Few countries had as big an impact on the 20th century as Vietnam, and its transformation to a leading adventure travel destination has been incredible. Vietnam kayaking holidays off great variety, from legendary waterways to whitewater, and historical and cultural expeditions to multi-day sea kayaking..
The varied Vietnamese kayak destinations are only part of the story. Incredible food – a fusion of Asian with French – and scintillating landscapes make Vietnam a feast for the palette, eyes and soul.
The mighty Mekong river, Halong Bay and Saigon have become Vietnamese kayak destinations of choice. Here’s our guide to these and the other the best destinations to visit on Vietnam kayaking holidays.
Rising up in the Tibetan Plateau, the Mekong winds its way across Southeast Asia towards a vast delta area in Vietnam. More than just a geographical feature, the river seems to live and breathe, being home and workplace to millions of Vietnamese. It’s the rice bowl and fruit basket for the entire country, complete with floating markets and village communities.
You can certainly feel the historical and cultural importance of the Mekong as you paddle in its delta. Stop on deserted islands, cook over open fires at night with ingredients you’ve bought at the floating markets, learn about traditional river life and sample a shot or two of the powerful rice wine. This is a kayaking expedition with a difference.
Explore by kayak and if you want to discover the drier areas of the delta combine it with a bike trip. Culturally enlightening this is an unforgettable Vietnam kayaking holiday. Find out more by visiting Countryside Adventures.
Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, was also a major fulcrum point of the war. But it’s perhaps just as well known for its stunning French architecture and incredible eating opportunities in the countless food stalls that line its streets, especially around the Ben Thanh Market.
Set out from Saigon to explore some of the exceptional kayaking experiences close by. Day trips out to the floating markets and villages of the Mekong Delta are possible, and if you’re looking for a more secluded adventure, the Can Gio mangrove forests are about as good as it gets for Southern Vietnam kayaking holidays. Check out Countryside Adventures for more information.
Da Lat is unlike the other Vietnamese kayak destinations. This mountainous region is dotted with lakes and pine forests, with a unique temperate climate that provides relief from the tropical heat of the rest of the country.
The mountainous landscape also means the river offers some great whitewater kayaking, with vast torrents of water rampaging down from the peaks towards the serenity of the Tuyen Lam Lake, located high up in the mountains.
Explore the inlets and secret spots of the lake, picnic on a deserted beach of jump in for a swim in the clear waters. Also visit the many waterfalls in the area of which Cam Ly Spring is probably the most spectacular particularly in the wet season.
The coastal resort of Nha Trang is famous for a number of reasons. Firstly, the golden sand and palm fringed beaches and promenade have made it a favourite with tourists. But also, the bay in which it sits is widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful and is also home to a number of stunning islands to explore.
Or paddle up river to explore the Nha Trang countryside. By getting away from the main urban area with Countryside Adventures, you’ll get to experience beautiful scenery and everyday life of the locals. And isn’t that what great Vietnam kayaking holidays are about – seeing parts of the country that other visitors will never be able to reach?
Without question one of the most naturally stunning places on the planet, Ha Long is known for its countless limestone rock formations that rise majestically from the emerald waters, creating rainforest covered islets that beg to be explored.
Explore the natural harbours, coves and limestone grottos of the islands in Ha Long Bay in the best way possible: by kayak. Paddle from island to island, discovering secluded beaches, floating communities and sunsets that defy description. This is one of the best Vietnam kayaking holidays you could imagine.
Ha Long has been a World Heritage Site since 1994 and for many kayakers it’s a dream destination. The limestone outcrops are also perfect for climbers, with countless routes to explore and many only reachable by kayak, so a combination holiday is a popular option. Countryside Adventures offer kayaking trips on Halong Bay.
Way up in the northern highlands you’ll find the secluded Ba Be National Park. Paddle the lakes to the sound of the distant roar of the Dau Dang Waterfall, sliding into stalactite-filled caves surrounded by limestone cliffs on three sides.
Ba be means ‘three seas’ which refer to the three lakes that constitute the national park area. Stay and eat with fishermen who live in stilt houses perched on the edge of the shimmering lake. This is still a working environment and a long way from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.
As you can see from the above, across the length and breadth of the country there is a big range of Vietnam kayaking holidays to experience. From the busy Mekong Delta with its floating markets to the enigmatic caves and coves of Halong Bay, whatever kind of kayaking experience you’re looking for, you can find it here.
Combined with the exceptional cuisine, fascinating history and incredible warmth of the Vietnamese people, these are kayaking experiences like no other. To find out more please visit: www.countrysidediscovery.com