Trying to get away from the crowds? Try these alternatives. Hurry. They won’t stay secret for long.
Vinh Long Province instead of Can Tho
Can Tho is the fifth largest city in Vietnam. Although it is not a major tourism hub, you may want to find a place nearby that’s quieter and easier to manage. Vinh Long Province is on the Mekong River and has a floating market and many pagodas just like its busier neighbour.
Image source: imgix.net
Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan instead of Mui Ne
Have you been in Mui Ne and wished you were Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach? Then do not go to Phu Quy Island. If you want an adventure away from the crowds, hop on the boat.
Phu Quy is a four-hour to several-day boat ride from Phan Thiet. By several days I mean if you are on the island and a storm comes, get comfortable. The island houses a fishing village of 25,000 people and there are places to stay and eat. It has a beach.
Image source: foody.vn
Phan Rang, Ninh Thuan Province instead of Nha Trang
Almost all of Vietnam is spectacularly crazy, but Phan Rang is kind of normal. Phan Rang is the geographical centre of the province and the societal centre of Vietnam. It’s not a modern-day city, nor is it undeveloped. It’s not busy, but not quiet either. It’s not touristy, but still easily accessible to tourists.
Image source: miendatphanrang.com
Ninh Thuan Province developed infrastructure for tourism before the tourists. The coastal road is 116 km that begins in CaNa and ends near Cam Ranh. On that drive you pass deserts, seaside cliffs, undeveloped beaches, a mid-tier city, salt farms, fishing villages, vineyards, spectacular bays and jungles meeting the sea.
Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak Province instead of Dalat
Same cool weather and waterfalls, but with 44 different ethnic groups in the area. Vietnam’s coffee capital is a perfect base for exploring the Central Highlands.
Image source: vntrip.vn
Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen Province instead of Danang
The capital and base for exploring Phu Yen’s beautiful beaches and bays. No internationally managed five-star resorts along the beach: you have the beaches to yourself. Resorts are creeping north from Nha Trang so now is the time to go.
Image source: dmanews.net
Phong Nha Caves, Quang Binh Province, no other place like it on Earth
An absolutely amazing recent discovery, the Phong Nha caves bring Vietnam to a crossroads.
The government can choose to develop it in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner with low impact to the surrounding area and limit access to those who are willing to pay a high price, or develop it for mass tourism by adding a cable car, mega hotels, and the transportation infrastructure to bring in thousands of tourists per day in order to bring in as much money as fast as they can. This is a litmus test.
Image source: ilovevietnamtour.com
You better book your tickets soon, and if you can’t afford it, wait and pounce when you can.
Ninh Binh Province instead of Halong Bay
Nicknamed “Halong Bay on land”, it should be changed to “Halong Bay on land and without tens of thousands of other people”. This is where the movie Kong: Skull Island was mostly filmed.
Image source: vnmedia.vn
Ha Giang Province instead of SaPa
All the ethnic minorities, dramatic landscapes and mountains as around SaPa, but without all the construction, garbage and masses. Ha Giang is the province closest to the Chinese border.