Vietnam

There is a certain mystique to Vietnam that paints your experience in near sepia. Tradition and heritage course through the streets and the landscapes remain beautifully untouched from mountainous north to the pristine beaches in the south.

Vietnam’s astounding scenery is without a doubt one of its principal attractions, and the narrow shape of the country facilitates the passage through such awesome settings. Negotiating the nation’s highways and back-roads via motorbike is undoubtedly the best way to experience Vietnam as it allows you to drink in the surroundings at your own pace. The most obvious route along the highway is however not the most scenic. Whilst relatively direct, this itinerary incorporates all kinds of delights that might attract you to Vietnam in the first place, both those well trodden by tourists and those where visitors barely set foot upon.

Hanoi – the capital city, where tradition and energy dovetail to provide a magical introduction to the country. Chinese and French influences are evident to this day as the city oscillates between serenity and a pulsating buzz, bursting with things to see and do.
Recommended time: 3 days

Ha Long Bay – this mystical destination enchants and becalms in equal measure. Let the wondrous world heritage site wash over you with its emerald waters and tree-topped karsts while you explore from the comfort of a Vietnamese galleon.
Recommended time: 1 day

Ninh Binh province – in this province you can expect to encounter a soothing atmosphere, serene landscapes and vast expanses of unbridled natural beauty. The city itself is not particularly pleasant so staying in rural Tam Coc would be recommended, from where excursions to the numerous surrounding temples and the remarkable Trang An boat trip are easily done.
Recommended time: 3 days

Phong Nha Caves – the extraordinary network of caves and underground rivers are formed from the karst mountains over 400 million years old. The scale is breathtaking and evokes wonder whether it is the first time or the hundredth time that one has visited this World Heritage Site.
Recommended time: 1 day

Dong Hoi – this attractive beach town has good travel infrastructure and has yet to be invaded by tourists, providing a calm and pleasant atmosphere coupled with fantastic seafood and weather too.
Recommended time: 3 days

Hue – this tranquil and picturesque city is charming and fascinating in equal measure. French colonial influence is evident throughout this walled citadel, but an imperial Vietnamese flavour dominates the palette. Modern and traditional delights are available throughout in both day and night time. The baby clams are a delectable local delicacy.
Recommended time: 2 days

Hai Van Pass – one of several passes traversing the mountainous spurs that jut out from inland, Hai Van is perhaps the most beautiful and certainly one of the most serene, given the recent construction of a tunnel through the mountain.
Recommended time: 1 day

Hoi An – elegant and energetic at the same time, Hoi An beguiles and seduces travellers with its mystical aura and expertise in tailoring. The Old Town has retained its Japanese style and the beach-lined coast is easily accessible, resulting in a location that it is hard to drag yourself away from.
Recommended time: 4 days

Kon Tum – a calm and traditional setting provides a springboard for the hill-tribe villages that surround it. Immersing yourself in such insulated locations can be highly rewarding and if you are happy being gawked at spending a day in a school teaching English is truly humbling.
Recommended time: 3 days

Quy Nhon – a clean and modern coastal city with a growing cosmopolitan vibe that also provides a gateway to the picturesque beach town of Bai Xep. Local experiences are Quy Nhon’s main draw, with excursions to the tiny islands off the coast and fishing trips thoroughly enjoyable experiences.
Recommended time: 2 days

Vung Ro Bay – this beautiful bay dashed with secluded beaches, craggy scarps, and quaint fishing villages is a relatively unknown gem on the Vietnamese tourist trail. It has excellent transport links and is ripe for further development but as of yet relatively empty tourist-wise, so if you prefer your travel jaunts to be authentic experiences in a primarily local environment this is a wonderful location to consider.
Recommended time: 3 days

Hon Gom Sandbar – marking Vietnam’s most eastern point, this undeveloped peninsula is a natural wonder with an enticing beach and a smattering of fishing villages that is popular with young Vietnamese travellers and relatively free of foreign tourists.
Recommended time: 1 day

Nha Trang – principally a beach resort, Nha Trang has been developing quickly lately due to the influx of tourists and has carved out its niche as a party town. This is a high-energy city with modern amenities galore.
Recommended time: 2 days

Dalat – with its French colonial influences and misty charms, Dalat is known as the romantic epicentre of Vietnam. Not content with this epithet it also offers a wealth of adventure activities and mystical panoramas, and respite from the tropical heat that engulfs coastal Vietnam. This all combines to make Dalat highly a popular tourist destination for both locals and foreigners. Surrounding the city are the impressive Dalat waterfalls make the city a must-visit for cataractaphiles. Dambri, Pongour, Elephant, Tiger, Bao Dai, and Bo Bla are the most dramatic and appealing, and all are relatively easy to access from Dalat.
Recommended time: 4 days

Mui Ne – a coastal resort where watersports and exploring the contiguous sand dunes are the order of the day, Mui Ne is not Vietnam at its most culturally wondrous, however it provides a relaxed atmosphere and plenty to do, with typically excellent seafood to satisfy your needs.
Recommended time: 2 days

Ho Chi Minh City – a dizzying metropolis where the amalgam of old and new is at its most stark and its most inspiring. Get lost in the streets as you encounter a mazy mass of markets, malls, and temples and absorb the surrounding energy as you watch this urban clutter progress before your eyes.
Recommended time: 4 days

Total recommended time: 39 days

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