How many travel destinations in Vietnam can you name? 5, 10, or 15, maybe? The list will undoubtedly include famous names like Ha Long Bay, Saigon, Phu Quoc, Hanoi Train Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Da Nang Golden Bridge. It almost feels like you’ve traveled to the most incredible places in Vietnam. But here’s the catch: you haven’t seen it all yet.
With 63 provinces and cities across an area of over 331,000 km2, many places are still left unknown. Nature blessed these places with unmatched beauty unspoiled by mass tourism.
Tired of the crowd? Plan your trip to these five places instead. Although it may take a little more effort to reach them than more developed tourism attractions, these off-the-beaten-path destinations will surely mesmerize you.
Mang Den is a small town in Kon Plong District, Kon Tum, 1200m above sea level. Therefore, the weather in Mang Den is excellent all year round. Compared to Da Lat — a place famous for its chilly atmosphere, Mang Den is less harsh in terms of temperature as you do not have to pack winter clothes for your trip here.
The first place you must visit is Kon Bring, one of the four cultural tourism community villages of Kon Plong. You will have first-hand experiences of locals’ lives. Dak Ke and Dambri are two lakes you cannot miss. Finally, Pa Sy Waterfall, with its strong currents and clear water, will make you never want to leave this place again.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
If the sight of Pa Sy Waterfall already gives you butterflies, brace yourself for Ban Gioc Waterfall, the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam. Ban Gioc Waterfall is more than 60m high, with its longest slope at 30m. In the middle of the waterfall is a large mound of land covered with many green trees, dividing the river into three different branches.
There is no perfect time to visit Ban Gioc because, at different times, the waterfall possesses a different look. It is even more exciting to enjoy the waterfall on a boat trip, where you can observe this magnificent masterpiece up close. Ban Gioc is in Cao Bang, a province with a long borderline, so take advantage of this occasion to visit some border markers.
Most people only know about Phan Rang - Thap Cham when they think of Ninh Thuan. However, this province also offers a pristine beach destination called Mui Dinh. Because the road to Mui Dinh is quite tricky, combined with the fact that the destination is in a secluded area, it has been getting so much attention.
40km from Phan Rang, you can reach Mui Dinh by coach or motorbike. After such a long ride, reward yourself with the deep blue sea of Bai Trang. Combined with smooth, white sand, this is the perfect beach for overnight camping, star gazing, or a BBQ party with friends. In the morning, head straight to Mui Dinh lighthouse. It will take approximately 15 minutes to reach the lighthouse on foot (be careful of the rocky slopes). The journey might be tiring but worthwhile when you finally get to the top, witnessing an unobstructed view of Bai Trang.
Van Gia Fishing Village
In the past, Van Gia used to be a small village by the ocean, but later thanks to its convenient location for trade and seafood exploitation, it slowly gained popularity. One of the most precious experiences you can get from Van Gia Fishing Village is going to local markets and buying fresh seafood right off the water in the early morning.
Near the fishing village is Van Phong Bay, with a special walking road in the middle of the sea. You can also reach Dai Lanh lighthouse from here to catch the earliest sunrise in Vietnam. There are several destinations to explore, such as Son Dung peninsula, Bai Tay, Hon Do, etc.
Cu Lao Cau
Cu Lao Cau is a small island in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan, 10km from Phan Thiet. It used to be the hidden spot for pirates during World War II. The island is where many rare sea creatures live, making it the perfect place for coral sightseeing.
There are two caves at Cu Lao Cau: Salangane Cave has hundreds of salanganes that were once exploited by locals but are now protected, so the procreation of salanganes is even better; and Ba Hon Cave is made from three large standing stones, creating an interesting figure.
Unfortunately, if you want to stay overnight at Cu Lao Cau, you need permission from the military since it is under military control, and there are also no motels, hotels, or resorts here. But the soldiers on the island are very friendly, and you can bring your own necessities to camp at Cu Lao Cau.