Outdoor & Recreational

Vietnam's many golf courses take players to some of the best locations in the country like the Danang beach by Aaron Joel Santos Take me there

A wave of icy river water slams across the boat as you careen through Class 4 whitewater rapids; every muscle in your body tenses as your fingers clutch a limestone outcropping and you pull yourself to the top of the cliff; the wind catches your kite and sends you and your surfboard hurtling into the air—these are just a few of the adrenaline rushes that Vietnam affords lovers of outdoor sports. The country has always been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, and in the past few decades travellers seeking both a thrill and the chance to reconnect with nature have been drawn here. Kite-surfers, climbers, canyoneers, bungee-jumpers, and other daredevils will find that Vietnam is truly unlike anywhere else in the world.

For every pulse-pounding outdoor activity, however, there is another more serene pursuit. Sapa, with its boundless expanses of emerald foliage, is a hiker’s dream come true. Long, ambling treks pass by tiered rice paddies, misty mountains, and thundering waterfalls. Other lush expanses can be found in national parks such as Cát Bà, Ba Bể and Bạch Mã. If you prefer to absorb scenery at a faster pace, sturdy mountain bikes can conquer the winding dirt paths of these ecological sanctuaries with relative ease.

Finally, as glorious as Vietnam’s untamed nature may be, the land’s more manicured landscapes have their own distinctive allure. The golf courses here rank among the best in the world, with high-pedigree designers and challenges clever enough to lure pros on a regular basis. At first glance, these carefully tended stretches of grass might seem to have little in common with the country’s wilder places. Look closer though and you’ll find that the sinuating curves of the green often echo the shape of the terrain and surrounding bodies of water, or are engineered to showcase a particularly stunning vista in the backdrop.

Outdoor & Recreational