Best Places in Vietnam for Thrillseekers & Adrenaline Junkies

By: Brennan Lagman

Mui Ne/Phan Thiet

Dalat

Bach Ma National Park

Halong Bay

Sapa

Phong Nha-Ke Bang

As one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, Vietnam’s got a little bit of something for everyone. Well known, popular Vietnam tourist spots are great, but if you want something a little more out of the ordinary and off the usual beaten track, you can choose from a truly epic list of adrenaline activities in Vietnam. 

With everything from granite hilltops and fertile highlands to vast river floodplains, massive cave systems and forest covered mountain peaks, Vietnam is a paradise for trekking, canyoning, biking, off-roading, kayaking and rafting, paragliding, and so much more! We did a bit of dirty work and rounded up the country’s best destinations for you to plan your next Vietnam adventure itinerary and find your thrill fix. For less rest-and-digest comfort and more fight-or-flight heart-pumping action, these destinations pack more heat than a hot bowl of extra spicy Bun Bo Hue!

Sand and Windsurf in Intrepid Phan Thiet

Phan Thiet is a coastal town that offers a range of exciting adventures by both land and sea. Known more popularly by the nomenclature of the city’s coastal ward town Mui Ne, Phan Thiet is quite close to Ho Chi Minh City, making it a great option for city-side adrenaline junkies looking for an amphibious adventure retreat. Thanks to the unique climate of this peninsula town, the conditions are perfect for wind-surfing and parasailing along the coast. Hop on a jet ski and zip along the windsail dotted bay, shred the waves on a surfboard, or even take up some high-intensity keelboat adventure sailing. The weather is normally ideal for these activities, however, the wind does create quite treacherous waters, so it is not ideal for scuba diving or snorkelling.

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Once you’ve had your fill on the ocean blue, there are plenty more thrills just kilometers inland. At the epic white sand dunes, extreme motorists can hit the offroad on ATV’s, Dirtbikes, and Jeeps. Or grab a sand surfboard and brave the deep declines of these massive hills of white sand. A bit closer to the beach are the red sand dunes, also worth a visit if you have the time. 

Dalat: Vietnam’s Highland Paradise for Daredevils

Dalat is a small town full of exciting adventure, tucked away amidst the exquisite fertile nature of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Surrounded by dramatic waterfalls and ravines, steep forest covered elevation changes, and breathtaking panoramic views, daring adventures abound. Here you can zip-line through the forest canopy, adventure kayak or go white water rafting, rappelling or climbing your way through various canyons, and of course trek and hike along one of the many trails ranging for novice to advanced hikers. 

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With over ten officially licensed Adventure tour companies and six main locations for activities, including Tuyen Lam Lake (Dalat), Datanla Waterfall (Dalat), the Golden Valley (Lac Duong), Madagui (Da Huoai District), Dasar Waterfall (Lac Duong District) and Da Don River (Lam Ha District), your options for high-octane adventures are endless. 

Trekk, Dive and Climb in Bach Ma National Park

The three jewels of Central Vietnam - If your travel itinerary happens to include historical Hue, coastal up-and-coming Danang, or the infamous world-heritage site Hoi An, then you are in luck. Just 45km from Hue and 60km from Danang, Bach Ma National Park is the perfect exotic jungle adventure. Conservationists offer day and night treks to catch a glimpse of the forest’s native animals including leopards, antelope, deer, and over 330 birds. 

Best Destinations in Vietnam for Thrillseekers & Adrenaline JunkiesImage source: booktourinvietnam.com

Many adventure companies in the surrounding cities offer single and multi-day excursions into the park by foot, or by jeep. Adventures include plenty of opportunities to scale some massive rocks, cliff dive into refreshing waters, and scale peaks with quite impressive views. There are various trail options for hikers of different fitness levels, and it is also possible to camp within the park. 

The Thrillseeker’s World-Heritage Haven: Halong Bay & Cat Ba Island 

Of course, any best-of list in Vietnam must include the iconic Natural Wonder of the World: Ha Long Bay. With limestone monoliths surrounded by serpentine bay waters and forests trails, this is an explorer’s paradise. Kayak and paddle board through towering caves, trek through some breathtaking trails to catch the archipelago's beauty from different angles and even take a scuba dive beneath the surface to check out the exquisite coral reefs and other sea life. 

Best Destinations in Vietnam for Thrillseekers & Adrenaline JunkiesImage source: cloudfront.net

If you want to dive a little deeper, stay on Cat Ba Island, the largest of the hundreds of islands dotting the bay. Here you can rock climb, scale a treacherous trail to an observation deck overlooking the bay, chase local monkeys, make your way through massive caves, and do much of the above activities amongst untouched nature, as much of the island is still undisturbed. 

Scale Vietnam’s tallest Mountains in Sapa

Sapa in Northern Vietnam is home to the country’s most monumental mountains and spectacular rice terrace covered valleys. This adrenaline junkie destination is definitely not for the faint of heart. Various adventure tourism companies will help you explore this dramatic landscape via trekking, kayaking, cycling, motorbiking, canyoning, rock-climbing, and 4WD adventures. 

Best Destinations in Vietnam for Thrillseekers & Adrenaline JunkiesImage source: stackpath.com

The sheer size of the mountains makes this place a truly unique destination in Vietnam. If you are daring enough to scale Mount Fanispan’s 3,143 metres, be warned, this is one of the most challenging treks in this entire region of the continent! Tours range from 1 to 3 days. 

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park Equals Epic Exploration

This national park north of Hue has some of the world’s most epic natural features. In fact, some of the largest caves in the world can be found in this park. Claimed as a UNESCO World-heritage site in 2003, this park is largely undiscovered, bringing you raw and unyielding adventures through untouched nature unlike anywhere else. Trails and treks here will bring you along meandering rivers, through limestone canyons, buffalo filled rice fields, deep canopy covered forests, and vast and intricate cave systems, including the first and third largest recorded caves in the world! 

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The plethora of caves in this monolithic park includes the mysterious Tu Lan Cave System, Hang La and Hung Tien Caves, and, the king of all caves on earth, the Son Doong Cave. This network of underground wonders is truly enormous and includes underground waterfalls, forests, and caverns large enough to fly a Boeing 737 through! Due to the extreme nature of caving, spelunking, climbing, and exploring, excursions are currently only licensed through one company.

Thrillseekers and Adrenaline Junkies! Get Hooked on Vietnam!

Hosting over 15 million tourists a year, most itineraries for Vietnam travel are catered to your run-of-the-mill beachgoer, looking for a spring break selfie by a crystalline beach, but, for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies looking to spice up their vacation there is so much more this fine country has to offer. When it comes to high-level adventure and exploration, Vietnam has no shortage of options. Whether you are a novice or beginner and prefer your thrills served on or below land or sea, there is something for every appetite. So, grab your gear and head over to one of our top destinations for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies in Vietnam and let us know your thoughts! 

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