Vietnam is a country that has captured the hearts and imaginations of travelers for generations. Its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people make it an ideal destination for adventurers looking to experience the real Southeast Asia. And what better way to do so than by exploring the country’s backroads on a bicycle?
Biking through Vietnam’s rural areas and small villages offers an authentic and immersive experience that is impossible to replicate in the big cities. On this journey, travelers will encounter a landscape of lush green rice paddies, rolling hills, and pristine beaches. They will also encounter friendly locals who are always eager to share a smile and a cup of tea.
But it’s not just the scenery and the people that make Vietnam such a magical place. It’s also the hidden gems that lie off the beaten path, waiting to be discovered. Here are a few secret places, bars, and free attractions that you won’t want to miss on your journey through Vietnam:
- Secret Places:
a) Tam Coc: This is a hidden gem located in the Ninh Binh province. It’s often referred to as “Halong Bay on land” because of its stunning limestone karsts that rise from the rice paddies. Visitors can take a boat ride through the Tam Coc river and marvel at the beauty of this natural wonder.
b) Ha Giang Loop: This is a stunning motorbike route that takes you through the northernmost province of Vietnam. It’s a challenging ride, but the scenery is well worth it. You’ll pass through mountain passes, rice paddies, and remote villages where you can experience the authentic culture of Vietnam.
c) Bai Tu Long Bay: While most tourists head to Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is a quieter alternative. It offers the same stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters, but with fewer tourists. Visitors can take a boat ride, go kayaking, or simply relax on the beach.
a) Hanoi Social Club: This trendy bar is located in the heart of Hanoi and is popular among locals and expats alike. It has a great selection of cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for winding down after a long day of exploring.
b) The Deck Saigon: This bar is located on the banks of the Saigon River and offers stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a bit more upscale than some of the other bars in the area, but it’s worth the splurge for the atmosphere and views.
c) Bia Hoi Corner: This is a must-visit spot for beer lovers. Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this street corner is lined with tiny plastic stools where locals and tourists gather to drink the local beer, Bia Hoi. It’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the local culture.
- Free Attractions:
a) Hanoi’s Old Quarter: This historic district is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways that are lined with traditional shops and cafes. It’s a great place to explore on foot and get a taste of old-world Vietnam.
b) Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Located in Hanoi, this mausoleum is the final resting place of Vietnam’s beloved leader, Ho Chi Minh. Visitors can pay their respects to this iconic figure and learn more about Vietnam’s history.
c) Hue Imperial City: This ancient citadel was once the seat of Vietnam’s emperors and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the complex and learn about the country’s rich history.
In conclusion, biking the backroads of Vietnam is an unforgettable journey that offers an immersive and authentic experience of Southeast Asia.