Explore new and interesting activities without leaving the comforts of the city
With one of the biggest holidays of the year approaching, many of us are gearing up for a quick holiday to unplug and relax. If you’re looking to escape the crowds but don’t want to travel off the beaten track, check out these 6 lesser-known alternative activities you can explore for your upcoming Independence Day getaway.
1. Visiting cultural villages in Ha Noi
Ha Noi is considered as the country’s melting pot of culture, and there’s no better way to experience that than visiting interesting cultural villages, right on the outskirts of the capital city. Rich with ethnic culture, the Cultural Village of Vietnam’s Ethnic Minorities showcases vividly-reproduced architectural works, including Khmer pagodas, Cham towers, Mong villages, and Muong communal houses. With a large area of 200 hectares divided into four clusters of villages corresponding to four regions, travelers can avoid the crowds while learning about Vietnam’s ethnic groups through architecture and cuisine.
An equally-captivating alternative would be Viet Village Cultural Park, which is located on the premise of Dam Tranh Ecolodge. Designed to recreate the scenery of Vietnam’s countryside, the property offers visitors fun cultural experiences, such as dry boat racing, Chung cake wrapping, pottery making, or agricultural practices like fishing and farming.
Where to stay:
- Shining Central Hotel & Spa has a 9.3 rating on Booking.com and is currently offering a discount of up to 61% for you to avail.
- Ja Cosmo Hotel and Spa has a 9.3 rating on Booking.com and is offering a discount of up to 79% to make the most of your holiday
2. Camping in the countryside in Da Nang
Da Nang is filled with beautiful beaches and luxury resorts–hence it is famous among local and international tourists alike. However, less than an hour’s drive from the city center can take you to the tranquil countryside of Hoa Bac commune, Hoa Vang District. Known as an eco-tourism area, Hoa Bac welcomes travelers with many sites to explore, have picnics, or camp overnight in, such as Cu De riverbank, Vung Bot stream, Yen Retreat campsite, Phuoc Hoa ecolodge, or Lang Me campsite.
Here, you can take in the view of scenic rivers, tranquil villages, and green rice fields, as well as take part in many other exciting activities, from steamboat tours, SUP rowing, and fishing, to stream bathing in nature. Travelers also have the chance to visit the traditional “Gươl” houses of the Cơ Tu ethnic group and learn about their dances and vibrant culture.
Where to stay: Minh Boutique has a 9.7 rating on Booking.com
3. De-stressing with interesting sport activities in Ho Chi Minh
Sometimes, a short holiday is precisely what sports fanatics need to take a few days off to de-stress by engaging in exciting sports activities, ideally right in the heart of their cities. If you’re a Fast & Furious fan and love the thrill of races, there are several places in the city where you can experience high speed racing on the F1 race track. You’ll be provided with full protective gear and a professional team of staff and technicians to race safely and fully enjoy that adrenaline rush.
For those who want to put their physique to the test, try enjoying an array of fun, challenging activities designed on trampolines at some of the popular sports and entertainment complexes in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can avoid both the crowds and the summer heat. Wall climbing is another fun activity to improve your physical strength while putting your mind to rest and ridding yourself of any worries – exactly what vacations are for!
Where to stay:
- Orchids Saigon Hotel has an 8.9 rating on Booking.com and is currently offering a discount of up to 50% for you to avail.
- Lotte Hotel Saigon has an 8.7 rating on Booking.com and is currently offering a discount of up to 30%.
- Cochin Zen Hotel has an 8.6 rating on Booking.com and is currently offering a discount of up to 27%.
4. Waterfall sliding in Da Lat
Located in the highlands of Vietnam, Dalat is not only a quiet, serene town hidden in pine forests but also an extreme sports paradise not for the faint-hearted. If you’re in search of an exhilarating ride without the crowds, the waterfall sliding tour in Da Lat is made just for you. After trekking down the picturesque roads leading to Datanla waterfall, you’ll be equipped with basic sliding techniques and safety equipment to begin an adrenaline-packed adventure.
Repel down some dry cliffs, waterslide down giant rocks on your back into rapid waters, then take free jumps from 7 to 11 meter-tall cliffs to challenge both your physical and mental strength. Finally, you will be met with the infamous 16-meter-tall “Washing Machine” cliff, where the water spins you around and pushes you out of the waterfall, which guarantees the most epic trip for any extreme sports fanatics this holiday.
Where to stay: Dalat Edensee Lake Resort & Spa has a 8.5 rating on Booking.com
5. Bar-hopping in Vung Tau
Between divine beaches and rugged mountains, Vung Tau charms travelers with its vibrant nightlife, with countless bars and pubs that are not yet discovered by mainstream tourists. Bar-hopping in Vung Tau means good drinks, good music, and just enough crowds to keep the night alive. Each bar and club here brings something unique to the table, whether it is enticing music performances, beachfront, Instagram-worthy views, diverse seafood menu, or artfully-mixed drinks – there’s truly a treat for everyone. So, whatever it is that you fancy, you’re in for the most fun and memorable conversations with your travel companions.
Where to stay: Sun Beach Hotel has a 9.1 rating on Booking.com.
6. Pottery making in Hoi An
Visits to handicraft villages are typical for tourists in Hoi An, but oftentimes it is only a small part of an activity-packed itinerary. With more than 500 years of history in pottery making, Thanh Ha Pottery Village has a lot to offer heritage-loving travelers. Located near the peaceful Thu Bon River, Thanh Ha Pottery Village is only 3km west of Hoi An city center.
Here, tourists have the opportunity to learn about the age-old traditional handicraft and experience numerous fascinating activities. First, you can witness the art of pottery-making and ceramic-polishing performed by skilled artisans, turning clay blocks into unique, exquisite ceramic products. You are then guided step-by-step to create your own ceramic works and take them home as souvenirs. Finally, travelers can explore Thanh Ha Terracotta Park – the largest ceramic park in Vietnam, and Xuan My Temple with relics of the craft’s history.