Ban Gioc waterfall, located on the Vietnam – China border in Cao Bang province, is considered the most spectacular waterfall of Vietnam. Standing at the foot of waterfall, the cool atmosphere from the dense water vapor will literally bring you to the heaven of freshness and relaxing. It will be very big regret if you miss this attraction during your stay in Vietnam. So pack up together with some of my experience and get to Ban Gioc Waterfall now!
While Ban Gioc Waterfall is the absolute final destination and the main highlights of the day, Cao Bang also offer its visitors a generous number of destinations to incorporate with the trip to Ban Gioc Waterfall. Check out Thang Hen lake, Nguom Ngao cave (động Ngườm Ngao), Pac Bo cave (hang Pắc Bó – where Ho Chi Minh president used to live). If you have enough time, consider combining Ba Be lake and Ban Gioc waterfall to make a circular trip to include all of the main attractions in Cao Bang.
Every year, during grain season, thousands of flocks of tourists and photographers go to mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam for the most scenic rice terraces in the world. Mu Cang Chai(Mù Căng Chải),Yen Bai province, is one of most attractive destinations of all. Personally, I think Mu Cang Chai’s rice fields are even more beautiful than Sapa‘s.
You will not only enjoy the majestic and beautiful terraces but also learn the unique and rustic life of H’mong ethnic group. A hard but warm-hearted life – a rare thing in the modern world. Mu Cang Chai’s highlights include: majestic rice terraces, sticky rice in Tu Le (xôi Tú Lệ), Tu Le hot stream and unique life of ethnic H’Mong. Read on to see what you should do to get the best trip!
The best time to visit Mu Cang Chai is from Mid-September to Mid-October during the season when rice fields are turning yellow and ready for harvest. This can be different each year (depending on weather), so be sure to check out first. BUT from May to Sep is also no less impressive when the rice fields are green.
You can travel to Mu Cang Chai for 2.5 days with motorbike, or 3 days by bus (overnight on bus).
Quy Nhon (Quy Nhơn) is a coastal city of Binh Dinh province (Central Vietnam). People here are very very kind-hearted and nice. Quy Nhon is famous for beautiful landscapes such as Genh Rang (Gềnh Ráng), Bai Trung beach (Bãi Trứng) where Nam Phuong queen used to bath, Trung Luong beach, Han Mac Tu tomb – a famous poet living in the beginning of the 20th century, and many more other places.
Especially, Binh Dinh is also called Martial Land (Đất Võ) because it is hometown of Quang Trung King, a great king in Vietnam’s history who defeated Thanh dynasty (Qing, a big dynasty of China) in their attack in the 17th century. So, don’t miss the chance to learn about our great king at Quang Trung museum. Following is some information and experiences about Quy Nhon – Binh Dinh tourism.
Ha Tien (Hà Tiên) is a border town (close to Cambodia) of Kien Giang province. Ha Tien is famous for Mui Nai beach and historical stories about Khai Tran Quoc Cong Mac Cuu, who explored Ha Tien land 400 years ago. From Ha Tien, you can get to Phu Quoc, combine travelling to many places in Kien Giang, Rach Gia city or Nam Du island.
In this article, I’m going to provide the informations and experiences to help you have an overview about Ha Tien tourism.
Ninh Binh is one of 3 most visited destinations in Northern Vietnam, the other two are Sapa and Halong bay. Ninh Binh tourism is famous for the charming and majestic nature in Trang An, Tam Coc, Phat Diem church, Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital and Cuc Phuong national park.
Sound like a lot to squeeze in just a few days? Don’t worry because I will help you with a complete itinerary with reasonable time schedule from my experiences in Ninh Binh.
Ben Tre is a province in Mekong Delta, also known as Land of Coconut. Located at the end of Mekong river, it possesses a dense network of canals and immense coconut gardens. Additionally, Ben Tre also has many other fruits gardens scattered all around, mostly concentrated in Cho Lach (Chợ Lách) and Chau Thanh (Châu Thành) district.
The Land of Coconut is a good chance to get really local by engaging in local eco-tourism activities, staying at local houses and enjoying the life on water. You can either spend 1 to 2 days or combine Tien Giang for 3 days
Phu Yen is a coastal city in Central Vietnam. It is a beautiful land with nice beaches, along with special culture of the South-Central region. Phu Yen has a lot of tourist attractions; most notably are Ganh Da Dia – which is a rocky beach where all the rocks have plate shape, Vung Ro bay and O Loan swamp, etc. The city also has many famous specialties.
Below are some Phu Yen travel experiences which I had from my trips, my friends’ trips and collected from several Vietnam travel forums.
The center of Phu Yen is Tuy Hoa city. There are many ways to get to Tuy Hoa: Train, bus and plane of Vietnam Airlines.
1. By bus
* From Ho Chi Minh city
The distance between HCM City and Tuy Hoa is more than 500km (310 miles). Averagely, it takes over 10 hours to get to Tuy Hoa from HCM City and the fare is about $15. Some popular bus agencies:
– Hoang Long bus at Mien Dong bus station (Bến xe Miền Đông on Dinh Bo Linh street – HCM city). Tel: +848.2243.8989
– Thuan Thao bus starts from Mien Dong bus station at different time during the day. There are 2 types of ticket: seat and bed, you should choose bed ticket as you are likely to get tired because of the long distance. Tel: +8457.382.1111 or +8457.382.0303
– Cuc Tu bus is of fine quality. Contact the ticket office at Mien Dong bus station by calling +8489.019.090, or at Tuy Hoa city by calling +84573.382.4227
– Binh Phuong bus: Contact the ticket office at Mien Dong bus station by calling +8491.347.7751, or at Tuy Hoa city by calling +8457.382.6632 or +8457.383.6767
1. Nhan mountain (núi Nhạn) – Da river (sông Đà) are in center of Tuy Hoa. On Nhan mountain, there is Cham ethnic’s tower which is 800 years old. You may climb the mountain, get an overall view of Tuy Hoa and take photos at Cham ethnic’s tower. The mountain is more beautiful at night.
2. Buu Lam pagoda is located at the foot of Chop Dai mountain, 5km (over 3 miles) away from the city. The pagoda is famous for its massive and sacred Buddha statues. After visiting the pagoda, you may also climb to the Chop Dai summit to observe the entire city and surrounding area.
3. Ganh Da Dia. This is a must-see place, it’s very special. I could not believe that they are totally natural because all of the rocks have plain plate shape.
Ganh Da Dia is 30km (19miles) away from the city, you can take route 1A from Hanoi. When arriving at Chi Thanh junction, going straight ahead for about 1,2km (0.75miles), you will see Lo Go bridge. Go through the bridge and keep going for about 7km (4.4miles), and you will get to Ganh Da Dia. You should also visit Ganh Den (which has a lighthouse). This is only a few hundreds of meters from there.
4. Vung Ro bay (vịnh Vũng Rô) – Da Bia mountain (núi Đá Bia) are 2 places near each other. Vung Ro bay is surrounded by many stone mountains and has 12 small beaches. You can rent a boat to explore the bay. You can also climb Da Bia mountain, which is near the bay.
5. O Loan swamp is a big swamp. It is very beautiful at sunset and sunrise. O Loan is 25km away from Tuy Hoa, and close to Route 1A. After visiting the swamp, don’t forget to enjoy delicious seafood dishes and specialties of the region at several restaurants.
6. Vuc Hom water fall. The road to Vuc Hom is quite rough but the waterfall is very nice. Around the fall are some other attractions such as Ganh Da Dia. Take Route 1A from Hanoi. Once getting to Hoa Da junction, turn left and keep going for about 20km (12,5 miles). Then take the earthen road for about 10km. During the journey, you should ask the local people about the way to Vuc Hom waterfall (thác Vực Hòm). You will have to go through 1km (0,6 miles) of earth road of poor conditions before arriving at the fall.
7. Long Thuy beach and Chua islet. These attractions are 9km (5.6miles) from the city. To get there, take Route 1A towards Ganh Da Dia. On the road, you will see a sign: “Thanh Luong pagoda (chùa Thanh Lương) 1500m”. Take that way and keep going to the end of road, you will see an immense sea. From here, you can see Chua islet which is very close. You will have to rent a boat to reach the islet. There are a lot of fish boats around the dock.
Hotels and motels in Phu Yen
In Tuy Hoa, there are many hotels with the average price from $8 to $15 on Hung Vuong street.
1. Anh Tuan 1 & 2 hotels. Both of them are on Hung Vuong street. Tel (Anh Tuan 2): +8457.381.1711, and (Anh Tuan 1): +8457.3841.999
2. Nhiet Doi hotel is at 216 Nguyen Hue – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +8457.382.2424 or +8498.571.5334 or +8491.347.2633. It’s a new hotel with good rooms. The price is less than $10. You can also rent motorbikes here.
3. Cong Doan hotel (Union hotel) is close to the beach. Add: 53 Doc Lap street – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +8457.382.3187. The price is 15$ for a double room. It includes a breakfast for 2. Rooms at the hotel have nice view overlooking the sea.
4. Cendeluxe 5-star hotel is at 2 Hai Duong street – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +84573.818.818
5. Dai Lanh resort is nice, spacious and quiet. Contact Mrs. Phung at +8490.868.7679
Phu Yen has rich culture and tradition, so Phu Yen cuisine is also very diverse. For example, some traditional dishes of Phu Yen include Pork rice paper (bánh tráng), pancake (bánh xèo), noodle soup (bánh canh), etc. Besides, the city also has several specialties such as tuna, spider crab of Song Cau or oysters of O Loan, etc.
The following are some restaurants to enjoy Phu Yen specialties:
1. Le Duan pancake is a sidewalk restaurant, near Dien Bien Phu – Le Duan intersection. The restaurant opens only in the afternoon, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Pancake in Phu Yen is very different from that in the Central or the South of Vietnam.
2. There is another pancake restaurant at 20 Le Thanh Ton. The price is from $0.2 to $0.25 for each piece which is accompanied by tasty sauce.
3. Thinh Nam restaurant at 6 Bach Dang street, Tuy Hoa serves seafood dishes. The famous dishes are tuna and tuna’s eye. It might sound a bit terrible but very tasty indeed. You should eat tuna first, then try tuna’s eye dish.
4. Tuyet Nhung chicken rice restaurant on Le Thanh Ton street serves very tasty and cheap chicken rice of only $1.
Rice restaurant is at 57 Duy Tan street. The food is cheap and tasty too. The price is $1/plate.
Another tasty restaurant is on Thanh Thai street, opposite a supermarket.
5. Grilled corn with sauce is sold at Hung Vuong – Nguyen Hue intersection.
6. Fried roll lizard is a specialty of the South-Central region. This is sold at Tran Quy Cap – Nguyen Con Tru intersection.
7. Sauce noodle is on Nguyen Hue street, near a park.
8. Egg rice paper is sold at 100th tree on Le Trung Kien street.
9. Bánh bèo (mini topped pancake) is sold at the foot of Nhan mountain. Its price is $0.8/plate. The food stall also serves noodle soup ($0.5/bowl) and pancake.
10. Nhu Y rice at 8 Nguyen Cong Tru serves extremely tasty and cheap dishes.
Some famous seafood restaurants
11. Seafood restaurant at Luong Van Chanh – Nguyen Hue intersection
12. Tran Phu restaurant on Tran Phu street, 200m (660ft) from Phu Yen museum towards the beach
13. Tay Du Ky at the beginning of Ba Trieu street, near Lac Long Quan street.
14. Phi Hoa Sua at the junction, on the middle slope of Le Thanh Phuong street.
15. Tuna restaurant at Le Duan – Dien Bien Phu intersection
The top tourist attractions in Quang Binh include Phong Nha cave, which is known as “Vietnam’s best cave” (Nam thiên đệ nhất Động), Thien Duong cave (Paradise cave), and Phong Nha Ke Bang national park – a World Natural Heritage. In addition, there are various beautiful beaches such as Nhat Le orDa Nhay (Dancing Stone) under Da Nhay mountain pass. The best time to visit Quang Binh is summer when you can climb up the mountains and swim down in the sea at the same time.
You should stay at Quang Binh for at least 2 days to fully experience this place.
There are many trains to Dong Hoi during the day (about 8 trains). The distance between Hanoi and Dong Hoi is about 600km (375 miles), so it often takes less than 10 hours to get there. You can buy train ticket at:
– TSC agency (add: 114 Pho Duc Chinh street – Ba Ðinh district – Hanoi): +844-37162868
– Mua Xuan (spring) agency (add: 41 Ma May Street – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi): +844-39263138 or +844-22109775
– Hanoi railway station on Le Duan street
* From Sai Gon
There are about 8 trains to Dong Hoi within a day too. The distance between Sai Gon and Dong Hoi is about 1250km (750miles), so it often takes more than 20 hours to get there. You can buy ticket at:
– Sai Gon railway station: 01 Nguyen Thong street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +848 39 310 666
– For more information: +848 3931 8952 or +848 3846 6091
– Contact the ticket office at +848 38 436 524 or +848 38 468 701
Sai Gon railway station will deliver ticket to your hotel if you request at +848 8436 528. The delivery service is available only within the city from 7:00 to 21:00 everyday.
– Vinh Ha: 9-12-16-seat cars. Add: Huu Nghi street – Dong Hoi. Tel: +8452.382.3371 or +84912. 585.656
– Hong Hoa: 12 to 35-seat cars at 78 Le Loi – Dong Hoi. Tel: +8452.382.4537 or +8491.8186.902
Quang Binh travel itinerary for 2 days
Upon reaching Dong Hoi, rent a motorbike or a car to travel.
In the morning, play at Nhat Le beach in the city center.
In the afternoon, get to Da Nhay beach, which is about 30km (19 miles) from Dong Hoi towards Hanoi. Next, visit Vuc Quanh ecotourism area, on Ho Chi Minh Highway – 7km (4 miles) from Dong Hoi.
In the evening, stroll around the streets, enjoy the wind along the river bank or visit Me Suot monument.
You should buy a tour to visit Thien Duong cave (Paradise cave – a beautiful and majestic cave that you can’t miss), and Phong Nha Ke Bang national park (World Natural Heritage) including such beauty spots as Tien Son cave, Phong Nha cave, Tam Co cave and Nuoc Mooc stream.
In the tour, you will visit Thien Duong cave in the morning and Phong Nha Ke Bang in the afternoon.
You can buy a tour at your hotel or at Phong Nha Discovery company. Tours will finish at 6pm.
If you have one more day
You may visit the rest of the attractions. Most of them are historical sites. There are not many special things to visit. The following are some of the sites:
– Truong Son cemetery is the cemetery exclusively for martyrs.
– Hien Luong bridge over Ben Hai river used to be the border dividing Vietnam into 2 separate parts during the war from 1954 to 1975.
– Vinh Moc tunnel is an underground military structure including kilometers of tunnels and other underground structures.
Traveling to Mekong Delta,you shouldn’t skip An Giang, which is called Seven-mountain land (Thất Sơn or Bảy Núi). An Giang is a very special land with massive mountains in the Mekong Delta. The most famous is Sam mountain where Ba Chua Xu temple (đền Bà Chúa Xứ) is located, and Cam mountain (núi Cấm) with the biggest Maitreya Buddha statue in Asia.
Some must-see beauty spots of An Giang include Tra Su melaleuca forest (rừng tràm Trà Sư), which is the home of various birds, the immense Sky Lake (Búng Bình Thiên) covered with the yellow of Dien Dien flowers, Vinh Te canal with busy traffic during the flood season. Moreover, An Giang also has many cultural attractions, such as mosques and pagodas of Khmer’s architecture. Besides, visiting An Giang, visitors may have chance to enjoy the cow race festival.
Nha Trang is a coastal city in Khanh Hoa in the Central of Vietnam. There are a lot of beautiful and sunny beaches and blue sea in Nha Trang. This is an ideal destination to visit in Vietnam from July to September, when other parts of the country are suffering from harsh weather conditions. To help you have a perfect trip, I will share my experiences and top things to do in Nha Trang – Vietnam.
July to September is the best time to visit Nha Trang. During this time, Nha Trang is full of sunshine, which is totally different from Hanoi and Saigon with heavy rain and stormy weather. Therefore, there is nothing comparable to spending this time resting on a cruise or on the beach in Nha Trang.