whoops new computer... we are traveling to Vietnam in two weeks. Cat Ba, Hanoi, Dong Hoi, Hue, Danang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh. Aside from all the regular stuff that is aimed at the tourist trade does anyone have any suggestions of anything that isn't widely touted but was an amazing experience, great dinner, cool activity or the like? I am sick of coming back from hoildays and people going "Oh you should have gone there...that was the best ever" Any suggestions gratefully received.....
#1 sems has been a member since 8/8/2010. Posts: 28
Hoi An, absolutely, beautiful old town, fabulous food and the beach is only 5km away. Plenty to see and do on day trips.
#3 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
I agree with Ha Long and Hoi An although the latter was already on your list.
You'll also hear the "Oh, should have gone there.." about:
- Phu Quoc
Well known but not completely overrun
- Mai Chau (beautiful valley with paddy fields and amazing laid back homestays)
- Mekong delta (around Can Tho is easily accesible)
Little known but absolutely wonderful and they will become big destinations in a few years time. Not likely that people will say "you should have gone there" but good for you to turn things around and tell them.
- Con Dao islands (amazing island group in the ocean and my personal favorit and you will come home with some great pictures)
- Dien Bien Phu (not just passing through but do some actual touring around the area. difficult going though)
That itinerary sounds very rushed to me. You're here for more than two weeks though right? Apart from what's already on your list I agree that Sapa is really worth a visit and, if you have time and feel adventurous, spend a bit more time up in the NW and NE of the country. Absolutely stunning.
It looks like you've got a lot for two weeks - I think with that amount of time you'll not be able to hit Sapa or Phu Quoc Island, though both will be something to draw you back. Each is a little far flung to do as a quick aside - Sapa being in the northwest and Phu Quoc so far southwest that it looks more like a part of Cambodia.
However, if you do have the time and are making it all the way to HCMC, you should try to check out Can Tho as it was a delight, if possible you could do a home-stay based out of there. However, if you figure in Ha Long Bay in the north and then your excursion through the country that might be too tight - it would be a shame to make it all the way to HCMC and not see the Delta.
let's do what people normally do not do and they will be shocked when you say this coming back " you should have been there, it is such a wonderful, amazing place that could not be missed". Plus why you need to go for touristy sites anyway.
Go for Ha giang where the most beautiful landscapes are, Ban Gioc waterfall, then onto Homestay in Phong Nha national park, beach on Con Dao island. of course you need to be in Hanoi and HCMC anyway.