by Tiffany Martinez
(Auckland, New Zealand)
Vietnam may once have been considered a turbulent land but that is all in the past. Today, Vietnam is a vibrant, bustling, and exciting country, comparatively untouched by tourism.
The modern traveler can relax and soak up the sun on pristine sandy beaches, or explore the extraordinary sights and unique culture of the countryside.
As can be expected by such a vast country with such a rich history, there are many varied adventures to be explored and experienced in this unforgettably country; Hiking, climbing, kayaking and bicycling are just some of the adventures to experience here.
Kayak in Halong Bay
This pastime is definitely high on the list for the adventure seeker. There is quite a thrilling element of danger as you kayak at low tides through subterranean caves to reach the center of an enormous limestone volcano crater.
Here you find yourself in an otherworldly place where the volcanic walls rise up hundreds of meters overhead, thick with humid jungle vegetation and infested with snakes, monkeys and all manner of rare and exotic animals.
Bicycle in the Mekong Delta
Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the Vietnam War would have heard of the Mekong Delta. Today, the Mekong, thankfully, has far different connotations, and is a popular region for cyclists.
The great thing (and popular aspect) about cycling in Vietnam is that most of the cycle routes in the country are flat. This means that you don’t have to be super fit to enjoy this rewarding and pleasurable activity.
A cycle tour should definitely be high on your list of adventurous things to do in Vietnam, as no other mode of transport gives you such a close-up and leisurely pace to observe the countryside.
There are various tour operators in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City who specialize in cycling tours. They will organize your routes, accommodation; provide the bicycles, and even a support van. Highly recommended!.
Exploring the Central Highlands by Motorcycle
Okay, so maybe bicycling is not your style and just that little bit too slow. The next option to consider is touring Vietnam by motorbike. This popular mode of transport (most Vietnamese use motorcycles as transport) will give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the countryside, although at a faster pace. You could travel up the Ho Chi Minh Trail, right up to Danang or Hoi An in the north.
Motorbikes (the Russian Minsk is the bike of choice here) can be rented in Hanoi together with a guide who knows the routes and will take you along some absolutely stunning sites and terrain.
But the adventure does not end there. If you’re fit and up to the challenge, you could climb Mount Fansipan, or even kite-surf in the South China Sea. If it’s adventure you’re after, it is well worth paying Vietnam a visit.