Booking.com suggests the most endorsed walking destinations in Vietnam, when it is safe to do so.
An ‘Awe Walk’* is a stroll within a place of meaning and beauty, in which you intentionally shift your energy and attention outward instead of inward. So, you’re not thinking about tight deadlines, unfinished projects or concerns about the pandemic. But instead take a walk and focus on everything around you — the sights, smells, sounds, even your emotions — and tap into your sense of awe. By paying total attention to the world around you, you can increase your mental focus and emotional well-being and decrease any personal anxiousness. These ‘awe walks’, where you soak up nature, art, architecture and more, can make you feel more connected with your surroundings, boost healthy and positive emotions such as compassion and gratitude and make you feel happier.
Keeping this in mind, Booking.com has delved into its internal endorsement data** from millions of travellers to find Vietnam’s most walkable destinations. From quiet nature walks, sunrise beach strolls and breezy riverside hikes these destinations are not only a great way to get a feel of the place you’re visiting, but also great exercise as well. Find a sense of awe and discover a miraculous world closer to home right here in Vietnam.
Seeking a new, impressive environment is the first step of the ‘awe-walk’ journey. Endorsed on Booking.com by Vietnamese travelers for nature walks, Dalat, Sapa and Ninh Binh, are the top 3 destinations to lace up your walking shoes and inspire you to take in some fresh air.
Dalat is a great destination to enjoy nature at its best as well as spend time discovering the local culture. From the Elephant Waterfall, Linh An Pagoda and Van Thanh Flower Village, there is more than enough to explore during your walk. With terraced rice paddies and wonderful mountain villages, Sapa boasts of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Vietnam. Home to a dense network of nature trails, travellers can link trails together and create the perfect nature walk to enjoy some clean air and tranquility. Set within a UNESCO-protected site, Ninh Binh with its karst mountains, underground rivers, extensive caves and unspoilt jungle is packed with opportunities to walk, hike or relax and a great place to experience the ‘awe’ moment.
As you start to awe-walk, the second step is to feel the ground beneath your feet and listen to the sounds that surround you. Take a deep breath and smell the ocean, hear the sound of the beach waves, and feel the sand on your toes at Danang, Vung Tau, and Nha Trang which are the top 3 most recommended destinations for beach walks on Booking.com by Vietnamese travelers travelling domestically. These destinations offer breathtaking coastal sceneries and have a variety of unique routes to admire the mesmerizing view of every sunrise and sunset.
The beachwalk experience in Danang is absolutely refreshing. With more than 28km of coastline, you will find yourself staring off into the distance as the blue ocean dissolves into the horizon of dense, deep green forest. Put on a pair of comfy shoes and discover these charming seaside towns while enjoying your beach walk. During the day, enjoy the sights of the Champa structures in Nha Trang or the lighthouse of Vung Tau. In the evening, indulge in delicious street food and unique local delicacies such as ‘mi quang’, ‘banh trang cuon thit heo’, ‘banh dap’ or fresh seafood at Danang.
Once you get into the practice of taking these walks, you’ll notice the unlimited possibilities of experiencing awe. Enjoy some peaceful riverside walks in Hoi An, Hue, and Can Tho which are also the top 3 most recommended destinations for riverside walks by Vietnamese travelers on Booking.com.
The beautiful walking path along the banks of the Huong River, a lush green public space and a peaceful destination for locals and visitors alike makes the beautiful city of Hue an ideal destination for a riverside walk. The Huong River flows into the heart of Hue, creating an elegant and romantic atmosphere for walkers to enjoy tranquility and breathe fresh air. Just 3-4 hours away is the ancient town of Hoi An where every street is how it was 100 years ago with terracotta roofs, yellow painted walls, and lanterns hanging at the house entrances. The best part of Hoi An is that it’s pedestrian-friendly, making it the only place in Vietnam where you won’t have to fear being run over by vehicles and motorbikes. The city of Can Tho is also perfect to walk along the riverfront any time of the day. Here you’ll find the most interesting old buildings, river views, easy access to boats, floating markets and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
If you can’t get out of the city, try ‘awe walking’ at monuments, zoos, or botanical gardens at Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi. There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot to get a real feel of the place. When it is safe to do so, it’s a great way to discover hidden gems, interact with locals, and have a truly authentic travel experience. It is recommended that you strictly follow the 5K message and local regulations during this time to welcome the city walk again once the cities open up. Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Hoi An are the top 3 most endorsed destinations for city walk by Vietnamese travellers travelling within Vietnam on Booking.com
Not only can exploring the city on foot bring some awe-spiring moments, but it is also a great way to discover the city and its truly authentic culture while learning little secrets and seeing hidden gems all around. From iconic skyscrapers to old neighborhoods, sometimes walking around with no destination in mind and seeing where it takes you can be the best therapy out there.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
* Sturm, V. E., Datta, S., Roy, A. R. K., Sible, I. J., Kosik, E. L., Veziris, C. R., Chow, T. E., Morris, N. A., Neuhaus, J., Kramer, J. H., Miller, B. L., Holley, S. R., & Keltner, D. (2020). Big smile, small self: Awe walks promote prosocial positive emotions in older adults. Emotion.
** Destinations were selected with the highest number of endorsements by Booking.com travelers for walking trips such as nature walk, beach walk, coastal walk, riverside walk, city walk, hiking, clean air.