Tips on Traveling in Vietnam for Off the Beaten Path Attractions

Tips on Traveling in Vietnam for Off the Beaten Path Attractions

The “5 H”: Hanoi, Halong, Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City are often included on anyone’s Vietnam travel itinerary. However, escaping the crowd to explore the more quiet and more exotic locations will absolutely allow you to experience the ‘rough beauty’ of the country. From scenic hill towns and imposing limestone landscapes, to seaside beaches and picturesque villages — Vietnam has something to offer for every type of traveler.

So if you have the time and are feeling adventurous, here are some suggestions to take you off the well-worn trail.

» Bac Ha

Tucked away high in the hills some 80 kilometers from Sa Pa in northern Vietnam lies Bac Ha, a small and relatively untouched town.

Most people travel to this hillside village just to visit its colorful Sunday market; but unlike the weekend market, most of the week is quiet tranquil. If stay a bit longer though, you would discover that Bac Ha and its surrounding areas offer magnificent landscapes and deeply rewarding cultural experiences – all without heavy tourism.

» Ba Be

Ba Be

Recognized as one of 20 largest freshwater lakes in the world, Ba Be is situated amidst a vast limestone mountain region and owns an unspoilt and romantic beauty. It is home to a great diversity of ethnic people including the three main groups of Hmong, Dzao and Tay. The lake shore is where the ethnic minority people gather to trade, selling their farming products such as fish, rice, corn and fruit in addition to some local handicrafts.

Coming here, guests will have a chance to hear the legend of Ba Be Lake. And to fully admire the beauty in Ba Be Lake, a dugout canoe is the most suitable way to do so.

» Bai Tu Long

Halong Bay, without a doubt, is incredibly beautiful. We know. But because of its fame, more and more tourists flock to this place.

So if you still want to see fantastic limestone karst seascape, head over to Bai Tu Long instead. You get the same soaring jungle-topped cliffs, hidden caves and sculpted mountains — only minus the hoards of tourist boats. You surely won’t be disappointed.

After all, a few junk boats that do trips in Bai Tu Long promis the same majestic scenery with quieter thoroughfares and a chance to observe the everyday lifestyles of local fishermen.

» Dien Bien Phu

Dien Bien Phu

Rows of jagged karst mountains cutting it off from the coast, Dien Bien Phu is set deep in the northern corner of the country so it is certainly not an easy one to reach.

It was a site of the heroic battle in the independence wars with the French Union which created a great echo in the world. Today, the relics of the battle are historical witnesses reminding younger generations to respect the history and understand the price of peace.

Dien Bien Phu is also the birthplace of different ethnic groups like Black Thai, H’Mong, and Khmu… whose traditional way of life hasn’t changed. So it will be a good chance to get a flavor of local life in this region!

» Chau Doc

Chau Doc takes us to the deep reaches of the Mekong Delta. The site of Chau Doc was known in history as the territory of the Kingdom of Funan and now is home to a fascinating fusion of Khmer and Cham folk.

Large parts of the place stand on stilts above the waters of Mekong River and you’ll get to delve into markets, huge pagodas and even mosques, or just hit the nearby bird sanctuaries around the floodplains.

Chau Doc is a gateway to Cambodia too, so you as a traveler can take a speedboat and cross the border toward Phnom Penh.



For seeing hill tribes and traditional ways of life, for a rich history lesson or just for a breath of fresh air, if Vietnam wasn’t already on your list, I hope it is now.

So when traveling around Vietnam in search for off the beaten path adventures, come and check out some of these gems — you may just have the trip of a lifetime!

How about you?

  • Would you want to visit these places in Vietnam?
  • What particular place on the list would you like to see?
  • Or have you been to these places before? How was it?

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  1. Gosh I want to visit Vietnam! It looks like such a beautiful country. I always see beautiful pictures on Pinterest, and I'm dying to visit and see its beauty in person! I love this so much - it's making me envious haha!

    1. Go and make it happen Jennifer! In time you won't be jealous at all ;)

  2. Hey Aileen
    as always great photos. My girlfriend and i planning to go to Singapore next month. We also thinking to go vietnam but not quite sure about it. Do you think it is easy to go to vietnam from singapore ?

    1. Yes, it should be :D Other than regular flights, if you want to travel on a budget, you can train/bus to Bangkok from Singapore, then another train/bus to the Cambodia border and then finally a bus to Vietnam. Hope this helps!

  3. You have definitely showcased the beauty of Vietnam with your photos. I have never really given much thought of Vietnam as a travel destination. The views are simply stunning, though! Check out those mountains!

    1. Well then I hope I've given you some thought or inspiration to travel to it in the future ;)

  4. You are the 2nd person that has written a post about Vietnam that I've read. It looks just beautiful. I'd really like to see it in person someday. Your pictures are incredible. It really looks like an incredibly beautiful trip.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! It's my hope you get to travel there soon :)

  5. Vietnam is on our bucketlist. After seeing your photos I want to do an off the beaten path tour as well. It's so much more of a relaxing way to see the world.

  6. I've never been to Vietnam, nor any other country near there. To be honest, when I was younger I was more interested in traveling throughout Europe. As the years go by however, I've become more intrigued by these places. They look so beautiful and peaceful!

    1. I hope you get the chance to, especially if you're looking for an ultimate summer destination :D

  7. Great photos. Sometimes I feel like when we go on vacation we do not take enough time to just walk and enjoy. We always seem to be rushed. I think I need to follow your queue and start going off the beaten path!

    1. I understand what you mean! Well sometimes, we just need a good mix of both ;) Hope you find that balance soon!

  8. Wow what a beautiful and interesting place to visit. There is so much to see there and a whole lot of history. I would love to head out there and experience it all first hand. Such beautiful photos, great job!

    1. Vietnam is a really interesting country in Asia, hope you get to visit it soon Melissa!

  9. Your pictures are just gorgeous. These places look absolutely amazing. I love to ditch the crowds and get outside to find out of the way places when we travel. Much more my speed than traditional touristy destinations.

    1. Thank you Kerri! Vietnam is one good place to start for sure :)

  10. Those pictures are so gorgeous. Vietnam is a beautiful country. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. When we travel we like to take the road less traveled too. Now I want to go there.

    1. I hope you get to visit soon, Jared!


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