Considered to be the ‘Beach Capital of South Vietnam’, Nha Trang is famed for its sweeping stretch of gorgeous beach with offshore islands adding to its appeal. The turquoise water offers fantastic snorkelling & diving opportunities while the beachfront provides plenty to keep the visitors entertained with parks, gardens, stylish taverns, hip nightclubs and sophisticated bars.
THINGS TO DO IN NHA TRANG
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With elegant colonial villas, a spring-like climate and verdant scenery, Da Lat is Vietnam`s premier hill station. The town was originally established by the French as a cool retreat from Saigon`s stifling tropical heat. Da Lat`s bohemian vibe and alpine landscape of pine forests, rolling hills and tranquil lakes make it the sort of place best enjoyed at a gentle pace. Da Lat also lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities like camping, trekking, mountain biking and kayaking.
THINGS TO DO IN DA LAT
3.MUI NE & PHAN TIET
Built around a charming fishing village, the beautiful beach of Mui Ne has a reputation as the adrenaline capital of Southern Vietnam, popular with surfers (August-December) and wind and kite surfers (October-April), when the gales hit the place. That is also a time when the changing winds sculpt the vivid sands into the giant sand dunes and tourists can have endless fun sand-sledging.
Besides, there is a good deal of luxury as the place is popular with the Russian holidaymakers. Resorts, restaurants, and casino are found in Rang Beach. Ganh Beach & Suoi Nuoc Beach have some good shopping options and all beaches are ideal for water activities.
WHAT TO DO IN MUI NE & PHAN TIET
4.CON DAO ARCHIPELAGO
Splendid deserted beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and lush rainforest are typical of Con Dao. The islands are also home to the wonderful Con Dao National Park that protects sea turtle nesting grounds. Con Son is the largest and has so far avoided mass tourism which makes it be a pristine spot with some idyllic beaches.
Apart from being a marine reserve, the island has become a very important historical place and home to the Cemetery of National Heroes (more than 20 000 Vietnamese legends are buried here). Prisons, cemeteries & tombs are some of the major attractions; Con Dao used to be a prison island for political prisoners during the French colonial era as well as the communist regime.
WHAT TO DO IN CON DAO
Known as the “Rice Bowl of Vietnam”, the legendary Mekong Delta teems with verdant rice fields, fruit orchards, vibrant villages and bustling floating markets. Maintaining the ancestral way of life, the locals have adapted well to life on the water. Fishing and river trading is all that matters, and many residents have moved to their boats.
The city of Can Tho is Mekong`s epi-centre and the largest city in the region. The town of Vinh Long serves as the gateway to the rural islands, dotting the mighty Mekong River. Cai Be is lesser visited floating market with great, original value, where wholesalers sell their wares from large boats while customers cruise the market in smaller boats haggling for their purchases.
For more information about Mekong Delta, useful travel tips and things to do, go to MEKONG DELTA.
6.HO CHI MINH (SAIGON)
No visit of Southern Vietnam would be complete without seeing Ho Chi Minh. At times overwhelming at times fascinating – the former Saigon is a megalopolis that boasts arresting images.
Gleaming skyscrapers, immaculate hotels, expensive restaurants, glitzy bars and designer shops stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial-era landmarks, Soviet-style housing blocks, ramshackle markets and wandering monks whilst the key historical sites provide a fascinating inside into the Vietnam War.
7 .PHU QUOC
If you have a couple of extra days and fancy island seclusions you should definitely book a flight to Phu Quoc – the best-kept secret of Southern Vietnam. Situated off the Cambodian coastline, the island features balmy temperatures all year round and some of the best snorkelling and diving locations in Vietnam. There is a good choice of accommodation available, ranging from mid-budget hotels to expensive eco-resorts.
The island was rated as the “Cleanest and Most Beautiful Beach-Location on Earth” by ABC News. It is largely untouched and a perfect spot for a beach vacation.
Suggested time to explore Southern Vietnam is 7-9 days (excluded the Saigon city)
If you wish to add Ho Chi Minh and surrounds into your itinerary, count on 3-4 extra days
Optionally, you might also want to include the Mekong Delta if desirable – 2-3 extra days
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit the south of Vietnam is between November and April, however, it gets extremely hot at this time of year. During the winter months, October-January, the rainfall increases and it is also the typhoon season.
HOW TO GET THERE
NHA TRANG: Fly To Ho Chi Minh and take a bus or a train to Nha Trang (7-9 hour trip). You can also fly to Nha Trang but it is quite expensive and not very popular since travelling by overland will give you the chance to see the gorgeous landscape and save you money
MUI NE: Fly To Ho Chi Minh and take a bus or a train to Mui Ne (4-hour trip)
CON DAO: Fly to Ho Chi Minh and take a 45 min flight to Con Dao Islands
MEKONG DELTA: Fly To Ho Chi Minh. You can either book a package tour from Saigon (typically a 2-3 day trip, all-inclusive) or take a bus from Saigon to Can Tho which takes 3-4 hours.
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