Unique Places in Vietnam

  • Red Zao couple seeking medical service outside Hek
    Red Zao couple seeking medical service...
    by SUN_69
  • New Cao Dai temple rises in southern part of Hue
    New Cao Dai temple rises in southern...
    by mtncorg
  • a catholic church in da nang
    a catholic church in da nang
    by aalayaa

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Vietnam

  • EASYRIDER VIETNAM

    by dalateasyrider Written Oct 22, 2007

    Hi all travellers,
    Thank you for all of your support to dalat easyrider in Vietnam. This time we would like to confirm that now our website is :
    www.dalat-easyrider.com.vn
    With many advices from travelers who travelled with us that we should have an official website for tourists to know more information about Dalat Easyrider and our tours.
    Because of tourism is catching up in Vietnam , therefore many people , tour offices and hotels also use our reputation to sell the tours with our name .
    For all of those reasons ,we decided to build this website and would like to confirm again with travelers around the world that this is the only website we have up to now.
    So please check out the rest of our website and have fun when you are in Vietnam.
    Many thanks to all travellers around the world.

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Near Hoi An: My Son

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My Son, the Champa Kingdom's Capital, is located about an hour from Hoi An, and can be reached by cheap tour buses or by private taxi. Cheap tour buses cost a few dollars but they all arrive at the same time, so when you visit, the archaeological site will be packed. Taxis cost about 20 dollars and give you the chance to explore the site in a less crowded and rushed way.

    My Son was a center for spirituality and worship of Champa Kingdom, which had their spiritual influence from India. In the past it would have looked like a forest of ceremonial towers - now, after much of the site has been destroyed by bombing during the Vietnam war, only about 25 of the original towers are left standing.

    A path leads you through the site and past all significant monuments, although the best one that you'll see is the first one you'll encounter, after walking up the hill past the entrance. The main temple here is dedicated to Shiva, while others were used to keep the sacred books and for ceremonial purposes.

    Once you get to My Son you need to buy an entrance ticket (55000 dong, july 2007) before crossing the bridge. here your ticket will be checked and you'll be directed to some parked green jeeps, who will drive you to the "real" site entrance, still some kilometres far... uphill and through dense forest.

    @ My Son

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    near Nha Trang: Hon Ong/Whale Island

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hon Ong is the local name for the French-run Whale Island/Ile de la Baleine Resort. It's a beautiful private island of serene beauty, isolated... peaceful and regenerating, with an excellent beach, pristine waters, corals and coconut trees. Background music: the sound of the ocean. We did not see any whales but at night, in the bay we could hear some really big fish swimming and leaping happily... we never saw them in the darkness, but it made us happy just to know that they were there.

    There's not much to do on the island, unless you are a diver... but the beauty of it was the fact that, while everyone else was out diving, we had the entire "paradise" to ourselves, to lay in the sun, to swim and - in particular - to snorkel. We saw colourful corals, huge sea-urchins and colourful fishes. It was the first time I saw a clown fish... what a beautiful shy fish it is.

    To get to Hon Ong you need to make a reservation with the Whale Island resort. From Nha Trang it's 2.30 hours by car to Dam Mon pier, and then 20 minutes by boat. There's no public transportation.

    Hon Ong

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    Near Ho Chi Minh: Cu Chi tunnels

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    About 1.30 from Ho Chi Minh, the Cu Chi Tunnels are part of a network of tunnels stretching as far as the Cambodian border and used by NLF guerrillas to hide from the French Army first and then from the American Army. There was everything in the tunnels: homes with kitchen, hospitals, weapons, food... and each tunnel entrance was well concieved and protected by a rudimental deadly trap, thanks to its poisonous spikes. Tunnels were built on three levels, with direct underground access to a river, and two generations of Vietnamese people have lived in these tunnels.

    The tunnels were longer than 200 kilometres and air vents were needed... as you walk around, look for the termite mounds: they used to disguise the air vents. Of course the American Army did know of the tunnels, and a clear sign is the bombs dropped on the site (you can see them) and the presence of destroyed US Army tanks... still, the tunnel system could not be won. Only small upper parts were destroyed, but people moved down the lower levels and tunnels still continued to exist. Some short stretches of tunnels are possible to visit, although they have been restored and made somewhat larger to accomodate foreign tourists... and yet, they are still hot, in pitch darkness annd extremely narrow and claustrophobic.

    As there is no public transportation to the tunnels, the cheapest way is to visit them on an organized day trip, or else you can rent a taxi for half a day. Entrance (2007) was 55000 dongs.

    entrance to one of the tunnels

    Was this review helpful?

  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Lak lake

    by pfsmalo Written Aug 13, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South of the Central Highlands is this area of scenic beauty, where the M'nong people live. Possibility to take an elephant ride or rent a dugout from the village of Jun across part of the lake and back. There is also the possibility to sleep at the Buon Juin village. Two choices : a longhouse or some small bungalows. There is a very good restaurant attached to the site.
    The M'nong are like the Bahnar and Jarai inasmuch as they all follow a matriarchal ligne. That is the children take the name of the mother.

    Kids in the village of Jun. Ready to go ? Do you know elephants can swim ? M'nong villagers. M'nong house in Mlieng, northside of the lake.

    Was this review helpful?

  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Playku and Kontum, Central Highlands.

    by pfsmalo Written Aug 13, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was an eye-opener to trek around the small villages of the Bahnar and Jarai minorities. Very difficult to make any contact at all, and it was only our guide from time to time with cigarettes and sweets that helped to break the ice. Normal, I suppose when you think that their part of the country had been bombed almost into oblivion during the Viet war, where even today the stigma of Agent Orange can be seen on the hillsides. Then the Viet government only really allowed tourists back up in the Central Highlands since 1993, and then only a few. One really feels a certain humility walking amongst these people.

    Typical Bahnar communal house. Village house built on stilts. Well in the garden. Cooking area inside the house. Statues at the burial grounds.

    Was this review helpful?

  • iwys's Profile Photo

    The Marble Mountains

    by iwys Updated Jun 8, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Marble Mountains are five limestone peaks named after the elements of Earth, Water, Wood, Metal and Fire. Marble has been quarried here for generations, mainly for making tombstones. But, nowadays, there are numerous marble shops selling souvenirs. Be warned: the children employed to drag visitors into the shops can be a real nuisance.

    The Marble Mountains are about 25 km north of Hoi An on Highway 1, near China Beach.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Cu Chi Tunnels

    by iwys Updated Apr 4, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just about every tourist who goes to Saigon takes an organised trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Experiencing the claustrophobia of the war-time tunnels is seen as an essential part of the Vietnam experience.

    A section of tunnel has been especially widened for foreign tourists to either walk through bent double, or crawl through on hands and knees. Either way, you get hot, sweaty and uncomfortable and at a certain point you will start hoping that you see daylight soon.

    At the beginning of the tour, your Vietnamese guide will call for volunteers to try to get into a Vietnamese-sized tunnel entrance that hasn't been widened. That's the one in the picture. Call me stupid. I am 1.94m tall and I volunteeered. Sqeezing in was not too hard, but getting out again was another matter. After, I'd huffed and puffed and taken my belt off, I was eventually hauled out.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Mekong Delta 2

    by iwys Updated Apr 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The mangrove swamps are still peaceful and atmospheric.

    The 2-day trip departs Sinh Cafe at 7.45 am and returns at 6.30 pm the following day. It only costs US$14, including accommodation.
    It takes in Cai Be, Vinh Long, Can Tho and Cai Rang.

    You need to take the 2-day trip, if you want to see an active floating market.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jeffmorg's Profile Photo

    thuyen thung

    by jeffmorg Updated Mar 11, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whenever I travel to Nha Trang, Phan Thiet or Mui Ne I cant help but be amazed at the tiny basket-shaped boats known as Thuyen Thung. They have almost become a symbol of Vietnam's central coast. They are used in the local fishing industry.

    You can find the tale about the history of thuyen thung in many documents and books. Hundreds of years ago groups of people from across the country moved to settle down around Ngan Ha and make a living by catching fish, oysters and shrimps. When the French ruled Vietnam they levied taxes on many things, including boats. Many poor villagers could not pay the tax imposed on their small boats so they invented a new type of boat called thuyen thung to evade taxes because the thung (round basket) was not considered as a boat. The villagers make thuyen thung from bamboo and cover it with chai (a waterproof material made from a plant). First people select quality bamboo plants and split them into thin strips before drying them in the sun. Then they skilfully bent and knit the strips into a round shape. After knitting, they coat the boat with many layers of chai to make the boat waterproof.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Sailing and Boating

    Was this review helpful?

  • wonderif's Profile Photo

    See & experience the real Mekong Delta

    by wonderif Updated Mar 8, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What is it like to be poor in the Mekong Delta?

    My mother's family lives within the tribunaries of the Mekong Delta and I was lucky enough to have the change to experience her family's everyday life in Vinh Long, a province south of HCMC that took 3 hours on a minibus to get to.

    As our long and narrow little motorised canoe disturbingly roared through the cool and calm river, I saw kids swimming, ladies doing their laundry, got a glimpse of another cooking in her river edge stilt house. I finally got to see the pretty purple Luc Binh water plants I so often heard in folk songs about this part of the world.

    you wouldn't see this picture in an brochure that claims to let you see the "real" mekong delta would you?

    I've been told that the government is trying to phase these out due to health and hygene concerns.

    Anyway, this is not something pleasant to see or... smell... but I find it real and interesting and if you didn't know, there are fish in that home dug pond and they are there to consume anything that you leave behind.. of course the locals wouldn't eat these fish!!!

    Pond toilet at Vinh Long
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Fishing
    • Kayaking

    Was this review helpful?

  • jeffmorg's Profile Photo

    No 2 Rice Exporter in the World!

    by jeffmorg Written Mar 4, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Viet Nam is one of the original centres of rice cultivation, but surplus rice production was achieved only after the taming of the vast Mekong River Delta about 300 years ago. Viet Nam has been the world's second largest rice exporter since the mid-1990s, but rice farmers are still poor due to low rice prices. Diversification of the intensive rice system has been promoted to improve farmers' livelihoods. I took this photo throught the window of the van near Hue City.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • bomobob's Profile Photo

    Get off the tourist trail

    by bomobob Written Feb 14, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you find yourself in Sa Pa, and are interested in the local weekend markets, try to find someone who can drive you to the town of Faulong, just by the Chinese border. This market is a magnet for the Flower Hmong people who come from the surrounding villages to buy, sell, and trade goods. The place is truly a riot of colour, with not a single tour bus in sight. At peak season, we were the only Westerners in town, and were able to circulate freely without being hounded to buy local crafts. Of course, we did buy things, but the Flower Hmong tend not to pay much attention to tourists for the most part. We were greeted with smiles all 'round.
    It's a long drive to get there, over a rough road, but really worth the ride.

    Was this review helpful?

  • NikkiGerbrands's Profile Photo

    Go for a ride with the Easy Riders!

    by NikkiGerbrands Updated Jan 30, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we were in Dalat we met a guy (Lulu) who introduced himself as an Easy Rider. He was a local guide with a motorbike and offered to take us for a ride for one or more days. We agreed to try one day first and that day we visited the surroundings of Dalat. We enjoyed that day so much that we decided to go with him and his friend for a 5 day trip to Hoi An. All our luggage was placed on the bike and off we went! We travelled through the central highlands and visited places where the people had hardly seen any tourists at all. We visited little factories, farmers, minorities, jungle etc. We ate at local places en slept in small villages and it really was the highlight of our trip. After this part of our vacation we could say that we saw the real Vietnam.

    On the back of the motorbike We stayed one night in a longhouse at this lake Children from a minority group
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture
    • Motorcycle

    Was this review helpful?

  • swervie's Profile Photo

    Hire a Guide

    by swervie Updated Aug 29, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    His name is Tung (email him here). He's a humble 60-year old veteran of the American War and a native of Ho Chi Minh City who takes his job very seriously. We met him in the park along Le Lai Street near the Ben Thanh Market and the backpacker district. He carried a small journal full of testimonials and photos of many of his previous customers. They all wrote such great things about him and even included their contact info. Some of them were even repeat customers. His price was VERY reasonable and he helped us plan a 10-day itinerary throughout the south and central parts of the country.

    His value as a translator (and a price negotiator) was often worth his fee for the day. He also suggested cheap places to stay in every town we visted, which also helped to cover the cost of hiring him!

    U.S. Veterans of the Vietnam war wishing to return to Vietnam would especially benefit from Tung's knowledge since he fought along-side U.S. GI's for several years right up to the final U.S. evacuation.

    Do yourself a favor and hire him, even for a day, a week or a month. You will see a part of Vietnam that you can't find in the guidebooks! We will definitely be hiring him again when we return to his beautiful country.

    Tung, our guide (on left!) On the beach near Da Nang
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Women's Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Vietnam Hotels

See all 1162 Hotels in Vietnam

Top Vietnam Hotels

Ho Chi Minh City Hotels
3141 Reviews - 7285 Photos
Hanoi Hotels
2764 Reviews - 6106 Photos
Hoi An Hotels
806 Reviews - 1723 Photos
Nha Trang Hotels
446 Reviews - 1015 Photos
Phan Thiet Hotels
161 Reviews - 424 Photos
Da Nang Hotels
72 Reviews - 187 Photos
Sapa Hotels
186 Reviews - 819 Photos
Vung Tau Hotels
68 Reviews - 258 Photos
Da Lat Hotels
252 Reviews - 807 Photos
Hue Hotels
621 Reviews - 1726 Photos
Ha Long Hotels
459 Reviews - 1609 Photos
Can Tho Hotels
127 Reviews - 289 Photos
Thi Nghe Hotels
See nearby hotels
Quy Nhon Hotels
16 Reviews - 55 Photos
Phan Ri Hotels
See nearby hotels

Instant Answers: Vietnam

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

93 travelers online now

Comments

Vietnam Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Vietnam off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Vietnam sightseeing.
Map of Vietnam