Tours to explore mountainous areas or experience seaside landscapes bring something different to people during the year-end vacation
Vietnam has fantastic mountainous landscapes for exploring and wonderful beaches for relaxing. The upcoming New Year’s day of 2010 falls on a Friday, so people can take advantage of the long weekend to take a three-day vacation trip. In some foreign-invested companies, people even have longer holidays starting from Christmas. Vacationers can join tours offered by travel companies or make their own tours.
At a height of 3,143m, Fansipan, part of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range located 9km south-west of Sapa Town in the northern province of Lao Cai, is called “the Roof of Indochina”, and is a wonderful challenge for those who love mountain climbing. Tourists can start climbing from the height of 1,900m in the morning. After four hours, they can eat lunch near a stream and take a rest. Then, the journey continues through a forest to the height of 2,100m, where they have dinner and go to bed. On the way, climbers can study some of the 2,024 floral varieties and 327 species of fauna found on Fansipan Mountain. The next day, after hiking around one km and reaching the mountain peak, they can see Sapa Town in the fog and even China and Laos.
Mountain climbing in the central region is also a wonderful experience. Located 38km west of Danang City, Ba Na Mountain in Hoa Ninh Commune, Hoa Vang District, is 1,487 m high. Tourists can enjoy traveling to the top of the mountain by cable car and on foot and then viewing French-style villas built in the early 20th century, visiting an old pagoda and looking at the flowers and plants specific to the region.
Recently, the Quang Nam Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has approved a tour to the Tay Giang mountainous area and Vietnam-Lao border by motorbike or sidecar. The tour departs from Hoi An Ancient Town and goes through the districts of Dai Loc, Nam Giang, Dong Giang and then Tay Giang, a distance of almost 150km. After observing the traditions of the C’tu ethnic people, tourists can ride along the 18km-long primitive Truong Son trail from A Tep to the Vietnam-Laos border region and experience a newly-discovered tunnel complex.
Unlike the tours in the northern and central regions, mountain climbing tours in the Mekong Delta region are closely linked with pilgrimages. Sam Mountain and Cam (Forbidden) Mountain in An Giang Province are examples, with Lady Chua Xu Temple, the Tomb of Thoai Ngoc Hau - founder of An Giang, Hang Pagoda associated with the legend of two snakes that know the Buddhist bible, and the Big Buddha Pagoda whose statue of Mitreya is 32m tall.
With a seaside some 3,600km long, Vietnam is a wonderful place for those who wish to take advantage of the holidays to relax and swim after busy workdays.
The central region beaches in Danang, Lang Co and Nha Trang are well-known among those who prefer comfort and relaxation. Recently, the beaches have developed better services and a cleaner atmosphere to meet the higher demands of local and foreign tourists.
Traveling southward, Phan Thiet and Vung Tau are popular destinations for swimming. It takes more than four hours from HCM City to reach Phan Thiet which is also known as kingdom of resorts in Vietnam, offering many attractions for tourists in addition to a long beach with long row of coconut trees, such as Hong Lac Long Quan stream - a new landscape in Mui Ne and mysterious sand dunes.
The trip to Vung Tau takes a little more than three hours by motorbike or one hour by express boat from HCM City. Resting on the beach, playing beach games and swimming are some activities tourists can engage in before enjoying the fresh seafood specialties there. At night, traveling around the city by bike or motorbike is something special.
According to the travel companies, the above-mentioned tours can be arranged for a few days at a low cost. This may be a good choice, especially in this period when people are more careful about traveling.