Lesser known Vietnam

Posted by Crooked Compass

Forget the crowds of Halong Bay, the queues to enter the Cu Chi Tunnels and the battle of clothing vendors in Hoi An. We share with you those lesser known, lesser visited sites in Vietnam that you probably didn't know existed. Add these to your next trip wish list!

 

1. Bach Ma National Park 

Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam

A former  French Hill station which stretched over 40,000 hectares of untouched nature and home to some of the most spectacular hiking trails, waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. Love a good jungle walk? This is your place to explore on foot. Need to cool off? Why not take a dip at Five Lakes, where you can bathe in the cool waters.

 

2. Dine with Monks

Monks lining up for their last meal of the day
Monks lining up for their last meal of the day

When in Hue, enjoy a traditional vegetarian style meal in a local pagoda, where you will have a chance to chat with monks and learn about Buddhism, gaining an insight into their daily lives.

 

3. Vinh Moc Tunnels

Vinh Moc Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels eat your heart out

Forget the crowded Cu Chi Tunnels, and venture to the Vinh Moc Tunnels. Previously used during the Vietnam War to escape the bombings, local villagers lived underground in this labyrinth of tunnels which spread over three levels. These tunnels are still accessible and are still in their original form. You will find far fewer tourists here than the crowded Cu Chi Tunnels.

 

4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Never heard of it? Great! This is why we love it. Secret underground rivers, karst mountains, tangles of lush untouched jungle and an elaborate network of caves. Did we mention it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site? Home to the oldest karst mountains in Asia, the Thien Cave and Phong Nha Cave are two places well worth exploring here.

 

5. Camp in Hang En Cave

Camp inside Hang En Cave
Camp inside Hang En Cave

Venture into the wild jungle and trek through river streams and through lush valleys until this impressive cave emerges on the horizon.  Can you think of a more incredible place to camp? Spend your afternoon swimming in the turquoise waters before enjoying a BBQ served with local rice wine as swiftlets flap overhead.

 

6. Wilds of Lai Chau and Moc Chau

Moc Chau tea farms
Moc Chau tea farms

Tea plantations in Vietnam? That's right. Moc Chau in northern Vietnam is famed for its tea. The area between Moc Chau and Lai Chau is the perfect place to discover hidden backroads and experience the 'real' Vietnam. You will encounter very few travellers in this region making it all the more special and here the rural dwellers will find you just as fascinating as you find them.

 

7. Ban Pho Village

Ban Pho Village - Lesser known Sapa
Ban Pho Village - Lesser known Sapa

Here in Ban Pho, life is simple. The villagers are known for their generosity, kindness and warm hearts. A Flower Hmong village clinging to a mountain cliff-side, and home to around 500 thatched homes. This secret of the Sapa highlands is one of the most spectacular - rich in culture and tradition coupled with a tranquil village backdrop.

 

Looking for more unique experiences in Vietnam? Check out range of small group tours.