While Vietnam is home to a lot of beautiful sites that are truly worth visiting, going off the beaten track to explore Vietnam’s hidden gems might be a good idea. Fortunately, there are still a lot of places in the country that are still not spoiled by tourism. These are places that you may not yet hear about in the past, but will surely impress you with its unique beauty. From scenic mountains to remote fishing villages, here’s a list of some of the lesser known destinations in Vietnam that are truly worth checking out.
1. Ha Giang
Although the province of Ha Giang is now slowly gaining popularity, it is still not as crowded as the other more famous tourist sites in Vietnam. As such, you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the stunning mountainous landscapes on your visit. Located in Vietnam’s northernmost province, Ha Giang is home to different ethnic minorities, which makes it an even interesting place to visit.
The laid-back province of Ha Giang has not yet been commercialized, which offers a more authentic experience. If you want to learn more about the local culture, consider staying at one of the local homestays. Some of the most beautiful sites to see in Ha Giang are the Quan Ba Twin Mountains, Vuong Mansion, Dong Van Market, and Ma Pi Leng. To fully enjoy the province and discover its amazing sights, try to spend at least 3 days in Ha Giang.
2. Quy Nhon
If you prefer the beach to the mountains, then the coastal city of Quy Nhon is a great destination. It’s much quieter than Phu Quoc and other beach destinations in Vietnam. Yet, it’s home to some of the most beautiful islands in the country, featuring pristine white sand beaches surrounded with gorgeous mountain landscapes. Here, you can relax, unwind, and soak up the views of nature to the fullest!
The coastal city of Quy Nhon remains unpopular to tourists, so you can expect a lesser crowd in the city. Aside from frolicking at the beautiful beaches, you can explore the sleepy fishing villages, sample the tastiest and cheapest seafood dishes, or simply enjoy the gorgeous views of nature. There are five-star resorts and hotels by the beach, but if you’re on a budget, check out one of the local homestays in the village.
3. Son Tay
The charming ancient town of Son Tay is located in Hanoi, about 60 km. west of the capital city. Only a few tourists have ventured into this town, which is home to the Ancient Village of Duong Lam. As you explore the town, you’ll come across traditional Vietnamese houses that date back to the 17th century. These houses are made from natural materials, such as soil, mud, laterite, and rice husks.
If you’re looking for a more authentic way to learn about the culture and history of Vietnam, visiting the Son Tay Town is highly recommended. It’s only an hour away from Hanoi but has a totally different vibe. Here, the streets are quieter and more peaceful, away from the chaotic and busy streets of the capital. Aside from the ancient old houses, you’ll also find historical shrines, temples, and tombs in Son Tay.
4. Ta Xua
Tà Xùa is a Nature Reserve located in the mountainous province of Son La, in the Northwest part of the country. Here, you’ll be enchanted by the gorgeous views of the mountains, especially when you visit during the months of December to March where you can enjoy an amazing experience of cloud hunting in the mountaintop. During this time, thick fluffy clouds will accumulate at the top of the Ta Xua Mountains, which is a truly mesmerizing view to watch.
Son La is about 240 km. away from Hanoi, which is around a 7 to 8-hour drive. There are plenty of public buses that travel to the province coming from the capital city. If you want to enjoy a unique adventure of hunting clouds in Ta Xua, schedule your visit during the winter, where there’s a good chance of seeing the beautiful, thick, and fluffy clouds.
Pù Luông is another nature reserve in Vietnam that’s truly worth a visit, especially for the nature lovers. While this place is totally unheard of, perhaps due to its very remote location, the breathtaking landscape of this nature reserve is sure to blow you away!
5. Pu Luong
In the Vietnamese language, Pù Luông means the “highest mountain.” Indeed, this place located right above the mountains, with an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Here, you can go trekking along the mountainous paths, visit traditional markets, explore ethnic villages, or simply relax and soak up the picturesque landscapes. Pù Luông is about 140 km. away from Hanoi, which would require a travel time of around 4 hours.