Asia is a hot tourist destination in the world in recent years attracting the attention of traveling addicts. Besides the appealing Asia countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, etc, Vietnam is one of the most diverse and vibrant countries of the continent with a wide range of thriving nightlife, beautiful mountain regions, beaches and national parks to explore.
In Vietnam, people in this country have a special love with music and movie. With the changes in the political and social circumstances of this country, the cinema and film industry has a magical development in recent years in both number and quality. In the major cities such as Ho Chi Minh city, or Hanoi, cinema theatres are a popular way to entertain in the weekend.
There are many films produced by Vietnamese directors are gaining popularity at the international film festivals held across the world. The domestic film industry of Vietnam is convincing as one of the most attractive departments that brings money to the country.
Throughout Vietnam, you will find places that you can hire bicycles to explore independently during any leisure time you have in your itinerary. Some hotels offer free bicycle hire or if not, they will be able to recommend a good local hire shop nearby. Remember to always check the condition of the bicycle you are hiring before heading off and if needs be, request for the seat to be adjusted and the tyres to be pumped up!
Vietnamese food is wonderful so why not learn how to cook some of our favourite dishes by taking a cooking class with a local chef. Hue or Hoi An are both great places to do a cookery class and many hotels and restaurants now offer either shared or private cookery classes. A couple of schools that that we have experienced, that are:
- The Red Bridge Cookery School, Hoi An – shared classes in a stylish restaurant next to the Hoai river.
- Ms Vy’s Cooking School, Hoi An – create your own Vietnamese street food with an expert chef. Ms Vy’s shared classes used to take place at the Morning Glory Restaurant but are now at her new restaurant ‘The Market’.
- Ancient Hue Cookery Class, Hue – shared cooking, or vegetable carving, classes take place in the atmospheric grounds of this palatial Vietnamese restaurant which is famous for its imperial cuisine.
Beaches & watersports
Vietnam has about 3500km of coastline and there are many good beaches in central and southern Vietnam, as well as on some of the islands such as Phu Quoc and Con Dao. A wide range of watersports can be arranged locally, including diving. Nha Trang is the traditional home of diving in Vietnam but there are also good diving areas off Con Dao and Phu Quoc islands and also Cham island, which just takes a boat ride away from Hoi An or Danang. Surfing is also growing in popularity in Vietnam – with the coast close to Danang, and Vung Tau, boasting some good surf. Mui Ne is becoming a hot spot for kite surfers.
We have also outlined a few suggestions for evening entertainment. Your guide will be on hand to assist with making any bookings and advising on transportation to the venue.
Water puppets (Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City)
Hanoi is the best place to catch a performance of the ancient art of water puppetry, although you should not get time in the capital, there is also a decent water puppet theatre in Ho Chi Minh City. Water puppet shows originated in the Red River Delta area surrounding Hanoi and have been performed since the 11th century. Shows last just under an hour and run several times per day, but they do sell out, so ask in advance if you would like this to be booked.
Hanoi’s 100-year old Opera House is something of a landmark in the city, and is located on the southern edge of the Old Quarter in the famous August Revolution Square. Performances of classical music, dance, and opera are held on most evenings.
AO Show (Ho Chi Minh City)
A very impressive mix of dance, acrobatics, and circus held in the Saigon Opera House usually 3 or 4 nights per week – performance days are irregular so it’s worth checking the website in advance for exact dates. Performances last around one hour and make an exciting, modern contrast to the water puppet or traditional dance shows.
As with much of Southeast Asia, night markets are a fundamental part of city life and will always be worth a visit. Hanoi’s Dong Xuan Market takes place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday evenings in the heart of the Old Quarter; Dalat has its infamous ‘shouting market’ (vendors are especially boisterous), while Hue has a picturesque market stretching along the banks of the Perfume River. Phu Quoc also has an excellent night market in Duong Dong where you can find cheap souvenirs and excellent street food.
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