Let’s just admit this, COVID-19 is killing our vibes, we’re stressing at work or staying at home daydreaming about a trip to get away from all the negativity building up from the within. I got your feeling. I do. It’s not just a personal mental problem that we’re facing now. It’s so much bigger than this. The scale is enormous and each individual in the society got affected like a chain reaction that just can’t be broken. That’s why in this article, I want to share about three best places in Vietnam with the exquisite landscapes to sightseeing or explore new traditional crafts and subcultures. These are the places that I want to travel to, as soon as the COVID-19 is all over. We may not yet allow flying to another country soon, but these destinations are worth visited at least once in your life, so why not?
Here is how it works, I put on some recommendations, tell you about all the exciting things you can do, how convenient it is to travel, the pros and cons (if there are any) about these places. So keep on scrolling and read through the articles.
Cai Rang Floating Market – Can Tho City
Why You Should Visit: Together with Cai Be and Phung Hiep, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City is one of the three biggest markets in the Mekong Delta. The shops and stalls at the market are boats of different sizes. Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the most interesting sights you must witness. Believe this, some of the boats are actually the living space of the local folks. They live on the river, to be exact.
Cai Rang Floating Market opens all day but it will be crowded from sunrise to 9 am. During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with all kinds of merchandise, even the smuggled goods like cigarettes. All the sellers will tie their goods to a small boat tall pole to give an idea of what they are selling. This also helps the buyers to see from a distance to navigate.
If you are that type of tourist who would love to learn or study the cultural aspects of the places you travel to, then this is a great choice. You can see the market in the distance, but it does not look like a market but a massive amount of boats. That’s why you need to come closer to see the way they all display the baskets full of stuff in the middle of their boats. The local people are extremely friendly and you can see the way they are very supportive of each other. All the most interesting sights in the Delta are associated with river life.
How To Travel: In order to visit Cai Rang Floating Market, you definitely can join a tour of the Mekong Delta. Along the way to Can Tho, you can stop to visit My Tho and take a boat trip to visit orchards, bee farms, and coconut candy establishments in Ben Tre. These are on our recommendation also. If you’re not familiar with the lifestyle and the friendliness of the folks from Western South Vietnam, this trip will fill in your experiences in a memorable way.
Pros: All the merchandise are shockingly affordable. Peoples are extremely sweet and friendly. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Cons: You probably have to travel on boats a lot to see different places in recommendation (if you go on tour). Unless you hate water and don’t know how to swim, then everything will be just fine.
Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang
Why You Should Visit: Hoang Su Phi is a mountainous border district in Ha Giang province, Northeast of Vietnam, and next to China. Hoang Su Phi has 12 ethnic groups, in which the Nung ethnic group accounts for more than 38%, followed by Dao ethnic group 22%, H’Mong 13%, the rest are other ethnic groups. Hoang Su Phi is known its place for many ethnic festivals such as Island Festival of the La Chi people; Graduation, Dance of fire, The season of the Red Dao; Tong Tong of the Tay people, Offering forests of the Nung… Those peoples are living in poor, so cultivation in its natural terraced fields does help a lot for the peoples.
When traveling to Ha Giang, no one can ignore the exquisite scene of terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi. The array of colors lying on the precarious mountain ranges, gently hugging the undulating rock slope like enchanting smooth lines. Hoang Su Phi step ladder is a masterpiece created from the hands of hard labors. Over time, the wild hills, rocky peaks have turned into fertile slopes, winding, and definitely eye-catching.
There are many activities here you can join like collect tea leaves in Shan Tuyet, visit Hoang Su Phi treasured step ladder fields, trekking through the small streams rivers, try on the traditional clothing of the ethnic peoples, or try the local special cuisine such as Khao lam, seasonal sticky rice, kitchen buffalo meat, mice meat… and take part in the seasonal festivals (if you travel in the right timing). If you are into photography, nature, mindfulness traveling then Hoang Su Phi is the right choice.
How To Travel: There are many tips on the internet for the loner to travel there with detailed information, but if you are here for the first time, you should definitely book a tour. Hoang Su Phi is about 80km from the center of Ha Giang City. You can go to Hoang Su Phi by personal transport (motorbike and car) or public transport (bus) or a combination of both. Even though it will be more fascinating to see the view and take pictures that wow your audience on social media, but keep in mind that the roads up the mountain are rocky, and not safe at all if you are decided to go by motorcycle.
Pros: It’s like a trip to your heart. The scenery is breath-taking and by spending more money along the trip to Hoang Su Phi, you are doing a good deed by helping poor peoples there – who are living in a very tough condition. The weather is harsh and has changed rapidly in recent years when it’s extremely drought from April to extremely cold (under 10o degree) by winter. You should visit Hoang Su Phi in new rice season, from May to July every year. The people will take advantage of the water to cultivate. Each water swept all over the path, covering the whole valley, turning Hoang Su Phi into a giant mirror that reflected the sky and sparkling sun rays.
Cons: Obviously, you will have to experience some discomforts like no strong Wi-fi (or no Wi-fi at all) and you have to walk on foot a lot in order to get to the places that worth seeing. Hoang Su Phi is now a popular destination for tourists, therefore it may happen that you can not book any hotel room or accommodation at its peak. Booking a travel agency is a solution to this. It won’t cause you any distress or more money than you should have spent.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Why You Should Visit: Not getting lost in thoughts while walking under hundreds of beautiful lanterns is definitely a must. All the negativity will lighten up once you come to Hoi An Ancient Town and be a part of its vivid nightlife. Strangely, this city is filled with nostalgia and old architecture from the past in contrast with the exciting nightlife that it offers for the tourists. There is no place in Vietnam that you can experience the same feeling.
Hoi An is laidback and charismatic with a charm all of its own. This ancient city has been successful in preserving and restoring its historic constructions and culture also. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999. Hoi An Riverside is the best place to be at night as the area is lit by quaint and old-fashioned lanterns, making it an atmospheric and beautiful spot. If you love to learn about the history of this city, you should check out Hoi An Museum of History & Culture – where you can learn about the time when Hoi An was still a major Asian trading port, attracting merchants from all across the globe.
The night market is the highlight of Hoi An night-life. It is the place for shopping and trying Hoi An’s crafts and delicacies. Its varieties from clothes, accessories to jewelry, and especially lanterns. Riding a small boat on Thu Bon River and release the flower lanterns on the water is also a recommendation for any tourist.
How To Travel: The best way to get to Hoi An is from Da Nang City. There is a lot of convenient transport options between these two and the most convenient is taking a bus for the 45 minutes transfer.
Pros: You’re likely to have a lot of beautiful pictures to remember about this place. The atmosphere is delightful and breezy around the years. The cuisine is spectacular, and you can also learn how to cook like a real local chef master (if you know where to go). Have we mentioned that you can also have tailor-made clothing with good quality and affordable prices? Yes, you can.
Cons: You are likely not wanting to stay in Hoi An for too long. Apart from the beautiful scenery and vivid nightlife, you’ll miss the big and modern city vibes. The laidback vibes are more of a thing for elderly peoples, not the youth.
These three are the places where you are not only just to travel but also a good opportunity for you to actually feel something positive and learn more about the philosophy of life, and maybe feel the urge of sharing and giving more to those who are less fortune than you do. Life is all about the journeys that you must take in order to grow and only by experiencing will you extend your youth in a meaningful way. So I truly hope you’ll get a chance to visit these recommendation soon.