The travel options in Vietnam are endless, whether you are hoping to visit the big cities, relax by the beach, or cruise through Halong Bay. For a chance to get back to nature and experience some stunning scenery visit the hills of Sapa Valley and trek through remote hill tribe villages. If you are more interested in the hustle and bustle head south to Ho Chi Minh City, or if you are in need of some relaxation spend some time in the coastal town of Hoi An. Having just returned from a Vietnam tour I thought I’d share some green travel tips to help keep the impacts of your travel to a minimum.
Since Vietnam is a very long and thin country train travel is a great alternative to flying. If you are short on time, train travel may not be ideal. If you have plenty of time and want to see more of the country it is a great option! It’s inexpensive and provides some great scenery.
Biking is another great way to explore the city and countryside of Vietnam. Rent a bike for a self-guided tour of the city, and an even cheaper alternative to taxis. You can also join a bike tour group. It’s a great way to meet people during your travels and of course with a guide you’ll learn more about the sights and surroundings. Hoi An is a great place to explore by bike, as it provides a quick way to get from the beach to the historic town.
Vietnam Eco Lodges
As tourism in Vietnam becomes more popular, more eco lodges have been popping up. Hotels are doing their part to help protect and preserve the country’s natural resources and beauty. You can find unique boutique hotels and eco lodges throughout the country but here are a few noteworthy ones.
Pilgrimage Village: Hue, Vietnam
Pilgrimage Village is Vietnamese style resort that focuses on sustainable development. The bungalows and villas having a simple design creating a relaxing base to return to after a day of sightseeing. Set in a rustic village this eco lodge blends in with the natural surroundings and helps supports the local culture.
Topas Ecolodge: Sapa, Vietnam
Topas Ecolodge is in Northern Vietnam, deep in the beautiful Sapa Valley. With just 25 individual lodges constructed in a circle around the hills each lodge has spectacular views of the valley below. Topas Ecolodge works with the local minorities of Sapa to help preserve the culture and create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Use Local Guides
Hiring local guides during you visit to Vietnam is a great way to do your part in supporting the local people and economy. They also will be much more knowledgable than a guide from outside the area. Local guides can take you off the beaten path or suggest locations that are unique and will provide a more authentic cultural experience.
Global Basecamps is a specialty travel company that helps independent travelers research and book locally owned boutique hotels, off-the-beaten path lodges and multi-day excursions all over the world. Global Basecamps uses proceeds from each trip to make contributions to global community outreach and development programs.