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It seems that every article you read about Vietnam is saying the same thing - now is the time to do it. Believe them, they know what they are talking about these journalists - the entire country is buzzing with optimism and if you want to experience the pleasure of travelling through a country whilst it is at its peak, then your search is over.
Many visitors are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country's natural setting; the stunning hills, mountains and valleys to be explored in the north; the Mekong Delta in the south and the many hundreds of miles of deserted beaches that lie in-between. The majority of adventure tour itineraries allow you to travel the length of the country ensuring you get to enjoy all the amazing beaches, the patchwork of rice paddies to be seen mile after mile in all directions, and to enjoy the abundance of fresh seafood that plays such an important part in the popularity of Vietnamese cuisine – you think it tastes good back home, just wait until you taste the real thing!
Throughout Vietnam there are a multitude of outdoor adventure activities to get involved in. You can cycle the length of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, the name given to the many supply routes and trails used by the Viet Cong to deliver arms and supplies to the their troops fighting in the south.
There is rock climbing, kayaking and some outstanding trekking to be enjoyed in the central highlands and in the north of the country around well known locations such as the former colonial hill station of Dalat in the highlands and the outpost of Sapa in the countries far north. Participating in an adventure tour will allow you access to all these activities, give you the opportunity visit and stay in hill tribe villages whilst also including some of the must see attractions and cities to be found throughout the country.
Hanoi is the finest city in Asia right now; it’s THE place to spend a few days. The place is simply bubbling over as the country starts to realize its commercial and tourist potential. Further south there is the former Imperial capital of Hue and the quaint town of Hoi An, both are worth a few days of any traveller’s time.
Vietnam is almost all coastline so, as you’d expect, there are one or two nice beaches to be enjoyed, the better of which are generally further south at destinations such as Phan Thiet, Mui Ne and Nha Trang. In the north there is the rather special Halong Bay, with over 2000 limestone karsts thrusting out of the turquoise waters – a great location to enjoy some kayaking and to explore some caving.
In the far south of the country there is Ho Chi Minh City, often known as Saigon. Here you will find much evidence of the American occupation during the 60’s and 70’s. Further south still you enter the Mekong Delta and it’s many waterways, here you can explore the point where the mighty Mekong River, originating in China, finally reaches its destination after weaving its way through seven countries.