[Wanderlust Tips November 2019] Travel through Vietnam and take the scenic route all the way from the North to the South. The surroundings along the roads are very rich with bustling towns, peaceful villages, vast plains, sea views, majestic mountains and forests. After each leg of the journey, we feel our worries begin to evaporate making room for more memories. Every region that passes leaves a unique impression on us. This adventure through our country made us realise how fond we are of our homeland. Accompany Wanderlust Tips to discover the most spectacular roads in Vietnam.
HA GIANG – YEN MINH – LUNG CU – DONG VAN – MA PI LENG PASS – MEO VAC
Ha Giang Province – the northernmost point of Vietnam, is home to picture-perfect panoramic views of majestic natural landscapes. For instance, Yen Minh Pine Forest, Tham Ma Slope with nine hair-raising bends, the jagged mountain ranges shaped like cat’s ears, the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass, the towering Tu San Alley and the alluring Nho Que River or the legendary Happiness Road. The 300-kilometre journey departs from Ha Giang City to the Lung Cu Flagpole promising to bring an array of unforgettable experiences.
THANH SON – PHU THO TEA HILL – NGHIA LO – MU CANG CHAI – KHAU PHA PASS
Looking for the beautiful terraced fields that stretch as far as the eyes can see then you should plan a trip from Thanh Son Town in Phu Tho Province to Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province. In particular, the early rainy season or ripe rice season is the best time to take a trip to Mu Cang Chai. In May, the rice terraces filled with water reflect the glistening sunlight creating a captivating and magical picture. When the fields are ready for the harvest in September, the terraces boast a picturesque beauty as the green and yellow layers of rice intertwined with the hillsides. Taking a drive along the zigzagging 100-kilometre road, you can admire the stunningly beautiful scenery. For instance, the green tea hills in the gentle breeze, the magnificent mountains and forests, the vast blue sky with fluffy white clouds and the idyllic villages nestled amongst the rice terraces.
SAPA – O QUY HO PASS – MUONG HUM – LAO CAI CITY – Y TY
Located in Lao Cai Province, the 70-kilometre route running from Sapa to Y Ty is very rugged and difficult to travel. However, the scenery here is totally worth it. There is a fantastic variety of idyllic villages shrouded in mist adjacent to the undulating terraced fields. Commencing from Sapa, you can drive an additional 12km to reach O Quy Ho Pass – one of the four great peaks of the Northwest. Afterwards, you should continue your trip through the mountains and forests to visit the Y Ty cloudy paradise. The clouds here swirl thickly around the villages, pass over the lush fields, the winding roads and fill the hearts of travellers. The following day, the 80-kilometre road from Y Ty to Lao Cai City brings an entirely different experience. You can take a drive along the border road between Vietnam and China where the Hong River is considered the natural boundary.
HUE – LANG CO – HAI VAN PASS – HOI AN – DA NANG
Commencing from the charming Hue Imperial Capital, your itinerary will take you through Lang Co Beach, the Hai Van Pass – an unrivalled wonder, modern Da Nang, finally stopping at Hoi An – an ancient town famous for rows of quaint yellow houses, tiled roofs and brilliant paper flowers in the sunshine. There are many surprises along the 120-kilometre stretch that will allow you to admire beautiful and majestic nature, valuable historical heritage sites and impressive architectural structures.
HOA BINH CITY – CUN SLOPE – MAI CHAU – DIEN BIEN PHU CITY – PHA DIN PASS – MOC CHAU
November is the time when white cauliflower blooms along the Moc Chau Plateau. This is also the best time to pack up your belongings and set out to conquer the road from Hoa Binh Province to Son La Province finally reaching Dien Bien Phu City in Dien Bien Province. This journey is a pretty epic route at nearly 500km. Be prepared for a hair-raising journey with the bends of the Cun Slope winding through the abyss. Indulge in the tranquil atmosphere when passing through the peaceful green Mai Chau Valley. Moc Chau has made a great impression on every traveller with its beautiful rows of white cabbages. After crossing the Pha Din Pass – the “four great passes” of the Northwest region, you will feel victorious.
QUY NHON – TUY HOA – DIEN CAPE – DOI CAPE – CA PASS
The 100-km coastal road from Quy Nhon City in Binh Dinh Province through Phu Yen Province to Doi Cape in Khanh Hoa Province will captivate every driver. One side is the verdant mountains and forests, the other side runs beside the sea. Before your eyes, the road runs straight to the horizon where the sky and the sea intersect. Along the way, you can stop to visit the Ghenh Rang Tien Sa with many mysterious legends, the Ky Co – Eo Gio beach paradise, the mysterious pristine Da Dia Rapid, the Nhat Tu Son Island with its unique passage in the middle of the sea, the alluring Xep Beach associated with the famous movie “I see yellow flowers on the green grass” or the magnificent Dien Cape. After conquering the spectacular Ca Pass, you can continue trekking through the Doi Cape – the Easternmost landmark in mainland Vietnam.
CAM RANH – VINH HY – CHUA MOUNTAIN – NINH CHU – PHAN RANG-THAP CHAM – PHAN THIET – LA GI
Dubbed as the most spectacular coastal road in Vietnam, the 300-kilometre road runs through the three provinces of Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. Commencing in Cam Ranh City, you can follow the road towards Ninh Thuan through the pristine Vinh Hy Bay and explore the beautiful Nui Chua National Park with the winding mountain roads and picturesque beaches. You can also drive along the crystal-clear Ninh Chu Beach then stop to rest in Phan Rang Thap Cham City. Over the course of the following days, head to Bau Trang (White Lake) with rolling sandhills swooping down to the sea, then go straight to the vibrant city of Phan Thiet, through the pristine Ke Ga Cape and end up in peaceful La Gi. Along the road, an array of lush natural surroundings appears before your eyes. The magnificent shades of blue, intertwined with the grey of the mountain rocks, the brilliant red of the sun or the yellow and white sand dunes, creates beautiful scenery that is hard to describe in words.
CAM RANH – NGOAN MUC PASS – DA LAT – NHA TRANG
Nha Trang and Da Lat are both on the list of famous tourist destinations, so many people opt to visit these two places on their itinerary. With a 300-km stretch between Khanh Hoa and Lam Dong Provinces, travellers will have the opportunity to admire the fascinating natural surroundings. In particular, the experience of conquering Ngoan Muc Pass – the most beautiful mountain pass in Vietnam promises to bring countless unforgettable moments.
DA LAT – BUON MA THUOT – PLEIKU – KON TUM
To fully appreciate the beauty of the sunny and windy Central Highlands, nothing is more wonderful than a self-drive adventure. The 500-kilometre road along NH20 – NH27 – AH17 running through the four Central Highland Provinces of Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum is a long journey on the basalt red soil roads. The more you travel, the more you love the stunning land which is home to wild mountains and forests, the immense coffee hills and quaint little houses in the sunshine.
LONG AN – TIEN GIANG – VINH LONG – CAN THO – CA MAU – KIEN GIANG – AN GIANG – DONG THAP
Starting from Tan An City in Long An Province then My Tho City in Tien Giang Province, your journey continues travelling through Vinh Long City in Vinh Long Province to Can Tho City – the capital of the West. Afterwards, you will move to Hong Ngu Town in Dong Thap Province then take a ferry to Vam market to admire the Mekong River. From Chau Doc City in An Giang Province, you will have two options. Firstly, taking a visit around Ha Tien, Rach Gia in Kien Giang Province and then move to Ca Mau. Secondly, travelling straight down Rach Gia and enter Ca Mau. The 600-kilometre journey travelling across 8 western provinces and conquering Ca Mau Cape – the southernmost point of the country will make for countless fulfilled and unforgettable moments. The immense fields full of storks, lush fruit gardens on the islets, interlaced canals, floating markets with bustling boats and the ancient green forests are truly remarkable. Throughout the journey along the river, you will not forget the warm and friendly smiles of the locals with nicknames such as the Biggest brother, the Second sister, the Third uncle, the Fourth aunt or the Fifth uncle.
Ly Nguyen | Wanderlust Tips