Check Out These Offbeat Activities To Try In Vietnam

Veitnam's diverse landscapes, rich culture, and unique traditions offer a plethora of offbeat adventures waiting to be explored
Ban Gioc–Detian Falls
Ban Gioc–Detian FallsWikimedia Commons

Vietnam's offbeat destinations offer a wealth of experiences for adventurous travellers. From exploring the vast caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to immersing in the ethnic cultures of Ha Giang and navigating the floating villages of the Mekong Delta, each of these unique adventures provides a deeper understanding of the country's diverse landscapes and rich culture. Here are five offbeat experiences to immerse yourself in while visiting Vietnam.

Explore Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in central Vietnam, is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. The park is home to some of the world's most impressive caves, including the Son Doong Cave, the largest cave in the world.


  • Son Doong Cave Expedition: This challenging trek takes you through lush jungles and into the massive caverns of Son Doong. Inside, you'll find a surreal landscape of underground rivers, stalagmites, and even a jungle.

  • Paradise Cave: Less strenuous but equally stunning, Paradise Cave stretches for 31 kilometres and features awe-inspiring limestone formations.

  • Dark Cave Adventure: For a more interactive experience, the Dark Cave offers zip-lining, swimming in mud baths, and kayaking.

Why It's Offbeat:

Unlike the crowded tourist hotspots, Phong Nha-Ke Bang provides an immersive experience of nature's raw beauty. The caves are less commercialised, offering a genuine sense of discovery.

Experience the Ethnic Diversity of Ha Giang

Ha Giang, located in the far north of Vietnam, is known for its landscapes and rich ethnic diversity. The region has several ethnic minority groups with unique cultures and traditions.


  • Dong Van Karst Plateau: A UNESCO Global Geopark, features dramatic limestone landscapes and deep valleys. It's perfect for trekking and motorbike tours.

  • Lung Cu Flag Tower: Visit the northernmost point of Vietnam and enjoy countryside views.

  • Local Markets: Explore markets like the Meo Vac Sunday Market, where ethnic groups gather to trade goods and socialise.

Why It's Offbeat:

Ha Giang remains relatively untouched by mass tourism, allowing visitors to experience Vietnam's cultural richness and natural beauty in a more intimate setting.

Vịnh Mốc fishing village, Vietnam
Vịnh Mốc fishing village, VietnamWikimedia Commons

The Floating Villages Of The Mekong Delta

In southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a maze of rivers, swamps, and islands where life revolves around the water. Visiting the floating villages here offers a glimpse into a way of life that has remained essentially unchanged for centuries.


  • Cai Rang Floating Market: One of the largest and most bustling floating markets in the Mekong Delta, where traders sell fruits, vegetables, and other goods directly from their boats.

  • Homestays: Stay with local families in traditional stilt houses and learn about their daily lives and customs.

  • Boat Tours: Navigate the intricate waterways and visit local workshops producing rice paper, coconut candy, and traditional handicrafts.

Why It's Offbeat:

The Mekong Delta's floating villages offer a serene contrast to Vietnam's urban environments. The slow-paced, water-based lifestyle provides a unique cultural experience that highlights the resilience of the local communities.

Trek Through the Terraced Fields of Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai is renowned for its terraced rice fields. This area is less visited than the more famous Sapa, offering a quieter and more authentic trekking experience.


  • Terraced Fields: The rice terraces, particularly beautiful during the planting season in May and the harvest season in September, create a mesmerising landscape.

  • Hmong Villages: Trek through traditional Hmong villages, where you can interact with locals and learn about their agricultural practices and cultural heritage.

  • Photography: The picturesque scenery of Mu Cang Chai makes it a paradise for photographers.

Why It's Offbeat:

Mu Cang Chai's remote location and rugged terrain deter many tourists, ensuring that those who journey can enjoy the area's natural beauty and cultural richness without the crowds.

Phong Nha Cave
Phong Nha CaveWikimedia Commons

The Coral Reefs Of The Con Dao Islands

The Con Dao Islands, an archipelago off the southern coast of Vietnam, is a hidden gem known for its beaches, forests, and coral reefs. The islands' isolation has helped preserve their natural beauty, making them ideal for eco-tourism and adventure activities.


  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: Explore the underwater world of Con Dao, home to diverse marine life, including colourful coral reefs, sea turtles, and tropical fish.

  • Trekking and Wildlife Watching: The Con Dao National Park offers trails through dense forests where you can spot rare Wildlife, such as the Con Dao black giant squirrel and the long-tailed macaque.

  • Historical Sites: Visit the Con Dao Prison, a haunting reminder of Vietnam's colonial and wartime history, and learn about the island's past as a penal (exile) colony.

Why It's Offbeat:

The Con Dao Islands' remote location and relatively low tourist traffic make them a perfect destination for those seeking peace and natural beauty. The islands' rich marine biodiversity and historical significance add depth to the experience, making it more than just a beach getaway.

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