Take your hobby on holiday – follow your interests in Vietnam

One of the benefits of using the services of an escorted tour when visiting a new country is that much of the hassle sometimes connected with travel may be eliminated, and you can enjoy the expertise of a professional guide.

There are a huge range of escorted holidays to Vietnam from the UK and most of these are specifically tailored so that all members of a small group can make the best of their trip. Vietnam can, at times, appear bewildering to Westerners, so using the services of a guide to help you navigate this diverse and beautiful country will certainly enhance your experience. Many people enjoy expanding their horizons by continuing their hobbies when on their travels, so if you are a keen cook, artist or wildlife enthusiast, for example, you will be able to book a tour that will encompass your interests.

Hoi An Market in Vietnam Photo: Mark Hauser on Flickr

Hoi An Market in Vietnam

Cookery

A specially tailored gastronomic tour of Vietnam will not only give you some of the best sights that the country has to offer but you’ll also have the chance to learn how to create some truly amazing Vietnamese dishes. Your native Vietnamese guide will be able to take you to some of the best restaurants as well as introduce you to some delicious local street food, and then liaise between the tour group and the chef who can teach you how to reproduce some of your favourite dishes. The tempting pork dish of ‘Pho’ need never again be a problem for you. Hoi An, famous for its food, is just one city where cooking courses are available, and after class you’ll be able to wander around its ancient streets and get a real feel for the place.

A bowl of Pho in Vietnam Photo: Canadian Veggie on Flickr

A bowl of Pho in Vietnam

Wildlife

Most visitors to Vietnam will soon become aware of the beautiful flora and fauna of the country. Any nature lover will only benefit by being accompanied by a Vietnamese-speaking guide in order to interact with local experts. Accommodation in some of the remoter parts of the country can sometimes pose a problem but most reputable tour companies will know about the best hotels in each specific region. The Dalat Plateau, a must-see for bird lovers, is home to many of the country’s 300 rare bird species. Those who want to catch sight of the extremely rare Delacour’s Langur should head North to the Cuc Phuong National Park, the country’s first National Reserve, which was opened by Ho Chi Minh himself.

Red Shanked Douk in Cuc Phuong National Park Photo: Gavin White on Flickr

Red Shanked Douk in Cuc Phuong National Park

Health and Beauty

Many overseas visitors don’t realise that Vietnam is home to many spas and massage centres. There is even a scheme for the blind that incorporates teaching them massage skills. Quoy Nhon in central Vietnam is famous for its treatments, and health giving massage spas are opening throughout the country. If you’re taking a trip across the magical Halong Bay then why not board a junk that offers morning Tai Chi classes, you’ll be greeting the day in paradise and feeling healthy at the same time.

Halong Bay in Vietnam Photo: Cristinabe on Flickr

Halong Bay in Vietnam

My thanks for this article to Celina Bledowska, author and journalist, representing Travel Indochina, leaders in creating real travel experiences in Asia since 1993.

Photo Credit: Hoi An Market by Mark Hauser , A bowl of Pho by Canadian Veggie, Red Shanked Douc by Gavin White, Halong Bay by Cristinabe

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