Cao Bang

If you prefer the crowdedness of Sapa or Ha Giang, this place can be a wonderful alternative. Due to being cut through by a dense system of rivers and streams, the terrain of Cao Bang has many mountains and valleys, creating many attractive landscapes. The meaning of the name also implies the geography of this place.

cao bang vietnam

The rugged terrain of Cao Bang is shaped by its dense river and stream system

The distance from Hanoi to Cao Bang is around 280km, and you can take a sleeper bus, which takes 6 to 7 hours. In Cao Bang, hourly motorcycle rental shops offer rates starting from 140,000 VND per day. Renting a motorcycle is highly recommended to conveniently access the various tourist attractions in the area.

Best attractions in Cao Bang:

  • Nguom Ngao Cave: A masterpiece of nature given to Cao Bang. Inside the cave is a labyrinth with large and small stalactites.

  • Pac Bo Historical Relic - Lenin Spring: A site that preserves evidence of the resistance war and President Ho Chi Minh.

  • Thang Hen Lake: The lake is surrounded by emerald green water all year round, with limestone mountains around it. The most notable is the unique God's Eye Mountain.

  • Khuoi Ky Village: An ancient stone village with unique architecture.

lenin spring in cao bang vietnam

Le Nin Spring has a captivating emerald-jade color

Co To Island

If you think that Quang Ninh only has Halong Bay as a beautiful destination, you are greatly mistaken, there is also Co To with countless beautiful landscapes to explore. This is an island district located in the eastern part of Quang Ninh province, about 80km from the mainland. Co To has nearly 50 small and large surrounding islands.

co to island vietnam

Co To has long sandy beaches, fine white sands, and crystal-clear waters

To get to Co To Island, you first need to travel to the Cai Rong port. If you're starting from Hanoi, you can go by sleeper bus or take a limousine, which takes around 4 hours. From the Cai Rong port, you need to take a boat to reach Co To island. You can opt for a high-speed boat, which costs approximately 250,000 VND per trip.

To get around the island, you can rent a bicycle (50,000 VND per hour), or a motorbike (200,000 VND per day). 

co to beach vietnam

The rocky outcrops on Van Chay Beach

Best attractions in Co To Island:

  • Van Chay Beach: This long, fine sandy beach has large waves, making it ideal for various water sports like canoeing, surfing, and scuba diving to discover the ocean.

  • Mong Rong Rock Formation: This area has a system of naturally eroded sedimentary rocks that have been weathered over thousands of years by the sea, creating a pristine natural landscape.

  • Co To Lighthouse: This is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Vietnam.

  • Dong Cao Historic Site: This site marks the location of a historic battle in 1945 between the local militia of Ky Con and the French military forces.

  • Hon Su Tu: A symbol of Co To Island. 

Pu Luong - Thanh Hoa

About 160 km from Hanoi, the Pu Luong Nature Reserve is home to Thai and Muong ethnic minority communities. Pu Luong is located in the northwestern part of Thanh Hoa province, covering an area of over 17,000 hectares. It comprises dense forests, waterfalls, caves, and mountains interspersed with peaceful villages and lush green terraced rice fields. 

pu luong vietnam - rice field in vietnam

Pu Luong is an ideal stopover if you wish to unwind and escape the crowds

This can be considered one of the best-hidden gem places in Vietnam. You can take a sleeper bus or a limousine to get to Pu Luong. The journey is estimated to take around 4 to 5 hours.

hidden gems in vietnam

The huge water mills in Tom Village

Best attractions in Pu Luong:

  • Hieu Village: famous for the Hieu Waterfall, with its crystal-clear and refreshing waters. The area is also known for its bamboo groves, terraced rice fields, and pristine forests.

  • Pu Luong Nature Reserve: discover natural beauty and the ethnic delicacies of the highlands.

  • Pu Luong Peak: standing at around 1,700 meters, it is a popular destination for trekkers.

  • Ban Don: a village with a high concentration of Thai ethnic people, offering a peaceful atmosphere and pristine natural scenery, as well as delectable local specialties like forest bamboo shoots and free-range chicken.

  • Hang Doi: a cave with numerous unique and gigantic stalagmites.

  • Pho Doan Weekly Market: an opportunity to explore a vibrant traditional market in the highlands, held every Thursday and Sunday.

Hue - The Sacred Ancient Capital

Located in the central region, Hue is a world cultural heritage city. The former capital has a long history and tradition with unique values and identity. Additionally, it also has many beautiful beaches that are just as impressive as those in Da Nang.

hue tombs vietnam

Hue is home to numerous impressive imperial citadel, temples, and royal tombs

To get to Hue, you can travel by plane or train from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other provinces. Taking the train is also an interesting experience where you can enjoy the beauty of Vietnam as you pass through different regions. 

If you want to save money, you can choose a sleeper bus for only 300,000 VND per trip. To get around the city, you can rent a motorbike or take a cyclo to enjoy the sights around the city.

huong river in hue vietnam

Boating on the Huong River to view the Ngu Binh Mountains

Best attractions in Hue: 

  • The Imperial Citadel: a world cultural heritage site with grand palaces, temples, and shrines, reflecting the Nguyen dynasty's architecture.

  • Tu Duc Tomb: the most beautiful of the Nguyen dynasty's tombs, with a poetic and ancient beauty.

  • Khai Dinh Tomb: the only tomb with a blend of Eastern and Western architecture.

  • Thien Mu Pagoda: the oldest 400-year-old pagoda in the former capital.

  • Huong River and Ngu Mountain: a scenic location in Hue, beautiful like a painting.

  • Lang Co Bay: one of the most beautiful bays in the world (in 2009).

  • Xuan Thuy Village: a long-standing incense-making village with its colorful incense sticks. 

  • Dong Ba Market: the largest and oldest shopping destination in Hue.

Phu Yen - Stunning Beaches

Phu Yen is a coastal province in the South-Central Coast region of Vietnam. It has three sides surrounded by mountains and a diverse system of rivers, lakes, bays, and islands. With a long coastline, Phu Yen has many beautiful seaside paradises with very attractive natural scenery.

phu yen in vietnam - hidden gems in vietnam

Phu Yen is one of the best hidden gem places in Vietnam

Phu Yen is about 500km from Ho Chi Minh City. You can travel there by plane, train, or sleeper bus. If you take the sleeper bus, you should depart from the Eastern Bus Station, and the one-way ticket price is only 200,000 VND.

Best attractions in Phu Yen: 

  • Ghenh Da Dia: the most famous scenic spot in Phu Yen with square stone blocks like black gemstones on the sea.

  • Xep Beach: a place with golden sand beaches, boundless forests, and tall cactus-covered cliffs.

  • Mui Dien: a place with beautiful sandy slopes, where you can see the earliest sunrise in Vietnam.

  • Hon Yen: a place with colorful coral reefs and moss-covered rocky beaches.

  • Nui Nhan: a mountain with an 800-year-old Cham tower with impressive architectural art.

  • Dam O Loan: a lagoon with an area of over 1,500 hectares, a beautiful place to watch the purple sunset.

  • Vuc Hom Waterfall: a waterfall located among majestic basalt rock columns, with a large, cool lake at its base.

hidden gems in vietnam

Bai Xep is a stunning beach with towering cliffs dotted with cacti and golden sandy shores

Con Dao - Amazing Island

Con Dao was chosen by Travel and Leisure magazine as the first name on the list of the world's most fascinating islands. This archipelago of 16 islands covers an area of 76 km2, with Con Son Island being the largest. This place not only has beautiful nature but also bears the marks of wartime.

hidden gems in vietnam - sunset in vietnam

Mui Tau Be is the best spot in Con Dao to witness the breathtaking sunrises

Con Dao is located 185 km from Vung Tau and 230 km from Ho Chi Minh City. To get there, you can take a plane to save time or take a boat from Vung Tau or Tran De Port. Con Dao Airport is about 15 km from the town center, and you can get there by motorbike, taxi, or the hotel's shuttle.

Best attractions in Con Dao Island: 

  • Hon Bay Canh: An eco-tourism spot with coral reefs, mangrove forests, and sea turtles.

  • Dam Tre Bay: A sheltered area with mangrove forests, where swiftlets nest, and beautiful beaches like Lo Voi Beach and Dat Roc Beach.

  • Mui Tau Be: A place with towering rock formations that form an arc, offering the best sunrise views in Con Dao.

  • Nhat Beach: A pristine beach with clear blue waters.

  • Hon Tre Nho: A diverse ecosystem with bamboo, and thousands of migratory birds nesting and laying eggs.

  • Ong Dung Primary Forest: A trekking spot through the primary forest leading to a beach.

  • Con Dao Museum: Displaying 2,000 historical documents about the struggle for 113 years.

  • Con Dao Prison: A prison built by the French colonists in 1862 to imprison Vietnamese patriots.


con dao prison vietnam

Visit Con Dao Prison to learn more about its wartime history

To gain more insights, navigate to our post about travel guide to Vietnam!

We have just provided you with the top 6 hidden gem places in Vietnam. These places all have beautiful natural scenery and great cultural and historical value, but they are not too crowded with tourists. All suggestions are in the hopes that you have a wonderful Vietnam itinerary. If you need any further assistance, please contact us!