Tag Archive | trekking

The Top Adventure Activities To Enjoy In Vietnam

vietnam cruiseAlthough Vietnam has enjoyed a troubled history, it is a country that has flourished in the last two decades since the Communist Party loosened the reins on a market economy at the end of the 1980s.  This wonderful country boasts some truly beautiful natural sights and some amazing history, and is a great place to visit.  There are a wide range of activities that people can enjoy outside of the major cities, and many of the adventure activities have found a new base in the wonderful countryside and waterways of Vietnam.


Kayaking can be enjoyed both in the sea and on the rivers of Vietnam, with the lightweight easily paddled boats being ideal for exploring the coves and isolated bays on the coast.  They are also perfect for paddling on some of the calmer rivers of Vietnam, which allow the kayakers to explore the inlets and tributaries of the larger rivers by themselves or in organized groups.

One of the most popular places in Vietnam to go kayaking is in HalongBay, where the quiet waters provide great conditions for exploring, with lots of different places to explore.  Another popular place to go Kayaking is the mighty MekongRiver, with many organized groups arranging week-long trips along the river.


Another popular activity that visitors to Vietnam can enjoy is trekking, with its stunningly beautiful coastline and wonderful mountain and jungle treks to explore too.  The treks here range from challenging routes to shorter routes that show off some of the best of the scenery in Vietnam.

One of the most popular areas for trekking is the province of Cao Bang in the north-west of Vietnam, which has some wonderful mountain scenery and a number of waterways, with the highlight being superb views of the large Ban Gioc waterfall.  The CucPhuongNational Park is another beautiful location to visit, and trekking here takes visitors through some of the dense tropical forest which many people will associate with the country.

Boat Tours

With so much of Vietnam being more easily accessible to boat than motor vehicle, taking a boat trip around some of the coastline or up one of the many Vietnamese rivers is a very popular activity.  One of the most popular is a trip on one of the small boats up the Mekong Delta, which departs from the important city formerly known as Saigon, which is now called Ho Chi Minh City.  Along with the adventurous river trips, there are also plenty of boat trips around the scenic HalongBay that are also very popular.

Mountain Biking

One of the sports to which Vietnam is particularly suited is mountain biking, with its rolling hills and steep hillsides with plenty of streams and obstacles.  Many of the more established paths offer fun tracks along the valley floor, while those looking for more adventure can hit the hills and enjoy excellent downhill cycling with boardwalk bridges, fords and rides through woodland and in the open.  The climate is usually warm and sunny in season, and there are centers in Dalat, Hanoi and Hue which are all wonderful places to visit.


With such a wonderful coastline it is natural that Vietnam will draw plenty of people looking to dive and to explore the waters of the area.  Most of the sites are considered particularly suited to newer divers and nature lovers, as there are large numbers of smaller fish to be found in the waters near Nha Tran and Con Dao.  A short distance off the east coast of Vietnam is the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, and this is one of the most popular dive sites due to its exceptional coral and biodiversity to be found in these waters.

The Top Treks In Nepal

Trekking in the HimalayasAs a country that boasts eight of the world’s fourteen highest mountains within its borders, it is unsurprising that some of the world’s best treks are to be enjoyed in the country.  The epic snow capped mountains and clear mountain air make these areas particularly attractive for visitors, and for those hardy souls willing to walk at altitude they really can get close to these majestic rock formations.  When choosing your trekking group or guide it is always worth having a good look at the itinerary, and ensuring that it does include some days scheduled for acclimatization to the high altitudes.

 The Trek To Everest Base Camp

 The real icon of Nepal is Mount Everest, or Chomolungma as it is known by the Nepalese, and standing at 8,848 meters tall it is truly a spectacular sight whether it is seen from land or from the air.  Base camp itself is at 5,380 meters above sea level, with most trekkers flying into LuklaAirport on a small airplane before ascending to base camp.  Here trekkers will rub shoulders with the mountaineers preparing for their ascent of Everest, and will already have enjoyed some superb Himalayan scenery climbing to this point.

Acclimatization is particularly important on this trek, as the airport at Lukla is already at 2,860 meters above sea level where altitude sickness can begin.  The base camp itself is almost a small town based from tents, with many of the organized groups having large groups of tents together.  Organized efforts to clear tons of rubbish from the area have also made base camp a much more pleasant place to be.

The Annapurna Circuit

The second most popular route among trekkers visiting Nepal is the epic Annapurna Circuit, which takes the walkers around the stunning Annapurna Massif.  The trek itself can often last up to three weeks, and includes a sensational pass walk from Pisang to Manang that has some of the best traditional Tibetan villages on the walk.  Those wanting to get a closer look of the peak can ascend to Annapurna Base Camp, which offers sensational views in good weather conditions.

This is a great trek for those who don’t want to stray too far from their home comforts, and many of the hostels along the route, particularly at lower altitudes can boast luxuries such as hot showers.  Although much of the trek was historically remote and away from civilization, roads have been built to help supply and fulfill the needs of the trekker industry.

Kanchenjunga North And South Base Camp

Kanchenjunga is a mountain that lies on the border between Nepal and India, and because of its remote location has not developed as much of a trekking industry as those around Annapurna and Everest.  For those looking for a traditional taste of Nepal this is certainly a journey that will take you through many traditional villages and allow you to meet some of the local people here who still enjoy a life largely untouched by the outside world.  This route also offers some of the best mountain views in the country, along with trekking through beautiful Rhododendron forests.

The Manaslu Circuit

Another hidden gem of the treks available in Nepal is the Manaslu circuit, which journeys around the eighth largest mountain in the world.  This idyllic area on the border with Tibet offers one of the best opportunities in the country, with a trek that rises from a low altitude through sub-tropical forests up to the stunning high altitude Larkya La pass.  Highlights that visitors can enjoy on this trek include a superb hilltop monastery that boasts great mountain views, and trekking through some of the most beautiful narrow gorges in the country.

Top Things To Do In Nepal

Trekking in the HimalayasLying to the south of a significant part of the Himalayan mountain range, Nepal is a country that can boast some of the most majestic and stunning scenery in the world.  However, the climate in lowland Nepal is actually very tropical, giving the country a wide range of different ecosystems and making it a very varied country too.  Because of these factors, it is no surprise that some of the most popular and interesting activities that can be enjoyed in Nepal make use of its wonderful geography.

Trekking in the Himalayas

One of the most popular reasons for people to visit Nepal is to go trekking in and around some of the highest mountains in the world, and these treks can range from short and relaxed family treks up to challenging expeditions that can last several weeks.  There are many companies that arrange organized treks for groups of visitors, and these will usually employ porters to carry any luggage giving visitors the best possible chance to enjoy their surroundings.  The benefit of going on an organized trek is that all of the required passes for national parks will also be taken care of.

Two of the most popular treks in Nepal are the treks to Everest base camp and the Annapurna circuit, both of which run near some of the highest mountains in the world.  These routes are very welcoming for visitors and have tea houses and hostels along the trek, while those looking for a more traditional taste of Nepal can look to treks around Kanchenjunga and Manaslu which are less developed parts of the country.


For those people who have a thirst for even more adventure, the challenge of climbing some of the highest mountains in the world can be found in Nepal.  Experienced climbers who have all of the necessary equipment can climb to altitudes of above 8,000m, including the world’s highest mountain Everest, but this will often require years of training.  For those who are less experienced but still want to experience the thrill of climbing at high altitude, there are a range of ‘trekking peaks’ that can be ascended with a guide that are not as dangerous as the highest peaks.  However, it is worth noting that the ‘trekking peaks’ will still require experience of walking and climbing on ice and snow, and the use of crampons is vital.

White Water Rafting

One of the benefits of the high mountain landscape of Nepal is that it means that many of the rivers flowing from these high areas are excellent for white water rafting.  The deep gorges and glacial waters make the white water in Nepal challenging and exciting among the rapids, with plenty of wider valleys as well where rafters can relax and enjoy the majesty of the wonderful surroundings.  Organized trips can be booked in advance or from the offices in Kathmandu, with trips ranging from a half day experience up to a much longer trip lasting for several days.

Exploring Kathmandu

After all the excitement of the Himalayas, the bustling city of Kathmandu is a stark contrast to the quiet and peaceful countryside.  The markets and bazaars of the city have a massive range of goods from the everyday items through to the more traditional tourist mementoes such as stickers and fridge magnets.  It is always worth keeping a look out for traffic, and the motorbikes and mopeds around the city will often be found squeezing through the narrowest shopping streets in the city.

Durbar Square is also well worth visiting, as this boasts some of the most beautiful traditional buildings in the whole of the city, with each one adorned with fantastic carving and details.

A Flight Over The Himalayas

There is no doubt that Nepal boasts some of the best scenery on the continent, and when it comes to getting the best view of the mountains, this is definitely found in the air.  There are a number of small airlines that run a regular sightseeing flight around Everest from Kathmandu airport, and these will offer a great view from above.

It is also possible to arrange hot air balloon trips and glider excursions above the beautiful HimalayanMountains, and these naturally quieter forms of travel offer peace and tranquility to enjoy the views.

Elephant Trekking in Laos

elephantIn Laos, opportunities for tourists are endless. The tiny landlocked country in Asia, wedged between Vietnam and Thailand offers a host of unique activities, but one of the most famous and most well-loved are the elephant treks across the jungles.

Basically, when you are out of the bustling hub of Vientiane and the markets and endless propositions for you to part with your hard-earned dollars, you arrive in smaller towns and even villages full of smiling locals. Getting off the beaten track like this is a dream come true for many young gap-year students or even older people whose kids are now all grown up and they can use the opportunity to give themselves a treat.

One of the most famous places to go elephant trekking in Laos is the Elephant Mahout Camp, which is a parody obviously of the concept of a ‘boot camp.’ This association says that they can divulge to you the ‘secret language of the elephants’, ‘a firsthand jungle experience’ and even to be ‘part of their sacred bathing rituals.’

This form of sustainable and altruistic tourism is practiced at the Tiger Trail Elephant Village as well, where tourist funds are channeled into development projects for the elephants, the local economy, conservation in the jungle and sustainable development for nearby villages and communities.

Most elephant treks can be had for a fee of about 100 USD, though even this might be a bit pricey for the avid backpacker.

The adventurous tourist is usually greeted with either well-furnished hotel rooms or cabins near the jungle where the tour is to take place. For every elephant there are two people – your driver and you. For the particularly brave souls among us, they even offer you the chance to ride on the back of the elephant’s neck without a saddle.

This is one experience you’ll never forget about your stay in Laos!