Owee’s non tourist tour Part 1

I have been very fortunate to have been able to travel to places in Vietnam that other foreigners have rarely if ever seen. Traveling to these places offers a more realistic understanding of Vietnam in my opinion. Currently almost all tours will take you to the same attractions and the same tourist areas. I for one have been to almost all of them, and some, many times. I live in Vietnam and when I travel, I do not want to be herded through a factory or showroom full of other tourists to be funneled into a store where a person pressure to buy, or resentment for being put into the position of having to say no multiple times.

As I wrote in my last post, I am fortunate to have some very good friends that own and manage a major tour company. (You can find their information here)  I have accompanied them to some places that are rarely visited by tourists but are hidden gems full of friendly people and natural wonders and beauty. Following in an Itinerary That I with the help of my friends have come up with:


Start with a Drive to Núi – Bà ?en (Black Virgin) – Mountain where a person can take a gondola to one of the largest mountain temples in South Vietnam. After a bobsled down the mountain, we continue to Chau Doc in An Giang province and visit a small Muslim village on the Mekong before checking into our hotel.


After breakfast take the short journey to Sam Mountain located on the Vietnam-Cambodia border and climb to the top past the ancient temples. At the top a person will enjoy a spectacular view of both Vietnam and Cambodia landscapes. The mountain is also still used as a defensive base. We will then board our vehicle and head into the most southern region of Kien Giang province. We will have a late lunch of local dishes and then board a boat to visit U Minh Thuong National Park, where we will see Giant bats, and other creatures native to the area. We will then overnight in a Nha Tro or a homestay.

Day 3

We will return to U Minh Thuong National Park and explore another area. Brave souls can climb a small spiral staircase for a breathtaking view of the swamp like area.  On the drive back to Saigon we will stop and explore the Cai Rang Floating Market near Con Tho before heading back to Saigon to end the first leg of the journey

Day 4

Free time to rest up, do laundry, and do some of the local tours if a person wants.

Day 5

To be continued………….

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

36 thoughts on “Owee’s non tourist tour Part 1

  1. Hi Owee, is it possible to do some of the more ‘off the beaten track’ places you mentioned without using a motorcycle……we’re heading for 70 at a fast rate and I don’t fancy riding a motorbike. We have four days before we need to head down to HCM.

  2. Hi, great blog, im travelling to north vietnam (flying to hanoi) for two weeks over Christmas and my instinct/love is always to go of the beaten path and have a bit of an adventure. Is there anywhere in particular you recommend in north Vietnam etc?

    Ill also contact that tour company they sound great. cheers.

    1. Thanks Sam. If off the beaten path is what you want……. Try hiring a rider and seeing the country by motorcycle to places such as Hoa Binh and Son La or Nghia Lo, otherwise most of the travel in the north is on the worn path but still beautiful.

  3. This is just the kind of thing my husband and I were looking for. We’ve been to Thailand a few times and always organised everything ourselves. However, looking at Vietnam, it is so huge and there is so much to see, I don’t even know where to start. It has become apparent that more than one trip will be necessary. I think our preference would be to see some of the culture and what is described above and then a week at the beach(Nha Trang appeals) preferably with some good snorkelling, we would probably have about 3 weeks in April/May ’12 so at the risk of being another person asking you for “personalised” info where do your recommend starting our discovery of Vietnam from? We are not the tourist trap sorts, quite adventurous (we are told) and love the local food and not keen on posh restaurants, the more locals the happier I am. I have to thank you for your wonderful blog – great info, thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome Lindy…. If you want adventure and non touristy things, then I am probably who you want to be talking to. I will follow up with a more detailed email email but here is what I might do.
      a 3 day excursion to the Mekong into less touristy areas I have written about
      From Saigon, hire Motorcycle riders to deliver you from Saigon to Nha Trang via Dalat on a 4 day journey on backroads, then after a few days resgt, head out on another 4 or 5 day journey into the central highlands visiting Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Kom Tum, and non touristy Quy Nhon before returning for your week of beaches.

  4. Please could I have the details of the tour company you mention, they are not showing in your blog? Myself and my partner are travelling to Vietnam for 1st time next march and I love the sound of your experience and would like to do something similar

  5. I would love to do the above itinerary, how much am I looking to pay for this tour..based on 2 adults? And please could you let me know the tour company?

    Also, we will be based in Saigon, will they do pick ups from there or do we meet them in Núi ? If so, how long is the drive to Núi from Saigon?

    It’s just that we will have 4 days “spare” to toy around with, and I came across this blog, and loved the idea of not “following the sheep” – going off the beaten track and seeing my birthcountry for real is what is needed!

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