The Vietnam Story
From the jagged limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay to the vast Cu Chi tunnels built by the Viet Cong and underlying Saigon, Vietnam’s landscape is as compelling as its history. Fuelled by one of the most robust economies in the developing world, the country exemplifies tenacity, ambition, and recovery.
The Vietnamese have kept China at bay for over a millennium, repelled three Mongol invasions, and declared victory over the United States. Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Vietnam expanded southward, eventually conquering the Kingdom of Champa and part of the Khmer Empire. The Cham ruins at My Son are perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, and one of the most historically important temple complexes in Southeast Asia alongside Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Ayutthaya, and Bagan.
Khiri offers unique pagoda visits in the city formerly known as Saigon—once the seat of French colonialism. The French settlers of the 19th century were concentrated in Cochinchina, the southern third of Vietnam centered on Saigon. The French developed a plantation economy in Vietnam rooted in the export of indigo, tobacco, coffee, and tea and ignored the nationalist political movements agitating for independence from colonial rule.
Vietnam’s politics reached a breaking point in the 20th century with the Gulf of Tonkin and the 1968 Tet Offensive. With Khiri tours you will learn about the vagaries of war while experiencing the bounty of Vietnam’s postwar triumph.
From cooking classes and sunset boat trips in Hoi An—a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 500 tailors situated in historic shop houses—to visits to colorful ethnic minority villages within the stunning landscape of northern Vietnam, Khiri shows you the many facets of this vibrant, thriving country.
Can you imagine a world where travelers reject the wastefulness of using disposable plastic water bottles? Khiri Travel endorses this simple but powerful attitude promoted by Travelers Against Plastic (TAP), a worldwide non-profit organization. TAP’s goal is to educate travelers about using reusable containers instead of buying and disposing of plastic bottles. The following link is a list of hotels Khiri Travel recommends in Vietnam that use glass water bottles.
Cat Tien National Park
Enter one of the largest and most important parks of Vietnam by boat and explore the vast terrain on foot. Cat Tien National Park consists of lowland forest and swamp and is home to numerous birds and mammals. Wake up at dawn to track singing gibbons through the forest and observe their daily rituals. Stay up for a night safari to view nocturnal wildlife. Explore Crocodile Lake and visit the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Center, a sanctuary that specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of endangered primates.
Wildlife highlights: Spot gibbons and shanked douc langur monkeys in the wild or spend time volunteering with these primates. Spot exotic birdlife such as the Germain’s peacock-pheasant, or unique mammals like the leopard cat, lesser mousedeer, sambar, porcupine and guar. There is also a good chance to spot some crocodiles.
Bach Ma National Park
The evergreen forest in Bach Ma National Park is the best bird watching spot in Vietnam. Follow our local guides along trails where travelers will have the best chance to observe exotic birds. This family friendly park has trekking and even zip lining.
Wildlife highlights: Travelers may see species such as the Indochinese wren-babbler, chestnut-collared yuhina, black-throated laughingthrus, and Annam partridge. There are also mammals such as civets, pygmy loris, doucs and large-antlered muntjac. Smaller critters include shrews and squirrels.
Son Tra Peninsula
Follow our guides through the Son Tra peninsula natural reserve where visitors are able to see over 100 species of animals.
Wildlife highlights: This natural area is home to pangolins, lorises, monkeys, langurs, weasels, squirrels and even the rare, red-shanked douc.
Phong Nha-Ke National Park
Take a boat cruise up the river and explore the Son Doong Cave, the largest subterranean cavern in the world. Watch a cloud of bats emerge in the early morning or evening.
Wildlife highlights: See the intermediate round leaf bat as they enter the cave early mornings or exit in the evening. Travelers may also see leaf monkeys, red-shanked doucs, Indochinese black langurs and white-cheeked gibbons when trekking through this area.
Trek through the Bidoup National Park for the opportunity to spot endemic, rare animal species. This is also an excellent spot for bird watching with over 226 species of birds.
Wildlife highlights: An excellent spot to bird watch and see species such as the Vietnamese greenfinch, red crossbill, Indochinese magpie and the black-throated sunbird. Travelers may also see wildlife such as gibbons and flying vampire frogs.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Visit the Van Long Nature Reserve and observe exotic birds in their natural habitats. The best birding is in the center of the park where there are many great trails. Board a boat along the reserve area and spot the langurs. The park also supports the Endangered Primates Rescue Center and a tortoise and civets center. Adventurous visitors may opt to join the night safari to search for snakes.
Wildlife highlights: There are wild porcupines, deer, pigs, and birds. Travelers can also visit animal rescue centers to see monkeys, lorises, langurs, and gibbons or do a night snake safari.
Con Dao Islands
Con Dao is a small cluster of islands known for an amazing variety of marine life and colorful coral reefs. It is a great spot to spend a few days trekking through jungles and lazing on deserted beaches. It’s also a great place to take the PADI open water certification.
Wildlife highlights: There is amazing marine life including the amazing sea cow or dugong, sea turtles and dolphins, as well as colorful corals to explore.
Cat Ba National Park
The Cat Ba National Park is located on the beautiful Cat Ba Island, the largest in Ha Long Bay. It was the first national park to include both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. Sail over coral reefs, kayak through coastal mangrove forests or trek through forests and spot unique wildlife.
Wildlife highlights: This national park features coral reefs, macaques, civet cats, langurs and reptiles.
Tra Su Cajuput Forest
Tra Su Cajuput is an ecotourism hot spot and home to a wide variety of aquatic plants such as lotus, water lily and duckweed. Explore the serenity of the flooded forest while canoeing and listening to the sounds of rare bird species.
Wildlife highlights: This unique ecosystem is full of freshwater fish and rare bird species such as the Indian stork and rong roc bird.
Van Long Nature Reserve
Van Long Nature Reserve is located in the Gia Vien District, Ninh Binh Province. There are over 39 species of animals including twelve that are rare such as the white shorts langur, Bengal slow loris, Asian black bear and stump-tailed macaque. There are also many reptiles such as king cobras, oriental rat snakes and lizards. In the dry season, it is the wintering spot for migratory birds from the north so visitors may observe pheasants, grey heron and white stork.
Wildlife highlights: Spot wild and endangered animals such as the white shorts langur, Bengal slow loris, Asian black bear and stump-tailed macaques. There are also many reptiles such as king cobras, oriental rat snakes and lizards.