Welcome to the second part of “How to plan your Dream Trip to Vietnam”. This time I show you all the places and highlights on the east side that were my absolute favorites. I’m sure you will love them too!
Phong Nha Caves
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Around 400 million years ago it was when the cave systems were formed here. During war the Phong Nha Caves were used as a hospital and to store equipment. What makes the cave really special though are the underground rivers. Phong Nha is the longest river cave in the whole world.
Da Nang has one of the cleanest beach stretches in Vietnam. It is very popular to Korean, Japanese and Chinese people, not only for the beach but also for the fresh seafood that you get on every corner. But there’s a lot else to do except of getting a tan:
Hai Van Pass
Over 25 kilometers winding streets along the coastline of Da Nang offer one of the most beautiful views of the city skyline and the sea! Many people drive the pass by motorbike. If you’re a beginner though I would recommend you to sit on the back of the motorbike of a local tourguide or go with an easy riders tour to enjoy the trip safely. Another option is to take the train. This just gets a little complicated due to the train schedule. The departure is only in the early morning and the late evening. Doing the Hai Van pass by motorbike is an adventure you shouldn’t miss out! The views are stunning. You can either make your way from Hue to Da Nang or a day trip from Da Nang to the Lãng Cô beach. Have fun!
Marble Mountains is the name of five marble and limestone hills which contains another stunning cave and tunnel system. Many pilgrims are coming here every year to visit the breathtaking temples integrated in the inner of the mountains which make this caves so unique. One of the other highlights is the one cave where little steps are spinning its way in a circular motion up to the top and revealing a spectacular panoramic view on the surrounding area. Definitely a must see!
Hoi An with its ancient town is one of the most picturesque cities you will find in whole Vietnam, if not even in overall Southeast Asia. The mixture of French, Chinese, Japanese and of course Vietnamese architecture is omnipresent here. Once being one of the biggest trading ports of Vietnam, today it’s s attracting tourists from all over the world to immerse in the colorful, vibrant little streets along the riverside. It’s a real fairytale sight and a must visit in your Vietnam trip.
Where to stay:
I’ve stayed in Hoi An for 6 nights and could’ve stayed even longer. But if you have a tight time frame I would make sure to stay at least for 3 nights. The homestay I can totally recommend here is called “Skybird Homestay“. It’s located a little outside the city center, about 15 minutes bicycle ride. The homestay provides bicycles for free during your stay. You will enjoy your time, the family is some of the sweetest, most hospitable and friendly people I met in Vietnam. They will make you feel like home away from home.
Something I cannot recommend you enough to do in Hoi An, is the “Eco Cooking Class“. You will have such an amazing time, not only cooking but also exploring Cam Thanh fishing village. Locals will take you out to the coconut forest and you can watch fisherman and try to catch your own crabs. You will have the chance to make your own rice paper and learn a lot about the traditional ways of preparing a Vietnamese dish and of course enjoy your meal!
Renting a bicycle
No matter if you’re already staying in the city center or not, I would at least for one day rent a bike and make your way around the city and its surrounding area. It’s beautiful and you will love the light breeze while the weather is quite humid and hot.
Cua Dai beach
With all the dreamy lanterns and pretty townhouses it’s easy to forget that Hoi An has a beach to enjoy too! Maybe that’s the reason why the beach is almost empty and you will have the beautiful white sand stretch all by yourself!
This is it. If you also want to see the northern part of Vietnam make sure to read part one of my Vietnam Travel Guide.
With lots of love ❤️