The Best Destinations to Get Off the Beaten Track in Vietnam

Known for its beaches, natural wonders and incredible landscape, Vietnam is a popular tourist destination. The southeast Asian country on the East Vietnam Sea is a fantastic place to explore from its capital, Hanoi, in the north to the ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam.

Vietnam is well travelled with tourists heading to well-known and popular towns and cities throughout. Heading to tourist areas can be great fun but there’s nothing quite like heading off the beaten track and finding places less travelled and untouched. There are a number of destinations in Vietnam perfect for getting off the tourist trail and delving into a unique and less seen alternative.

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Getting visa on arrival Vietnam
Getting visa on arrival Vietnam

Always double check your visa requirements before planning any trip. If you don’t know what visa you need and are struggling to arrange it then head to They can help arrange your visa easily and simply and take the stress out of the entire process. Whether you plan on travelling to Vietnam for 2 weeks or 2 months, take the hassle out of your Vietnam visa.

1. Phu Quoc Island

Sunbeds under tropical palms on beautiful Bai Sao beach in Vietn
Sunbeds under tropical palms on beautiful Bai Sao beach in Vietnam on Phu Quoc island. Beach’s smile

The Vietnamese Island in the Gulf of Thailand is a paradise made up of white sandy shores and tropical waters. Rent a motorbike and explore the island for the day or take a look at its stunning waters with a bit of snorkelling. With the island becoming increasingly popular and developing more resorts, there’s still time to get in there to explore. The Phu Quoc National Park covers more than half of the island, featuring mountains, jungle and great hiking trails.

2. Bai Tu Long Bay

Quan Lan Island in Ha Long Bay
Quan Lan Island in Ha Long Bay

Located just northeast of the famous natural wonder Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay features stunning scenery with far fewer tourists. Several tour companies offer trips to the lesser travelled bay but if you’re looking to travel alone, simply take the ferry to Quan Lan Island. Quan Lan has a small selection of hotels and fantastic untouched beaches that stretch for miles.

3. Cham Island

Cham Island in Hoi An ancient town
Cham Island in Hoi An ancient town

You’ll find Cham Island just off the coast of Hoi An, roughly an hour’s boat ride. The small island is a perfect destination for snorkelling and scuba diving with a beautiful coral reef. The waters surrounding the island are protected meaning there’s an incredible underwater world to explore. There are a few guesthouses popping up on the island if you want to stay the night. Alternatively, dive schools will arrange a tour which includes camping on the beach with a bonfire and seafood dinner.

4. Bach Ma National Park

A lake in Bach Ma Nation Park, Vietnam
A lake in Bach Ma Nation Park, Vietnam

In central Vietnam, Bach Ma National Park covers 220 km² of protected land and mountain. Near Hue, the hill station still has massive remnants from the French colonial era. The Bach Ma mountain reaches a peak of 1450m and overall the area has a cooler climate. The cool temperate attracted the French as a holiday destination, who built hundreds of villas. The park includes 132 kinds of mammals and nine species of primates.

5. Chau Doc

Floating village and selling motorboat on Bassac river in Chau Doc town
Floating village and selling motorboat on Bassac river in Chau Doc town

Chau Doc is a small town near the Vietnam-Cambodia border in the Mekong Delta. Following along the banks of the Hau Giang River, the charming town is chocked full of cultural diversity with significance to the Cham, Khmer and Chinese communities. You’ll find temples, churches and pilgrimage sites to explore along with bustling markets and friendly locals.

6. Con Dao Islands

A beach of Con Dao island
A beach of Con Dao island

The group of islands of the southeast coast of Vietnam are renowned for beautiful sandy beaches and incredible waters. The largest island, Con Son Island, was originally a prison island established in 1861 and held a number of prisoners during the French colonisation. The prison was used during the Vietnam War to hold prisoners and was finally closed after the country united before being open to visitors.

7. Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai province

Terraced rice fields of Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai
Terraced rice fields of Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam.

In northwest Vietnam, you’ll find the small and tranquil town of Mu Cang Chai. A great alternative to the ever-popular Sapa, Mu Cang Chai has an incredible natural backdrop of mountains and rice paddies. There are a large number of ethnic groups that live in the area harmoniously. A long drive from Hanoi but the views are great and the journey is well worth it.

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