Vietnam is a country with a rich cultural heritage, ancient history, and breathtaking natural beauty. From the stunning Ha Long Bay to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, there is no shortage of incredible destinations to explore. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 15 best places to visit in Vietnam, detailing what makes each destination unique and why it should be on your travel itinerary.
1. Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is one of the most iconic destinations in Vietnam, known for its towering limestone cliffs and tranquil turquoise waters. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features over 1,600 islands and islets, many of which are uninhabited and offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Some of the top things to do in Ha Long Bay include taking a traditional junk boat cruise, kayaking through the narrow channels between the islands, and exploring hidden caves and grottoes. The bay is also a popular spot for rock climbing, fishing, and swimming.
- Cruise on a traditional junk boat
- Visit Sung Sot Cave
- Kayak around the bay
- Watch the sunset from Ti Top Island
Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is steeped in history and culture. With its French colonial architecture and bustling street markets, the city offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.
Some of the top things to do in Hanoi include visiting the Temple of Literature, strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake, and exploring the Old Quarter’s maze of narrow streets and alleys. Be sure to try some local delicacies like pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches, and egg coffee while you’re there.
- Temple of Literature
- Hoan Kiem Lake
- Hanoi Old Quarter
- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
3. Sa Pa
Sa Pa is a mountain town located in the northwest region of Vietnam, known for its stunning rice terraces and vibrant cultural scene. This area is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Hmong, Dao, and Tay people, who have preserved their traditional way of life for generations.
Some of the top things to do in Sa Pa include trekking through the rice terraces, visiting local markets to meet the locals, and learning about the unique customs and traditions of the different ethnic groups. The town also offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation, with its natural hot springs and spas.
- Muong Hoa Valley
- Fansipan Mountain
- Sa Pa Market
- Cat Cat Village
Hue is a city in central Vietnam that was once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. The city’s rich history is evident in its spectacular royal tombs, ancient temples, and ornate palaces.
Some of the top things to do in Hue include visiting the Imperial City, exploring the Thien Mu Pagoda, and taking a boat ride along the Perfume River. The city is also known for its delicious cuisine, which blends flavors from both northern and southern Vietnam.
- Hue Imperial City
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tomb of Minh Mang
- Dong Ba Market
5. Hoi An
Hoi An is a charming small town situated on the central coast of Vietnam, known for its well-preserved ancient buildings and colorful lanterns that light up the streets at night. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a bustling port town and is now an incredibly popular destination for tourists.
Some of the top things to do in Hoi An include visiting the Japanese Covered Bridge, wandering around the Old Town’s narrow streets, and taking a boat ride along the Thu Bon River. The town is also famous for its tailors, who can create custom-made clothing in just a few hours.
- Japanese Covered Bridge
- Old Town
- Hoi An Night Market
- Tra Que Vegetable Village
6. Nha Trang
Nha Trang is a coastal city located in the south-central region of Vietnam, known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. This vibrant city is popular with both locals and tourists alike, offering a wide variety of activities and attractions.
Some of the top things to do in Nha Trang include soaking up the sun on the beach, visiting the Po Nagar Cham Towers, and snorkeling or diving in the clear waters. The city is also home to several hot springs and mud baths, perfect for relaxation after a long day of exploring.
- Po Nagar Cham Towers
- Vinpearl Land Nha Trang
- Hon Mun Island
- Long Son Pagoda
7. Da Lat
Da Lat is a picturesque mountain town located in the central highlands of Vietnam, known for its coolclimate, stunning scenery, and romantic atmosphere. This charming town was a popular retreat for French colonists during the colonial period, and their influence can still be seen in the city’s architecture and cuisine.
Some of the top things to do in Da Lat include visiting the Crazy House, exploring the lush gardens and waterfalls of the Dalat Flower Park, and taking a cable car ride to the peak of Lang Biang Mountain. The town is also famous for its fresh produce, including strawberries, avocados, and coffee.
- Crazy House
- Dalat Flower Park
- Lang Biang Mountain
- Bao Dai Summer Palace
8. Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a coastal town located in the southeast region of Vietnam, known for its long stretches of sandy beaches, towering sand dunes, and world-class kiteboarding and windsurfing conditions. This laid-back town offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Some of the top things to do in Mui Ne include sandboarding down the red and white sand dunes, watching the sunrise or sunset over the fishing village, and indulging in fresh seafood at one of the many beachfront restaurants. The town is also home to several natural hot springs and a picturesque lighthouse.
- Red and White Sand Dunes
- Fairy Stream
- Fishing Village
- Poshanu Cham Tower
9. Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and relaxing atmosphere. This tropical paradise is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind and soak up some sun.
Some of the top things to do in Phu Quoc include snorkeling or diving in the coral reefs, hiking through the dense jungle to see the waterfalls, and enjoying a massage or spa treatment. The island is also famous for its fresh seafood, including the delicious Phu Quoc fish sauce.
- Sao Beach
- Phu Quoc National Park
- Ham Ninh Fishing Village
- Dinh Cau Night Market
10. Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is a vast network of rivers and streams that flow through the southern part of Vietnam, known for its lush green rice paddies, floating markets, and vibrant culture. This region is a must-visit for those looking to experience authentic Vietnamese life and culture.
Some of the top things to do in the Mekong Delta include taking a boat ride along the canals to see the floating markets and traditional villages, visiting the fruit orchards and coconut groves, and trying the local specialty dishes like banh xeo and hu tieu.
- Cai Rang Floating Market
- My Tho City
- Vinh Trang Pagoda
- Can Tho Night Market
11. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the economic hub of the country. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from China, France, and Vietnam, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere.
Some of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City include visiting the War Remnants Museum to learn about the country’s history, exploring the bustling Ben Thanh Market, and trying the delicious street food. The city is also home to several beautiful French colonial buildings, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
- War Remnants Museum
- Ben Thanh Market
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Cu Chi Tunnels
12. Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an underground network of tunnels used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong soldiers. The tunnels were used for communication, storage, and as a hiding place from the enemy.
Visitors can explore a small section of the tunnels to see how the soldiers lived during the war and learn about their tactics. The site also includes several exhibits and displays about the war and its impact on the country.
- Tunnel complex
- Shooting range
- War exhibits
13. My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Hoi An, known for its ancient Cham temples and ruins. The site was once a major religious center, dating back to the 4th century, and features intricate carvings and sculptures.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the site to learn about its history and architecture and see the impressive towers and temples that have been restored to their former glory.
- Temple complex
- Cham artifacts
- Guided tours
14. Ha Giang
Ha Giang is a mountainous province located in the far north of Vietnam, known for its stunning natural scenery and ethnic minority communities. This area is a must-visit for thoselooking to experience the authentic cultural traditions of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.
Some of the top things to do in Ha Giang include driving along the winding mountain roads to see the breathtaking views, trekking through the rice terraces and forests, and visiting the local markets to meet the locals and try the traditional dishes. The province is also home to several historic sites and landmarks, including the Lung Cu Flag Tower and the Dong Van Old Town.
- Dong Van Old Town
- Ma Pi Leng Pass
- Lung Cu Flag Tower
- Khau Vai Love Market
15. Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay and is known for its stunning natural beauty, white sandy beaches, and unique wildlife. The island is home to several national parks and preserves, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.
Some of the top things to do on Cat Ba Island include hiking or biking through the national parks, kayaking through the limestone karsts, and relaxing on the beaches. The island is also home to several endangered species, including the Cat Ba Langur and the golden-headed langur.
- Cat Ba National Park
- Cannon Fort
- Hospital Cave
- Monkey Island
Vietnam offers an incredible array of destinations for travelers looking to explore this beautiful country. From the stunning scenery of Ha Long Bay to the vibrant culture of Ho Chi Minh City, there is no shortage of amazing sights and experiences to be had. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature, Vietnam has something for everyone.