Sun, stars, springtime and sea: A guide to Vietnam's best kept secrets

By Tuan Dao   October 22, 2017 | 04:00 am PT
Getting off the beaten track is always better than following the crowds.

Star gazing on Ly Son Island


Ly Son Island off the central province of Quang Ngai is simply gorgeous and the night sky is a must-see for stargazers.

Ly Son District, a combination of small islands, is one of the latest additions to Vietnam’s tourist trail, so services on the islands are still underdeveloped. Fortunately, authorities have decided to preserve the marine habitat there.

An overnight trip is a popular option to enjoy the smooth sand, blue sea and magnificent mountains, while sampling the simple life of fishermen and garlic farmers.

Don't expect a fancy world of streetlights, restaurants and bars. Darkness blankets the entire island at night, but don’t miss the chance to explore the island. Bring a tent to the second biggest island and enjoy a clear sky full of stars. It's the perfect escape from modern-day life.

Chasing clouds in the northern highlands


For years, travelers have been whispering about Ta Xua Commune in Son La Province, one of the best places to go cloud chasing in Vietnam.

It’s not difficult to catch the clouds in Ta Xua; all you have to do is wake up early in a bamboo homestay, breathe in the fresh air and wait for the first beams of light to penetrate the thick clouds. 

Taking a train ride in the 'City of Love'


Da Lat has been implanted on Vietnam's tourist map for decades, so there's no shortage of travel tips when you research your trip to this hillside town.

But has anyone told you about a 7-kilometer (4-mile) train ride from the oldest station in Vietnam that was built by the French in the thirties?  Say goodbye to the inner-city and you will understand why French people wanted to turn Da Lat into their "Little Paris".

It's difficult to keep your eyes away from small wooden houses with gardens of flowers and long lines of wild flowers that almost cover the tracks.

Diving in Vinh Hy Bay


Anyone who calls themselves a sea-lover should take a trip to Vinh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuan Province, one of the best destinations for eco-tourism in the central region.

The bay is surrounded by mountains and crystal blue water, and diving by the coral reefs is nothing short of exceptional.

Losing yourself on Moc Chau Plateau


Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

The hills in Son La Province are a world of flowers and forests, explaining why spring is the best time to get back to nature here. Taking time after Lunar New Year to travel to this plateau will leave you speechless, with hills and gardens painted in white, yellow and pink by millions of tiny flowers.

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