring the largest volume of tourist in 2016 and is expected to continue to attract tourists in 2017. It is considered the land of the spiritual masterpiece and home of the national hero Quang Trung - Nguyen Hue. In addition, it was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Champa with numerous unique relics. One is Po Nagar Cham temple complex. Quy Nhon is also the cradle of Tuong art and Bai Choi folk art as well as known as a land of martial arts. It has a lot of famous places to travel to, including Quy Nhon and Eo Gio beaches and Ky Co island, among others. Quy Nhon has great potential for tourism development with its wide availability of resorts and hotels offered at competitive prices.
Love in the wild in Phu Yen province
After the succession of the “Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass” film, Phu Yen became an attractive destination for tourists. However, it does not offer large-scale amusement areas or famous travel places, it lures tourists in with its pristine, untouched beauty, highlighting the features of Vietnamese countryside with green fields, and carts moving slowly on the shaded paths lined by coconut trees. It is home to over 30 ethnic groups with unique indigenous cultures; some of the ethnic groups are Cham, Ede, Ba Na, Hre, M’nong, and Raglai. Coastal cities of the central Vietnam, like Phu Yen, are famous for their cruises that feature breathtaking views of the sea. However, Phu Yen’s limitation in tourism services are the lack of luxury resorts and hotels, thus, tourists should book rooms in advance before traveling here. This June, this area will become home of the ASEAN beauties with an expected beauty contest named Miss ASEAN Friendship.
Romantic getaway in Dalat, Lam Dong province
The central highland city is located 1,500m above sea level on the Langbian plateau. The city’s temperate weather stands in contrast to Vietnam’s otherwise tropical climate. The city is a well- known hospitality destination for both foreign and domestic tourists with numerous resorts, hotels and restaurants for every price range. Being only more than one-century old, Da Lat does not have traditional festivals, however, it is famous for its flower festivals, attracting a large volume of tourists.
Along with the distinguished places to visit, like Xuan Huong lake, Love valley, Lang Biang, as well as the French-style buildings; tourists should not ignore the night market and orchards to get a look into the local people’s lives. In addition, tourists should enjoy Dalat’s cruise that offer copious delicious dishes with suitable prices.
Tour de Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is a fertile land west of Ho Chi Minh City. With its rich alluvial plains, the Delta is known as the ‘rice basket’ of Vietnam. As an emerging tourism region in the south, this is home to thirteen cities, abundant rivers and canals, a beautiful coastline, islands and gardens, a rich ecosystem and easygoing inhabitants. If you have limited time, choose a homestay tour at one of most fertile areas - Tien Giang province where you can enjoy the rural life with farmers. Especially situated on one of the most beautiful islands of the Mekong River near Cai Be town, the Mekong Rustic, a type of community tourism project, stands beside Cai Be floating market among fruit gardens, which emphasize the beautiful but seldom visited rural areas on this side of the Mekong River.
Whispers of time in Bac Lieu province
Bac Lieu province, a land of rice paddies, salt fields, shrimp ponds, orchards, pagodas and temples is six hours from Ho Chi Minh City. For many years, the nickname "Bac Lieu Dude" has been applied to children of the rich landlords who had a well-off and loose lifestyle in Southern Vietnam under the feudal colonialist time. The House of Bac Lieu Dude was built by the Trach family in 1919 and was designed by a French architect. The main halls on each of its two floors display many antiques and today the house serves as a hotel providing a chance to be immersed in the history of the home.
By Hoang Oanh