My favourite cruise in Vietnam

 

Dragon Pearl, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

In northern Vietnam 170km from Hanoi lies Ha Long Bay, one of the most scenic places I have ever visited. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place deserves 2-3 days to enjoy the serene, calm karst landscape of countless large and small islands of different shapes and sizes rising abruptly from the sea. There are also caves, small secluded beaches and floating fishing villages not to mention the sunsets, sunrises and starry nights. With countless cruises to choose from, the Dragon Pearl is a good option as a fairly new 3-deck Chinese wooden junk with fully equipped en-suite cabins, a bar, restaurant, outside dining area and sundeck.

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My favourite trek in Vietnam

Sapa, Vietnam

At China’s door step, 2000m above sea level in northwest Vietnam lies the quiet mountain town of Sapa. Surrounded by spectacular scenery of mountains shrouded in mist and sloping rice terraces cascading down the hillside, Sapa is also home to a great diversity of ethnic minority groups. Now a popular spot for treks, these excursions can vary from reasonably easy one day hikes to harder multi-day treks with overnight homestays in the villages surrounding Sapa. Whether it is a clear day enabling amazing views of the valleys below, or a crisp misty day amongst the trees in the clouds, the beauty and rich culture of this corner of Vietnam is a special experience.