Top things to do when touring Vietnam

- Cruising along Halong bay in Quang Ninh province. This is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful areas, Halong bay has fascinating limestone formations, coves for night-time excursions, sheer cliffs, grottoes, arches and scores of small islets. There are plenty of activities such as Kayaking that are well worth taking time out for as this is one way to really appreciate the beauty of the area as well as a good way to see the fauna and flora without disturbing the nature.

- Hanoi city tour. If you are in Hanoi you can’t afford to miss some of the the most popular spots such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the surrounds area, Temple of Literature, West lake, The Old Quarter,the museum of Army, History and especially the museum of Ethnology.

- Boating along the canals of the Mekong delta. This will take you across the water or through the local canals on many interesting sightseeing excursions that definitely require a camera. Larger boats venture up the Mekong River and this is a definite MUST DO if you are in the area of Can Tho or one of the other cities or villages that rely on this massive source of water for both transport and food. Climb Sam Mountain near Chau Doc if you want to see dozens of temples, pagodas and the like as it is well worth visiting. Located about 6 km from the city, temples abound and the trek to the top of the mountain is also popular…though one can go by motorized vehicle if you so desire.

- Crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels. This extensive network of nearly 500 km of Viet Cong tunnels used in the French Indochina and American wars. The tunnels have complete facilities, from kitchens to printing presses and even street signs, all of which were used to aid the NLF (National Liberation Front) military. Tours involve a description of the tunnels, after which tourists are allowed to crawl about the maze. It is about 50km north-west of central Ho Chi Minh city.

- Hoi An is a must-see place for travelers to Vietnam. There is plenty to do in and around Hoi An. You can get measured up for a suit, or pedal about town on a rented pushbike. You could also cycle past the paddy fields to the sandy beach. Choose a spot under a thatched parasol with a book and some freshly sliced pineapple. At sunset, the local people flock to the beach to cool off and play some football after a long day at work.

- Dalat is the place to be if you want to visit interesting tribal villages. Although most are located further out of town, you can visit the villages of some of the hill tribes, such as Lat Village and the Chicken Village (with a huge statue of a chicken) close to Dalat itself. Don’t forget your camera as the photo opportunities are endless!

- Trekking through Cuc Phuong national park.This national park is one of the last tropical primeval forest reserves on Earth. There are 64 species of fauna and thousands of species of flora, many of which are extinct everywhere else in the world. Bizarre and fascinating species of animals from flying lizards to monkeys dwell within the park’s 61,000 acres. Caves and grottoes, where various artifacts have been discovered, can be located in the mountains within. It is located approximately 120km south-west of Hanoi, in Ninh Binh province.

- Sapa trekking. For adventure lovers, a trip to Sapa and surrounds area is always satisfied. Walking down through the villages surrounds Sapa offers you some challenge as you balance on the rice terraces and a small trail on the steep mountainside. To understand more about the culture and the daily life of the hill tribes people, a homestay is very highly recommended.

- Visit Phu Quoc island, the largest island in Vietnam that lies in the Gulf of Thailand, 45 km from Ha Tien and 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia. Phu Quoc island, part of Kien Giang province, is also part of an archipelago consisting of 22 islands of all sizes. The island covers an area of 585 km2 and is 50 km long. It is also called the Emerald Island because of its natural treasures and infinite tourism potential.

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