In the list of 19 under-the-radar places in the Southeast Asia that will actually change your life recently published by the Huffingtonpost – a US-based well-known website, Vietnam contributes up to 5. They are:
1. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Known as the “Pearl Island”, the Phu Quoc is the biggest island in Vietnam. Almost everybody agrees that Phu Quoc is a hot destination of Vietnam, but thankfully the perfect beaches are still mostly empty. You can rent a motorbike and zip up, down, and around the red dirt roads of this island paradise. Then, take a snorkeling or scuba dip. Hurry up, before other people discover the secret.
2. Mui Ne Sand Dunes, Vietnam
Located not far from Saigon, but these sand dunes seem like they belong on another continent entirely. Mui Ne Sand Dunes is one of the longest sand dunes whose area cannot be identified.
To experience the sand dunes, you can sled, bike, or just freely frolic down both white and red mountains of bliss. Be sure to find the Fairy Stream, a magical river with a soft, sandy bottom that flows between dry rocks.
3. The Mekong Delta, Vietnam
The Mekong River creates a rich marshland responsible for the bulk of Vietnam’s rice crops. There are oodles of tiny villages and floating markets to visit, with kindly locals who will gladly let you sample their fruit or teach you to birdwatch. Avoid feeling like a yuppie in a tour boat by biking the Delta– that way, you can see the impressive rice paddies and stop off at destinations on your own.
4. Sapa, Vietnam
According to the Huffingtonpost, there’s nowhere on Earth like Sapa: tiers on tiers of bright-green rice fields are dotted with the colorful clothes of hill-tribe dwellers and roofs of French colonial villas. Sometimes the view gets clouded by a warm, jungle-y mist, but it only makes your day of hiking even prettier.
5. Cu Chi Tunnels in Saigon, Vietnam
Viet Cong soldiers used these narrow, claustrophobia-inducing tunnels as hiding places during the Vietnam War. Trap doors in the jungle led down into the underground network, where soldiers suffered from malaria and parasites while guarding food sources. The eeriness is all too real during a modern-day tour.