By Sabrina Loh
How could anyone not fall in love with Vietnam? It’s a country full of spectacular landscapes, delicious food, and a rich history.
There are so many incredible secret places in Vietnam that’ll make you fall in love with this amazing country even more.
So leave behind the popular sites like Ho Chi Minh, Ha Long Bay, and Hoi An, and check out these five spots instead. All the more reason to, now that Vietnam has finally reopened their borders to international visitors.
Tuyen Quang is a mountainous province in the Northeast of Vietnam. On first impression, it looks like a humble town surrounded by gorgeous landscapes like caves, mineral springs, and the breathtaking Thac Ba Lake.
However, there’s a lot more than meets the eye to Tuyen Quang. This city hosted some of the most crucial battles in Vietnamese history during the Sino-French war and was also a hideout for Communist revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh in the 1940s while he was plotting against the French resistance.
Here you’ll find 519 historical relics and 300 historical cultural vestiges.
Ha Giang Loop
The Ha Giang Loop is the perfect way to discover Vietnam off the beaten path. You’ll find jaw-dropping canyons, breathtaking mountain passes, and picture-perfect views.
The most epic way to complete the loop is 4 days on a motorcycle, but you can also rent a car. This four-day route begins in the town of Ha Giang and winds far North, all the way to the border with China.
Make sure to stop by the lookout points at Heaven’s Gate and Ma Pi Leng, as well as the hidden waterfall at Du Gia along the way.
To the North of Vietnam lies Yen Bai, an agricultural-based province with rolling hills of rice terraces. There are approximately 30 ethnic groups that live in this area, some which sell sparkling gemstones at the gemstone market. These precious stones are found deep in the mountain ranges by the indegenous people.
You’ll also find a relaxing hot spring in Yen Bai, surrounded by gorgeous rice terraces, and the beautiful emerald Thac Ba Lake with magnificent limestone mountains as its backdrop.
15km off the shore of Hoi An lies the beautiful aquamarine Cham Islands. These islands were once closed to visitors and under military supervision, but today, it is open to visitors.
Cham Islands is recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Here you’ll find vibrant marine life, and over 135 species of soft and hard coral. The best time to go snorkelling here is between June and August.
The traditional Cau Ngu Festival also takes place on the twelfth day of the first lunar month every year. You can join in on the interesting activities with the islanders for an even more memorable immersive experience.
Phong Nha Ke Bank National Park is home to Son Doong, the largest cave in the world. It’s estimated to be 450 million years old and is a UNESCO heritage site. To visit this cave, you’l have to book one year in advance and be an experienced caver.
However, there are plenty of other amazing things to do in Phong Nha, such as exploring other accessible mysterious caves, like Paradise, Dark, and Eight Ladies, some with famous religious sites in it.
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