Besides laying on the golden sand beaches, swimming in the crystal clear water, trekking in the jungles, and exploring the big cities, there’s some experiences that stands out a bit more from the rest. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll probably want to experience something different on your travels. Don’t worry, Vietnam has plenty of crazy things you can do to make your journey unforgettable. Check out the list of 8 crazy experiences you’ll only have in Vietnam! Be warned that some might be unsuitable or make you feel squeamish.
1. Crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels
If you’re claustrophobic or just have a hard time with small spaces, you should probably avoid this. However, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels and gives you an insight into how life was during the war. The underground tunnels is over 120 km and had everything from living areas, storage facilities, hospitals, kitchen storage and command centres. But only a small part of the tunnels are open to the public and that part has in fact, been made bigger so tourists can fit in the tunnels. It’s thrilling, fun, scary as hell and you’ll probably want to crawl as fast as you can out.
2. Sandboarding on the Mui Ne sand dunes
Waking up early to catch the sunrise at the white dunes is an extraordinary experience. The sky changes colors from pink, orange, and then becomes bright blue when the sun is up. Besides watching the sunrise, you can also do multiple activities here such as sandboarding, quad biking and kite flying. If you want to get your adrenaline up, try sandboarding here. It’s one of the most popular activities here and you’ll guaranteed have a good time sliding down the amazing sand dunes.
3. Haggling at local markets
If haggling isn’t for you… Well, then you’ll most certainly get ripped off. You have to perfect your haggling skills before entering the markets. Nothing comes with a fixed price, and even if it appears to be a fixed price, chances are – it’s not. But this is also part of the charm with going to the local markets. You get to do like the locals, haggle and most likely, scream a little at each other (don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun). You’ll probably also see some unusual sights by the markets as well, but that’s just part of the experience. The vendors are used to people haggling and they’ll most likely try to get you to pay a bit of a higher price since you’re a tourist, but sometimes a few cents is worth it for that juicy mango.
4. Drinking the cheapest beer in the world at the Bia Hoi Junction
Heading to Hanoi anytime soon? Then you must go to the Bia Hoi Junction for an unforgettable and crazy night. It’s the city’s busiest nightlife venue but it might not be exactly like you expect it to be. Imagine a street filled with small plastic stools for people to sit on, street vendors serving steamed peanuts and other exotic snacks, and drinking beer for as little as USD 0.50 per glass. For that price, you bet that most people have more than one. The atmosphere here gets a bit crazy, loud and people get more drunk as the hours go by. But who wouldn’t get drunk if you can pay 50 cent for a glass of beer?
5. Staying at a homestay in Sapa
Sapa lies way up north in Vietnam and is one of the most popular places for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. The rugged landscapes, mountains and valleys are all reasons why travelers love it so much here. But perhaps the best part of it all is the opportunity to stay with a hill tribe family, go trek with them and learn more about their life up in the north. You can find lots of homestays in Sapa where you can enjoy authentic regional dishes and marvel at the Sapa landscape.
6. Paradise Cave in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Imagine an underground cave with spectacular shapes of limestone stalactites and stalagmites that was formed over 400 million years ago. That’s Paradise Cave in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. What’s so good about this cave is that it’s more accessible than the Son Doong cave, the world’s largest one, due to the fact that it’s not as restricted. It’s equally as impressive though and the national park itself is a wonderful place to spend your days at.
Now, when you’re ready to explore more of Vietnam and create unforgettable memories, you’ll have to make sure that you apply for a Vietnam visa before you arrive to the country. There are three visa options to choose from: either you get one of the online visas, Visa on Arrival or E-Visa, or you go to the nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. It’s recommended to opt for the online visas though since you can apply for it anywhere in the world. Do it safely from home and get it in your email within a few days – sounds pretty easy, right?