17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

Written by Jess Lee Updated Aug 30, 2023

Vietnam is an astonishing mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity.

The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down to verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette, while Vietnam's long history and multicultural population (with over 50 ethnic minority groups) make a trip here rich in heritage.

Outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, where hiking, biking, and kayaking are popular things to do, but Vietnam's most famous natural tourist attraction, the spectacular karst seascape of Halong Bay, is one natural sight that even the more slothful can experience up close on a cruise.

While the rural areas brim with lush panoramas, the big cities buzz with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to get stuck into Vietnam's tasty culinary highlights.

This fascinating country is full of surprises and is one of Southeast Asia's most underrated destinations. Plan your sightseeing with our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

1. Halong Bay

2. ho chi minh city, 4. phong nha-ke bang national park, 7. sapa countryside, 9. nha trang, 10. cu chi tunnels, 11. ba be national park, 12. mekong delta, 13. cat ba island, 14. ha giang, 15. phu quoc island, 16. con dao islands, frequently asked questions, when is the best time to visit vietnam.

Halong Bay

The karst seascape of Halong Bay is one of the best places to visit in the world for spellbinding sea views and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thousands of limestone islands sit within this bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, eroded into jagged pinnacles by wind and water action over millennia.

With the bay's scenery best seen by boat, this is prime cruising territory. Opt for at least an overnight tour to see Halong Bay's iconic views as a day trip doesn't do it justice.

There are plenty of caves in the bay that can be entered including the Hang Sung Sot, with three mammoth caverns, and the Hang Dao Go, with superbly weird stalagmites and stalactites. For most people though, the highlight is simply cruising amid the karsts and soaking up the changing scenery of pinnacles as you pass by.

There are plenty of different cruise tours to choose from. Check the different itineraries offered before booking as many travelers have left Halong Bay underwhelmed by their cruise.

Author's Tip: If possible, book a tour that takes in neighboring Lan Ha Bay as well as Halong Bay. The karst scenery is just as dramatic here but fewer cruise trips visit. And check if your cruise offers included activities such as guided kayaking (which allows you to experience an up-close view of the scenery).

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

For big city fans, no visit to Vietnam is really complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the buzzing commercial hub of the country.

The streets are an insane clog of motorbikes and cars, the restaurant and café scene is incredibly cosmopolitan, and the shopping is the best in the country.

At its center is Dong Khoi, a relatively small and easily navigable central district, which holds most of the city's sights.

Here, you'll find the HCMC Museum, with a brilliant collection of artifacts that weaves together the story of the city, and the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 19th century.

Check out the old district of Da Kao nearby for some of the best surviving examples of the city's French colonial architecture and also to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its dazzling array of Buddhist and Taoist religious iconography.

Afterwards, the History Museum is a must-do for history fans with stacks of relics on display from various archaeological sites.

For many visitors, the two big-hitter tourist attractions not to miss are just a little out of the center, along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. The Reunification Palace, then known as Independence Palace, was the residence for South Vietnam's president. It's chiefly famous as the spot where North Vietnam's tanks stopped on 30 April 1975, officially ending the war. It's a completely fascinating place to visit complete with 1960s furnishings still in situ.

Nearby is the War Remnants Museum, which although very obviously biased, paints a disturbing picture of the brutality of war and the many atrocities committed by US Forces during their Vietnam campaign.


One of Vietnam's most historic towns, Hue is packed to the brim with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors.

Sitting along the banks of the gorgeous Perfume River, the Imperial Enclosure is a huge site set within walls that sprawl for 2.5 kilometers.

While touring the grounds check out the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its finely lacquered interior detailing, the Dien Tho Residence where the Queen Mothers would live, and the Halls of Mandarins with its preserved ceiling murals.

A dazzling number of historic sites lie outside the Imperial Enclosure walls as well.

One of the nicest ways of visiting a collection of outlying sites is by taking a riverboat cruise on the Perfume River. A day cruise can take you to visit several royal tombs along with some pagodas.

If you're short on time, the best tomb to visit is the Tomb of Tu Doc and the most important pagoda in the area is the Thien Mu Pagoda, with its tower that soars for 21 meters high.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

One of the best places to visit in Vietnam for caving, World Heritage-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a dramatic karst mountain formation honeycombed with huge caverns, which are home to superb stalactite and stalagmite displays.

It's best known for its caving activities , which range from multi-day hiking and caving tours for the more adventurous, to simpler half-day trips to caves with easy access provided by boat trips and modern boardwalks, but the national park also offers mountain biking and trekking activities.

The most popular destinations within the park are the Paradise Cave , which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground, and the Phong Nha Cave, where the interior is accessed by boat. Half-day tours can be easily arranged once you're in the area.

The national park's most renowned caverns though are Son Doong Cave (the world's largest cave) , and the Tu Lan Cave with its cavern river system. Access to these, and to certain other caves in the park are restricted to organized tours (ranging from one-day to multi-day expeditions) which are all run by Phong Nha's expert adventure tour company Oxalis . It's well worth booking in advance to secure your spot.

To make the most of your time here, time your visit for outside the rainy season, which runs from October to December, when many of the national park's caves are closed to the public.

You can access Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park from Son Trach (also known as Phong Nha village).

Hindu temple ruins at My Son

Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is a ruined Cham era temple city that dates from the 4th century.

This old Hindu religious center was still very much in use during the 7th to 10th centuries and only fell into complete decline and abandonment during the 13th century.

There are around 20 temple structures still standing here, all built of brick or sandstone blocks and showing interesting influences from various Asian empires, including Indian and Malay.

Note that the temples of Group B are the oldest, while Group A once contained the site's most important monument but was destroyed deliberately by US forces during the Vietnam War.

A good museum on-site houses plenty of information on the Cham.

Access to My Son is from Hoi An.

Hoi An

Beautiful Hoi An is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, with bags of surviving historic architecture.

The old town quarter is a joy to explore, packed to the brim with well-preserved merchant houses that hark back to Hoi An's trading center heyday of the 15th century, when the town was a major meeting point for Japanese and Chinese merchants who flocked here for the local silks.

Plenty of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public, so you can get a taste of these times. The best is 17th-century Tan Ky House, with fascinating architectural and decorative elements.

Hoi An's major symbol is the delightful Japanese Bridge at the western end of Tran Phu Street, while nearby, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation is the old town's most highly decorated temple.

There are numerous small pagodas and museums dotted about town, but Hoi An's true charm is found in simply rambling the old town streets admiring the well-preserved facades.

Sapa Countryside

The verdant rice field countryside surrounding Sapa, bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still known by their French colonial era name of the Tonkinese Alps), are home to Vietnam's most beautiful rural vistas.

The deep valleys here are home to a diverse mix of the country's ethnic minorities, including the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao people, while the rippling hills are terraced with rice fields and overlooked by the country's tallest peak, Fansipan Mountain.

This is the top trekking destination in Vietnam with oodles of options to trek or day hike between tiny villages and experience the staggering mountain views.

Sapa itself is the main base here - an old hill station and now a bustling and forever growing tourist center that is a stark contrast to the sumptuous tranquil countryside right on its doorstep.

Author's Tip: Keen trekkers looking for more of northern Vietnam's lush mountain vistas may want to skip the busy Sapa scene completely and nudge further 95 kilometers northwest to Bac Ha , where the terraced hill views on hikes between hill villages are just as beautiful. Bac Ha's Sunday market is also a very popular day trip from Sapa.


Vietnam's capital is the frenetic heartbeat of the nation and a place that befuddles travelers as much as it charms them.

The motorbike frenzy, pollution, and constant clamor of street vendors can get too much for some travelers, but if you want to dive into Vietnamese city life, Hanoi is the place to do it.

The old town quarter has plenty of dilapidated charm on offer, while history fans should make a beeline here simply to see the bundle of excellent museums.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Fine Art Museum are both brilliant introductions to the diverse artistry of the country, while the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam.

Author's Tip: It's well worth adding extra time into your itinerary to use Hanoi as a base for exploring the many sights within day tripping distance. In particular, the Tay Phuong and Thay Pagodas (30 kilometers west from the central city), Co Loa Citadel (24 kilometers northeast), and the Huong Pagoda (also known as the Perfume Pagoda; 60 kilometers southwest).

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

Nha Trang

For sandy fun in Vietnam, Nha Trang is king. The well-maintained beach trundles for six kilometers along the shoreline of central Nha Trang city and during summer is jam-packed with local families on vacation, as well as foreign visitors.

There is excellent swimming here with designated swimming areas and manicured lounging areas that make this a great option for relaxing days soaking up the sun and sand.

If you do get bored of sunbathing, the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers are just to the north across the Xom Bong Bridge and have been used as a place of worship here since at least the 7th century (with some historians saying the site itself has been a place of active worship since much earlier).

There is also an excellent museum dedicated to the work of Alexandre Yersin who discovered the cause of the bubonic plague and founded Nha Trang's Pasteur Institute (which still carries out vaccination programs in Vietnam today).

Cu Chi Tunnels

An absolutely fascinating experience for all travelers, not just those interested in Vietnam's modern military history, the Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive tunnel network that during the war, stretched for more than 250 kilometers, allowing VC troops to operate and communicate in the area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City.

Two short sections of the network can be visited with a guide who'll take you down into the narrow unlit confines, which definitely are not for claustrophobia sufferers.

You will literally be crawling on your hands and knees and some points. You can access the tunnels at either Ben Dinh village (the more popular choice) or Ben Duoc village.

Ba Be National Park

Tranquil Ba Be National Park is absolutely stunning with the three interlinked Ba Be Lakes at its heart, rimmed by jagged karst peaks and thickly forested slopes.

Most visitors come here to take peaceful boat trips or kayak on the lake and explore the caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity, but for the more active, there's also excellent hiking and trekking in the hills here between ethnic minority villages.

This is one of the most peaceful spots in Vietnam, and travelers who spend the night here sleep in traditional stilt-house homestay accommodation along the lakeshore, allowing an experience of simple rural life.

Mekong Delta

The far south of Vietnam is where the mighty Mekong River finally finds its way to the sea in a maze of waterways that crisscross the floodplain.

Incredibly lush, with paddy field vistas and mangroves, and full of local life, with chaotic floating markets to explore by boat, the delta is one of the most interesting regions for travelers to discover.

Can Tho is the most popular town to use as a base, as it's close to the floating markets of Phong Dien and Cai Rang, while boat trips from Ca Mau allow you to explore the U Minh Mangrove Forest and Cau Mau Nature Reserve.

This area of Vietnam is one of the best to visit for keen bird watchers and nature lovers , as it is home to both Tra Su Bird Sanctuary Forest and Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary.

View from the top of Cat Ba Island

One of Vietnam's major centers for activities and adventure travel attractions, Cat Ba Island sits on the western edge of Halong Bay.

This is the best place to visit if you want to organize cruises and kayaking trips in Lan Ha Bay, which lies off Cat Ba's southern coast. Lan Ha Bay is a less visited seascape of karst islets and outcrops that makes for a quieter alternative to Halong Bay.

Off the water, much of Cat Ba's dense jungle interior is part of Cat Ba National Park, where hikers can spot plentiful birdlife, as well as animals such as macaques.

For many visitors, though, Cat Ba is all about climbing opportunities. Climbing excursions here utilize both the island's limestone cliffs and Lan Ha Bay's outcrops, providing experiences to suit both complete climbing beginners and experienced climbers.

Scenery along the Mai Pi Leng Pass

The emerald-green karst mountain landscapes along Ha Giang's mountain passes make this far-north province prime territory for scenic road-tripping by either motorbike or car.

In particular, the twisty Quan Ba Pass between Ha Giang town and Tam Son provides panoramic vistas of the karst plateau and its jagged limestone outcrops, while the zigzagging Mai Pi Leng Pass between Dong Van and Meo Vac offers dizzying views of the lush mountain scenery and narrow valleys below.

Time your visit to coincide with one of the area's market days, when traders from the surrounding mountain villages pile into town. Dong Van's Sunday market is one of the best.

View of colorful fishing boats from the Phu Quoc cable-car

Sitting 45 kilometers off the southern coast of the country, in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is a densely forested island, speckled by sweeps of white-sand beach that attract plenty of sunseekers during the winter dry season.

Dry season (November to May) is also when the island's underwater and on-the-water tourism attractions spring into action, with plenty of dive sites in the waters just offshore, as well as opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, and boat trips.

Many of the main boat excursions head to the An Thoi Islands, just to the south of Phu Quoc, which is home to the best snorkeling in the area.

Off the water, the Phu Quoc cable-car provides bird's-eye views for eight kilometers, soaring over the seascape and islands, all the way from Phu Quoc to the island of Hon Thom in the An Thoi Islands.

Phu Quac is accessed by plane or regular ferries from the mainland towns of Rach Gia and Ha Tien. As Ha Tien lies very close to the southern border crossing with Cambodia, the island is a popular first (or last) stop-off in Vietnam for overland travelers.

An Hai Beach on Con Son Island

This remote island group lies around 160 kilometers offshore in the South China Sea and is renowned among divers as one of the best places to visit in the country, both for the variety of sea life and for the coral reefs.

Much of the Con Dao Islands, and the surrounding water, is a protected wilderness area, with the island shores home to nesting turtles, and dense forest still covering the island interiors.

The main island, and prime base for visitors with all the accommodation and things to do, is Con Son Island, which has sweeps of sand strung out across its coast that attract beachgoers looking for a relaxed sun-soaked getaway, as well as divers.

Even if you're here mostly for the beach, make sure to explore the historic sites of Con Son Town (the island's only settlement) including Phu Hai Prison, Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, and the prison known as the Tiger Cages, which document the dark history of this isolated island group.

Con Son's remote position led to the island being used to incarcerate political prisoners during the era Vietnam was occupied by French colonial forces, and later by both the South Vietnamese government and the occupying American forces.

Preserved sites including Phu Hai Prison and the prison cages used by the US forces, known as the Tiger Cages, along with Con Son Town's Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, do an excellent job of documenting this history for visitors.

Access to Con Son Island is either by flight from Ho Chi Minh City or by ferry from the coastal city of Vung Tau.

Fishing boats on the beach in Mui Ne

Once a sleepy coastal fishing town, Mui Né has developed into a beautiful beach resort town and a prime destination for windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing.

Compared to other beach destinations in Vietnam , however, Mui Né remains relatively unknown - and this means pristine beaches and a quiet retreat for most of the year.

Red cliffs and river in Mui Ne

One of Mui Né's most unique attractions is the natural Red Sand Dunes just outside town, where visitors can practice sand-sledding or rent dune buggies for a more adrenaline-charged experience.

Tucked away between nearby fishing villages and towering orange limestone formations, there's the fairy stream, a slow-moving warm stream that almost feels like a walkway because it's so shallow - follow it to the end to reach a waterfall.

For those wishing to explore beyond the coastline, there are also the ruins of the Po Shanu Cham Towers - remnants of the Cham Empire that dominated the area many centuries ago.

Vietnam experiences strong monsoon seasons, where heavy rains hit the cities and the countryside, often causing floods and mudslides. If you're planning to travel around, the best time to visit Vietnam is during the dry season, which lasts from December to February – but there are some exceptions.

The south of Vietnam – where Ho Chi Minh city is located – experiences a more tropical climate, with high temperatures and high humidity year-round. Visiting these areas in the cooler months means less humidity and temperatures in the high 20s rather than the high 30s and 40s, which makes it more comfortable to walk around.

In the north, however, many areas experience an actual winter. Hanoi sees temperatures in the mid- to high teens in December and January – and in the mountains of Sapa in the north, you'll even get to see some snow during these months.

If you're visiting Danang for some beach time or to travel through the ancient town of Hoi An, it's best to arrive between February and May, when water and air temperature are in the 20s – perfect beach weather for enjoying the sand or a dip in the water. The rainy season, and especially the months of September and October, see very heavy rains and often very strong wind storms on the coast, so it's better to stay away from Danang during this time.

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33 BEST Things to Do in Vietnam (Epic 2024 Guide)

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  • Last Updated: January 23, 2024

From exploring the biggest caves in the world to relaxing on palm-fringed beaches or checking off a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, here’s our list of the absolute best things to do in Vietnam!

We’ve been lucky enough to spend more than a decade travelling the world almost non-stop. And a lot of people ask us, of everywhere we’ve been, which is our favourite country.

Without hesitation, we can honestly say Vietnam is.

This long nation in Southeast Asia is a wealth of culture, activities, good food and amazing people. No matter how much time you spend there you could never run out of great ways to enjoy Vietnam.

Don’t underestimate this place. We spent 7 months travelling this amazing country, getting as off the beaten path as possible, and we still didn’t manage to do everything here.

But don’t stress if you don’t have 7 months, because we’re going to help you narrow down just what you should do on your trip to visit Vietnam.

Check out our ultimate guide to  travelling in Vietnam!

Things To Do In Vietnam

Table of Contents

1) Explore the World’s Biggest Caves in Phong Nha

2) check out vietnam on a motorbike, 3) learn about the local culture, 4) cruise the mekong delta, 5) sandboard down the sand dunes in mui ne, 6) walk the streets of hoi an ancient town, 7) go on a vespa tour, 8) relax on the stunning beaches, 9) explore the my son ruins, 10) cycle through the rice fields in mai chau, 11) go for a trek in sapa, 12) explore the dong van plateau in northern vietnam, 13) visit the sunday ethnic minorities market at bac ha, 14) learn about the war history in the dmz area, 15) visit a local produce market, 16) learn to cook vietnamese food, 17) go on a junk boat cruise in halong bay, 18) have coffee with a local, 19) go canyoning in dalat, 20) be adventurous with your food, 21) enjoy hanoi or ho chi minh city from a rooftop, 22) explore the marble mountains in da nang, 23) stay in a traditional homestay, 24) get lost in the imperial city in hue, 25) go trekking or biking in bach ma national park, 26) visit vietnam’s giant’s causeway at ganh da dia, 27) visit the cu chi tunnels outside of hcmc, 28) learn about the hill tribes in kon tum, 29) visit a pagoda, 30) take a boat ride down trang an in ninh binh, 31) climb the highest mountain in indochina in sapa, 32) go scuba diving in nha trang, 33) take a getaway to a tropical island, the best things to do in vietnam.

If you already have your travels here planned, or even if you’re just thinking about taking a trip and are curious what to see and do, then this list is for you.

From the famous Halong Bay, to the historic spots like the Cu Chi Tunnels, to the various Pagodas, beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and more, here are some of the best things to do in Vietnam.

Of everywhere we went in Vietnam (and we went to a lot of places), Phong Nha is by far the coolest and best destination in Vietnam for a number of reasons.

Other than being an absolutely beautiful place, an adventure hot-spot and filled with friendly locals, it also has some of the largest caves in the world.

These caves are a real natural wonder located inside the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and they will blow your mind. They are so amazing it was easy to list the park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a cave experience for everyone’s budget. You can explore Hang Son Doong, the world’s biggest cave , on a 4-day expedition at $3000 per person.

Or camp the night in Hang En, the world’s third-biggest cave, at about $300 per person.

Still out of your price range? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of other great caves to check out in Phong Nha, such as Tu Lan Caves, Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Cave, Hang Over and Dark Cave.

Visiting these caves can last anywhere from an hour day trip up to five days.

On the more adventurous ones, you can expect to cross rivers, hike through pristine jungle, be surrounded by limestone mountains and spend time in ethnic minority villages.

On the easier ones, you can tour the caves by boat or by following boardwalks. Don’t miss joining a guided tour of a few of the highlight caves.

The caves are an unmissable part of the Vietnam sightseeing experience.

Make sure you head down to Phong Nha on your trip and explore as many of the caves as possible! But if you can only pick one, be sure to visit Hang Son Doon as it is truly remarkable!

Check out our post about exploring the world’s biggest cave, Hang Son Doong!

Hang En Exit Phong Nha

Buy a bike, rent a bike or hire a driver. Either way, seeing part of Vietnam on a motorbike is the way to go.

There is something about having the wind in your face and taking travel slower than usual, and riding a motorbike is the best way to do it in this country.

It’s almost become a rite of passage for a lot of travellers, and you’ll find hundreds of people riding motorbikes the length of the country from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

But those in the know head up to Northern Vietnam to see the most striking scenery in the country.

Another popular trip is the Hai Van Pass between Hoi An and Hue, which will give you epic ocean views and a dose of war history too.

If you are not a confident rider head to the beautiful town of Dalat and sign up with a company called Easy Riders . They offer trips (from one day to one week) as a passenger on one of their large bikes with an experienced rider.

When you are booking in town just make sure it is a legit company, not a fake one, as there are plenty of them around Dalat.

Check them out on Get Your Guide to book the real version.

Motorbiking With Buffalos

No trip to Vietnam would be complete without spending a decent amount of time learning about the local culture.

A fascinating mix of beliefs and customs has resulted in Vietnamese culture developing a fascinating mix of spiritual elements.

All it takes is spending a bit of time in the temples or with people in their homes to discover how beautiful it really is.

Do yourself a favour and spend some time immersing yourself into the local culture , and you will gain a much deeper understanding of the Vietnamese people.

The best way to do this is to do a homestay, visit different temples and try to head out to some ethnic minority villages. The north is particularly good for this.

Down in the south of Vietnam is the incredible Mekong Delta, which is one of the most fascinating and culturally remarkable places in the country.

This is where the mighty Mekong River finally spills into the ocean, and Vietnamese villagers have flocked to this delta to fish, trade produce and sell goods.

The best way to explore the Mekong Delta is to take a cruise or a boat ride and enjoy the river life. If you only have a few hours do a boat tour from Can Tho or Ben Tre.

If you have more time you can take a 4-8 day cruise from Vietnam to Cambodia along the Mekong Delta. Cruise the Mekong Delta the way you want to.

Get up early and don’t miss the floating markets. It is great to see all the hustle and bustle of life on the Mekong Delta.

Floating Market In Can Tho

There’s no need to travel to Namibia or Australia to try your hand at sandboarding – one of the best things to do in Vietnam is to try this fun activity in the south!

Just 20 minutes out of Mui Ne you will find the Red Sand Dunes. These are gorgeous and nice to see, but head out further to the White Sand Dunes for the real fun.

These dunes are more breathtaking, especially at sunset. You can hire a sandboard from one of the local vendors and have fun going down the semi-steep slopes or book a tour on Get Your Guide .

The ancient port town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam is one of the most beautiful spots in the country, and should not be missed on your list of what to do in Vietnam!

Yes Hoi An is a busy tourist town, but that is for good reason. Hoi An is a photographer’s dream, with a mix of eras and styles from the Japanese Covered Bridge to the colourful French colonial buildings to wooden Chinese shophouse to Vietnamese tube houses.

Hoi An is simply gorgeous! The Hoi An ancient city is one of the top attractions in Vietnam.

Get up early and explore the streets of the Hoi An ancient town when the locals are up and the tourists are still sleeping.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our blog post on all the great things to do in Hoi An.

Japanese Bridge In Hoi An

As we’ve already mentioned, one of the most valuable ways to experience Vietnam is to learn about the culture. A great way to do this is to join a guided tour in some of the coolest places in the country.

There’s an amazing company called Vespa Adventures, and they run different Vespa tours in Hoi An, Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City.

We did one of their tours in the ancient town of Hoi An, and it was such an amazing way to experience how locals live.

Hopping on the back of a Vespa scooter and riding along the banks of Thu Bon River stopping off at local villages we met local families, learnt about weaving, boat building and of course ate lots of local dishes.

We highly recommend this Vespa tour in Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City or anywhere else in the country. Check out our article on our experience .

Riding a Vespa is a fun and popular way to explore many of the Vietnam tourist attractions.

With Vietnam’s very long coastline, it’s no surprise that it has some beautiful beaches.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to relax and enjoy the white sands, crystal clear water and fresh seafood coming to you without having to get off your chair.

While Vietnam isn’t as famous for its beaches like other Southeast Asia countries (think Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia), there are still some epic spots.

Check out An Bang Beach or Cua Dai Beach which are both in Hoi An, or Doc Let Beach on the Hon Khoi Peninsula.

Some of the best places to visit in Southern Vietnam are the Con Dao Islands.

Beach In Da Nang

The My Son Hindu Sanctuary is a great example of the ancient Champa civilisation and is the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina.

While it’s not as large or as impressive as another UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, it’s still pretty epic, and should be added to your itinerary of places to visit in Vietnam.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located near the town of Hoi An. Unfortunately, it once was a lot larger than it stands today but during the Vietnam War some of the site was destroyed.

It is still definitely worth visiting and learning about this era. Visiting the Hindu-themed ruins you will be impressed by the beautiful stone sculptures, temples and tower ruins.

Do yourself a favor and book into a tour if you’d like to get the most out of your time there.

Want to read more about this interesting place? Check out our article on the  My Son ruins .

Mai Chau is a gorgeous, bucolic village only a few hours from Hanoi.

If you’re looking for a wonderful and unique experience, don’t miss doing a homestay here and riding around the rice fields.

This is a beautiful way to see rural Vietnam and learn about farming and traditional-style textile manufacturing. This is a popular area for visitors, and once you get there you will see why.

You can stay in a traditional homestay or an eco-lodge and tour around the area. Trust us, you won’t get bored in Mai Chau.

Rent a bicycle and ride through the rice fields, trek up in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve, explore some caves, take a boat ride on Hoa Binh Lake and do some shopping for local textiles.

The best time to visit the area is from October to April as these months are the most pleasant. Check out our article if you would like to read more on Mai Chau .

Mai Chau

If you want to go trekking in Vietnam, Sapa is one of the best places to visit.

With rolling rice terraces of the Muong Hoa Valley and mountains towering all around, you can spend weeks here hiking in the area.

There are treks to suit everyone’s time frame and fitness level. You can learn about the hill tribes in the area such as the Hmong, Tay and Dao tribes.

They will happily greet you when you hope off the bus, offering their services for trekking or a homestay. Stay a day to chill out in Sapa after your activities.

This place is gorgeous to relax and take in the mountain fresh area. Spoil yourself and get a hotel with a view of the mountains.

Check out our article if you would like to read more about  trekking in Sapa .

This part of Vietnam really blew us away. Not many tourists get up here, and we have no idea why not.

It is some of the most beautiful landscapes we saw in all of Southeast Asia.

With rolling mountains to rice terraces to beautiful canyons, this place is different around every corner. Hire a motorbike and ride the area yourself or jump on a tour but this trip will be one you will not forget.

The Dong Van Karst Plateau is located high in the mountains in the very north of Vietnam, on the border of China. The area offers stunning narrow valleys with rocky mountain ranges.

In 2010, UNESCO recognised this area as a geological park. This area spreads out over 2,3000 square kilometres over the districts of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh and Quan Ba.

It is believed that the rocks of Dong Van contain fossils from up to 600 million years ago. Because you are travelling near the Chinese border, you do need a permit which you can get from Ha Giang.

We recommend giving yourselves at least a week to properly explore the area.

Ha Giang Mountains

This market isn’t just an ordinary Vietnamese market – The Bac Ha Market is the biggest ethnic market in Vietnam and takes place only on Sundays.

All the ethnic tribes such as Flower Hmong, Black Dzao, Nung, Phu la and Tay, come together to sell their goods.

The market is a living museum full of colours and beautiful smells. If you are interested in learning more about the tribe’s cultures, traditions and unique customs, we recommend hiring a guide to translate your questions.

Please be respectful and ask permission if you want a photo of a person, as some locals do not like it. They are not there for your entertainment, they are just going about their lives.

It’s really a spectacular place and can be done as a day trip from Sapa.

This one is for history lovers. The Vietnamese Demilitarised Zone was an area where a dividing line between North and South Vietnam was drawn as a result of the First Indochina War.

You can visit the DMZ Area include Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge, Hamburger Hill, Khe Sanh Combat Base, Truong Son National Cemetery and learn about what happened in the area by visiting a small museum.

You will visit the Vinh Moc Tunnels and see how people lived underground during the war.

You will learn all about the Vietnam War that had a big significant impact in the area also.

You can get a tour out of Hue or Phong Nha, and you should as it’s one of the best attractions in Vietnam.

Khe Sanh - War Tanks

This is one of those things to do in Vietnam that you can tackle in just about every town, and is something that will probably become part of your daily routine anyway.

Vietnam has amazing local produce, and staring at the huge array of fruits and vegetables is sure to leave you not only feeling hungry but also curious about all the different kinds!

Visiting a local produce market is a great way to see how everyday life works in Vietnam. Go for a wander, check out all the different fruits, savouries and other creations, and chat away to the locals.

The best way to really explore a produce market is with a local guide . They will explain how the market is set up, they can translate for you if you have questions for the sellers and farmers and they can explain the weird and wacky foods.

Once you get your head around them, make sure you always have a pocketful of Dong with you whenever you’re out and about to stock up on fresh fruit for the day!

No matter how short your stay is, make sure to visit a local market – it’s a Vietnam must see!

Immersing yourself into the local food is a great way to learn more about a country, and luckily Vietnamese food is some of the best in the world!

There are cooking classes all over Vietnam , and each class will offer different dishes and experiences.

There is such diversity in the food from North to South, so you can literally do one in each major town and you’ll probably learn a new dish each time.

Some of the cooking classes will take you to the markets where you can buy the ingredients and cook it together. We love this type of class as you get to be part of every step of the process.

Coming home from your holiday and knowing how to cook some different dishes is a win, and will ensure you’re forever popular with your friends and family!

Fruit Market Hanoi

Halong Bay is probably one of Vietnam’s most well-known attractions. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in northeastern Vietnam, is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and distinctive karst limestone formations.

Characterized by emerald-green waters dotted with thousands of towering limestone islets topped with lush vegetation, Halong Bay offers a mesmerizing seascape.

Bai Tu Long Bay is part of the famous Halong Bay. This bay is a lot quieter and peaceful compared to the more popular spots in Halong Bay.

With limestone towering islets everywhere you look, Bai Tu Long Bay is best to be seen over a few days on a cruise.

Kayak on the waters, walk on the islands and visit a local village to learn about how the locals live and about the area of Halong Bay.

Make sure to save at least one day to go on a cruise down Halong Bay, it’s one of the best things to see in Vietnam.

You go on holidays to see the new place but also to meet people. Don’t be shy to chat with locals. Practice your Vietnamese and they can practise their English.

It is amazing who you can meet by putting your guard down sometimes. It can be hard to have a real, authentic experience with locals when you travel, so do everything you can to be open to genuine invitations.

If you are interested there are local university students in the bigger cities that have groups where you can contact them for a time and day.

They love chatting with foreigners, just buy them coffee or lunch. Check out Saigon Hotpot in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi Kids in Hanoi.

Jarryd Talking To Man

If you want to get your heart racing, go canyoning in Dalat!

We loved this experience in the beautiful French colonial city of Dalat. This day tour is full-on, with waterfalls up to 18 metres high to rappel off, rock slides to slide down and even an 11-metre cliff jump.

It is an action-packed day. The company we went with were so professional and are highly trained.

You can go all out and do it all, or challenge yourself and do what you feel comfortable with

The staff are there beside you the whole time. It is a day you will not forget.

If you’re not the adventurous type, don’t worry! Go on a tour of Dalat , it’s interesting an interesting ancient town on its own.

Want to read about our canyoning experience? Check out our  article on canyoning in Dalat .

One of the most interesting parts of travelling is trying all the different food available, and Vietnam isn’t any different.

Every country has their own styles and twists on cuisine, so be adventurous and give them a try. Vietnamese food, in general, is very delicious, but it can also be pretty unusual.

We had duck blood soup when we were in Northern Vietnam and surprisingly it was not too bad.

We also tried monkey brains in Phong Nha, which was a local delicacy served for very special occasions.

If you are invited over to a locals house for a meal, give all the food a try, even if it’s something you’d never normally try.

If you want to learn more about the local cuisine, take a food tour in Ho Chi Minh City , Hanoi, Da Nang or Hoi An.

Bun Cha Hanoi

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are both very busy cities, and one of the best places to admire the hustle and bustle is from above on a rooftop.

We found a lot of great bars and cafes near busy intersections or roundabouts and watched day turn into night with the thousands (and thousands) of scooters zipping around below.

It was crazy watching all the traffic take on the large roundabout and the occasional scooter bumps which causes some quick arguing, looking and then they move on.

Check out the EON51 Restaurant and Lounge on level 50 of the Bitexco Financial Tower in Ho Chi Minh City. This has a great view, but you do pay for it with the prices of the drinks and food.

The rooftop views in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are some of our favourite things to see in Vietnam.

Check out our epic list of  things to do in Hanoi.

As Vietnam’s third-biggest city, Da Nang is quite awesome. So don’t be surprised if you end up spending more time here than you expected.

Da Nang is in the centre of the country and has a wonderful cultural vibe about it. The food is amazing, the people are cool, and there’s so much to see and do!

If you love beaches, then Da Nang has you covered. There are long stretches of sand perfect for swimming, surfing or sunbathing, and you can find lots of cheap hotels and resorts along them.

The peninsula near Da Nang is a great spot to spend the day, with lots of cool little hikes and coves to check out.

But one of our favourite places in Da Nang is the Marble Mountains , a collection of hills that have been mined for marble over the years and are now left rising out of the flat city landscape.

You can climb them to visit some temples and get gorgeous views over Da Nang. Definitely worth visiting!

Don’t forget to include this highlight on your list of what to see in Vietnam!

Don’t miss out on all the best things to do in Da Nang in our detailed article .

The View From Marble Mountains

You can do this all over Vietnam. From the Mekong Delta in the south to Sapa in the north, there are homestays in a lot of rural areas.

A homestay is where you stay with locals in their home (not a hotel or bed & breakfast) and you share incredible experiences with them, such as eating together as a family.

You can help the family cook their meals or be involved in daily chores just by showing an interest is why the locals do this.

The Vietnamese people love showing visitors how they live and are happy to teach you more about their culture.

Visiting the Imperial City in Hue will teach you a huge part of the history of Vietnam from when the Nguyen Dynasty ruled the country from 1802 to 1945.

For its history and beauty, the Imperial City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth the visit.

The Imperial City is a massive complex which features hundreds of monuments and ruins that will take you back in time.

They have a 3D story video which explains a lot and we highly recommend you watch. If you love learning about history , get a guide and go deep into the past .

READ MORE: Check out this post on our recommendations for the best things to do in Hue!

Imperial City In Hue

If you want to get out of the city and be in nature check out Bach Ma National Park. With amazing hiking and biking, these scenic trails will amaze you.

You can organise tours out of Hue or hire a scooter, explore the national park for the day or more, and enjoy the trails that are offered from easy to difficult levels with various lengths.

There are fresh ponds to take a dip, hike to waterfalls and great view spots to take a break and take in the beauty of the national park.

Be prepared for wet conditions and make sure you have some good shoes.

There are also a fair number of leeches so check your body for these suckers.

We highly recommend spending a few days in the national park and even getting a guide so you get the best out of the area.

For nature enthusiasts, this is one of the more popular Vietnam attractions.

We bet you didn’t know Vietnam had its own version of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway! Well, now you do, and it’s definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Vietnam.

Ganh Da Dia in the south is a spectacular rock formation that juts out from the coast and into the sea.

Thousands of hexagonal basalt columns come out of the earth in mesmerising ways, often with not even a millimetre of space between them.

It’s pretty off-the-beaten-path, so chances are you’ll have this entire site to yourself.

Want to visit for yourself? Check out our article about  Ganh Da Dia  to find out how!

Ganh Da Dia Things To Do In Vietnam

Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels is one tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City a lot of people will visit.

It is best to hire a guide and learn about the underground network of tunnels located about 40 kilometres from the city in the Cu Chi District.

The tunnels were used as hiding spots, hospitals, living quarters and supply routes by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War.

The narrow passages give a harrowing insight into what it must have been like for the soldiers and families that had to live through such a horrific time in Vietnam’s history.

You can do this on your own out of Ho Chi Minh City, but we recommend going on a guided tour through Get Your Guide .

Cu Chi Tunnels

Most tourists skip the cool town of Kon Tum near the border of Laos, and it’s a real shame because those that do make it out here are always blown away!

The city of Kon Tum itself is quite a standard city, with lots of traffic and little parks along the river you can get away from the noise. But the true highlights are when you escape the downtown area.

Rent a bicycle or motorbike and head out into the hill tribe villages and farmlands, where you will come across some of the coolest ethnic structures in Vietnam!

The hill tribes around Kon Tum are known for their huge Long Houses, steep-pitched wooden shelters that act as community halls.

If you’re really lucky you might come across a traditional ceremony as well. Kon Tum is well worth a visit if you’re looking to get off the beaten path in Vietnam.

There are so many beautiful and iconic pagodas to visit throughout Vietnam. These pagodas are full of traditions, beliefs and interesting architecture, with the stunning decorations.

Some of the most famous pagodas to visit are Perfume Pagoda and Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi, One Pillar Pagoda near Ho Chi Minh City, Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, Linh Phuoc Pagoda, Linh An Pagoda and Van Hanh Pagoda in Dalat .

When visiting the pagodas please be mindful to respect the culture. Walk into the pagodas on the right and exit on the left.

Take off your shoes when entering, be respectful of people praying, don’t point your feet at the alter or statues and dress conservatively, so no hats, no exposed shoulders and no shorts.

The best time to visit a pagoda is in the morning before the crazy crowds come in.

Pagodas In Vietnam

We had heard about Ninh Binh as we were travelling north and lots of travellers had said to stop in, so we did.

It is worth it.

Ninh Binh is a decent-sized ancient town an hour south of Hanoi, surrounded by rice fields and hundreds of limestone cliffs.

People call the area the “Halong Bay On The Land”, and once you get there you’ll understand why. Huge Karst mountains rise out of the earth, with gorgeous rivers and lakes wrapping around them.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Ninh Binh is the Trang An Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The grottoes consist of a handful of caves and rocks towering out from a large network of canals and lakes. It is so beautiful.

We chose to do a tour of this one over Tam Coc, as we have heard Tam Coc is crowded and has become quite commercial over the years.

Ninh Binh really is a marvellous place to visit in Vietnam.

Why not give yourself a challenge and climb the highest mountain in Indochina, Mount Fansipan. Located just outside of Sapa, this hike will challenge you. But you will be rewarded with stunning views.

We did the hike in one day. But if you do not hike often, we recommend doing the hike in 2 days. This way you can camp at the hut up the top and enjoy sunset and sunrise all alone.

You can book tours through most of the guesthouses in Sapa. There is a gondola now that goes to the top. So if you are not a hiker, you can still go to the top of Mount Fansipan to enjoy the views

Each way on the gondola takes approximately 15 minutes and will set you back 600,000 Vietnamese Dong per adult.

Fansipan Mountain

Vietnam isn’t known for being a diving paradise, especially with hotspots like Indonesia and the Philippines close by. But if you love getting underwater then there are some good spots to do it.

Nha Trang in the south is quite a popular place for Russian tourists. But if we are completely honest with you, it really isn’t that nice.

It’s busy and the beaches are quite developed. But there’s a couple of good reasons you should go here anyway.

First of all the motorbike ride from Dalat to Nha Trang is amazing, and well worth checking out.

If you’re a certified diver then once you get to Nha Trang why not head out for a couple of fun dives in the South China Sea?

We did two dives in Nha Trang and were pleasantly surprised by how good it was. We weren’t expecting much, but it turned out to be really enjoyable, with a couple of caves to swim through and a decent amount of fish.

Check out our article about  scuba diving in Nha Trang.

Vietnam has a number of beautiful tropical islands, which are all worthy of taking a relaxing island getaway to.

Phu Quoc is probably the most popular of these islands. An island getaway to Phu Quoc is one of the best things to do in Vietnam!

Situated off the southwestern coast of Vietnam, Phu Quoc has emerged as a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and diverse marine life.

Beyond the idyllic beaches, Phu Quoc also boasts lush national parks, such as Phu Quoc National Park, where visitors can explore dense forests, trek to waterfalls, and encounter unique wildlife.

We recommend that you also check out Con Dao Island in the south. This is a quieter option compared to Phu Quoc.

Overall the Con Dao Archipelago is one of the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam.

You will find stunning mountains, thick canopies of forest and amazing marine life.

Yep, it is a diving paradise. If you are in the north check out Cat Ba Island, which is the bigger island of Halong Bay.

There are 3 lovely beaches located near the main town on Cat Ba Island and the gorgeous Cat Ba National Park for exploring.

[box] That’s it! Have we missed anything? Did you find the list useful? Let us know in the comments below![/box]

Island Life In Vietnam

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25 BEST Things to Do in Hue, Vietnam (2024 Edition)

The Perfect Vietnam Itinerary for 1, 2, or 3 Weeks

Canyoning In Dalat – What It Is Really Like

Related Posts

Vietnam’s rural retreat in mai chau valley, from tan hoa village to tu lan caves – the local’s role, the digital nomads guide to hoi an, vietnam, 17 thoughts on “33 best things to do in vietnam (epic 2024 guide)”.

This is a really cool page, tons of information but does not “narrow it down” at all.

Hey there! You’ve got to check out this awesome video about the best places to visit in Vietnam. It’s such a fantastic virtual tour of 7 must-see destinations that will make you want to pack your bags and book a trip right away! The visuals are stunning, and the narration is engaging and informative. I highly recommend it!

What would you recommend as a 5-day itinerary to Vietnam with this being the first trip there?

Woah – Vietnam has their own Giant’s Causeway?! That’s really cool, I haven’t seen anything like that outside of Ireland, cool to see in other parts of the world.

Indeed it does. It was really cool to see and quiet compared to the one in Ireland. All the best

Hi together 🙂 We’re currently in Hoi An and I started to read your blog.. You two are fascinating and I’m really happy that I found your page. I putted to many cool waypoints on the map for our trip to phu quoc 😀 Thanks a lot for the valuable tips and keep traveling with so much love and enthusiasm! Greetings from a Swiss couple Vietnam 🙂

Hi Pascel, hope you are having a great trip. Thank you for your kind words. So glad you found us. If you have any questions about Vietnam let us know. Happy travels

I should’ve looked at this list before I went to Vietnam this winter! I’ll have to look at it again when I plan my next trip there.

In the meantime, thanks for writing this informative post!

There is always next time. Hope you had a great trip 🙂

Thanks for your useful information, by the way I also save some other reliable sources written by the local about best time to visit Vietnam or destinations to visit in Vietnam.

Glad you liked the article. Have a great time in Vietnam

This is a great list of adventures to have in Vietnam. We’re currently in Mui Ne heading north and ill keep your list handy for things to do as we move up. Im really excited to move through through the center and north of vietnam again. Thanks!

Hi Christine, So awesome I hope you are having a blast in Vietnam. It is our favourite country. Don’t miss Phong Nha. That is a special place. We have a lot on Vietnam on our site and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us a message. 🙂

I missed your reply to this, we did go to Phong Nha, it was amazing! My fav place in Vietnam. I dont know why i missed it on my first trip here. We did the paradise, phong nha and dark caves. A must see in Vietnam!

So glad you had a great time. 🙂

Oh, very this is a very detailed guide to Vietnam. It’s useful for those who are about to travel around Vietnam. Keep up with your good work!

Thanks Joanne. We loved travelling Vietnam for 7 months and can’t wait to get back there one day.

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attractions vietnam tourist places

  • Places to go

Each Vietnamese city exudes its own distinct character. Get a feel for Vietnam’s fascinating urban centres in these interactive tours.

attractions vietnam tourist places

heritage sites

Curious what awaits you in Vietnam? Take a 360-degree tour of some of the country’s most compelling natural wonders and cultural attractions right here.

attractions vietnam tourist places

One of Vietnam’s strongest draws is the diversity of its natural beauty and landscapes. 

The capital of Hanoi is your gateway to the treasures of the north: spectacular mountains, valleys and bays studded with limestone karsts. Smack in the centre, up-and-coming Danang is one of Vietnam’s most progressive cities. From here you have easy access to photogenic riverside towns, national parks and long, sandy beaches. The southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City will entice you with its cool culture and captivating streets (just watch out for those motorcycles.) Nearby, the Mekong Delta runs to the sea, passing on-the-water villages and mangrove forests along the way. And all down Vietnam's S-shaped coast, you’ll find islands big and small, just waiting to be explored.

Click on a city or region to find out more.

Northern Vietnam

The north of Vietnam makes a statement with majestic mountain ranges, centuries-old rice terraces, and fascinating ethnic groups. Read more

Top Destinations

Central vietnam.

Central Vietnam is known for its well-preserved historical sites, smiling locals, and soothing natural beauty. Read more

Southern Vietnam

From island escapes to non-stop action, southern Vietnam offers both vibrant urban energy and mellow countryside. Read more

  • Ho Chi Minh City

Get an insider look at Vietnam’s best destinations. Let these local Vietnamese show you around their hometowns with personal stories, top tips, and must-do experiences.

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attractions vietnam tourist places

15 Things to do in Vietnam + Tourist Spots

15 Things to do in Vietnam + Tourist Spots

Vietnam is most known for its turbulent wartime history, delicious food, and Ha Long Bay. Before arriving in the country and traveling around its countrysides, little did I know that it is also home to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Southeast Asia, and charming heritage sites that are worth a peek.

Vietnam’s tourist spots are broadly spread out in its northern, central, and southern regions. The country isn’t overwhelmingly massive, but unless you’re traveling long-term or plan to stick to just one or two regions, you will have to pick destinations to skip or prioritize.

To make it easy for you to decide on where to go, here’s a list of my favorite places to visit in Vietnam:

Vietnam travel essentials: (click below to view prices online)

Where to stay Tours + discounts Vietnam fares

Vietnam WIFI/SIM Card

See also :   Places to Visit in Vietnam  |  Ho Chi Minh Itinerary  |  Things to do in Hanoi  |  Indochina Travel Guide .

If you love visiting historic places, this heritage city in Central Vietnam is a must-visit. Hoi An is a riverside town with an old-world charm. It’s filled with vintage buildings influenced by Vietnamese, French, Chinese, and Japanese architectural styles. Delicious local food is also a major attraction here. The city’s magical atmosphere comes alive under the romantic sunset light and at night when the houses, temples, and shops are lit up.

Location : Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

How to go :

The most popular gateway to Hoi An is Da Nang in Central Vietnam. nearest major city. There are a lot of convenient transport options between the two cities. Travel time is only around 45 minutes.

Hoi An Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts Check Fares

Top discounts

My Son & Hoi An Private Day Tour from Da Nang

Cham Islands day tour

Hoi An Private City Transfers for Da Nang, Hue & Ba Na Hills

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Hoi An travel tips

15 Places To Visit in Hoi An

To help with your trip planning, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app for easy reference. I’ve also shared photos from my  Instagram feed . Use Instagram’s save feature for quick access to your travel/feed goals.

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There seems to be something interesting to discover at every street corner in historic Hanoi, especially in the old quarter of the city. It’s one of the best cities in Southeast Asia to explore on foot. Hanoi also has scenic lakes that are best viewed from rooftop restaurants or bars, while enjoying traditional Vietnamese coffee or a chilled bottle of Saigon beer.

Location : Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi, northern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Hanoi along with Ho Chi Minh is one of the major international gateways in Vietnam, so getting by air is very easy. Hanoi-Noi Bai International Airport found 45 minutes away from the city center serves frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing. As well as major cities in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and more. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, VietJet, Vietnam Airlines. From the Philippines, Manila-Hanoi flights are served by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. Flight duration is around 2.5 hours.

Hanoi Travel Essentials

Private Noi Bai Airport Transfers (HAN) for Hanoi City or Halong Bay

Hanoi Private Car Charter

Private City Transfers for Hanoi City and Surrounding Areas

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See more : Hanoi travel tips

12 Things to do in Hanoi + Tourist Spots

3. Ho Chi Minh

Bustling Ho Chi Minh, on its own, may pale as a travel destination compared to other cities in Southeast Asia, but it is a necessary transport hub if you plan to explore Southern Vietnam. In case you find yourself in Ho Chi Minh, the city center offers interesting cultural sights, urban experiences, Vietnamese food+coffee & cheap shopping, in addition to scenic day trips to the Mekong Delta.

Location : Ho Chi Minh City, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Ho Chi Minh’s International Airport is the busiest airport in Vietnam. Found 45 minutes away from the city center, this airport serves frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Melbourne & Sydney. As well as major cities in New Zealand, Europe, Middle East and more. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, VietJet & Vietnam Airlines. From the Philippines, Manila-Hanoi flights are served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Vietnam Airlines. Flight duration is around 2.5 hours.

Ho Chi Minh Travel Essentials

Full Day Mekong Delta Excursion from Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City-Mekong Delta River Cruise

Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnels Full Day Tour

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Ho Chi Minh travel tips

14 Places To Visit in Ho Chi Minh

Location : Phan Thiet, Bình Thuận Province, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Mui Ne Travel Essentials

Shared City Transfers between Da Lat and Mui Ne via Shuttle Bus

Mui Ne Private Jeep Tour

Da Lat to Mui Ne, Nha Trang or HCMC Car Transfer

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Mui Ne travel tips

5 Things to do in Mui Ne + Tourist Spots

Location : Lâm Đồng Province, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Da Lat Travel Essentials

Da Lat Waterfalls Day Tour

Da Lat Private Car Charter

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Da Lat travel tips

17 Places To Visit in Da Lat

Da Nang is one of the biggest surprises on my first visit to Central Vietnam. It’s a major tourist hub with its own set of attractions and convenient direct domestic and international flight connections. Da Nang is a great place to visit for travelers who aren’t ready to leave their urban comfort zones. This clean, modern, and laid-back city is bordered by a long white sand beach that is lined with top-notch resorts. The riverside area of the city center feels more like a huge outdoor theme park with well-maintained promenades, iconic bridges lit up at night, and the Sun Wheel (giant Ferris Wheel).

Location : Hải Châu District, Da Nang, central Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

After Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang’s airport is the next most well-connected international airport in Vietnam. Da Nang International Airport (DAD) serves direct flights from Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo-Narita. As well as flights from major domestic destinations including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Buon Ma Thuot, Hai Phong, Pleiku, Vinh, Can Tho, Da Lat & Nha Trang. Major airlines include AirAsia, Jetstar, China Eastern, Silk Air, Vietjet & Vietnam Airlines. Travel time by flight to Da Nang is around 1.5 hours from Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh.

Da Nang Travel Essentials

Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge Day Tour

Da Nang Airport (DAD) Private Transfers for Da Nang, Ba Na Hills & more

Da Nang Private Car Charter

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Da Nang travel tips

12 Places To Visit in Da Nang

Hue is central Vietnam was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802-1945. It is home to a massive royal citadel called the Forbidden Purple City, which admittedly sounds more interesting than the actual war-ravaged site. For travelers who love visiting heritage sites, a more tempting incentive to visit Hue are exquisite imperial tombs scattered around the outskirts of the city.

Location : Thua Thien Hue Province, central Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Hue, in Central Vietnam, is located two hours north of Danang. The best way to get there is by train, which offers scenic coastal views along the Hai Van Pass. If you want to fly directly, Hue-Phu Bai Airport (HUI) serves flights from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Lat & Nha Trang. Airlines include Vietjet, Jetstar & Vietnam Airlines. Travel time to Hue-Phu Bai Airport takes around 1 hour from Hanoi and 1.5 hours from Ho Chi Minh.

Hue Travel Essentials

Hue Private Day Tour from Da Nang

Hue heritage sites join-in tour

Phong Nha Cave Exploration from Hue

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Hue travel tips

14 Places To Visit in Hue

8. Phong Nha

If this is your first time to know about Phong Nha, join the club! Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng National Park located in Central Vietnam might not be popular as other places featured on this list, but it has something special to offer that is unrivaled not only Vietnam, but all of Southeast Asia, and maybe even the World — it’s massive and insanely beautiful caves.

Location : Quang Binh Province, central Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Phong Nga, in Central Vietnam, is 4–5 hours north of Hue by land or 7 hours north of Da Nang. If you are coming from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, consider a flight or train to Dong Hoi. Then, continue the 45-minute land trip to Phong Nha by shuttle. Flights are operated by Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, and VietjetAir. Flight duration to Dong Hoi Airport (VDH) is around 1 hour from Hanoi (HAN), and 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh (SGN).

Phong Nha Travel Essentials

Phong Nha River Cruise Day Tour in Quang Binh

Phong Nha National Park and Paradise Cave Day Tour in Quang Binh

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Phong Nha travel tips

5 Places To Visit in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

9. Ninh Binh

Touted as “Ha Long Bay on land,” Ninh Binh is filled with steep karst mountains soaring amidst tranquil rice paddies, meandering rivers, and dotted with temples and ancient settlements. The best way to explore the area is on a scenic boat ride that passes through the mountainscape or by following the riverside path by bicycle. Ninh Binh is two hours away from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam.

Ninh Binh is around 2 hours south of Hanoi by land. You can go on the bus from Giap Bat (Southern) Bus Terminal or a train on the Reunification Express. To get around Ninh Binh, you can either join an organized tour or go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) tour by bicycle/motorcycle.

Location : Ninh Bình Province, northern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Ninh Binh Travel Essentials

Hanoi-Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh Private Day Tour

Mua Cave and Trang An Tour from Hanoi

attractions vietnam tourist places

See more : Ninh Binh travel tips

11 Places To Visit in Ninh Binh

10. Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay sunrise, Vietnam

No doubt Ha Long Bay is beautiful. With over 1,600 towering karst islands and islets, it’s a natural wonder worth a peek. However, if you’ve been to Krabi (Thailand) or El Nido (Philippines), do not expect too much with the quality of the water. The area that surrounds the bay is simply not as pristine, even under the bluest of skies. If you’re already traveling in Hanoi & Northern Vietnam, consider a trip to nearby Ha Long bay.

Location : Quảng Ninh Province, nothern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Ha Long City is the main jump-off point to the islands surrounding Ha Long Bay. The land journey from Hanoi takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. There are many shuttle/bus companies operating this route with pick-up directly from your hotel. You can easily book one at your hotel or by shopping around the travel agencies in Hanoi Old Quarter. To get around the bay, you have many options including sightseeing day trips to multi-day overnight cruises.

Ha Long Bay Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts

11. Ban Gioc Waterfall & Cao Bang

If you’ve read my other best places to visit lists, you may already know about my fascination for beautiful waterfalls. Cao Bang in Northern Vietnam is home to Ban Gioc Waterfall, the most majestic in Vietnam. Half of this massive cascade sits on the Chinese border and is called Delian Waterfall on the other side.

Location : Cao Bằng Province, northern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Total travel time from Hanoi to Ban Gioc is around 8 to 11 hours. If you want convenient transfers, consider booking an organized tour. If you want to go on your own, local buses to Cao Bang depart from My Dinh Bus Terminal in Hanoi. Travel time is 7.5–8 hours. From Cao Bang, minibus and shuttles go all the way to Ban Gioc Waterfall. Travel time is 2.5–3 hours.

Cao Bang Travel Essentials

attractions vietnam tourist places

12. Sa Pa & North Vietnam

attractions vietnam tourist places

Sa Pa, Vietnam

Location : Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Sa Pa Travel Essentials

Shared Limousine Transfer from Hanoi to Sapa

Shared City Transfers (VIP Cabin) between Hanoi and Sapa

13. Nha Trang

attractions vietnam tourist places

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Location : Khanh Hoa Province, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Nha Trang Travel Essentials

Shared City Transfers between Da Lat and Nha Trang via Limousine

Private Da Lat Airport Transfers (DLI) for Da Lat City, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, and Tuyen Lam Lake

14. Phu Quoc

attractions vietnam tourist places

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Location : Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Phu Quoc Travel Essentials

15. Con Dao Islands

attractions vietnam tourist places

Con Dao Islands, Vietnam. Photo by vanlaphoang1945 via Flickr

Location : Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, southern Vietnam . Save on Google Maps .

Con Dao Travel Essentials

Beyond Vietnam

attractions vietnam tourist places

Angkor Wat (temple) view from the reflecting pond

Location : Indochina, Southeast Asia (mainland) . Save on Google Maps .

Cambodia Travel Essentials

Angkor Wat & Little Circuit Guided Join-In Tour

Banteay Srei & Angkor Grand Circuit Guided Join-In Tour

Siem Reap Private Car Charter

See more : Cambodia travel tips

9 Things to do in Cambodia + Tourist Spots

Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Thailand Travel Essentials

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (ARL) Ticket

Bangkok Chao Phraya Princess Cruise

Pattaya-Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Ticket

See more : Thailand travel tips

20 Things to do in Thailand + Tourist Spots

Tat Fane Waterfall near Paksong, in Bolaven Plateau, Champasak, Laos

Laos Travel Essentials

Tours + discounts

Pak Ou Cave & Kuang Si Waterfall Day Tour from Luang Prabang

Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang Shuttle – Shared City Transfers

Vientiane – Vang Vieng Shuttle – Shared City Transfers

See more : Laos travel tips

5 Places To Visit in Laos

Braemar Hill Peak in Hong Kong

Location : Southeast China, East Asia . Save on Google Maps .

Hong Kong Travel Essentials

Hong Kong Disneyland Admission Ticket

Ocean Park Hong Kong Admission Ticket

Victoria Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428

See more : Hong Kong travel tips

Hong Kong Travel Guide Blog

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Vietnam that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Vietnam

Vietnam tourist spots, things to do in Vietnam, where to go in Vietnam & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Book your way to Vietnam

How much does it cost to travel to Vietnam? Click below to compare flight, ferry & buses fares posted on these booking sites:

Where to Stay in Vietnam

Click below & search recommended Vietnam hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your  min/max price , travel dates, and  sort by review ratings . I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Vietnam Essentials & Top Discounts

Vietnam mobile data sim card/pocket wifi.

Travel with ease & confidence throughout your trip. Get a data SIM card or pocket WIFI device! Access Google Maps and all your favorite travel apps. Share your travel stories instantly with all your friends. Click below and choose your pick-up location:

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October 16, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Thanks for sharing your travel to Vietnam. Been to Saigon in 2011 and been wanting to go to Hanoi. Never knew about the other worth visiting places until you shared your wonderful pictures. Is it hard to tour Halong Bay? Would it be just fine skipping Halong Bay when I go to Hanoi?

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October 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm

My pleasure Manuel :) There are still more potentially worthy places to visit in Vietnam. I want to go back as well, particularly, for Sa Pa and Da Lat. I booked an overnight boat cruise in Ha Long Bay for $80. I had a very bad experience with both the booking and tour agency. Touring Ha Long Bay is easy since you just have to turn up at the travel agencies in Hanoi or Ha Long City at least a day before (or book online). It’s finding a decent tour agency / boat operator that is the tricky part.

If the weather is too cloudy or rainy, I would skip Ha Long Bay. I enjoyed Ninh Binh and Phong Nha a lot more than Ha Long Bay.

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October 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Amazing Vietnam!!!!

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December 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

What an amazing and informative blog marcos.One should definitely go through the blog if he/she is travelling to vietnam.This country has a blend of chinese as well as french culture so anyone can feel the presence of both the cultures.

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April 24, 2020 at 10:15 am

I’m Vietnamese and living in Hanoi but I haven’t had opportunity to visit of all these places. Now I got more motivation to visit more places in the Southern of Vietnam, especially Mui Ne Beach! About the last place Can Dao Island, actually its name is Con Dao, not Can Dao. Anyway, thank you for sharing the destinations to visit.

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October 23, 2022 at 5:53 pm

Thank You Marcos, i have been following you in IG and i love all your post. I am an Ilongga also from Bacolod city but now reside in the US for 35 years. I am planning to visit southeast asia this december 2022 but only have 3 days to spend in Vietnam, so which one is the best to visit? Thank You!

October 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm

Hi Nadia, visit Hanoi to enjoy the food and historical sites then enjoy a day trip to Ninh Binh & Ha Long Bay

Wander Vietnam

21 of the Most Beautiful Places in Vietnam to Visit

Here is the ultimate list of the most beautiful places in Vietnam that you must visit. We are currently on a mission to visit all 58 provinces and tick off all the incredible sites each province has to offer. You can find all the best places to visit in Vietnam by region; north, central, and south. You will find popular backpacker hotspots and hidden gems mainly visited by locals. You will find everything from mountainous regions, and beach destinations, to cultural escapes.

The most beautiful places in Vietnam in the north

Northern Vietnam is blessed with stunning mountains, incredible nature, and unique culture. You will find plenty to keep you occupied for your journey in this region. Northern Vietnam has a total of 23 provinces. In this section, you will find the best provinces to visit, significant landmarks, and activities.

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

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Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is an enchanting destination with a rich history and vibrant culture. Hanoi is steeped in history, with landmarks and monuments that reflect its past. Make sure to visit The Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and Hoa Lo Prison. For charming lakes and green spaces, take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, located in the heart of the city. Hanoi is also famous for its street food culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to try local dishes like pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), and egg coffee. Make sure to explore the bustling street food markets like Dong Xuan Market or the Night Market , which are delightful experiences in themselves.

Recommended duration: 2 – 3 nights

Places to visit / landmarks: Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoa Lo Prison, Hoan Kiem Lake, Train Street.

Activities: Take a food tour, party in the Old Quarter

Accommodation: Acoustic Hotel & Spa or Nexy Hostel

Tam Coc boat tours departure point

Ninh Binh is a beautiful province known for its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Ninh Binh is home to Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area boasts a magnificent karst landscape with limestone cliffs, caves, and rivers, making it perfect for boat tours and exploring the stunning surroundings. As well as Trang An, visitors also opt to stay in the Tam Coc scenic area. Tam Coc is known as the “Halong Bay on land”. Tam Coc offers a breathtaking experience with its limestone caves, rice paddies, and serene river cruises. You can take a boat ride along the Ngo Dong River , passing through caves and admiring the surrounding scenery. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu is a must. Experience the rich cultural heritage by exploring the ancient temples and learning about the fascinating history of Vietnam.

Recommended duration: 2 nights

Places to visit / landmarks: Trang An Landscape Complex, Tam Coc scenic area, Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Bai Dinh Pagoda, Hang Mua Cave

Activites: Boat rides, cycle through the rice paddies, try the local speciality; goat meat

Accommodation: Hotel Tam Coc Golden Rice or The Banana Tree Hostel

Quang Ninh (Ha Long Bay)

A view of Ha Long Bay

Quang Ninh Province is home to one of Vietnam’s most famous attractions; Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a place where nature’s artistry is on full display. It is a natural beauty of Vietnam. Picture yourself surrounded by thousands of limestone karsts and isles rising dramatically from the emerald waters, creating a captivating and ethereal landscape that feels like something out of a dream. For those seeking adventure, Ha Long Bay offers a plethora of exciting activities. Such as kayaking through hidden lagoons and discovering secluded beaches and secret caves.

Recommended duration: 2 days, 1 night on a Ha Long Bay cruise

Activites: Kayaking, relaxing, enjoying seafood treats

A bendy road on the Ha Giang Loop

The most famous, and undoubtedly one of the most upcoming tourist spots in Vietnam is the Ha Giang Loop . The route is often completed on a motorbike; by yourself, as part of a tour group , or with an experienced local rider. The Ha Giang Loop is a breathtakingly beautiful and off-the-beaten-path destination in northern Vietnam. The Ha Giang Loop is renowned for its stunning landscapes, with towering limestone mountains, deep valleys, and winding roads that offer panoramic views at every turn. The landscape is dotted with terraced rice fields, colourful hill tribes villages, and dramatic rock formations, creating a truly awe-inspiring sight. The region is home to various ethnic minority groups, such as the Hmong, Dao, and Tay. Interacting with these communities and learning about their traditions and way of life is an enriching experience. You can visit local markets, try traditional foods, and even stay in homestays to immerse yourself in their culture.

Recommended duration: 3 – 5 nights depending on how many stops you want to make

Places to visit / landmarks:

Activities: Motorbiking, boat ride on Nho Que River

Accommodation: A range of guesthouses

Lao Cai (Sapa)

View of the rice paddies in Sapa

Sapa is known for its breathtaking scenery, with terraced rice fields, lush mountains, and picturesque valleys. The views are especially stunning during the rice harvesting season (September to October) when the fields turn golden yellow. Trekking is a popular activity in Sapa. You can explore surrounding villages and visit ethnic minority communities. Popular trekking routes include Fansipan Mountain, Muong Hoa Valley, and Cat Cat Village. On these trekking routes, you can learn about the ethnic minority groups, including the Hmong, Dao, and Tay people. Sapa is also home to Fansipan Mountain, the highest peak in Vietnam. It is known as the “Roof of Indochina”. For adventure thrill-seekers, you have the option to climb the 3,147-meter mountain. Alternatively, you can take a cable car ride to enjoy the scenery without physical exertion.

Places to visit / landmarks: Visit ethnic minorities as part of a tour , Fansipan Mountain, Sapa town centre

Activities: trekking tours and enjoying local delicacies

Accommodation: Pistachio Hotel or May Ho Hotel

Hai Phong (Cat Ba)

View of the water on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba is the largest of a complex of islands belonging to Hai Phong City. The island is a perfect base for exploring the breathtaking Halong Bay. Take a boat tour or cruise, kayak through the limestone karsts, and visit the hidden caves and floating fishing villages. The island is also home to Cat Ba National Park. This national park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to a diverse ecosystem. Hike through the lush forest trails, spot rare wildlife like the Cat Ba langur (one of the world’s most endangered primates), and enjoy panoramic views from the mountain summit. Other popular activities visitors enjoy on Cat Ba Island are relaxing on the beaches, rock climbing opportunities, cycling or motorbiking along scenic coastal roads and enjoying the tranquillity of the countryside.

Places to visit / landmarks: Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba National Park

Activities : Take a boat trip, hiking, rock climbing, relaxing

Accommodation: Cat Ba Friendly Family Hotel or Cat Ba Backpacker Hostel

Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang

Cao Bang is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including the Ban Gioc Waterfall , one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam. The region is also home to serene lakes, lush forests, and picturesque mountains, making it a paradise for nature lovers. If you are an adventure seeker, Cao Bang offers various outdoor activities. You can trek through the rugged mountains, explore caves, go kayaking or rafting in the rivers, or even try rock climbing. The region’s diverse terrain provides ample opportunities for adrenaline-pumping adventures.

Places to visit / landmarks: Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguon Ngao Cave, Angel Eye Mountain

Activities : Trekking, motorbiking, kayaking

Accommodation: Primrose Homestay or Yen Nhi Homestay Ban Gioc

Hoa Binh (Mai Chau)

Stilt house in Mai Chau Valley

Mai Chau is a beautiful rural district located in the Hoa Binh province of Vietnam. It is known for its stunning landscapes, surrounded by lush green rice paddies, towering limestone mountains, and peaceful valleys. The region is home to the White Thai ethnic minority group, who have preserved their traditional way of life for centuries. You can immerse yourself in their unique culture, witness their traditional dances, music, and handicrafts, and even stay in a traditional stilt house overnight. It is the perfect location to experience a homestay with a local family. It allows you to get a deeper understanding of the local culture, customs, and daily life.

Places to visit / landmarks: Hang Chieu Cave, Hoa Binh Lake

Activities : Cycle Mai Chau Valley, sleep in a stilt house

Accommodation: Mai Chau Mountain View Resort or Mai Chau Hideaway Lake Resort

Son La (Moc Chau)

Glass bridge on Moc Chau Island

Moc Chau is a beautiful highland district located in Son La Province. It is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, including rolling hills, green tea fields, flower gardens, and ethnic minority villages. Moc Chau is renowned for its tea plantations, producing some of the best quality green tea in Vietnam. Visitors can explore the tea gardens, learn about tea production, and even participate in tea harvesting and processing activities. In addition, there are many ethnic minority villages in Moc Chau, such as the White Thai, H’Mong, and Dao communities. Popular attractions in Moc Chau include Moc Chau Island , home to the Guinness World Record glass bridge, the Moc Chau Plateau, Dai Yem Waterfall, Pha Luong Peak, and the heart-shaped tea hill.

Places to visit / landmarks: Moc Chau Island, Dai Yem Waterfall, Bat Cave, Chi Lon Village

Activities : Walk the glass bridge, take photos, indulge in BBQ & Hotpot, photoshoot at tea plantations

Accommodation: MAMA’s House

Thanh Hoa (Pu Luong)

Pu Luong Natura Retreat swimming pool

Pu Luong is a nature reserve located in the Thanh Hoa province. It is known for its breathtaking landscapes, lush rice terraces, and traditional ethnic minority villages. The area is popular among nature lovers and adventurers seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience in Vietnam. Pu Luong offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling, and exploring the local villages. The reserve is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Thai and Muong people, who have preserved their unique traditions and way of life. There are also several scenic waterfalls in Pu Luong, such as the Hieu Waterfall and the Kho Muong Waterfall, where visitors can swim and relax in the natural pools.

Places to visit / landmarks: Pho Doan Market, Thac Hieu Waterfall

Activities : Bamboo rafting, eating local cuisine, relaxing in a resort

Accommodation: Pu Luong Natura

Phu Tho (Viet Tri City)

Long Coc tea hills in Phu Tho Province

Phu Tho is certainly an off-the-beaten-path destination in Vietnam. The main city in Phu Tho province is Viet Tri City, which is ideal to base yourself when exploring this province. One of the main attractions is Hung Kings Temple. This is one of the most important historical and cultural sites in Vietnam, dedicated to the legendary Hung Kings who are considered the founders of the nation. The temple complex is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and offers a chance to learn about Vietnamese history. The best time to visit is during the annual festival, held around April 7th each year. The festival includes traditional ceremonies, processions, and folk performances, and attracts visitors from all over the country. Other attractions include Xuan Son National Park and Long Coc tea fields. Both are great places for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike through lush forests, explore caves, go bird-watching, or enjoy a picnic amidst scenic waterfalls.

Places to visit / landmarks: Hung Kings Temple, Xuan Son National Park, Long Coc tea fields

Accommodation: Saigon Phu Tho Hotel

Vinh Phuc (Tam Dao)

Tam Dao Square in the daytime

If you’re looking for unique places to visit in Vietnam, Tam Dao should certainly be on the list. Tam DaoTam Dao is a mountainous area located about 50 kilometres away from Hanoi. It is well-known for its cool climate, beautiful scenery, and lush green forests. Tam Dao National Park national park is an excellent place for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. You can hike through the forest, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and spot various species of plants and animals. The town itself is inspired by the French colonial era. When you arrive, it is like you have been transported to Europe. One of the main attractions is Tam Dao Stone Church, which offers a unique blend of European and Vietnamese architectural styles.

Places to visit / landmarks: Stone church, Sky Gate viewpoint, Tam Dao Castle, Silver Waterfall, Rock Cafe

Activities : Sample the cuisine, visit the night market, hiking

Accommodation: Camellia Luxury Hotel or Hung Trang Hotel

The most beautiful places in Central Vietnam

If you’re travelling in Central Vietnam, you’re in for a treat of beach bars, lanterns, old towns, snorkelling, and much more. Central Vietnam has a total of 19 provinces.

Thua Thien-Hue Province (Hue)

The dragon at the abandoned water park in Hue

Hue is a beautiful city located in central Vietnam, known for its historical significance, cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes. The number one attraction in Hue is the Imperial City, which was once the residence of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Along the Perfume River, you can discover the elaborate royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. Popular ones include the Tomb of Khai Dinh and the Tomb of Tu Duc. Other activities include taking a boat ride on the Perfume River with a stop off at the popular Thien Mu Pagoda, an iconic symbol of Hue located on the riverbank. In recent years, another popular attraction is Hue’s abandoned water park .

Places to visit / landmarks: Hue Imperial City, Royal Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda

Activities : Boat ride on the Perfume River

Accommodation: Vinpearl Hotel or Bon Ami Hostel

Quang Nam (Hoi An)

The row boats in Hoi An old town

Hoi An is a charming and picturesque city, known for its well-preserved Ancient Town. With plenty of things to do in Hoi An , you could spend weeks here. It is also one of the best tourist places in Vietnam. Hoi An’s Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. It offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history with its well-preserved architecture, narrow streets, and historic buildings dating back to the 15th century. The town’s unique blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and European influences makes it a truly fascinating place to explore. Hoi An is a melting pot of cultures, and this is evident in its diverse traditions, customs, and festivals. You can witness traditional ceremonies, visit old temples, and even participate in lantern-making or traditional Vietnamese cooking classes.

Recommended duration: 4 nights

Places to visit / landmarks: Ancient Town, Japanese Bridge, An Bang beach

Activities : Basket boat ride , cooking class, lantern making, get clothes tailor-made

Accommodation: Cozy Savvy Boutique Hotel or Backhome Hostel & Bar

The hand bridge at Sun World Ba Na Hills

Da Nang is a vibrant city known for its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. One of the most popular and stunning beaches in Danang is My Khe Beach, where you can spend the day relaxing. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or even trying out water sports like surfing or jet-skiing. A short drive away you will find Marble Mountains. The Marble Mountains are a cluster of five limestone and marble hills. Climb to the top for panoramic views, visit ancient pagodas, and explore stunning caves filled with Buddhist shrines. By night, enjoy Da Nang’s iconic Dragon Bridge, Every weekend, the bridge comes to life with a spectacular fire and water show. If you’re looking for a day trip just outside of Danang City, consider heading over to Sun World Ba Na Hills , a french inspired town and home to the Instagram-worthy hand bridge.

Places to visit / landmarks: Marble Mountains, Sun World Ba Na Hills, Dragon Bridge

Activities : Relax on the beaches

Accommodation: Sofiana My Khe Hotel or The Secret Garden

The most beautiful places in Vietnam in the south

South Vietnam boats a range of scenery, from the concrete jungle of Ho Chi Minh City to the mountainous lover’s paradise of Dalat. With plenty of attractions to explore, you’re sure to have an incredible time. Southern Vietnam has a total of 17 provinces.

Ho Chi Minh City

Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling city. It is the largest city in the country and offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Firstly, you should take a visit to the War Remnant Museum. This museum provides a glimpse into the history of the Vietnam War through various photographs, artefacts, and exhibits. It offers an emotional and thought-provoking experience. Take the opportunity to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels . These underground tunnels played a significant role during the Vietnam War. Take a guided tour to learn about their construction, purpose, and how they were used by Viet Cong soldiers. As well as learning about history, make sure to take advantage of the shopping opportunities in famous markets such as Ben Thanh Market. Enjoy evening strolls around Nguyen Hue Walking Street, or party the night away on Bui Vien.

Recommended duration: 3 nights

Places to visit / landmarks: War Remnant Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Bui Vien, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Cu Chi Tunnels, Bitexco Tower

Activities: Food & motorbike tour

Accommodation: Sedona Suites or Saigon Fantastic Hostel

Egg Mud Baths in Nha Trang

Are you yearning for a beach vacation in a tropical paradise? Look no further than Nha Trang, Vietnam’s coastal gem that promises to inspire and captivate you with its stunning beauty. The pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters of Nha Trang’s beaches are simply breathtaking. Relax under the warm sun or take a refreshing dip in the ocean while marvelling at the picturesque surroundings. Hop on a boat tour from Nha Trang and explore the nearby islands dotted amidst the sea. Hon Mun Island is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs, making it an ideal spot for snorkelling or scuba diving enthusiasts. Discover marine life like colourful fish, turtles, and even rare seahorses as you immerse yourself in this underwater wonderland. For a cultural aspect, discover the rich history and culture of Nha Trang by visiting iconic landmarks such as the Po Nagar Cham Towers. These ancient Hindu temples were built between the 7th and 12th centuries.

Places to visit / landmarks: Egg Mud Baths, Po Nagar Cham

Activities : Snorkelling, boat trips, relaxing

Accommodation: Queen Ann Hotel or Mojzo Inn

Skyline view of Dalat

Dalat boasts breathtaking scenery that will leave you awe-inspired at every turn. From lush green valleys to cascading waterfalls, this region is blessed with abundant natural beauty, there’s plenty to see and do . The mesmerizing landscapes include the serene Tuyen Lam Lake, the vibrant flower gardens of Valley of Love, and the majestic Elephant Waterfall – all waiting to captivate your senses. Stepping into Dalat feels like entering a time capsule due to its well-preserved French colonial architecture dating back to the early 20th century. Explore iconic landmarks such as Bao Dai Summer Palace or Domaine de Marie Church. If you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities, Dalat offers an exhilarating canyoning expedition, the opportunity to conquer the challenging Langbiang Mountain or go mountain biking through scenic trails.

Places to visit / landmarks: Clay Tunnel, Linh Phuoc Pagoda, Crazy House, Elephant Falls, Flower Garden

Activities : Trekking, canyoning, eat Dalat pizza, explore by scooter or bicyle, Boat ride on the lake

Accommodation: Original Kens Backpacker Hostel or Dalat Backpackers Hostel

Starfish on a beach in Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in Southeast Asia. Long Beach (Bai Truong) stretches for over 20 kilometres, offering soft white sands and calm turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling excursions , swimming or simply sunbathing. Sao Beach (Bai Sao) is another popular spot known for its powdery sand and stunning palm-fringed coastline. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Phu Quoc’s beaches have something to offer everyone. Aside from its beautiful beaches, Phu Quoc Island is home to lush forests and diverse wildlife that nature enthusiasts will find captivating. Explore the mesmerizing Phu Quoc National Park, where you can hike through dense jungles and discover rare plant species amidst cascading waterfalls. Don’t miss a visit to Suoi Tranh Waterfall, which offers a refreshing dip in its natural pools after an invigorating hike.

Places to visit / landmark s: Long Beach, Sao Beach, Phu Quoc National Park, Aqutopia Waterpark, Suoi Tranh Waterfall

Activities : Swimming, snorkelling

Accommodation: Sunset Beach Resort & Spa or Fortuna Hotel

Basket boats on Mui Ne beach

Mui Ne boasts some of Vietnam’s most picturesque beaches with pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Whether you want to relax under palm trees while sipping on a refreshing coconut or engage in thrilling water sports like kiteboarding or windsurfing, these idyllic beaches offer something for everyone. Mui Ne’s sand dunes are also something to marvel at. The red and white dunes contrast as they create an ethereal atmosphere during sunrise or sunset – perfect for photography enthusiasts! A stone’s throw away you will find the Fairy Stream. Immerse yourself in nature’s whimsy at Fairy Stream – a small, magical water stream surrounded by towering cliffs adorned with vibrant colours and patterns. There is even the option to explore Mui Ne and the attractions by jeep. You can book your jeep tour here .

Places to visit / landmarks: Red and white sand dunes, Fairy Stream

Activities : Relaxing on the beaches, snorkelling, watersports, enjoy seafood delicacies

Accommodation: Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort & Spa or Mui Ne Ocean House

Mekong Delta

Row boats on the Mekong Delta

A trip to the Mekong Delta is not to be missed when in Vietnam. The Mekong Delta is home to a diverse mix of ethnic communities, each with its own distinct traditions and customs. Explore local villages along the riverbanks, witness traditional handicrafts being made by skilled artisans, and savour authentic Vietnamese cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients sourced from the delta’s fertile lands. Prepare to be awestruck by nature’s masterpiece as you cruise along the winding waterways of the Mekong River. Marvel at lush rice paddies stretching endlessly across the horizon, dotted with coconut groves and fruit orchards laden with tropical fruits like mangoes and dragon fruits. The mesmerizing blend of verdant landscapes against azure skies will leave you enchanted at every turn.

Places to visit / landmarks: Floating Market, Ben Tre

Activities : Boat rides, witness handicrafts being made, learn about the ethnic minorities

Accommodation: The Mekong Delta can be explored by day trip from Ho Chi Minh City , or you can book overnight tours to the Mekong Delta with overnight accommodation included

Essential resources for travelling in Vietnam

Travel Insurance – It’s a good idea to have insurance, particularly if you’re going to be riding a motorbike. Our personal choice is Safteywing . You can opt for automatic monthly payments, just like a subscription. It can be purchased whilst already travelling and there is no cap on travel duration.

Visa – You are highly likely to need a visa for Vietnam. iVisa is a fantastic website that is super easy and quick to use. You can quickly make a visa application online.

Accommodation – is our go-to when looking to pre-book accommodation online. tend almost always to have the best rates and a FREE cancellation policy for most properties.

Overland transport – Our go-to website for overland transport is Bookaway . They have routes all over Vietnam and host a range of transport modes and companies. It is easy to book online and have your ticket sent to your phone.

Tours & Activities – If you want to book tours and activities for Vietnam online, make sure to check out Get Your Guide . Get Your Guide takes the stress out of booking activities abroad. You will also find a range of benefits, such as skip-the-line passes, lunch included in your tours, and so much more.

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20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam in 2024

things to do in Vietnam

things to do in Vietnam

Vietnam if one of the most interested destination in South East Asia. The beautiful country with the friendliest people in the World and Vietnam has many things to offers travelers. Visitor to Vietnam have many things to do in each city they visit. From crystal jade colored water in Halong Bay to beautiful terrace rice paddy in Sapa, from Hanoi, capital city of Vietnam to ancient Hoi An town or sunny beaches in Nha Trang. From Vibrant city of HCM City to green orchard with lots of tropical fruit in Mekong delta. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or just soaking up the local way of life, Vietnam has something to offer. In this article, we will explore some of the top things to do in Vietnam, from exploring the city of Hanoi to visiting the beautiful Ha Long Bay and experiencing the Mekong Delta. Everywhere you travel, you feel welcomed and feel the trip to Vietnam is right decision. So come along as we discover all that Vietnam has to offer!

Vietnam is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. From exploring bustling cities to relaxing on pristine beaches, there are countless things to do in Vietnam. Some of the top things to do in Vietnam include visiting the ancient town of Hoi An, cruising through Halong Bay, and exploring the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Whether you’re interested in history, food, adventure, or relaxation, Vietnam has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the incredible experiences this country has to offer.

We listed all the best things to do in Vietnam in 2024 for travelers from North to South and hope it helpful for you.

Table of Contents

Exploring Hanoi

Biking in ninh binh, trekking in sapa, motor bike in ha giang, visiting ha long bay, trekking in mai chau, cooking class in hanoi/hoian, eco tour in hoian, biking in hoian countryside, motorbike from hue to hoian, vespa tour in hanoi/saigon, immerse yourself in the golden rice in mu cang chai, diving in hoian/nhatrang/phu quoc, mud bathing in nha trang, zipline in hue, watching culture shows like: tonkins, wps, my village, ah oh…, visiting traditional craft villages: hanoi, hue, hoian, taste the food of vietnam (foodie tour in hanoi, hue, hoian, saigon), experiencing the mekong delta, visiting ho chi minh city.

Hanoi is the capital and largest city of Vietnam, and it is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the country. Here are some of the top things to do while exploring Hanoi:

  • Visiting the Old Quarter : Hanoi Old Quarter is a bustling area of the city that is filled with narrow streets and historic buildings. It is a great place to wander and soak up the local culture, and you can find a variety of street food, shops, and markets here.
  • Seeing the sights at Hoan Kiem Lake : This beautiful lake is located in the heart of the city, and it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. You can take a leisurely walk around the lake, visit the Ngoc Son Temple, or just relax on a bench and people watch.
  • Taking a cooking class : Vietnam is known for its delicious cuisine, and what better way to experience it than by learning to cook it yourself? There are many cooking classes available in Hanoi, and you can learn how to make dishes like pho, spring rolls, and more.
  • Visiting the Temple of Literature : This temple is a beautiful and historic site that is dedicated to Confucius and the study of literature. It is a peaceful place to visit, and you can learn about Vietnam’s history and culture while exploring the temple grounds.
Exploring Hanoi is one of the many things to do in Vietnam that travelers should not miss. As the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is rich in history, culture, and cuisine. Visitors can wander through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, visit historic landmarks such as the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and sample delicious street food.

Biking in Ninh Binh

Exploring Ninh Binh by bike is one of the most captivating things to do in Ninh Binh . Biking through the stunning landscape of Ninh Binh and exploring the countryside is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Ninh Binh. With its towering limestone cliffs, lush rice paddies, and winding rivers, Ninh Binh is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. As you pedal through this breathtaking region, you’ll discover hidden temples, traditional villages, and incredible views.

Trekking in Sapa

  • Trek from Sapa to Ta Phin
  • Trek from Sapa to Cat Cat Village + waterfalls
  • Trek from Sapa to Ylinh Ho, Lao Chai Ta Van
  • Trek from Sapa to Ta Van to Ancient rocks, Cloud bridge (Cau May)
  • Trek from Topas Eco-lodge to Thanh Kim, Thanh Phu
Trekking in Sapa is one of the most popular activities for tourists visiting Vietnam. This mountainous region in the north of the country offers breathtaking views and a unique cultural experience. Sapa offers some of the best opportunities for trekking in the country. Its majestic mountains, terraced rice fields, and vibrant ethnic minority villages make it an ideal place for adventurers and nature lovers alike. The diverse range of trekking trails available caters to all levels of fitness and experience. From short hikes to multi-day treks, Sapa has it all. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the region as you traverse the scenic trails. For more information on the best places for trekking in Vietnam , check out this comprehensive guide. Additionally, if you’re planning a trip to Sapa, make sure to explore the top things to do in Sapa for a truly unforgettable experience.

Motor bike in Ha Giang

Special experience to discover the mountainous province of Vietnam, the trip is good for young and adventure visitors. Contact Vietnam Travel for more details and the best offers.

The Ha Giang loop is a road route in the extreme north of Vietnam. It’s called the Ha Giang Loop because the route flows in a loop through the Ha Giang province. The capital city of the province is also called Ha Giang and this is where most people start and end their ride. Riding up, over and through this epic mountainous region on a motorcycle is the absolute best way to really, viscerally experience it. The Ha Giang Loop Tour offers visitors the ultimate adventure experience as they weave their way through this beautiful region. Along the route, you’ll traverse breathtaking mountain passes, visit remote villages and enjoy incredible views of rice terraces, waterfalls, and rivers. It’s incredibly beautiful with stunning mountain landscapes and roads that climb through the clouds before plunging into valleys. You’ll experience Vietnamese culture like nowhere else here as it’s common to bunk in homestays and eat dinner with families.

Ha Long Bay is a stunning natural wonder that is located in the northeast region of Vietnam. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its breathtaking beauty, with its emerald green waters and thousands of towering limestone karsts. If you are visiting Vietnam, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Ha Long Bay. Here are some top things to do while you are there:

  • Going on a boat tour : A boat tour is the best way to experience Ha Long Bay, and there are many options available, ranging from luxury cruises to more basic tours. You can choose a tour that fits your budget and interests, and you will get to see the best parts of the bay while learning about its history and culture.
  • Exploring the caves and grottoes : Ha Long Bay is home to many breathtaking caves and grottoes, and you can visit some of the most famous ones on a tour. These include the Surprise Cave, the Sung Sot Cave, and the Thien Cung Cave. Each cave has its own unique features, and you will be amazed by the stalactites, stalagmites, and other natural formations that you will see.
  • Trying seafood caught fresh from the bay : Ha Long Bay is known for its seafood, and you can try dishes like steamed oysters, grilled squid, and more while you are there. The seafood is caught fresh from the bay, so you know that it is going to be delicious. Be sure to try some of the local specialties while you are there!
  • Kayak in Halong Bay :

Kayak in Halong Bay

Halong bay is one of the top attraction of Vietnam , kayaking through Halong Bay is a must-do bucket list activity and by far the best way to explore all that the bay has to offer. Sliding through the water in a nifty kayak gives travelers more independence, and allows them to reach the shallow water that the cruise cannot get able to reach. Kayaking is included when you book a cruise on Halong bay so tick it in the list that you will join on 2 day or 3 day trip of your Halong cruise.

Ha Long Bay is an enchanting destination that offers a multitude of captivating experiences. Dotted with jagged limestone pinnacles, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s biggest attractions. One of the most popular ways to explore this natural scenery is by embarking on a junk boat cruise or joining a sea kayaking expedition. With a plethora of activities to choose from, Ha Long Bay never fails to enthrall its visitors. Constantly topping lists of scenic destinations around the world, Halong Bay (also known as Ha Long Bay) is the perfect destination to kick back, relax, and admire the views. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience in Ha Long Bay, consider taking one of the  best Ha Long luxury cruises . These cruises offer top-notch amenities and services to ensure that your trip is unforgettable.

Trekking in Mai Chau

Even though BanLac village and Pom Coong village getting too touristy but Vietnam Travel always preserve some of the best treking route in Mai Chau for their own clients. Our driver and guide really know the area, the great timing to make your trip is unique and enjoyable. We have many friends there and we even know how to cook the best authentic local food for our clients here too.

Trekking in Mai Chau is not very popular, but you can take long walks on the narrow paths between the villages. However, many travelers who visit this region choose to do this by bicycle. In the nearby Pu Luong Nature Reserve you can make treks through the mountains and terraced rice fields. VietnamTravel.Com can arrange a guide that can show you around or you can choose to go trekking yourself between the villages in the valley. While walking you can enjoy great views over the rice fields and explore the villages of the Thai ethnic minorities that live in stilt houses. Trekking Mai Chau Vietnam offers a balance of culture and adventure, set among some of northern Vietnam’s most stunning scenery.

Cooking class in Hanoi/Hoian

The World know more about Vietnam by the Wars and Vietnam Food. With the amazing supply of local farm products and source of fish and prawn from 3,260km of coastal lines and system of rivers. Vietnam has amazing material of their own cooking. Vietnamese has great methods to process their food in the nice and freshly food. During the visit to Vietnam, we highly recommend you to take a cooking class and get to know more about local culinary. Hoi An cooking tour is highly recommended.

One of the most unforgettable experiences in Vietnam is taking a cooking class in Hanoi or Hoi An. These classes offer a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture and cuisine. You’ll have the chance to visit a local produce market, learn about the ingredients used in Vietnamese cooking, and then prepare and enjoy a delicious meal. If you’re interested in learning more about Vietnamese cuisine, be sure to check out  Vietnam Travel’s guide to Vietnamese Cuisine

Eco tour in Hoian

There are plenty things visitors can do in Hoian. The narrow lanes are ideal for guided walking tours. You could visit the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture ; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings…. But when visit Hoian, we highly recommend you to take a day of Eco tour outside the city and get to know more about countryside of Hoian and experience the slow pace local life with many activities on the farm, and river of farmer & fishermen in Hoian.

An eco-tour in Hoi An is a great way to experience the rural life and natural beauty of Vietnam. You can explore the Bay Mau Coconut Forest, Tra Que Vegetable Village, Kim Bong Carpentry Village, and Thanh Ha Pottery Village. These tours offer unique experiences such as basket boat rides, fishing, and cooking classes. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about traditional Vietnamese practices. If you’re planning a trip to Hoi An, be sure to check out our article on the 6 essential things to do in the city.

Biking in Hoian countryside

When you want to discover the countryside of Hoian, we suggest you to take the bike to villages. It is safe to travel here by bike and you could enjoy the countryside better in the quiet and leisuring way out in the sun.

Another great thing to do in Vietnam is to go biking in Hoi An countryside. Hoi An is a charming ancient town that is famous for its lanterns, tailor shops, and historical buildings. But beyond the town, there is a beautiful rural area that you can explore on two wheels. You can cycle through rice paddies, vegetable gardens, fishing villages, and coconut forests. You can also visit local artisans, farmers, and fishermen and learn about their crafts and lifestyles. Biking in Hoi An countryside is a fun and relaxing way to experience the authentic culture and nature of Vietnam.

Motorbike from Hue to Hoian

Hue to Hoian is about 130 km or about over 4 hours by motorbike. The first part you will drive along the national highway passing the countryside with lots of rice field up to Phu Bai then passing the area near the sea with lot of fish farm in Tam Giang. This area is flat and motor biking is leisure. From Lang Co beach you start to drive up the mountain passing the Hai Van pass with spectacular view of the mountains and the ocean. The third part of the way passing Danang to Hoian , you will drive on the flat road along the sea. Whole the trip is great experience and this motorbike trip is good for the young and well-travelled ones.

One of the most thrilling and scenic things to do in Vietnam is to motorbike from Hue to Hoi An. This route takes you along the famous Hai Van Pass, a winding road that offers stunning views of the coast and the mountains. You can also stop at various attractions along the way, such as the Marble Mountains, Lang Co Beach, Elephant Springs, and My Son Sanctuary. Motorbiking from Hue to Hoi An is a great way to experience the diverse landscapes and cultures of central Vietnam.

Vespa tour in Hanoi/Saigon

Vespa or Moped trip in Hanoi & HCM City operated by the local team of Vietnam Travel, Discover the city to all the hidden part as a local and gain the interesting experience that regular traveler cannot get to when they travel by car. Contact Vietnam Travel for more details and the best offers.

A Vespa tour is a great way to see the sights of Hanoi and Saigon. You can zip around the bustling streets, explore the historical landmarks, and get a feel for the local culture. There are many different tours to choose from, so you can find one that fits your interests and budget. If you’re looking for a unique and memorable way to experience Vietnam, then a Vespa tour is a great option.

Immerse yourself in the Golden rice in Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai is located 180 kilometers away from Yen Bai city. The only transportation to get there is by road so you could choose either motorbike or private car. If you choose private car, it take more than 8 hour drive about 280km. Public bus from Hanoi to Yen Bai Then another bus Yen Bai to Mu Cang Chai. The route condition is very bad so you have to take about 1 day to arrive by bus.

The best part is the stretch of hazardous roads spreading out for tens kilometers of infinite and primeval landscapes, grandiose ranges of mountains and the peaceful and poetic picture of ethnics’ houses covered by terrace fields. Visit Mu Cang Chai in June when they planting rice or best in Sept in harvesting time is highly recommended.

Diving in Hoian/NhaTrang/Phu Quoc

Read more : Diving in Phu Quoc Diving in Hoi an

Mud bathing in Nhatrang

Read more: Things to do in Nha Trang

Zipline in Hue

Read more : Things to do in Hue, Vietnam

Watching culture shows like: Tonkins, WPS, My Village, Ah Oh...

Read more : Quintessence of Tonkin Show My Village Show A O Show

Visiting traditional Craft villages: Hanoi, Hue, Hoian

Vietnam Travel offer a special full day trip to vicinity of Hanoi and discover the interesting villages that regular visitors dont reach too. The itinerary is changes to the season and date of travel to make sure you will gain the best experience of countryside and villages of Vietnam . Let us know your travel date and we will arrange you the special plan for your best Vietnam experience.

Taste the food of Vietnam

One of the best things about traveling to Vietnam is the opportunity to try the delicious and varied cuisine that the country has to offer. From the spicy flavors of the north to the sweet and savory dishes of the south, Vietnam’s food is a true reflection of its culture and history.

If you are a foodie looking to experience the best of Vietnam’s culinary scene, there are many options available to you. In Hanoi, you can go on a food tour and sample some of the city’s famous dishes, such as bun cha and pho. You can also visit local markets and try street food, or take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Other cities in Vietnam that are known for their food include Hue, Hoian, and Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City). Each of these cities has its own unique culinary traditions, and you can find a wide variety of dishes to try while you are there. Whether you are looking for street food, fine dining, or something in between, Vietnam has something to offer every food lover.

Hue is good place to taste many royal dishes in the restaurant and lot of good food on the sidewalk. Food on the street is reasonable and good. Seating on the low plastic chairs and enjoy the Bun Bo Hue or Nem Lui would be fantastic.

So don’t miss the opportunity to taste the delicious and diverse food of Vietnam during your visit. You’ll be sure to find something that you love, and you’ll be able to take home some new culinary skills and memories.

The Mekong Delta is a beautiful and vibrant region of Vietnam that is located in the southern part of the country. This area is known for its rice paddies, waterways, and friendly locals, and it is a great place to experience the authentic culture of Vietnam. Here are some top things to do while you are in the Mekong Delta:

  • Taking a boat ride through the waterways : The Mekong Delta is crisscrossed by a network of waterways, and the best way to experience the region is by boat. You can take a boat ride through the waterways and see the local life up close. You’ll pass by floating markets, villages, and rice paddies, and you’ll get to see how the people of the Mekong Delta live and work.
  • Visiting local markets : The Mekong Delta is home to many bustling markets where you can find a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce to handmade crafts. You can wander through the markets and see what the locals are selling, and you might even find some souvenirs to take home with you.
  • Staying with a local family in a homestay : One of the best ways to experience the Mekong Delta is by staying with a local family in a homestay. You’ll get to live with the family, eat their food, and learn about their way of life. This is a great way to get a true sense of the local culture and make lasting memories.

Visiting floating market

Read more : 7 Amazing Floating Markets in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and a vibrant, bustling metropolis. This city is a melting pot of cultures, and it is a great place to experience the modern side of Vietnam. Here are some top things to do while you are visiting Ho Chi Minh City:

  • Seeing the sights at the Vietnam War Remnants Museum : The War Remnants Museum is a powerful and thought-provoking museum that chronicles the history of the Vietnam War. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the country’s history, and it is a sobering reminder of the atrocities of war.
  • Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels : The Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of underground tunnels that were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. You can visit the tunnels and learn about the history of the war while crawling through the narrow passageways.
  • Visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office : These two iconic landmarks are located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and are worth a visit. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a beautiful example of French colonial architecture, and the Central Post Office is a historic building that is now a popular tourist attraction.
  • Going on a food tour : Ho Chi Minh City is a food lover’s paradise, and there are many delicious dishes to try while you are there. You can go on a food tour and sample some of the local specialties, or you can explore the Ho Chi Minh city’s street food scene on your own. There is something for everyone in Ho Chi Minh City, so be sure to come hungry!

Vietnam is a country with a rich culture and a diverse range of activities and experiences to offer. From exploring the city of Hanoi to visiting the beautiful Ha Long Bay and experiencing the Mekong Delta, there is something for everyone in Vietnam.

If you are planning a trip to Vietnam , be sure to include these top things to do on your itinerary. And don’t forget to take the time to wander and explore on your own, as you never know what you might discover. Vietnam is a beautiful and welcoming country, and we hope that you have a wonderful time there.

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam in 2024

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29 Unique & Beautiful Places to Visit in Vietnam (+ Tips from a Local)

A river with sampan boats flows between green fields and limestone karsts in Ninh Binh, one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

When planning a trip to Vietnam, the top question comes up – Where are the best places to visit in Vietnam? 

Whether it’s your first time visiting Vietnam or a return trip, it’s a tough question since Vietnam is a long S-shaped country. There are many factors involved on where to visit in Vietnam such as the amount of time in the country, personal preferences on things to do, weather, travel budget , and much more. 

Even though we’ve lived long-term in Vietnam for over 4 years and had a chance to explore a lot of Vietnam cities from North to South, there are too many epic and pretty places to see in this country. 

Without further ado, here are the 29 unique and beautiful places to visit in Vietnam . These are our favorite Vietnam destinations to visit from North, Central , to South Vietnam . We’re ranging from the popular, must-visit touristy cities to the off-the-beaten locations , pretty islands , hiking spots , and more. We’re also sharing fun things and bucket list activities to do in each of the cities and other helpful travel tips.

This post is a work in progress as we’ll continue to add more places when we travel around the country. 

Let’s bring out the wanderlust and get you excited for your future trip to Vietnam. 

To help you navigate this post more efficiently, click on the following links to jump to certain sections of Vietnam’s best places to visit. 

Map of Where to Go in Vietnam

Must visit places in vietnam.

  • Beautiful Places to Visit in Vietnam

Unique Places to Visit in Vietnam

Before reading on where to go in Vietnam, check out Vietnam travel posts to help with your planning:

  • How to Travel Around Vietnam
  • Must Have Vietnam Travel Apps
  • Souvenirs to Buy in Vietnam
  • Why Visit Vietnam
  • What to Pack for Vietnam

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Map of the best places to visit in Vietnam

Click on the map to see a larger view of the top places to visit in Vietnam. Credit: Map data: Google

A trip to Vietnam would not be complete without visiting the capital city, Hanoi ( Hà Nội in Vietnamese). It’s a fantastic starting point for any Vietnam itinerary as an introduction to the country. 

Most visitors stay in the Old Quarter area . It’s a bustling area to wander through the small shops for souvenirs and shopping. You’ll notice that each street specializes in something such as toys, silk, bamboo, etc. You can also wander around to try street food and hang out at the cafes . Just be careful when you’re crossing the street as the cars and motorbikes will not stop for you. 

Stop by the iconic spots such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh, the main proponent of Communism, is embalmed, and Ho Kiem Lake in the center of the city. Other cultural places to visit include Tran Quoc Pagoda, The Temple of Literature, and One Pillar Pagoda. One of the coolest experiences is to see a train pass by when relaxing at a cafe along Train Street. 

From here, you can visit other areas of Northern Vietnam by train or overnight bus.

2. Halong Bay

Halong Bay ( Hạ Long Bay ) is a famous place to visit in North Vietnam. Located in Quang Ninh Province, it’s recognized as one of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites . Visitors take a day trip, overnight, or a multi-day (2-3 days) cruise on a junker and travel through the limestone karst of the bay. 

While a day trip along Halong Bay is doable, it’s recommended to spend at least one night on the boat . It’s what we did! You don’t want to feel rushed with this amazing bucket list experience.

As the junker sails around Halong Bay (our cruise went around Bai Tu Long area) sit on a lawn chair on the deck of the junker and watch hundreds of limestone karst of different sizes pass by. It’s a peaceful experience and a much-needed rest as you’ve traveled through Vietnam already. 

Since we participated in a 2 day/1 night tour, there is a kayak/swimming opportunity in the afternoon. While it’s only an hour, it’s a fun way to get some exercise after sitting on the junker. Also could do a short hike through the Thien Canh Son Cave. On the second day, you’ll sit in a sampan and pass through the Vung Vieng fishing village, fishing farm, and pearl farm. 

Taking a cruise isn’t cheap, especially if taking a luxury cruise . Expect to pay around $200 USD per person for a 2-day excursion. Yet it’s worth the splurge as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, the fresh seafood caught daily is delicious. 

If you have the time and want to experience a less touristy area of Halong Bay , head to Cat Ba Island. 

One of the top reasons to visit Vietnam is to see the gorgeous Halong Bay with the limestone karst and the opportunity to stay overnight on a junker boat.

Halong Bay is a top destination to visit in Vietnam. Photo credit: SimonDannhauer via

Hue is the ideal city to visit in Vietnam if you’re a history buff . While we only had one day to spend in Hue, it’s an opportunity to explore the UNESCO-recognized Imperial City and wander through the various palaces and pagodas. You’ll need a few hours up to half a day to explore a lot of the Imperial City. Thien Mu Pagoda and Khai Dinh Tomb are two additional places to not miss in Hue.  

A unique place to visit is the Thuy Tien Lake Abandoned Water Park . While it’s technically not allowed to enter, you can pay a small fee to the guard to enter. You’ll get some incredible (maybe eerie?) photos here.

Hue has some incredible street food. Don’t miss trying steamed rice cakes ( bánh bèo ) and beef noodle soup ( bún bò Huế ) as they originated from this area. 

We can’t wait to return for a longer trip to Hue and explore other areas of the Thua Thien Hue Province. 

Colorful Hien Nhon Gate (East Gate) which leads to the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam

Hue is the perfect city to visit to learn about Vietnam’s history. Photo credit: efired via

Danang ( Đà Nẵng ) is one of the top places to visit in Vietnam for a blend of coastal beach life and city life . It’s considered the fifth largest city in Vietnam, so you’ll have tons of things to do here. 

Hanging out on the My Khe beach is a good place to relax. A more adventurous activity is walking up the stairs to reach the Marble Mountains in southern Danang. There are also lots of pagodas and good street food to try. 

If you’re a fan of theme parks , add the Sun World Ba Na Hills to the list so you can see the iconic Golden Bridge of two giant hands holding up the walkway. Check out our experience visiting Ba Na Hills here. 

Another recommended theme park is Sun World Danang Wonders which is a mini Disney World Epcot with the theme of international countries. You’ll see the giant Ferris wheel when you’re in the center of the city. There are also more thrill rides here versus at Ba Na Hills. Read our Sun World Danang Wonders travel guide here. 

Danang is a central hub to visit other areas in Central Vietnam such as Hue and Hoi An. One of the coolest things to do is to ride a motorbike along the Hai Van Pass . It’s a bucket list adventure to ride through the windy roads from Danang or Hoi An to Hue. If you can’t drive a motorbike, it’s not a problem as you can join a motorbike tour or car tour to experience this.

Check out our 3 days in Danang itinerary for ideas on what to do. 

The Dragon Bridge in Danang, Vietnam glows a bright yellow and different colors and has a purple and pink skies during sunset.

Danang is a top city to visit during your Vietnam travels. Photo credit: richie0703 via

Located in Quang Nam Province and near Danang, Hoi An ( Hội An) is a swoonworthy and beautiful destination to visit in Vietnam. The picturesque yellow buildings, colorful lanterns, and cobblestone roads attract many visitors. We can see why it received the UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition due to its preservation of the Ancient Town, a former port area. 

Walking through the Ancient Town is the highlight of visiting Hoi An . Due to Hoi An’s former trading area, there are lots of influences in the building facades from Chinese, Japanese, and European countries. If you love architecture, then this is a place to visit!

Also, cars and motorbikes are not allowed in Ancient Town, so you won’t get disturbed when browsing boutique shops with handicrafts and souvenirs. The only thing to watch out for is the cyclos (part bicycle-part carriage) passing by on the narrow roads. 

Hoi An is the place to get tailored clothes and shoes done . Whether you need a business suit, dress, shirts, or shoes done to your style, spend a few days here to get customized clothes. 

At night, the streets illuminate with multi-colored silk lanterns around the walking area . You’ll get the popular night shot of the lanterns here. You can ride a boat along the Thu Bon River and release a candle lantern in the waters for good luck. (Although, we would advise that since it litters the riverside.)

There are also a few night markets that sell touristy souvenirs such as dresses, Hawaiian shirts, hats. Since the same printed materials are used, your family can be stylish and have a matching set. 

If you’re short on time, you can visit Hoi An as a day trip from Danang. It’s a short 30-40 minute car ride away. 

Hoi An, Vietnam is a charming city with yellow buildings and a river that has boats.

Hoi An Ancient Town is a popular spot to visit in Vietnam. Photo credit: efired via

6. Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City ( Hồ Chí Minh and referred to as Saigon and HCMC) is the vibrant, super busy city in South Vietnam that never sleeps. With a population of 9 million people, it’s a BIG city. Many tourists tend to overlook Ho Chi Minh City in their itineraries, yet, there are so many fun touristy attractions and nighttime activities to experience.

If HCMC is your first visit to Southeast Asia, you’ll experience memorable “firsts” – crossing the street with oncoming vehicles coming towards you, seeing motorbikes and cars navigating the roads without traffic lights, sharing the sidewalks with motorbikes, and much more. It’s a bit chaotic yet we love it which is why we’ve stayed in HCMC for over 3 years!

Ho Chi Minh has some of the prettiest buildings with French-influenced architecture . Check out the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral (still in restoration), Opera House, Tan Dan Church (a pink church), and City Hall (the building behind Uncle Ho Statue on Nguyen Hue Walking Street.) 

Other iconic landmarks include the Independence Palace, War Remnant Museum, Cafe Apartment, Saigon Skydeck , and Landmark 81, the tallest building in HCMC with 81 floors.  

Foodies will love the food options in HCMC . You can get any type of Vietnamese cuisine and street food at local restaurants or sidewalk kiosks. They’re plentiful and available at any time of the day, even at 3:00am if you have the munchies. If you miss eating Western food or international cuisines, HCMC has delicious options to try. Check out our food posts with recommendations: Burgers , Desserts , Pizzas , Japanese food , and Vegetarian/Vegan Options . 

Depending on how much time you have here, check out our recommendations on how to spend one day , 3 days , and 5+ days in HCMC . 

Related: What to do in HCMC during the rainy season 

Ho Chi Minh bronze statue with a beige French style building in the backdrop

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

Ben Tre ( Bến Tre ) is one of the best day trips to take from Ho Chi Minh City . Located along the Mekong Delta, this capital city of Ben Tre Province is known for growing the most delicious coconuts in the country . 

If you see signs for dừa xiêm anywhere, these are the small, young coconut with the sweetest coconut water. You must try them, especially on a hot, humid day. 

Many tourists head to Ben Tre for a day tour as it’s the closest city to Ho Chi Minh City to explore the Mekong Delta. 

A typical one day Mekong Delta tour consists of visiting a coconut candy factory (definitely buy the coconut candy as souvenirs), tasting fresh honey and honey tea from a local honey farm, riding a sampan along the Mekong River, catching snakeheads, freshwater fish, in the muddy waters for lunch, learning about the Coconut Monk, listen to traditional music, and much more. 

It’s touristy, yet it’s a fun introduction to the Mekong Delta and to see endless coconut trees in the area.

Rowers wearing conical hats row their wooden sampan boats ride along Ben Tre, one of the top places to visit in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

Ben Tre is a special place to visit to experience life along the Mekong Delta.

Beautiful Places in Vietnam

Sapa ( Sa Pa ) is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam! It’s the perfect destination if you want a mix of breathtaking landscapes, relaxing, and trekking through the ethnic villages . 

Located in Lao Cai Province, many locals and tourists flock to Sapa from Hanoi to witness the golden rice terraces and harvest during the late August/September time frame. Yet, it’s still a gorgeous place to visit and see the green rice terraces during the other months of the year. 

Hiking Sapa is one of the highlights of the area. Adventure travels will love to spend at least 2-3 days trekking through the rice fields, pass through ethnic villages, and enjoy the scenery. We recommend exploring Lao Chai and Ta Van Valley , although Cat Cat Village is also a popular trail to visit. 

You get the chance to stay overnight at homestays , meet and interact with the owners and family of the homestays, and enjoy a home-cooked meal with them. It’s a meaningful experience to interact with the locals. 

Read our blog on trekking tips for Sapa so you can be fully prepared. 

An ambitious and challenging hike to conquer is Fansipan Mountain . It’s the highest peak in Vietnam at 3,143 meters (10,312 feet). Allocate 1-2 days to reach Fansipan’s summit (or take the cable car up).  Check out our experience on how to hike Fansipan in 1 day here.

Otherwise, plenty of breathtaking ecolodges overlook the rice terraces and is perfect for relaxing for a few days. 

Read our post on how to spend 3 days in Sapa , including restaurant picks and where to stay .

Afternoon sun shines on the rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa’s mountains and rice terraces are gorgeous to see in person.

9. Ninh Binh 

Ninh Binh ( Ninh Bình ) is a popular place to visit in Vietnam. It’s referred to as “ Halong Bay on land ” due to the beautiful limestone karsts in the Trang An Grottoes area and the jaw-dropping rice fields and landscapes.

You may also recognize Ninh Binh as one of the main filming locations for the Hollywood movie, “ Kong .”

The top things to do in Ninh Binh include riding a sampan along the Trang An area and watching the landscape pass by and wandering through the numerous temples such as the photogenic Hang Mua temple and Bich Dong Pagoda. This area is also perfect to spend the day cycling through the rice fields and seeing a calmer lifestyle.  

We visited Ninh Binh Province on our first trip to Vietnam. Although it was a quick day trip from Hanoi, we would love to return to spend a few more days here. 

A blonde woman wears a white dress and is walking along the stairs with the Hang Mua viewpoint in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Ninh Binh is a memorable destination to visit in Vietnam since it’s so pretty here. Photo credit: Jessica May via Scopio Photos

10. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Want to visit the “Adventure Capital of Asia”? Head to Phong Nha, home of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and located in Quang Binh Province. It’s a beautiful area with the Son River flowing through the town and the tall limestone mountains in the backdrop. 

The must-thing to do in Phong Nha is to wander through caves and see stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over many years. There are over 500 caves to explore in the national park ! The most popular ones are Paradise Cave and Phong Nha Cave which are more accessible. 

The adventure travelers will love going on multi-day caving and trekking tours to explore hidden caves . Oxalis Adventure and Jungle Boss are two companies that offer tours. 

We personally loved going on Oxalis’s Hang En Cave 2-day trek and staying overnight in the world’s third-largest cave. It’s a memorable experience trekking through the jungle and scrambling through the dark cave areas. 

A bucket list trek is hiking to Son Doong , the world’s largest cave to see the natural ecosystem and unique views. You’ll need to save up some money since this trek is $3,000 USD per person. 

Other fun adventures that do not include caves are hiking through the Botanic Garden to see a waterfall, taking a motorbike or bicycle to see the rural areas of Bong Lai Valley , and kayaking. 

Otherwise, you’re more than welcome to relax on a hammock next to the river and lounge around for the day.

Read this Phong Nha itinerary on how to spend 2-4 days here. 

Jackie Szeto, Life Of Doing, sit on the swing with a view of the Son River in Phong Nha, Vietnam

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a gorgeous place to visit during your Vietnam trip.

Dalat ( Đà Lạt ) is such a refreshing area to add to your Vietnam itinerary . It’s one of our favorite places in Vietnam to spend a weekend. Due to the location in the Central Highlands mountain range, it’s much cooler than the rest of South Vietnam. You will need to bring a jacket and wear long pants. The chances of rain are also higher here. 

Dalat is known for its fresh produce and fruits . You can visit a farm to pick fresh fruits or head to the main Night Market area to buy the produce. We’ve visited a few times and there are a few staple items of artichokes, strawberries, and avocados. As a heads up, do not touch the produce unless you plan to buy them. Otherwise, the seller will yell at you.

The main Dalat City has tons of things to do such as visit Botanical Gardens, go coffee shop hopping, see some French-inspired architectural buildings, and visit the whimsical Crazy House. If you need snacks to bring back home, stop by Langfarm which has tea, dried fruits, candies made with fruit juice, and more. 

Some day trips from Dalat include visiting the pretty waterfalls , such as Pongour, Elephant, Dantala, Tam Tham , and Prenn, and hiking to the peak of Langbiang at 2,167 Meters (7,109 feet). When you leave the main area, you can see how pretty and green the entire area is. 

Read how to spend 3 days in Dalat here.  

Three farmers wearing conical hats work on the farm in Dalat, Vietnam

Dalat is one of the coolest places to visit in Vietnam to see agriculture and nature.

12. Bao Loc

Most tourists haven’t heard of Bao Loc ( Bảo Lộc or B’Lao ), yet it’s a fun place to visit if you’re a tea lover . Located in Lam Dong Province of the Central Highlands, it’s a good stopping point either before or after visiting the neighboring Dalat City. 

Bao Loc’s green mountains are covered in luscious tea plantations. It’s gorgeous to see in person. The popular store selling tea is Tam Chau where you can try tea and also buy some as souvenirs. The store sells oolong, green, jasmine, and artichoke tea in loose-leaf or tea bags. 

The local tourist attraction is visiting the towering Dambri Waterfall at the Dambri Tourist Area. It also has a neighboring Dasara Waterfall. This is a family-friendly place as there is a swimming pool, Ferris Wheel, and children’s rides available. You can spend the entire day here in this tourist area. 

Another fun place to visit is the Linh Quy Phap An Pagoda to see the sunrise. Since you’re up on the mountain, you can see the sun peek through the clouds. 

Check out the must-do things to do in Bao Loc here. 

Justin Huynh, Life Of Doing, posing next to the Dambri Waterfall.

Dambri Waterfall is a fantastic spot to see a beautiful waterfall in Bao Loc, Vietnam.

13. Con Dao Islands

Con Dao Islands ( Côn Đảo ) is our little secret of a dreamy destination to visit in Vietnam . Con Dao is made up of an archipelago of 16 islands, while Con Son Island is the largest and habitable one. 

Con Son has some of the cleanest beaches that we’ve seen in Vietnam . We can’t stop raving about the white sand, turquoise water, and trash-free beaches. The must-visit beaches include Nhat Beach or Dam Trau Beach and see the airplanes fly by. 

Some of the other best things to do in Con Dao Islands include visiting the Con Dao prisons and seeing the tiger cages in person, exploring the Con Dao National Park, snorkeling at nearby islands, and relaxing. We can’t stress enough how you must swim in the turquoise waters since it’s the bluest water that we’ve seen in the country!

While there are small, local guesthouses to stay at, splurge at the Six Senses and enjoy the isolated area and private beaches. 

Can Dao Islands in Vietnam is the perfect beach destination The white sandy beaches and the clear blue waters is rare to see in Vietnam.

Con Dao Islands is a beautiful spot to visit in Vietnam as the beaches and waters are clean!

14. Ly Son Island

Love eating garlic? Head to Ly Son Island ( Đảo Lý Sơn ) in Quang Ngai Province. This is a small, unique island to visit in Vietnam as it’s well-known for growing the small pearl-shaped garlic and shallots . Since the island is an inactive volcano, the nutrients from the lava and sand provide a gentle flavor to the garlic. 

There are only a handful of noteworthy attractions to visit on Ly Son Island, such as hiking Gieng Tien and seeing a natural arch at To Vo Gate. If you want to hang out at the beach, take a boat ride to the neighboring island, An Binh. The waves are not as rough here yet the waters are so clean and blue!

You have to try the fresh seafood here . It’s one of the memorable places that we’ve eaten for fresh seafood. Choose your seafood and shellfish and have it cooked any way you’d like. Also, don’t forget to eat any dishes with garlic! 

Ly Son doesn’t have a tourism boom yet and it’s a bit challenging to get here. It’s worth the effort to get here to enjoy the untapped area and quietness of this island. 

Read our Ly Son Island travel guide here. 

15. quy nhon.

Quy Nhon ( Quy Nhơn or Qui Nhơn) is one of the most underrated cities to visit in Vietnam . It’s a small, coastal town in Binh Dinh Province with plenty of attractions to keep you busy for a few days. 

Head to the beaches and go snorkeling at Ky Co Beach and visit the historical Cham Towers . The Cham Towers incorporate the Hindu culture from the Cham people and are scattered around Vietnam. The architecture is similar to what you see at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia . Plus, visiting Eo Gio to see some of the bluest waters in Vietnam is another must-see attraction. 

The tourism infrastructure is still in its infancy so you can enjoy the relaxed vibe here. Plus, there aren’t too many resorts in Quy Nhon yet!

It is hot here, so get up early to join the locals and exercise on the beach or swim in the ocean. The afternoon is best to relax in the air-conditioning cafes and coffee shops.

Check out the top things to do in Quy Nhon here. 

Eo Gio (also called "Windy Waist") is a beautiful place to visit in Quy Nhon, Vietnam. The mountainside juxtaposes with the oceanside which provides a curve shape.

Eo Gio is one of the beautiful and unique spots to check out in Quy Nhon.

16. Bidoup Nui Ba National Park

Bidoup Nui Ba National Park ( Vườn quốc gia Bidoup Núi Bà) is not on a typical itinerary, yet it’s a memorable spot to go on a multi-day trek through the forest . Located in the Lam Dong Province, you can combine this visit with Dalat as they’re nearby. 

On your 2 day/1 night trekking tour of Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, you get the chance to travel along the two highest peaks along Langbiang mountain range. The summit is at 2,287 meters (7,503 feet). 

It’s quite an adventure to hike up the mountain as the plant foliage isn’t maintained and is super tall. Plus, there are some steep areas so be careful when hiking. You’ll also need to watch out for leeches as they’ll crawl up the hiking shoes and legs. 

Once you reach the campsite, the tents will be set up and then you can relax and enjoy the BBQ dinner. 

Read our intense trekking experience at Bidoup Nui Ba National Park here. 

17. nha trang.

Nha Trang, located in Khanh Hoa Province, is a quick getaway from Ho Chi Minh City for some sunshine and beach life . 

Lounging on the beaches is a must-do when visiting Nha Trang. Nha Trang Beach is the most visited and crowded since it’s easy to access from most guesthouses and resorts. Plus, it stretches over 6 kilometers (3.7 miles). 

Nha Trang is famous for the mud baths and mineral spas so you must try one when you’re here. We loved visiting I-Resort and getting pampered for half a day. The mud bath is relaxing and feels silky smooth. 

Other day trips from Nha Trang City that you can take are visiting VinWonders Nha Trang theme park (also referred to as Vinpearl Nha Trang) or lounge at Hon Tam Island and do water sports. 

Check out what to do in Nha Trang in 3 days here. 

Related: taking the overnight train from ho chi minh city to nha trang  .

View of Nha Trang that overlooks the city and the coastline.

Nha Trang has good weather to spend on the beach and outdoors.

Mui Ne ( Mũi Né ) is a small coastal area in the Phan Thiet City of Binh Thuan Province. We say that it’s the younger sister of Nha Trang since there are lots of beaches, sand, and plenty of relaxation opportunities here. We’ve been here with friends and family and love spending a few days in this area. 

The famous attractions in Mui Ne are the sand dunes . There are the red and white sand dunes and you can either visit them by motorbike or on a Jeep Tour for a sunrise or sunset view. You can rent a metal sheet to slide down the dunes. We recommend the Jeep Tour since you can also stop by the fishing village and walk through a small stream (Fairy Stream). 

Kitesurfing is the main outdoor water sport here. You can take lessons and practice your kitesurfing skills. 

Check out other fun things to do in Mui Ne here. 

If you have an extra day, consider taking a motorbike or a taxi to visit the longest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia at Ta Cu Mountain . This place is located an hour away from Mui Ne. You can either take the cable car or hike the mountain. Check out how to hike Ta Cu Mountain here. 

19. Cat Tien National Park

If you’re itching for some nature, head to Cat Tien National Park ( Vườn Quốc Gia Cát Tiên) in the Dong Nai Province. This national park is a decent size at over 70,000 hectares. 

It’s recommended to spend a few days here to enjoy the wildlife on the night safari or sunrise trek to see wild gibbons, nature walks through the forest, and visit ethnic villages. You can also take a boat ride along the Dong Nai River and may see monkeys along the river. All tours are organized through the National Park, so ask your accommodation to help arrange a spot. 

The entire area is quiet and it isn’t crowded with tourists, so you can have the park to yourself!

Check out the other things to do in Cat Tien National Park here. 

Walking in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam with stunning trees surrounding us

Cat Tien National Park is an ideal place to visit in Vietnam for outdoor adventures and nature walks.

20. Ma Da – Tri An 

Ma Da – Tri An ( Mã Đà -Trị An) is not on a typical Vietnam itinerary as this attraction is catered to local Vietnamese tourists. Located in Dong Nai Province, this place is perfect for those who want to spend the day outdoors. 

Wandering through the Ma Da Forest is the main highlight since it’s so quiet and beautiful here. You can either run, walk, or cycle through the red clay-colored dirt path. Heads up, the dirt does stain light-colored clothes and shoes. 

Afterward, go stand up paddleboarding (SUP) in the manmade Tri An Lake and cool off from your earlier walk. 

You’ll need to join a local tour group as the infrastructure for foreign tourism is not developed yet. This would be a fun day trip from Ho Chi Minh City if you’re staying in the area long-term and can meet new people. 

Check out our Ma Da Tri An visitor guide here. 

21. an giang .

An Giang Province is an undiscovered area along the Mekong Delta . This area is at the Cambodia-Vietnam border so you can use it as a border crossing (if permitted). Otherwise, this area doesn’t receive many foreign tourists as it’s far from Ho Chi Minh City (it’ll take 5+ hours by bus one-way). 

The two main cities are – Chau Doc and Long Xuyen. Most of the attractions are nearby the Chau Doc area. 

The top things to do in An Giang Province is to visit the Tra Su Cajuput Forest and take a sampan through the mangrove forest and visit Cam Mountain tourist attraction. There is also a floating market, an area to explore the Cham Village since many of the ethnic Cham people live here, and Masjid Jamiul Azhar Mosque. 

This is one area that we would love to return and explore further. 

Read our An Giang visitor guide on how to spend 1 day here. 

Jackie Szeto, Life Of Doing, sits under a wooden house with a view of the cajuput forest and river.

Tra Su Cajuput Forest is a gorgeous place to visit in An Giang!

22. Binh Phuoc

Binh Phuoc Province ( Bình Phước ) is an untapped area of Vietnam that most people haven’t heard about. This area borders Cambodia and is north of Ho Chi Minh City. 

It’s known for growing the best cashews around the country . These cashews are plump and large and often have roasted skin outside which is edible. You’ll see cashew trees everywhere even on the side of the road. It’s cool to see the colorful cashew fruit and nut growing from the bottom of the fruit. 

Tip : Do not eat the raw nut from the fruit as there is a toxic oil called urushiol and you’ll get intense rashes and blisters. 

If you’re in the area, consider hiking up Ba Ra Mountain (White Virgin Mountain) as it’s the third highest peak in South Vietnam at 736 meters (2,415 feet). (The second highest is Chua Chan Mountain in Dong Nai Province.) Currently, the hike isn’t open to the public and you’ll need to make arrangements in advance to visit the summit. The hike is a steep walkway up the mountain to reach the pagoda. You’ll feel the burn in your legs! 

Check out our Ba Ra Mountain hiking guide here. 

23. cu chi tunnels.

Technically, Cu Chi is part of Ho Chi Minh City, but on the northern side. Located over 2 hours away from the city center and in the countryside, it’s a popular and unique place to visit in Vietnam to see the underground network of tunnels at Cu Chi Tunnels. 

During the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese soldiers (Viet Cong) lived underground in over 250 kilometers (155miles) of tunnels and used the tunnels for shelter, medical aids, and moving equipment around.

There are two tunnels – Ben Duoc and Ben Dinh, to visit depending on your preference. While you can’t visit the entire tunnel, about 121 kilometers (75 miles) have been preserved for tourists. We’ve visited the Ben Duoc as it contains portions of the original tunnels that the soldiers used. 

Justin Huynh, Life Of Doing, has his hands up while going down one of the holes in Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels is a popular day trip from Ho Chi Minh City and a recommended spot to experience the underground tunnels.

24. Tay Ninh

Does Tay Ninh Province deserve to be on this list? Yes, it does! 

If you have an extra day in Ho Chi Minh City and love hiking, take a trip to Tay Ninh. It’s located in the countryside and is home to Ba Den Mountain (Black Virgin Mountain), the highest peak in South Vietnam at 986 meters (3,235 feet).

You’ll need up to a half-day to hike this mountain since it’s a strenuous hike up giant boulders. Prepare yourself with lots of water since it is HOT and humid on the trail. Another option is to take the cable car to the peak .

Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the Sun World Ba Den theme park with the colorful flower gardens and topiaries and take a photo with the triangle-shaped summit sign. 

Read more about this Ba Den Mountain day hike here. 

Tay Ninh also has the famous Cao Dao Temple , and you can see the Caodaism religion and the people worshipping. Inside the temple is a must-visit to see the colorful architecture and dragon sculptures. 

25. Vung Tau

Vung Tau ( Vũng Tàu ) is the capital of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and is a coastal beach town. It’s only two hours away from Ho Chi Minh City which makes it a fantastic spot for a day trip or a weekend trip. 

The area is popular for eating fresh seafood and relaxing on the beaches. To be honest, the beaches are not the cleanest as garbage is in the sand. Yet, you can rent a hammock and relax for an afternoon. 

Vung Tau is surprisingly hilly as there are two mountains – Big Mountain and Small Mountain. Big Mountain has some incredible hiking which we recommend that you do if you know a local. Check out our Big Mountain hiking experience here . Small Mountain has a mini Christ of Jesus statue that you can see. 

Other awesome hikes to do in the area are Dinh Mountain and Minh Dam. Both of these hiking locations require transportation as they aren’t in Vung Tau city center. Check out our Dinh Mountain hiking guide or Minh Dam hiking guide here. 

Panoramic view of Vung Tau neighborhoods and the bay from a summit point on hiking Nui Lon Big Mountain in Vung Tau, Vietnam

Vung Tau is known for the beaches, coastline, and also has some amazing views!

26 . Can Gio

If you have extra days in Ho Chi Minh City and want to visit a place with monkeys running around everywhere , head to Can Gio Mangrove Forest (also referred to as “Monkey Island.”) Can Gio ( Cần Giờ ) is one of the southern districts in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Spending a day in Can Gio is a fun day trip from HCMC. Explore the mangrove area, see hundreds of monkeys in the forest, and wander through a former base used during the Vietnam War in the forest area. 

Tip: Beware of any belongings such as sunglasses and hats sticking out from your purse or backpack. The monkeys will snatch anything within reach immediately and you won’t see your belongings ever again. 

After visiting this place, head to the coast to eat grilled seafood and shellfish on the black sand beach. 

Read our Can Gio Island travel guide here. 

27. tan lap floating village.

One of the unique attractions to visit in South Vietnam is Tan Lap Floating Village ( Làng Nổi Tân Lập ). It’s an eco-tourism site in Long An Province, one of the areas along the Mekong Delta. This place is surrounded by the cajuput forest and mangroves, so it’s a quiet and peaceful area to explore.

Spend the day walking along the paths through the cajuput forest and taking photos, ride a sampan boat for 30-minutes through the Melaleuca Forest, and check out the views from the Observatory Deck. During your visit, you may see gorgeous lotus flowers blooming in the waters. 

This is a nice getaway from Ho Chi Minh City and is recommended to visit if you have extra time. 

Check out our Tan Lap Floating Village visitor guide here. 

Tan Lap Floating Village, Long An, Vietnam Walk Through Melaleuca Forest

Tan Lap Floating Village is a unique spot to visit in Vietnam and walk through the Melaleuca Forest.

28. Can Tho 

Can Tho ( Cần Thơ ) is another favorite destination to visit in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta area. It’s the fourth-largest city in Vietnam yet the vibe is more relaxed and calm compared to Ho Chi Minh City. 

Can Tho is known for growing much of the rice along the Mekong Delta . Rice production contributes to about half of the country’s production. 

The main attraction is visiting the Cai Rang Floating Market early in the morning. You ride a sampan boat to the market and get the chance to see large boats overflowing with seasonal fruits (pineapples and watermelons) and vegetables (pumpkin). The seller must sell everything before heading back home. 

The main city area is walkable as there are many temples and pagodas to wander through. The evening has a night market that sells clothes and street food. Try the grilled Vietnamese rice paper ( bánh tráng nướng ) as it’s so delicious here. 

Check out our Can Tho travel guide for more details on what to do here. 

29. phu quoc island.

Want to get away from the craziness of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi? Head to Phu Quoc Island ( Phú Quốc) ! Located south of the country and close to Cambodia, it’s a popular weekend destination to relax on the beach or hang out at a 5-star resort. Since the island has an international airport, there are plenty of visitors who visit this island for the much-needed sunshine. 

Since you’re on one of the best islands in Vietnam , there are plenty of things to do here. Choose from many of the beaches to relax on (we recommend Sao Beach), take a day trip snorkeling on the smaller islands, visit a pepper farm, learn how fish sauce is made, visit the night market, and more. Luckily, the island is large enough and spread out so it never feels too busy with tourists. 

A memorable meal to try is bún kèn , a hot noodle soup with ground fish, lemongrass, and papaya salad.   

Read how to spend 2 days on Phu Quoc Island here.  

Sao Beach on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Sao Beach is a recommended spot on Phu Quoc Island to relax.

Final Thoughts

How many of these 29 best places in Vietnam are now on your bucket list? 

Whether you’re into culture, architecture, history, landscape, or food, there is a place for you to visit in this country. We hope you get a chance to visit many of these amazing cities on a future trip to Vietnam. Even if it’s your second or fifth return trip to Vietnam, you’re bound to discover something new when revisiting sites. 

We’ll continue to explore Vietnam and will update this post on the cool places to visit!

Like this post? Save it to your Vietnam Pinterest board.

Featured photo credit & pin photo credit: HCThanh via

attractions vietnam tourist places

I'm Jackie - world explorer, hiker, and wanderer. I love planning things whether it is a trip or an upcoming event, exploring nature, hiking up mountains, and seeing new places. I'm notorious for getting lost, so you may see me circling a place a few times.

Hiking Minh Dam Mountain – An Easy Day Hike Near Vung Tau, Vietnam

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attractions vietnam tourist places

Gosh – this makes me realise that I need longer than the week I’d planned for my trip to Vietnam. Thanks for opening my eyes to so many wonderful destinations and experiences.

You’re welcome Megan!! I hope you get to visit Vietnam in the future. One week in Vietnam barely scratches the surfaces so two weeks would be better. Feel free to reach out at any time if you have any questions about the places you visit.

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17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

By Spencer Leasca · Last updated on June 17, 2024

A long, narrow country squeezed in between the South China Sea and the Laos and Cambodia borders, Vietnam is a land of striking landscapes that range from the lush rice terraces and forested mountains in the north to the picturesque valleys of the Central Highlands and the fertile delta and beautiful beaches of the south.

Vietnam has seen its fair share of struggles. Ruled for almost a thousand years by various Chinese dynasties until 938 AD, Vietnam became a French protectorate in the 19th century. After independence, there was the Vietnam War.

Today, Vietnam is a proud country and you can see why. Not just for fiercely defending its own independence, but for its incredible landscapes and history.

The first words on everyone’s lips when speaking of Vietnam are undoubtedly Halong Bay, a beautiful set of karst islands and formations off the northern coast. Hanoi is the bustling, motorbike filled capital. Plan your trip to this beautiful Southeast Asia travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

17. Da Nang

Da Nang

Nestled on the central coast of Vietnam, Da Nang is an energetic coastal city with a historic French colonial port.

It is known primarily for its fantastic beaches, including the famous My Khe Beach , which Tripadvisor has named as one of the best beaches in Asia.

However, it is also a popular starting point for exploration of the Bà Nà hills , which lie on the city’s western reaches. From there, the spectacular Hải Vân Pass showcases incredible views of Da Nang Bay. Moreover it conveys the Marble Mountains , five imperious limestone outcrops crowned with ornate pagodas and yield caves containing lavish Buddhist shrines.

Da Nang boasts impressive landmarks like the iconic Dragon Bridge , world-class golf courses, and a modern skyline dotted with luxury resorts and upscale shopping centres.

The city is also home to many cultural experiences, including the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture and Da Nang Fine Arts Museum.

16. Ha Giang Loop

Ha Giang Loop

If you pride yourself on being an adventurous traveler, then you should embrace the Ha Giang Loop with open arms.

Located in the remote and breathtaking Ha Giang province , tourists can embark on a thrilling motorbike journey through some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. This scenic loop takes you on a winding road that cuts through majestic mountains, lush valleys and terraced rice fields.

The journey provides an immersive experience, allowing you to connect with the authentic culture of the ethnic minority communities that call this region home.

Along the way, you’ll encounter traditional villages , where locals showcase their rich heritage, colorful attire, and warm hospitality.

The loop offers stunning viewpoints such as Ma Pi Leng Pass , with its jaw-dropping vistas of the Nho Que River snaking through the mountains. You can also visit attractions like Dong Van Karst Plateau, a UNESCO Geopark, and the fairy-tale-like Lung Cu Flag Tower.

Typically, this journey takes three to four days to complete. Its rugged beauty and remote nature are perfect for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

15. Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay

If you can’t get to or don’t fancy visiting Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is an excellent alternative. Situated in the northeastern part of Vietnam, it has all the pristine beauty and untouched landscapes of its more illustrious neighbor, only with greater tranquillity and fewer crowds.

The picturesque bay is characterized by its emerald waters, towering limestone islands , and lush vegetation. Cruising through it provides fabulous opportunities for kayaking , swimming and visiting remote fishing villages.

The bay is also home to a diverse ecosystem accommodating rare wildlife, colourful coral reefs and hidden caves waiting for you to discover them.

A tour of the area allows for a more intimate connection with nature and a chance to experience the serenity of the surroundings. Whilst there, be sure to visit the incredible Thien Canh Son Cave . One of 59 discovered caves in the area, it will wow you with its unique stalactite formations.

14. Tam Coc

Tam Coc

Tam Coc, often called ‘ Halong Bay on land ‘, is an enchanting destination in the Ninh Binh province.

Forming part of the UNESCO World Heritage Tràng An scenic landscape site, it is renowned for its dramatic limestone karsts that dramatically rise out of emerald green rice fields. Tam Coc presents visitors with a stunning natural landscape that will forever leave an impression on their heart.

The main attraction in Tam Coc is a scenic boat ride along the Ngo Dong River , where local rowers skilfully navigate through a series of caves and limestone formations. As you glide along the tranquil waterways, you’ll be mesmerized by the picturesque scenery and the harmonious blend of nature and verdant rice paddies.

Tam Coc is also home to ancient temples and pagodas, such as Bich Dong Pagoda , which is perched atop a hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

If you are into cycling, you can also explore the area in more detail on two wheels.

Mui Né

There are several places in Vietnam where you can go for some beach R&R, but few can compare to the sheer beauty of Mũi Né.

A stunning beach resort town along the southeast coastline, it boasts a long stretch of golden palm-tree-lined sand, perfect for walking and sunbathing. During the dry season, with steady wind conditions, the area becomes a fantastic destination for sailing, kitesurfing and windsurfing.

The highlight of Mui Né is undoubtedly its captivating sand dunes . The iconic White Sand Dunes and Red Sand Dunes offer a surreal landscape that resembles a desert oasis. On our last visit, we explored the dunes on an ATV ride and sand boarded down the slopes. Both were a lot of fun!

Beyond the beaches and dunes, Mui Né offers opportunities to explore nearby fishing villages , taste delicious seafood, and indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments. Close by, The Fairy Stream, with its gently flowing water and unique rock formations, is a popular spot for a refreshing dip on a stiflingly hot day.


Year-round cool weather and idyllic scenery of misty valleys, lush pine trees and colorful flowers are some of the reasons that Dalat was once used by Vietnamese emperors and French colonials as a summer retreat. Today, this charming town in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam is a popular destination for honeymooners, weekend getaways and for those looking for relief from the heat.

A walkable city, Dalat is a beautiful scene of French colonial architecture and villas set amid picturesque landscapes. The city is well known for its royal palaces that were owned by the last emperor of Vietnam. These lovely palaces are open for tours as is the Hang Nga Guesthouse, the city’s most bizarre attraction. Informally called the “Crazy House,” this structure is a fantastical construction with caves, spider webs and shapes of animals and mushrooms.

Dalat’s lively market is a great place to find fruits, flowers and vegetables grown in the local area as well as handicrafts and silk embroidered items.

Outside the city are scenic lakes, flower gardens, plantations and mountains offering pretty waterfalls and trails for hiking and mountain biking. A must-do is the Valley of Love, an incredibly beautiful valley with pine forests and lakes where tourists can enjoy pedal-boating and canyoning.

My Son

Located on the central coast of Vietnam near the Duy Phú village is the important archaeological site known as My Son. One of Southeast Asia’s most notable heritage sites, My Son was once a significant center of religious Hindu ceremonies where the kings of the Champa Kingdom built numerous temples devoted to the worship of the god, Shiva, between the 4th and 14th centuries.

Believed to have once contained more than 70 temples that were constructed with brick and decorative carvings and sculptures bearing scenes of animals, priests, gods, mythical battles and inscriptions of Sanskrit and Champa, My Son today features a complex of ruins in varying states of disarray and repair, all arranged in several groups.

Within the site is a museum where visitors can check out exhibits and artifacts to better understand and appreciate the ruins. Near the entrance of My Son are a few cafes, food vendors and a shop selling souvenirs. At certain times of the day, visitors can watch live Champa dance performances. Additionally, the site is surrounded by jungle, hills and a lake where visitors can enjoy hiking and kayaking.

My Son is often reached by organized tour groups from Hoi An. However, visitors can also arrive at My Son by motorbike rentals.

10. Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is a scenic island in the Gulf of Thailand. While it officially forms part of Vietnam, it is actually closer geographically to Cambodia . Today, it’s characterized by dense tropical jungle, soft sandy beaches, and undulating hills. But the island has a fascinating history, having served first as a French missionary base and then as a French colonial wartime prison – a gloomy reformatory that you can visit today.

History aside, the island is most tempting for its alluring tropical nature . Days in Phu Quoc are spent sunbathing on sandy beaches, scootering around fishing villages, visiting pearl and pepper farms, and, if you’re up for it, trekking to waterfalls.

An island that’s famous for its seafood, don’t miss an opportunity to try out Phu Quoc’s famous fish sauce (nuoc mam) – you can even visit one of the fish sauce factories while you’re here!

9. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang

Tucked away in the Quang Binh Province in Vietnam’s Central Coast region, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is one of the most picturesque parts of the country. With a steadfast reputation as a filming location for 2017 Kong: Skull Island, and with a nearby international airport, the national park is more popular than ever before.

Opened to the public in 2010, the appeal of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the escape from the city. Here, you’ll live life in the slow lane as you cycle through Kong jungles at your own pace.

Home to 400 million-year-old karst mountains, there are hundreds of caves and secretive rivers to explore. The Son Doong Cave is a must visit. Home to its very own hidden jungle, microclimate, and Underground River, it’s one of the largest caves on Earth .

Due to its location near the Laos border, access to the park is strictly controlled, and visitors can expect to find a strong military presence here. This is mainly due to its war history – the park has some of the world’s highest numbers of undetonated bombs, which is why visitors can only visit this place with a licensed tour guide.

8. Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon , is the biggest city in all of Vietnam. It’s also the old capital of the Republic of Vietnam. When Saigon fell to the north in 1975, it was renamed to HCMC, yet its former name is still used today, particularly when describing the beating heart of the city.

Hoi Chi Minh has a bit of everything – temples, museums, parks, and tourist shopping. Whatever your interests, you’ll find something to do here. Head to the top of the Saigon Skydeck for an astonishing 360-degree view of the city – especially impressive at night when the lights twinkle on below.

History buffs should not miss the chance to explore the mysterious network of the Cu Chi tunnels , the headquarters for many military operations during the Vietnam War.

The five stories of Reunification Palace – also known as the Independence Palace – is also a fascinating place to go. It’s a famous spot in Vietnam’s history as it captures the time when Saigon fell as a tank broke through the gates of the palace. A replica of this same tank can be seen on the grass outside the palace.

If you’re curious to learn more about the war, you’ll enjoy a visit to the War Remnants Museum or the Museum of Vietnamese History.

7. Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, nicknamed the ‘Rice Bowl of Vietnam,’ is a lush network of waterways in Vietnam known for its excellent nutrient-rich soils and diverse ecosystems – the banks are a veritable patchwork of fruit, vegetables, rice plantations and cattle farms that provide sustenance for more than a third of the country.

This impressive stretch of river frontage is the most biodiverse in the world if you don’t count the Amazon. Taking up much of the south of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is an extraordinary place filled with lily pad waterways, rice paddies, mangroves, and enchanting wildlife.

With plenty of bus connections and motorbikes, tourists can explore the Mekong Delta and its towns like Tra Vinh , which is considered one of the prettiest villages of the delta. A boat trip down the tranquil tributaries and mangroves of the Mekong is an unforgettable experience.

Paddled by a local in a wooden canoe, you’ll be able to witness everyday life on the river, passing farmlands, fruit orchards, monkey bridges, water buffalo, and floating markets . The best time to visit the Mekong is during the dry season between December and May when there’s less chance of flooding.

6. Nha Trang

Nha Trang

If it’s beaching you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Nha Trang is the most famous seaside resort in Vietnam, with a laidback atmosphere and exceptional scuba diving. While it’s certainly not on the same scale as many of Asia’s other beautiful beaches , Nha Trang offers warm water and some picturesque offshore islets.

The promenade that encircles the beachfront is always a hive of activity, filled with parks and sculptures that make a stroll here interesting. As with most beach resorts, most of the activity gets going when the sun goes down, and Nha Trang is no different. You’ll find a host of vibey bars and restaurants near the beachfront.

There’s much more to Nha Trang than sunbathing and strolls, though. Go for a soak in the Thap Ba Mud Bath or take a ride on the longest cross-sea cable car in the world. The sacred Po Nagar Cham towers, dating back to the 7th to 12th centuries, offer a taste of the city’s history – they’re an active religious site for Cham, Chinese, and Buddhists even today.


Tracing the border with China, Sapa is a captivating remote town in the Hoang Lien Son mountains of northern Vietnam. Its elevation 1,500 meters above sea level is nothing to scoff at when you’re trekking the terraced hills and slopes around this high-altitude mountain town. While there’s plenty of natural beauty to tempt you to this far-reached corner of the country, much of Sapa’s appeal lies in its raw and authentic culture.

Days are spent trekking through rice paddies , rural villages untouched by tourism, and the clouds of Fansipan – Vietnam’s highest peak.

Cat Cat village

Scenery aside, the highlight is hands down the opportunity to chat with these fascinating people along the way – local kids will tag along and try to sell you some of their handmade jewelry or simply try to improve their English by speaking to you.

In the town of Sapa itself, there are attractive French colonial sites worth visiting such as the Gothic church, the town square and city hall. Sapa is a major market town where the various ethnic tribes in the area often gather to sell their handicrafts, which make excellent souvenirs. At the Sapa Culture Museum, visitors can learn all about the history and cultures of these ethnic groups.


Hue – formerly known as the Panduranga of Cham Kingdom – was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Located in the central region, Hue had a huge role to play in the Vietnam War. Captured by the Viet Cong for a total of 24 days, thousands of people were killed here if they were thought to be sympathizers of the south.

Today, the city is split in two by the Perfume River. The old city with its ancient ruined citadel lies to the north and the modern-day city to the south. The Demilitarized Zone, which marks the official former border, is one of the most popular day trips from Hue while the Thien Mu Pagoda is the city’s official symbol.

Of the city’s monuments , the Citadel is the most famous. Once the seat of the Nguyen emperors, the Citadel is a sprawling complex of grand palaces, ornate temples, walls and gates. Prime attractions within the Citadel are the Forbidden Purple City, Thai Hoa Palace, and the Ngo Mon Gate. Another important landmark on the river is the city’s official symbol, the Thien Mu Pagoda.

A stroll along the promenade is also recommended, through the statue-abundant parks and onwards by scooter or boat cruise to the Tombs of the Emperors on the outskirts of the city. Dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, the Tomb of Tu Doc, with its striking Buddhist architecture is the cherry on top.

Hoi An

Laidback and charismatic with a charm all of its own, Hoi An is the highlight of any Vietnam itinerary. Located south of Da Nang within cycling distance of some excellent warm-water beaches along the central coast, this atmospheric old town is a feast of color, where bright and cheerful lanterns adorn each and every building.

The narrow, winding lanes of the old town are lined with beautiful historic buildings, Chinese temples and wooden-fronted shops with excellent opportunities for retail therapy. The bustling night market and lantern-lit streets are also great places for shopping and people-watching.

street in Hoi An old town

At the same time, you can also take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River or join a cooking class to learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine. Wrangle a tempting spa deal, and get a dress or tailored suit handmade for you at one of the town’s many illustrious tailors.

Don’t leave without a visit to the gorgeous Japanese Covered Bridge and the glaze-roofed Chinese merchant houses that date back hundreds of years and house a quarter of the town’s population. There’s plenty to fill your afternoons in Hoi An.


Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is truly chaotic, but that’s all part of its charm. An interesting mix of French and Sino-Vietnamese influences, it’s one of the most rapidly growing cities in Southeast Asia.

Those visiting this energetic capital should be prepared. It’s a hive of activity at the best of times, utter chaos at the worst – a city where crossing the road could be taking your life into your own hands with cars, motorbikes, and tuk-tuks vying for right of way in a city without road rules.

One of the best places to experience the madness of Hanoi is at Legend’s Corner . The well-located Legend Beer restaurant is the ideal spot to sit with a drink and watch the rush hour insanity just before sunset. You’ll see pedestrians, dogs, cars, tuk-tuks, and scooters all entwined in traffic, yet somehow there are very few accidents.

Hanoi Train Street

Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets filled with charming colonial architecture, street vendors, and bustling markets. The best way to explore it is on foot or by cyclo (cycle rickshaw). This will enable you to soak up its atmosphere and discover hidden gems like the ancient Temple of Literature or the vibrant Dong Xuan Market.

See also: Where to Stay in Hanoi

For a change of pace, go for a stroll around the freshwater Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the Old Quarter or soak up more Vietnamese history with a visit to the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum , the final resting place of the Revolutionary leader and Vietnamese President, is a must-see.

1. Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay

Located about 130 km (80 miles) east of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, Halong Bay is celebrated for its gorgeous emerald-hue waters, thousands of spectacular limestone karsts, astonishing waterside caves, and beautiful tree-topped islands.

It’s a popular location for adventure – scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing can all be enjoyed in and around Cat Ba National Park . For those who wish to simply relax and enjoy the views, there are numerous Halong Bay cruises to choose from, from basic to top-level luxury.

The thousands of islands scattered about the bay are a real mixture, ranging from isolated landmasses home to free-roaming monkeys and antelope to bigger inhabited islands with some fantastic beaches . Boat cruises are the best way to experience the natural wonder of Ha Long Bay.

Kayak at Halong Bay

With hundreds of boats ranging from traditional Chinese junks to luxury cruisers, boat tours can vary from day trips to multiple-night journeys . These tours often provide meals, nightlife activities and excursion stops where islands, caves and lagoons can be explored. Most boat cruises are arranged either from Hanoi or from ports such as Haiphong, Halong City and Cai Rong.

As with most holidays on the water, Halong Bay is easily affected by the weather. Plan your trip between March and June to get the most out of your visit. June to September is the off-season, so you can usually get some great deals – just be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast as monsoons can really put a dampener on your trip.

Map of Places to Visit in Vietnam

Map of Places to Visit in Vietnam

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Reader interactions.

attractions vietnam tourist places

September 15, 2019 at 1:19 am

I hereby compose a key-word list of outstanding places in Vietnam. Hope it’s helpful for you guys searching.

1. Islands: Côn Đảo ; Phú Quốc ; Lý Sơn, Cam Ranh, Bình Ba, Bình Hưng, Điệp Sơn ,Đảo Yến Hòn Nội, ,Cù lao Chàm , Đảo Nam Du, Hòn ông đảo cá voi, Cát bà.

2. Best beaches on islands Bãi Nhát ( Côn Đảo ), Bãi Suối Nóng ( Côn Đảo ), Hòn Cao ( Côn Đảo ), Bãi Sao ( Phú Quốc ), Bãi Khem ( Phú Quốc ), Bãi ông Lăng ( Phu Quoc ) , Nam Du ( Phu Quoc ), Dao Be ( Ly son ) , Bai Kinh ( Binh Hung), Bai Nom ( Binh Ba ),

3. Coastal Cities : Ha Long, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Quy Nhon, Vung Tau.

4. Best beaches on coastal cities: Doc Let, Dai Lanh, My Khe, Nha Trang, Ky Co, Bãi Binh Tien, Bãi Cà ná, Bãi bắc beach da nang, quy nhon beach.

5. Best Bays Ha Long Bay, Lang Co bay, Nha Trang bay, Ninh Van bay, Van Phong bay, Cam Ranh bay.

6. Highland cities/town offer great mountain views, trekking activities : Sapa, Da Lat, Ha Giang, Cao bang.

7. Ancient cities/towns : Hoi An, Dong Van, Hue

8. Caves: Phong Nha, Thien duong, Son Doong, Hang En, Hang Sung Sot, Hang Va, He thong hang dong Tu Lan, Tam Coc bich dong

9. Rivers Mekong delta, Sông Ngô Đồng, Tràng An, Sông đáy chùa hương, Sông Son, Sông Nho Quế, Sông Chày.

10. Waterfall Thác Bản Giốc, Thác Voi, Thác Pongour

11. Lakes Hồ Ba bể, Hồ Xuân Hương, Hồ Tuyền Lâm, Hồ Tơ Nưng, Hồ Lắk, Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, Hồ Thác Bà, Phá Tam Giang.

12. Lagoons Pha Tam Giang, Đầm Vân Long.

13. National Parks Phong Nha ke bang, Nam Cát Tiên, Bạch Mã, Cúc Phương, Ba Vì, Ba Bể, Tràm Chim Tam Nông, núi chúa.

14. Terraces rice field Mù Căng Chải, Hoàng Su Phì, Tú Lệ , Sapa, Y Tý, Bát Xát, Pù Luông.

Enjoy your traveling trip!

attractions vietnam tourist places

May 1, 2019 at 2:46 am

I like Vietnam. I really do. I love their culture and traditions. Just recently I went on a trip to Vietnam and I absolutely loved it. The people there were so nice and lovely. The wildlife, vegetation and sacred places were amazing too. But I have to say, the most beautiful place that I went to in Vietnam is Ha Long Bay. The scene was incredibly stunning! I also stayed in Sapa. It has astonishing views. Especially when you look at it from a distance. It has fog surrounding the buildings, has tall mountains in the background and has brightly coloured buildings. It’s breathtakingly beautiful!

attractions vietnam tourist places

March 3, 2019 at 1:49 am

I am a Vietnamese and according to my experience, there are two places you should visit when you are in Vietnam: Cat Ba Island in the Northeast Vietnam and Phu Quoc Island in the Southeast Vietnam.

attractions vietnam tourist places

March 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

The market in Can Cau is fabulous.

attractions vietnam tourist places

November 21, 2017 at 10:29 pm

I think these places are amazing to visit but I have a question, how is Vietnam in general? Is it a safe country to visit ??

attractions vietnam tourist places

November 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

I recommend Pu Luong nature reserve, not very far from Hanoi.

attractions vietnam tourist places

September 19, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I really liked Da Nang.

attractions vietnam tourist places

November 23, 2016 at 4:13 am

Great list. I have just spent two months in Vietnam and did most of the places except My Son and Sapa. Will come back for that. Love this country!

attractions vietnam tourist places

July 21, 2015 at 2:04 pm

There are lots of day trip activities from Hoi An– snorkeling or diving at the Cham Islands, early morning cycling trips to the countryside, visiting the My Son archeological ruins. Hoi An also has terrific food, and is a great place to wander around and explore.

attractions vietnam tourist places

June 2, 2015 at 6:46 am

There are at-least 30 incredible places to visit in Vietnam, your list is correct those are about the top places but there are alot more amazing places in Vietnam and no one should stop at just 10

attractions vietnam tourist places

November 7, 2014 at 4:11 am

Great places. You can also put Ninh Binh and Ha Giang.

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Places To Visit in Vietnam

Here are the top 47 tourist places in vietnam.

attractions vietnam tourist places

1 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 83 Tourist attractions

Perched on the banks of the Red River in Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is Vietnam's capital and one of the world's most ancient cities. Boasting well-preserved colonial buildings, golden pagodas, unique museums, mouthwatering cuisine, entertainment destinations, and traditional bazaars, Hanoi is a melting...

Best Time: October to April

2. Ho Chi Minh City

2 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 86 Tourist attractions

Popularly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam is the largest city and the financial and cultural capital of the country. Ho Chi Minh City is a fast-paced city deeply rooted in its cultural roots whilst quickly having adapted to the demands of urbanisation. Here you will find o...

Best Time: November to April

3. Halong Bay

3 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 51 Tourist attractions

Characterised by towering karst limestone pillars and small islets of various shapes and sizes amidst crystal blue waters, Halong Bay's ethereal beauty is a sight to behold. Located in northern Vietnam, it is the most popular tourist spot this side of the country. Halong Bay, where 'Halong' translat...

Best Time: April to September

4 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 37 Tourist attractions

One of the oldest cities in Asia, Hoi An is a town in central Vietnam which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Located south of Danang, Hoi An translates to 'a peaceful meeting place'. It is culturally and historically one of Vietnam's most important towns and also one of the r...

Best Time: February to July

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5 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 48 Tourist attractions

Da Nang sits prettily on the east coast of Vietnam, right between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Popularly known as the tourist capital of South-Central Vietnam, Da Nang is truly stunning - filled with beaches, museums, evolving nightlife and world-class infrastructure. On the South China Sea coast, wi...

Best Time: February to May

6. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

6 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Phong Nha ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its many cave systems, old karst mountains, thick green forests and scintillating underground rivers. There are many spectacular caves in the region, including the most extensive cave network on earth. Spread across 10,000 hec...

Best Time: February to August

7. Nha Trang

7 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 43 Tourist attractions

Home to some of the most beautiful bays in the world, Nha Trang, on the coast of southern central Vietnam, is a popular beach resort city. While the fine powdery white crescent beach is a highlight of the shoreline, regular makeovers have produced parks, sculpture gardens, bright promenades, and bea...

Best Time: January - August

8 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 40 Tourist attractions

Hue, the former royal capital of the Nguyen empire in central Vietnam, is one of the oldest cities in the country. Set on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue is a primarily a historical city which famously houses the Imperial City (declared a World Heritage Site in 1993) within the Citadel, which ac...

Best Time: February - August

9 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 28 Tourist attractions

Situated atop the Hoang Lien Son Mountains, Sapa is a colonial-era town in northwest Vietnam overlooking the terraced rice fields of Muong Hoa Valley. At an elevation of 1,500 metres, this small market town shares its border with China and offers some of Vietnam's best trekking. Arguably offering th...

Best Time: March to May

10. Phu Quoc

10 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 28 Tourist attractions

Phu Quoc is the biggest island in Vietnam, boasting the most beautiful white sand beaches, surrounded by palm and coconut trees. It's the largest island in Vietnam and is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Located just 45 kilometers from...

Best Time: November to March

11. Mekong Delta

11 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

The Mekong Delta in south-east Vietnam is one of the world’s greatest river regions. The Mekong River is the twelfth longest river in the world and the seventh longest river in Asia. The delta is a hive of activity and serves as an important transport and agricultural hub. Known as the ‘rice bowl of...

Best Time: November to May

12. Ninh Binh

12 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 14 Tourist attractions

Located in northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and cultural heritage. It is called the "Halong Bay on land" due to its picturesque karst limestone formations, lush rice paddies, and winding rivers. Located just 90km from Hanoi, it is easily accessible...

Best Time: Throughout the year

13 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 29 Tourist attractions

Da Lat is a refreshing hill station located in the southwestern highlands of Vietnam and is about 6 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City. It is the capital of Lam Dong Province, known as the 'City of Eternal Spring' for its distinctive temperate climate. A far cry from the tropical heat of the...

Best Time: December to March

14. Ba Be National Park

14 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 5 Tourist attractions

Located at a distance of 240 kilometres from the city of Hanoi, Ba Be National Park is a stunning national reserve blessed with rolling hills, tall limestone karsts and over 550 plant varieties. It is also populated by 353 types of butterflies, 65 types of mammals and the rare Vietnamese Salamander.

15 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 14 Tourist attractions

The picturesque beach resort town of Mui Ne is located at a four-hour train ride away from the city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Once a sleepy fishing beach village, the town is now dotted with swanky beach resorts, posh cafes and restaurants, attracting a large number of seaside-loving tourists and loc...

16. Bai Tu Long Bay

16 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Bai Tu Long Bay in Northeastern Vietnam is an extension of Ha Long Bay - A UNESCO World Heritage site -  located at a mere 30 km from it. However, this small distance creates a vast difference in the experience that you can have here! The same limestone karsts, teal blue waters and languid crui...

Best Time: February to April

17. Bach Ma National Park

17 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Bach Ma National park is a verdant paradise, located about an hour-and-a-half drive away from the city of Hue. Home to a varied range of flora and fauna with about 358 bird species, it is also proclaimed to be one of the wettest areas in Vietnam. One of the most popular spots on the touris...

Best Time: June-August

18. Con Dao Islands

18 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

A picturesque archipelago of 16 Islands, Con Dao lies off the southern coast of Vietnam. Out of the 16, Con Son is the largest and the only inhabited island. However, even the uninhabited islands are rich with stunning beaches. Emerging out of its past as prison islands for prisoners of war, the de...

Best Time: November to February

19. Vung Tau

19 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 13 Tourist attractions

Vung Tau translates into 'The bay of boats'. Sitting on a hilly strip of land that juts into the Ocean, Vung tau is one of the best beach towns located around 100 Km from Ho Chi Minh City. It primarily serves as a weekend getaway from Saigon and other cities in the nearby region. The two main beache...

20. Dong Hoi

20 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

A pleasant seaside city, with easy access to the Phong Nha Ke Bang caves, Dong Hoi is a rapidly rising tourist destination. Apart from its proximity to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Dong Hoi has its own tourist attractions, authentic cuisine and unique history that beckon people to explore an...

21. Dien Bien Phu

21 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Formerly known as Thaeng, Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is among the most historically eminent cities in Vietnam. It is here that the French were finally defeated in the year 1954 by the Viet Minh Communist Revolutionaries.Initially, jus...

Best Time: April to June, September to November

22 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Son La is a picturesque Vietnamese town hidden amidst towering mountains. The town has a dark past as it played house to one of the most brutal prisons in the world. Today, all that remains is the ruins and a tiny town with ghosts of its past deceptively hidden behind its natural rivers, trees and f...

23. Cat Tien National Park

23 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Cat Tien National Park is located in the Southern region of Vietnam, approximately 155 kilometres away from Ho Chi Minh City. This forest reserve covers around 720 of the few surviving tropical low-lying woodlands of Vietnam. The national park is home to exquisite flora and fauna such as the ...

Best Time: December to May

24 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 3 Tourist attractions

Bac Ha is a village located in the Northwest of Vietnam and is a sleepy little town, the economy of which is centred around its Saturday and Sunday markets. The exchange, the colours, the local wares and an ever-bustling affair, these markets are usually visited on a day trip from the neighbouring S...

Best Time: December to April

25. Phan Thiet

25 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 2 Tourist attractions

Playing house to an amalgamation of heated sand dunes, lush mountains filled with greenery, golden beaches with blue water and gurgling streams, Phan Thiet is the perfect escape into the beauty of Mother Nature.

Best Time: September to December

26. Lai Chau

26 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Nestled in the midst of sloping mountains and plateaus, Lai Chau is a quaint town with monumental government buildings. This town offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the mystic scenery of the Vietnamese countryside. In addition to that, you can learn about the locals, go trekking, backp...

27. Hoa Binh

27 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 5 Tourist attractions

Hoa Binh is the Capital City of the Hoa Binh province of Vietnam. Located but a short distance from Hanoi, this hidden gem offers spectacular natural beauty, coupled with a rich culture. The natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture have made Hoa Binh a tourist attraction.

Best Time: October to January

28. Lao Cai

28 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 7 Tourist attractions

Nestled in the midst of mountains and valleys, Lao Cai, an obscure yet well developed Vietnamese region offers you something out of the ordinary - rich Vietnamese culture sans the sultry tropical heat. Lao Cai offers you a picturesque scenery, adventure and a peek into the rich culture and history o...

Best Time: September to October

29. Haiphong

29 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 19 Tourist attractions

Haiphong is Vietnam's third largest city and a major port. Haiphong is an industrial city and you can feel it in the air as soon as you enter. However, Haiphong also offers you with hidden relaxation, tucked and hidden away in the industrial town. It has a number of beaches and markets in addition t...

30 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 3 Tourist attractions

Ca Mau is Vietnam's southernmost town and the only city in the Ca Mau province. Braced against the Bac Lieu Canal, Ca Mau is a town that is still trying to decide its identity. While on one hand, it is a trade hub and a bustling metro, on the other, it is a quiet town with a bird sanctuary!The silky...

Best Time: June to October

31. Mong Cai

31 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 6 Tourist attractions

Nestling on the very edge of Vietnam, Mong Cai is a small town located on the Vietnam-China border. It is filled with picturesque untouched beaches and a rich history of the Vietnam - China conflict. The town has booming trade owing to its proximity to the border. Mong Cai is also full of untou...

Best Time: April to July

32. Vinh Long

32 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

Vinh Long has a vibe - a relaxed one. As soon as you step foot in this nondescript town in the Mekong Delta, you will physically feel your worries melt away as though you are stuck in a time lapse. The beautiful scenery coupled with the friendly locals, thatched huts, narrow lanes and fruit-laden or...

Best Time: January to March

33. Tuy Hoa

33 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 7 Tourist attractions

Flanked by the highway, the ocean and the Da Rang River, Tuy Hoa is a sleepy and nondescript city that does not see many tourists. This quiet Vietnamese city is the perfect place to relax, catch some waves or intent with friendly locals who are more than welcoming of tourists. The miles and miles of...

Best Time: January to April

34. Mai Chau

34 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam 4 Tourist attractions

The perfect location to cut yourself off from the world, Mai Chau is a quaint sleepy town that is not very well known and subsequently does not have as many tourists. If you want to drop off from the earth and land in a richly cultural land, in the midst of nature, then Mai Chau is the place for you...

35 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

A hidden gem in the Mekong Delta, the small sleepy town of Sa Dec belongs to the Dong Thap Province. The town has a sense of calmness in the air and does not draw too many tourists. Although a bit of a silent town, it can keep a tourist busy with places such as the old busy market by the river, old ...

Best Time: July to October

36. Quy Nhon

36 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Quy Nhon is characterised by diverse topography ranging from hills, mountains, peninsulas, lakes, beaches and much more. This small corner of Vietnam is an undiscovered gem for most tourists eliminating your worries about crowded and noisy beaches. 

37. Bien Hoa

37 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Bien Hoa is a busy town on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam. Close to the cultural heart of Vietnam, Bien Hoa is connected to it by Vietnamese Highway 1. At present, it fosters eco-tourism through its national parks and reserves. It is a huge industrial area that is expanding expon...

38. Cao Lanh

38 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

The refreshing town of Cao Lanh is the capital city of Dong Thap Province of Vietnam located on the southeastern coast of the country along the Mekong Delta. The newly flourishing city has a pretty good trade scene, especially in rice. The city does not give off a touristy vibe for the simple reason...

Best Time: October to December

39. Hai Van Pass

39 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Hai Van Pass, between Da Nang and Hue, is said to be one of the most scenic and beautiful roads in the world. The road is flanked by the South China Sea on one side and the Annamite mountain ranges on the other. The pass stretches for 19 km and serves as a link between the north and south of Vietnam...

40 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Also known as the war city, Pleiku is the capital of Gia Lai province in Vietnam. The city has become the hub for tourists in Vietnam. This central highland offers a range of places to see, visit and eat. Famous for its cuisine and military campaign in 1965, Pleiku should especially be visited durin...

41. Tay Ninh

41 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Tay Ninh, the capital city of Tay Ninh province, is the site for the famous Cu Chi Tunnels built during the Vietnam War for military siege. It shares its borders with Cambodia and is only 90 kms from the largest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. The city’s crucial location gives it an economic advantage...

42. Kon Tum

42 out of 47 Places to visit in Vietnam

Due to the lack of a mainstream touristy vibe, the destination offers a calm off-centre experience to travelers and dwells them into the authentic Vietnamese culture. The city holds significance in the Vietnam War history and has many war sites open for visits by tourists and the locals. The surroun...

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The Complete Guide to Vietnam

10 best places to visit in vietnam in 2024, 15 must-try vietnamese dishes, 10 best beaches in vietnam, 20 best things to do in vietnam.

  • Ho Chi Minh City

10 Days in Vietnam

2 weeks in vietnam, 3 weeks in vietnam, 1 month in vietnam, the 10 best attractions in da nang, 5 must-try foods in ha long.

Many people travel to Vietnam with the intention of a short holiday, but end up spending more time there than planned. The country is to blame, as there are so many sights to see, activities to do, and foods to try, that it’s difficult to fit it all into a two-week itinerary. So, let’s sort it out and highlight 20 things you should not miss while exploring the S-shaped country. This way, you can make the most of your time, while still having the best possible experience with the landscapes, people, and cuisine.

1. Visit one of the most beautiful ancient towns in the world: Hoi An

20 things to do in Vietnam Hoi An Vietnamnomad

Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Central Vietnam and is well-known for its rich cultural influences from China, Japan, and France, which can be seen in its architectural attractions and residential housing. This ancient town offers a unique blend of bustling shophouses and the relaxed lifestyle of the local people. In Hoi An, you can enjoy a variety of cuisine, including some of the best dishes in the country, such as mi Quang and cao lau . The town is also a shopping paradise, offering tailored suits, unique patterned clothing, handcrafted items, and much more. To truly experience Hoi An, rent a bicycle and explore the town, where you’ll be amazed by the small surprises hidden in every alleyway and corner. Although small in size, Hoi An has much to offer.

2. Embrace the tranquility on Con Dao Islands

20 things to do in Vietnam Con Dao Islands Vietnamnomad

Con Dao is a secluded destination off the Southern Coast and is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Despite being underappreciated, Con Dao is a hidden paradise, offering a tropical island with turquoise coastlines that are both beautiful and quaint. In the eyes of the locals, however, Con Dao is a historical witness, home to the Con Dao Prison, also known as “Hell on Earth” to the prisoners of war who were held there. Vietnamese people now travel to Con Dao as part of their spiritual journey, often visiting the graveyards of iconic national heroes. As a result, the beautiful beaches are left to nature lovers. If you’re a culture vulture who wants the best of both worlds – tourism and history – then Con Dao is the place to be.

3. Stay at least one night in Ha Long Bay

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Stay at least 1 night in Ha Long Bay

Visiting Ha Long Bay is a must-do while traveling in Vietnam. To fully embrace the mystique and majesty of the bay, we suggest you stay on a cruise ship for at least one night. The cruise will take you through the meandering waterways, allowing you to get up close to the giant limestone formations. You can watch the sunrise and sunset from the boat, surrounded by thousands of limestone karsts of all shapes and sizes. The boat provides beds, food, and other necessities. If you’re looking for more active activities, you can go kayaking or swim in the bay. This trip is a treat for nature lovers, providing an enjoyable and immersive experience.

4. Experience floating markets in the Mekong Delta

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Experience the floating market in Mekong Delta

Compared to other parts of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta may seem a bit lacking in natural landscapes, but it is rich in unique trade customs and practices. The well-linked system of water bodies allows sellers and buyers to sell their fresh produce. Merchants from all over the region gather here at dawn to prepare for a busy day of trade. The best time to experience the authentic vibes is around 6 AM to 7 AM. Nowhere else can you eat a bowl of hu tieu on a canoe while watching the motorboats crisscrossing by and be served food from boat to boat. The noise of the mini boats’ engines and the clear calls of the vendor ladies create a lively and bustling atmosphere, truly reflecting life in the Mekong Delta.

5. See the Golden Bridge

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Check in Golden Bridge

The bridge at Ba Na Hills ( Da Nang ) is an attraction that doesn’t cross any rivers. Recently added to the complex, it has garnered attention not only from travelers, but also from the architectural community due to its eccentric design. The pedestrian bridge hovers over 1,400 meters above sea level, offering a breathtaking view of both the mountains and the sea. One special feature of the bridge is its 150-meter length of metallic yellow paint, adorned with flowers, which inspired its name. The highlight of the attraction is the weathered and mossy-looking hands supporting the bridge, a metaphorical representation of nature’s protection. Walking on the bridge in the early morning mist creates a sense of walking on clouds. The combination of landscapes and architecture makes it a must-see photography experience.

6. Eat a bowl of Pho in Hanoi

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Eat a bowl of Pho in Hanoi

Pho can be found anywhere in Vietnam, but there’s nothing like eating pho in Hanoi. Pho Hanoi has its own charm: the broth is light and has no side veggies. The right bowl of pho should have lots of blanched green onions and a side egg (chen trung tran) , accompanied by deep-fried Vietnamese-style churros (banh quay) . Hanoi boasts pho vendors that have been operating for generations. Some of the most authentic places consist of just a simple pair of bamboo yokes and a couple of small stools. They open very early in the morning (4 AM to 5 AM) or late at night (1 AM to 2 AM). So, the best feeling is to snuggle down in your warm jacket while waiting for a steaming bowl of pho in the chilly weather of the capital city. Make sure you don’t miss out.

7. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Visit Cu Chi Tunnels

A mere 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) lies the renowned historical destination – Cu Chi Tunnels, attracting millions of visitors annually. This network of over 200 kilometers of tunnels, known as the “underground city”, was designed with functional spaces such as meeting rooms, emergency rooms, kitchens, and more. It took over 20 years to complete the system, which is divided into three levels, with the deepest reaching 12 meters. During the war, all daily and military activities took place within these tunnels. When visiting Cu Chi Tunnels, you will have the opportunity to explore a portion of the tunnels (which have been expanded for tourists’ safety) and gain an understanding of the living and combat conditions faced by Vietnamese soldiers and what contributed to their victory. You can also try the unique snacks that used to serve as the main diet of the tunnel dwellers. Come and find out!

8. Drink a cup of Ca Phe Sua Da in Saigon

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Drink a cup of Cafe Sua Da in Saigon

It’s often said that Saigon is a multicultural city, gathering the highlights of cuisine from across the country and lacking its own specialty. However, we would argue that Saigon excels in one particular dish: milk coffee (ca phe sua) . Coffee shops are abundant in Saigon, but the best ca phe sua recipes all have one thing in common: strong black coffee made from high-quality beans, mixed with condensed milk, and served over ice ( ca phe sua da ) . It’s no exaggeration to say that this drink is beloved by the Vietnamese people and can be considered the national drink. It’s delicious any time of day, goes well with all types of food, and serves as a perfect wake-up call. You can even customize your cup by asking for more or less milk. One sip of this amazing drink will surely leave you in awe.

9. Visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue

Talking about history, during the course of a thousand-year feudal regime, Hue served as the former capital of the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There still remains spectacular royal architecture from that era, including a collection of well-preserved palaces and tombs of royalty, each with its own unique layout and architectural design, designed to meet the strict requirements of Feng Shui principles. The site was recognized by UNESCO in 1994. To fully explore the immense complex and experience its solemn yet peaceful atmosphere, a full day is recommended.

10. Enjoy the nightlife in the unsleeping city – Saigon

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Enjoy the nightlife in the unsleeping city - Saigon

Saigoneers work hard, but they also know how to fully enjoy life. Saigon’s nights are full of activities to suit every mood, from the bustling backpacker street of Bui Vien, to rooftop beer gardens and hidden cocktail bars. The city also offers countless options of delicious local street food to cater to all palates. Saigon at night is unmatched in energy, making it the perfect place to embrace a young, wild, and free spirit.

11. Visit Phu Quoc Island

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Visit Phu Quoc Island

No matter how much time you have to spend in Vietnam, Phu Quoc should definitely be added to your travel list. It offers direct international flights and a visa-free stay of up to 30 days. Phu Quoc boasts a diverse marine life, making it an ideal location for diving, and there are also numerous hidden waterfalls in its lush forests waiting to be explored. You can even take a look at traditional fish sauce-making villages to see the unique condiment being made. In addition to its natural beauty, Phu Quoc also has a rich history and cultural festivals that cannot be found anywhere else. This island is truly a paradise for sea lovers, not only for its own charm, but also for the collection of unspoiled remote islands that surround it, in case you want to extend your stay.

12. Explore the land of caves – Quang Binh

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Explore the land of caves - Quang Binh

Quang Binh, specifically Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is home to a vast array of caves of varying shapes and sizes. There are several “baby caves” that cater to all ages and physical abilities, including Phong Nha Cave, Paradise Cave, Dark Cave, among others. You can take a rowing boat to venture deep into the caves and admire the stunning formations of stalactites, a creation of Mother Nature. For those seeking a more challenging experience, professionally organized treks are available for your safety. Some of the most popular options include Hang En (Swallow Cave), Hang Tu Lan (Tu Lan Cave), and the world’s largest cave, Son Doong Cave. This cave is a true test of one’s limits, as you will trek through the pristine forest, cross underground rivers, camp in massive caves, and witness one of the planet’s greatest natural wonders.

Entering the land of caves is a giant leap into the wonderland that you won’t want to miss.

13. Fall in love in Sapa

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Fall in love in Sapa

Sapa is a city that holds a special place in the hearts of many Vietnamese people, and is often a must-see destination for travelers. It’s no surprise, given the city’s breathtaking landscapes and unique cultural influences. While the center of Sapa has modern amenities to accommodate tourists, the surrounding villages have maintained their traditional beauty and customs. Sapa is a popular destination for couples, thanks to its chilly and misty weather (with occasional snow in the winter) and an abundance of seasonal flowers, creating a romantic atmosphere. It is also home to the highest peak in Indochina, nicknamed “the roof of Indochina” – Fansipan Peak. Sapa offers a unique and different experience compared to other highland cities you may have visited.

14. Explore Cat Ba Island

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Explore Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Lan Ha Bay, which is located just beyond Ha Long Bay and boasts similarly stunning scenery. Visitors can participate in a variety of water activities such as fishing, kayaking, swimming, and sunbathing on isolated islands in the bay. For a break from the ocean, they can explore Monkey Island or Trung Trang Cave, which contains historic Vietnamese artifacts. Finally, they can take a trip up to the hilltop fortress for a breathtaking panoramic view of the island and its fishing villages at sunset. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem.

15. Immerse yourself in Quy Nhon

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Immerse yourself in Quy Nhon

Quy Nhon is a rising coastal city in Vietnam that is gaining recognition for its stunning beauty. The city is peaceful yet offers fascinating surprises, from its empty sandy beaches to its unique statues and monasteries. Ky Co Beach and Eo Gio are two must-visit attractions with a small entrance fee. Quy Nhon provides a comfortable atmosphere with open spaces and public areas where you can sit and relax while enjoying the ocean breeze. The city also offers enjoyable travel, with wide, newly-built roads along the shoreline. Additionally, the seafood noodles in Quy Nhon are exceptional, as seafood is freshly caught from the sea. As Quy Nhon continues to become more popular, we suggest visiting this city before it becomes too touristy.

16. Visit the terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai

Standing in paradise terrace fields - Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai is a small mountain village in northwest Vietnam known for its agriculture, particularly terrace farming. Visit during the summer or autumn (July to October) to see the lush rice terraces turn into enchanting golden fields. The area is also home to the thriving Black H’mong people, an indigenous ethnic tribe known for their vibrant traditional clothing. Observing them as they harvest the crops gives a glimpse into the rich culture of the town. If you want to see stunning paddy fields on hillsides, Mu Cang Chai is a must-visit.

17. Find a relaxing moment in Dalat

Standing in paradise terrace fields - Find a relaxing moment in Dalat

Dalat is a highly sought-after getaway destination that captivates our hearts no matter how many times we visit. That’s why we want to highly recommend you visit this city of flowers and pines. Although it has become quite touristy in recent times, it is so spacious that you can easily find quiet spots for yourself. A recommended itinerary for your trip would be:

  • Rent a motorbike and explore the scenic roads that wind through the oval-shaped pine hills.
  • Make a list of the many excellent coffee shops in Dalat that you would like to visit, each offering unique and Instagram-worthy decor.
  • Stay at a cozy homestay with a scenic view, a specialty of Dalat, and gaze at the illuminated farms on the horizon. If you’re feeling adventurous, treat yourself to a glass of wine and some chocolate.
  • Snuggle into the comfortable bed and have a good night’s sleep while listening to the wind sing.

Dalat is where you can immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the slow pace of life.

18. Admire Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

Standing in paradise terrace fields - Admire Tam Coc - Ninh Binh

It is hard to describe Tam Coc in words. This place seems straight out of a fairy tale and is best viewed from a rowing boat, with water splashing against the sides and oars. You’ll journey through breathtaking karst mountains, surrounded by lush paddy fields and stunning lotus and water lily ponds. Along the way, you’ll encounter grottos filled with sparkling stalactites. After the boat ride, you’ll reach Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the largest pagodas in Vietnam and a true representation of Buddhist tradition. Here, you can relax and admire the grandeur of nature or get lost in your own book in this hidden fairy site. Tam Coc is considered “Ha Long Bay on land” and is sure to attract more attention from travelers in the future. So, add it to your itinerary.

19. Visit Nha Trang

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Visit Nha Trang

Nha Trang may not be new, but it remains one of the most popular beach cities in the country due to its pleasant weather, warm water, and resort facilities that stretch along the shoreline. The best reason to visit Nha Trang is to completely relax and lounge on the beach while sipping cocktails and enjoying the sun. There is a wide range of food options available, including both local and international dishes. In Nha Trang, you can also experience the unique experience of a mud bath, which is said to have healing properties. You can also see the influence of the Champa culture through the Cham towers. Overall, it’s a place to have fun and unwind.

20. Marvel in Ha Giang

20 Best Things to Do in Vietnam - Marvel in Ha Giang

Ha Giang is considered to be one of the most captivating motorbike routes in Vietnam. Make sure to keep your eyes wide open and take in as much as possible, as every turn in the road presents a stunning view of towering mountains and scenic rivers running through deep valleys. It is an exciting experience to drive through Hmong villages and see the residents in their vibrant outfits. But the highlight of the trip is the Ma Pi Leng Pass, where mountains, rivers, and skies come together to create breathtaking scenery, making it a must-visit destination at least once in your lifetime. The beauty of Ha Giang is indescribable, so you must go there and witness it for yourself.

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Asia , Travel Guides , Vietnam · June 25, 2019

21 Most Incredible Places to Visit in Vietnam

This comprehensive Vietnam guide highlights everything you need to know about visiting Vietnam for the first time. Find out where to go in Vietnam and discover the best places to visit in Vietnam. You’ll also get tons of tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect Vietnam itinerary.

There’s no doubt, Vietnam offers visitors a very unique experience.   From bustling cities and gorgeous beaches to lush forests and breathtaking rice paddies – Vietnam has it all! The country which borders China, Laos, and Cambodia, is the perfect SEA destination for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in nature, history, culture, and some of the best culinary feasts across the globe.

attractions vietnam tourist places

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Table of Contents

Before you go to Vietnam

Before we dive into the best places to visit in Vietnam, make sure to read my guide on 16 essential travel tips for visiting Vietnam . It includes tons of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your trip. Along with the tips included above, here are a few key things to be aware of before visiting Vietnam. I’ve rounded up all my top tips to help you plan the perfect Vietnam trip.

Quick facts

Currency: Vietnamese Dong ( Check latest rates here )

Langauge: Vietnamese

Time Zone: GMT+7

Climate: Tropical / Monsoon

When to visit Vietnam

The weather in Vietnam can be unpredictable. Therefore before booking flights and accommodation, it’s always a good idea to know when to visit Vietnam and what to pack for a Vietnam trip .

Peak Season (Jul – Aug)

Vietnam’s peak season runs from July to August. Temperatures are hot and humid throughout most parts of the country (except the far north) and expect some showers. Prices also tend to be steeper during these months, so it’s best to book accommodation well in advance.

If you are traveling on a flexible schedule, you might want to consider only booking your arrival hotel. And, then take it from there. On our two-week Vietnam trip, we had an idea of where we wanted to go, but no fixed plans. We only booked our hotel for the first leg of our journey. Once in Vietnam, we simply booked hotels further afield a day in advance. Even though we visited in August, we were still able to find affordable mid-range accommodation. But just a tip – traveling like this can be quite stressful! So, it’s best to plan accordingly.

Shoulder Season (Dec – Mar)

If you plan to visit Vietnam during the shoulder season, you can expect sunny weather in the south with cooler-to-cold weather in the north. If traveling during Tet, Vietnamese Lunar New Year (late Jan – early Feb), booking accommodation and transport well in advance is highly encouraged.

Low Season (Apr – Jun, Sep – Nov)

There are a bunch of festivals during these months, so those on the hunt for unique cultural experiences won’t be disappointed. In general, the weather is lovely too, but note that typhoons aren’t uncommon on Vietnam’s northern and central coastline.

Most visitors need a visa to enter Vietnam, but luckily the process doesn’t take more than a few days.

Some European passport holders, such as citizens from the UK, France, and Germany, can enter Vietnam 15 days visa-free. Citizens from the US and most other nations do however need to apply for a visa. Some nationalities can also apply for a visa online – you can read more about it here . Alternatively, use iVisa to help you sort out everything online in a jiffy.

If you are South African, like me, you will need to apply for a visa (in person) at your nearest Vietnam embassy.

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Arriving in Vietnam

Vietnam is served by three main international airports, namely, Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang International Airport.

Depending on your Vietnam itinerary and time, you might want to consider arriving and departing at different airports. That way, you’ll save traveling time and unnecessary traveling costs. (Find flights or compare airline prices here in Skyscanner ).

Arriving in Hanoi

Noi Bai International Airport is only about 45km from Hanoi’s city center. However, it’s best to leave at least 1 hour of travel time to reach the Old Quarter (and vice versa).

Taxis are plentiful, and you can easily book a transfer through your hotel for roughly USD$30 one-way. Alternatively, grab a private transfer from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi City/Halong Bay first to save time and money.

For those traveling on a shoestring, there are many dirt cheap local buses to consider. These can easily transport you from the airport to Hanoi Old Quarter or Hanoi Train station. 

Arriving in Ho Chi Minh City

Tan Son Nhat International Airport is about 8km away from Saigon’s city center. And it takes less than 30 minutes to get there from the airport.

Direct transfers through hotels will set you back at least USD$30. Local buses also run every half hour between 6 am-6 pm to the Ben Thanh Market downtown. But if you have a lot of luggage perhaps consider taking a taxi or a private transfer from the airport to HCMC (which is slightly cheaper than getting a taxi directly from the airport).  

Arriving in Da Nang

If you are flying in from Siem Reap, Cambodia, the closest international airport is Da Nang International Airport .

The airport is only a few km away from the city center, and reasonably close to most of the beach resorts too. Grab a taxi at the airport or book a private transfer for Da Nang here for a hassle-free journey.  

How to Get Around Vietnam

Vietnam caters to all kinds of travelers, whether you are on a tight budget or like to travel in comfort.

Long Distance Travel in Vietnam

Open Tour buses and trains are the easiest ways to travel long distances in Vietnam. Both transport methods have overnight options, which allow you to save a few bucks on hotel accommodation. Tickets can also easily be bought at most travel agencies in Hanoi or HCMC.

12 Go Asia  is a good go-to site if you want to check train ticket prices or book tickets online.

But just a side-note, taking either of these options is not for everyone! The overnight trains and sleeper buses were by far some of the worst transport experiences I’ve ever had! Therefore, if you aren’t used to traveling long distances on stuffy trains or buses, instead opt flying. Domestic flights are cheap and frequent.

Short Distance Travel in Vietnam

Generally, taxis are very easy to flag down on the street. Grab Taxi is also a great alternative if you don’t like waiting around.

Although most major cities in Vietnam are very walkable, the traffic here is absolute chaos! Motorcycles often drive on sidewalks, and speeding is not uncommon. You might even find that something as simple as crossing the street to be painstakingly annoying. So, as a rule of thumb, follow the locals when attempting to cross busy streets!

In addition to taxis, bicycle rickshaws or motorbike taxis are excellent modes of transport for more daring travelers. But, remember to fix the price with the driver before going anywhere. You might also need to haggle a bit!

Staying Connected in Vietnam

When traveling to Vietnam, the very first thing we recommend getting is a local SIM card or pocket WIFI. If you aren’t sure which SIM card best suits your needs, these handy tips on choosing the best tourist SIM card in Vietnam will come in handy.

Most hotels do, however, have free WIFI, but if you are out and about, having access to the internet is essential – especially if you are checking train or bus schedules. Picking up a 4G SIM card at the airport is very easy. However, since low-cost carriers often arrive in the early morning hours or late at night, it might be best to grab a 4G SIM card online first. Here are some options:

  • Arrival in Hanoi – Grab a 4G SIM card delivered straight to your hotel in Hanoi .
  • Arrival in HCMC – Grab a  4G SIM delivered straight to your hotel in HCMC .

rice farmers in Vietnam

Scams are widespread in Vietnam, so it’s best to do a bit of research first. If you are booking day trips or transfers on the go, be sure to compare prices from a few local travel agents first. ( Finding a tour operator on the street in major hubs across Vietnam is also very easy – they’re everywhere! ). Alternatively, book tours and transfers online in advance through reputable sites or tour operators.

Language Barries

You’re not likely to have too much trouble with language barriers in major cities across the country. Most staff members at hotels, better-looking restaurants, and even at the busier markets can speak some English. But knowing a few key phrases can go a long way. Start with a few basics like:

Hello – Xin chào

Goodbye – Tạm biệt

Thank you – Cám ơn

How much is it? – Cái này giá bao nhiêu?

ATM’s are widely accessible across Vietnam, but generally, cash is king here. So be sure to carry enough money with you to avoid hefty international bank charges. Most hotels, tour operators, and fancier restaurants should accept debit or credit cards.

Haggling is standard practice at local markets and even at small stores selling local knick-knacks. So, don’t forget to practice your bargaining skills beforehand! Shopping around a bit first will also give you a good idea of how prices differ. Front entrance stores in main markets usually tend to ask foreigners steeper prices. Estimates are also often given in USD.

Tipping at restaurants is generally not required throughout Vietnam. Expect a 10% fee to be ( already ) worked into your bill at nicer looking cafes and restaurants. Hotel staff, such as porters often expect a small tip, especially from tourists. So remember to keep some small change or a few small dollar bills (USD) handy.

This probably goes without saying, but it’s best not to drink tap water when traveling in Asia . Instead opt to invest in a reusable water bottle that you can easily refill at your hotel’s water fountain.

In a rush? Pin this Vietnam Travel Itinerary for later.

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

The Best Places to Go in Vietnam for the Perfect Vietnam Itinerary

Great, now that you know the basics of planning a trip to Vietnam, let’s dive into this guide on where to go in Vietnam and what places not to miss on your Vietnam trip! Here is our list on the 20+ best places to visit in Vietnam – as recommended by fellow travel bloggers!

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Best Places to visit in Northern Vietnam

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Hanoi’s rich history and vibrant chaotic streets showcasing everything from broken down shophouses to colorful exteriors have long made it a pitstop on any northern Vietnam itinerary .

As the capital city, Hanoi offers visitors a glimpse into traditions still evident on the streets today. Here old and new seamlessly blend, making Hanoi a melting pot of culture, history, tradition, and authentic cuisine.

The Old Quarter is the beating heart of Hanoi, and probably where you’ll spend most of your time. With its deep-rooted history dating back more than 1000 years, the Old Quarter has something for everyone, no matter your interests!

Shopaholics and shutterbugs shouldn’t miss getting lost in the maze of shops and alleys lining the 36 Pho Phuong (merchant streets). Here you’ll find local merchants grouped by the wares they sell – from flowers and jewelry to silks and toys to name just a few. Here endless photo ops and a chance to experience the city like a real local awaits you around every corner. Those seeking to explore the natural beauty, albeit not any less chaotic side of the Old Quarter, be sure to head to Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hanoi is a huge must when planning where to go in Vietnam, and any visit here will be rewarded with unique foodie experiences , relaxing strolls, unique architecture, bountiful of museums, and even puppet shows.

Whatever you do though – don’t miss popping by Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, stepping foot in the Museum of Literature and getting a bird’s-eye view of the cityscape at the Lotte Tower Observation Deck . Grabbing a bowl of pho and an ice-cold bai hoi , or a Vietnamese egg coffee at one of the sidewalk cafes for some good old fashioned people watching should not be missed either.

Since Hanoi is a popular tourist hot spot, there’s no shortage of excellent accommodation. That said, a stay at the Metropole, a beautiful luxury hotel in Hanoi , will not disappoint. Make sure to spend at least 3-4 days in Hanoi. That way, you can get a real feel of what the city has on offer.

Pù Luông Nature Reserve

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Recommended by Emily | Wander-Lush

For an off-the-beaten-track nature experience in Vietnam, Pu Luong Nature Reserve can’t be beaten.

Located southwest of Hanoi on the border between Thanh Hoa and Hoa Binh provinces, Pu Luong – with its pristine forests and rich biodiversity – has been protected since 1999. Thai, Muong and other ethnic minority communities live inside the Reserve. They are responsible for the towering rice terraces and bamboo waterwheels that make the area so iconic.

The Reserve is the perfect spot for trekking. Homestay accommodation can be found in small villages linked by forest paths, with waterfalls, rivers, and mountains to be discovered along the way. For something more relaxing, peaceful Ban Hieu village in the southeast corner of the Reserve is a great spot to unwind.

Pu Luong is more remote than nearby Mai Chau, which makes accessing the Reserve a bit tricky. There is no public transport, so the best way to go about this is by organizing a transfer through your accommodation – either from Ninh Binh (approximately 4.5 hours by car) or from Hanoi. It might cost you a little more time and money, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Ha Long Bay

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If there is one natural wonder in Asia that should be on your travel radar, it’s Ha Long Bay. Famed for its limestone caves and caverns with centuries-old stalactites and stalagmites, this UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises of more than 1600 limestone islets in all shapes and sizes imaginable – all covered in lush green vegetation.

Although Ha Long Bay has become a victim of over tourism over the past few years, its iconic emerald waters and towering limestone karsts are well worth the 3 hour bus ride from Hanoi and even the crowds!

Most people visit Ha Long Bay on a day trip from Hanoi . It’s best to pre-book tickets online as it is a very popular landmark in Vietnam . A day trip typically lasts 12 hours and includes sailing around on a traditional junk boat, visiting Thien Cung Cave (aka the Heavenly Cave) and some kayaking through the floating markets and towering karsts.

For those who have a bit more time, consider joining one of the iconic Ha Long Bay cruises to spend a few nights onboard a junk boat on these peaceful waters.

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Recommended by John Paul | The Hangry Backpacker

Cat Ba Island is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. The island is easily reached from Hanoi/Hai Phong by bus. You’ll first need to travel to Cat Hai (a small island). Then take a short ferry and finally hop on another bus that makes various stops on Cat Ba Island.

The main town on the island, also called Cat Ba, is a laid back place in a beautiful setting. From Cat Ba town, visitors can tour the island (best done via motorbike) or join a boat tour of Ha Long Bay.

Cat Ba National Park is a stunning area that covers a large chunk of the island. The geography of the park is like Ha Long Bay without the water. For a great view of the harbor and town below, a short hike up to an old fort (now with a monument at the summit) is the perfect place for a panorama of Cat Ba town.

Ha Long Bay is one of the most beautiful natural scenes in Southeast Asia, and Cat Ba Island is the perfect gateway to explore the area. Most visitors come to Cat Ba for a calmer alternative to see Ha Long Bay than from Ha Long city.

Two to three full days on Cat Ba Island is enough time to adequately explore the national park and the bay, although an extra day or so is welcome for most travelers.

Bai Tu Long Bay

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Recommended by Claudia Tavani | My Adventures Across The World

Most people who visit the North of Vietnam head to the magnificent Ha Long Bay. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. However, as a result of overtourism, it’s lost part of its charm. Nowadays, there are so many vessels moving around Ha Long Bay that your experience there ends up being crowded and you often hear loud music coming from the party boats – not to mention the high amount of plastic and garbage that floats around the sea.

One of the best things to do in Vietnam as an alternative to visiting Ha Long Bay is doing a tour of Bai Tu Long Bay. This is very similar in terms of sights and things to do, and in fact, you will be cruising across Ha Long Bay in bits. However, as the final destination is different, you will follow a different route and there will be fewer vessels around – so you will be able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and you’ll have the views all to yourself

Tours of Bai Tu Long Bay normally last two full days. You will spend a full day on the boat doing things such as kayaking, swimming in the turquoise waters of the bay, exploring the many caves and visiting oyster farms. The second day is usually spent on a local island where you’ll get to sleep in a homestay. There, you’ll have a chance to cook dinner with the family, explore the island by bike and on foot, and get to know a bit of local culture before heading back to Hanoi.

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Recommended by Tasha Amy | Backpackers Wanderlust

Located up in the mountains is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam – Sapa. If you are looking to get outside of the cities and into nature, there is no better choice than here.

To get to Sapa the best option is either by bus or train for Hanoi. Both are a long journey taking around 8 hours. Though, from my personal experience, the best option is the overnight train. Buses here can be hit or miss and for us, it was a complete miss. Also, bus crashes along these roads are fairly common.

Whether you prefer to relax with a massage or more thrill-seeking activities there is something to do for everyone. One of the most popular activities is hiking in Sapa . The views are incredible over the green rice terraces and there are different difficulty levels depending on your fitness. For our visit, we split our time between the main Sapa town, where you will find the restaurants and shops, and a local village called Ta Van. There are plenty of homestays in Ta Van where you can gain an understanding of local life by living with a family.

Make sure you spend at least 3 nights exploring Sapa and the surrounding villages. You will be astonished by the beauty which makes it one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

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Recommend by Emily Lush | Wander-Lush

Ha Giang Province in the far north is one of the most rewarding places to visit in Vietnam .

Remote and rugged, Ha Giang is a mountainous landscape defined by limestone karsts and deep canyons. High-elevation roads with hairpin bends track between small towns and villages, where members of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities hold weekly produce markets. Hiking between villages via stacked rice terraces and fields of buckwheat is one of the best things to do in Ha Giang.

A popular way to see Ha Giang is by riding the Dong Van Pass and the Dong Van Loop, a famous road that many choose to navigate on a motorbike (either self-drive or easy rider). If you don’t ride, it’s also possible to visit Ha Giang by car .

Unlike in nearby Sapa, tourism in Ha Giang is still developing. A number of social enterprises and responsible tourism projects have sprung up in the area to ensure things develop the right way. It’s a little more challenging to get around – but the extra time and money visiting Ha Giang involves is worth it.

Independent travelers can reach Ha Giang’s largest town, Dong Van, by overnight bus from Hanoi. From there, you can rent motorbikes or travel by local bus to Sa Phin, Thai Phin and other villages on the loop, staying at homestays along the way. You’ll need a minimum of 3 or 4 days to complete the loop. Allow more time if you want to trek, which I highly recommend.

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Best Places to Visit in Central Vietnam

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Recommended by Monique | MC Adventure Blog

Ninh Binh is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Vietnam. Not only can you take in breathtaking views from the 500 stairs of Mua Caves, but you can also take in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Trang An.

Trang An gives you the opportunity to explore towering limestone karsts via a 3-hour boat tour with a local guide. Explore beautiful hidden temples, take in the set from Kong: Skull Island, and squeeze your way under hundreds of meters of river caves for an unforgettable experience. Most importantly, Mua Caves Ecolodge gives you the chance to fall asleep to the sound of frogs, with not a car horn in earshot!

Get there by bus or train from Hanoi, and make this an overnight trip to really enjoy the stunning countryside. If you have the time, head to Chookies in Tam Coc for sundowners and great pizza. Your Vietnamese bucket list cannot miss out on Ninh Binh , a lush and epic paradise just outside of Hanoi!

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

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Recommended by Jeanne Malherbe | Learning to Breathe Abroad 

The Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park in Vietnam is home to the world’s largest cave and the oldest karst mountains in Asia. This 400 million year old site was only discovered 20 years ago and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.

Not only has this incredible cave system made the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park the country’s top natural highlight, but the surrounding forest offers jungle trekking and mountain biking opportunities to the more adventurous. These additional activities have caused the area to become popularly known as the ‘Adventure Capital of Asia’.

There are over 500 caves in Phong Na, but only 30 are accessible to visitors. The most popular are the Phong Nha Cave, Tra Ang Cave, Paradise Cave, Dark Cave, Hang E Cave, Elephant Cave, Hang Over Cave and the Son Doong Cave. Some are easily accessible while others require a guide and even a zip line across a river!

The town of Phong Nha has lots of accommodation, restaurants, and an ATM. Buses run daily to various other towns. The closest town is Dong Hoi, which is a quick taxi ride away. You can also catch the train to Dong Hoi and then bus or taxi to the park.

The Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is so much more than just the caves. Therefore, I would recommend spending at least two or three days, to get the full experience.

Quang Tri Province and the Former DMZ

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Recommended by Amber | Food And Drink Destinations

Sandwiched between the popular tourist city of Hue to the south and the former DMZ to the north, sits Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. An off-the-beaten-path tourist destination, Quang Tri Province is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam for history lovers.

Around Quang Tri Province travelers can visit a number of historical sites relating to the Vietnam war, including the famous former American base at Khe Sanh. Exploring the Vinh Moc tunnels along the former border between North and South Vietnam offers travelers a unique perspective on how the war was fought from the North. Finally, Truong Son Cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the war. Adorned with thousands of incense sticks to honor their memories, it is a sight to see. Just driving through the area, though, there are monuments to the war around almost every bend.

The sites around Quang Tri Province are spread out, which requires a local driver and guide who can explain what each site or monument means. Dong Ha, the main city in Quang Tri Province, is a 90-minute drive from Hue. Additionally, it is possible to take a train from Hue to Dong Ha.

Travelers looking to dive into the history of Quang Tri Province during the Vietnam War are encouraged to spend 3 to 5 days in the area. The travel time between war sites can vary from short drives to upwards of 2-3 hours.

Accommodations in the region are basic but slowly improving. The Province enjoys access to the sea with a sandy beach area located 10 miles from the center of Dong Ha. It’s a welcome relief from a long day of sightseeing.

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Recommended by Michael Turtle | Time Travel Turtle

Hue is full of history and nothing captures it more than the great Imperial City of Hue , the fortified complex of royal buildings. This was the center of power during the Nguyen Dynasty, which united Vietnam in 1802 and was the last of the imperial dynasties to rule the country. Although many of the buildings inside the Imperial City were damaged during the Vietnam War, it will still take you several hours to see all the temples and palaces properly.

Other than the Imperial City (also known as the Citadel), the other most popular sights are the tombs of the emperors, which are stretched out along the Perfume River to the south of Hue. You can get a taxi or ride a bike but a lot of people like to visit them as part of a boat cruise. If you’re heading along the river, also look out for the striking Thien Me Pagoda.

Hue is not a particularly large city – especially from a tourist’s perspective – so you can easily walk around its centre. You only need a couple of days to see the main sights and explore a bit. The main north-south train stops in Hue and it’s also well connected by buses to places like Hoi An.

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Recommended by Bradley Williams | Dream Big, Travel Far

If you are making your way up through Vietnam, then easily one of the best places to visit in Vietnam is Da Nang. We visited there as a day trip from the city of Hoi An and absolutely loved it! There is so much to do there, such as driving up and over Tho Quang, which is a large mountain located right by the water. From the top, the views are amazing, and it’s a great place to be for sunset.

This actually ended up being one of my favorite experiences from traveling Vietnam and would recommend it to everyone passing through. As well as this, you should visit the famous Marble Mountain, and explore ancient caves and temples hidden amongst the rocks. Another thing you should also do is visit the Golden Bridge.

It is possible to stay in Da Nang for a night or two, but you are also able to see all of the best sites on a day trip from Hoi An. We got there by moped, but you can also arrange bus transfers if you are passing through and wish to stay there.

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

Steeped in history, and any culture seekers dream, Hoi An is simply a must on your ‘where to go in Vietnam’ list. And for an excellent reason. This sleepy town packs a bunch of exciting activities for anyone craving small-town vibes, especially after experiencing the bustle of bigger cities in Vietnam.  

At the heart of Hoi An lies The Ancient Town, which also happens to be a world-renowned UNESCO site. The Old Town is home to everything from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, decorative Vietnamese tube houses and the mesmerizing Old Bridge built by the Japanese.

In short, you wouldn’t find a better place to experience rustic Vietnam than here, where a mix of eras and styles seamlessly blend together. Wander or even bike along quaint streets lined with colorful shophouses, hipster cafes, and funky art galleries. Or better yet, get lost in the maze of nooks and crannies which dot off around every corner. Keep in mind though: there is a small mandatory entrance fee of US$5. This goes towards maintaining and preserving the city. 

One of Hoi An’s biggest draws apart from its deep-rooted history is its arts. Whatever you do don’t leave Hoi An without taking a lantern making class and a getting tailor-made outfit. Those seeking to venture beyond the Old Town, don’t miss one of the glorious sandy beaches nearby. Biking to An Bang Beach is a popular activity for sunshine seekers and beachgoers. Foodies also won’t be disappointed as Hoi An is one of the best places to enjoy authentic street food in Vietnam. To get a real feel of the town and attractions, spend at least 2-3 days here.

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Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

Best Places to Visit Vietnam – Southeast Coast

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Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s premier beach destinations and a must for anyone looking for a cheap beach vacation while in Vietnam. Spend your days lounging around Tran Phu Beach or dipping in the calm waters of the South China Sea. For those wanting to enjoy the beach vibes with a cocktail in hand, drop by the Sailing Club for a well-deserved sundowner.

Excitement seekers, on the other hand,  can try their hand at kitesurfing, surfing, snorkeling or cycling along the promenade, nearby. Nha Trang also won’t disappoint shopaholics! Head to the Dam Market which is the perfect spot to pick up local trinkets and cheap knockoffs.  

The Vinpearl Amusement Park on Hon Tre Island is also a great spot to spend a few hours. Be sure to also visit the massive aquarium and get a bird’s-eye view of the bay by cable car! 

Besides these, Nha Trang also offers visitors a glimpse into age-old traditions and boasts some great outdoor activities. Pop by the religious towers of Po Nagar Cham Towers for breathtaking views over the Cai River and a peek into this Hindu holy place of worship. If you have a bit more time, consider visiting the Ba Ho Waterfalls for a quick dip in the fresh mountain waters. Or better yet, head to the Hon Khoi Salt Fields for fantastic photo ops.

Visiting the nearby hot springs and chilling in a mud bath is another popular treat in Nha Trang. So if you fancy getting yourself covered in mud definitely give it a try! 

No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone in Nha Trang – making it one of the best places to visit in Vietnam! Spend at least 2-3 days here to really take in the sunshine and enjoy the ocean.

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

Mũi Né is a famous beach town, well-known for its quaint fishing village and excellent adventure sports. Although Mũi Né might seem unassuming to most travelers to Vietnam, this weird town (which is just a 4km strip along the coast of Southeast Vietnam) is packed with golden sand beaches and a haven for adrenaline junkies.

Kitesurfing, sailing, and windsurfing are just a few of the water sports you can enjoy here! Stop by White Sand Dune where hopping on a quad-bike is a favorite amongst locals and adrenaline junkies. Then head over to Red Dune for the best sunset in town. Some vendors sell local snacks and coconuts near the parking lot, so be sure to grab some refreshments before heading up the dune! The Fairy Stream – where red clay formations and lush vegetation make an exciting backdrop along a gentle stream – is another popular spot for nature seekers.

Mũi Né might not be on every traveler’s destination hit-list when planning their Vietnam itinerary, but it’s a good pitstop on your travels to or from Ho Chi Minh City.

Dirt cheap sleeper buses run daily between HCMC and Phan Thiet , while shared shuttle buses between HCMC and Mũi Né are also available for a few bucks more. The journey takes about 5 hours.

Mũi Né has excellent beaches and an endless supply of adventure sports opportunities. However, unless you’ve booked yourself into one of the high-end resorts, don’t spend too much time here. There’s honestly not that much to do, and you can quickly get your adrenaline fix, enjoy some beach time and see the main sights in a day or two.

attractions vietnam tourist places

Recommended by Mary | Move to Vietnam

Vung Tau is one of the places that you don’t normally see in travel guides about Vietnam, but what you don’t know is that it’s a little hidden gem not far from Ho Chi Minh City. A place where you can surf, hike or simply have a few lazy days between your long and exhausting trip – a place to breathe a little.

Vung Tau is not crowded nor expensive, so you can still enjoy your Vietnam trip. There are hostels for as cheap as $5 or private rooms for as low as $10. You can also rent a motorbike for $5 or less a day. Since it’s a beach town, expect that every restaurant offers fresh seafood dishes without spending too much.

You can either come from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau (about 2-3 hour drive) or from Mui Ne. Either way, you can reach it by bus or motorbike. From Ho Chi Minh City, there is also an option to take a ferry ride.

Also Read: The Best Islands to Visit in Asia

Best Places to visit in Vietnam – Southwest Highlands

attractions vietnam tourist places

Recommended by Rebecca | She Roams Solo

Dalat is a wonderful little surprise. After spending your days sweating like crazy, the cool spring weather that Dalat brings will be a welcomed change. The houses of Dalat will surprise and enchant you. The European feel is charming. There is something for everyone in Dalat from those who want to relax, be adventurous, learn the culture and more. Dalat is a great place for solo travelers, couples and families .

There is plenty to do around Dalat but perhaps the most thrilling thing to do is get on a motorcycle or scooter and ride to, or from Dalat. The green hills and valleys are memorable, creating scenes that are sure to stay with you for a long time to come. If you are not confident enough to ride yourself you can jump on the back with a local tour guide.

Another outstanding experience in Dalat is the Mr. Rot Secret Tour. I can’t tell you too much about this tour as it is a secret. Make sure you get the original and not the copies that Vietnam is susceptible to. You are guaranteed an amazing time, plenty of laughs, and a chance to learn more about Vietnamese culture.

The crazy house and the 100 roof bar are simply unmissable! These are places you will not see anywhere else in Vietnam and are both creative, genius, and wonderful.

Adventure junkies can also do canyoning, which is famous in Dalat. 

Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

As the former capital of Vietnam and often referred to as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is diverse in all senses imaginable. From its vibrant streets and lively markets selling all kinds of bits and bobs to its street food and deep-rooted history – any visit here is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

Ho Chi Minh City might be many things, but the one thing that is bound to leave a lasting impression on you is the absolute chaotic bustle of the city. Which oddly enough seems to be organized chaos!

The streets are filled with different smells and sights. Not to mention scooters and motorbikes racing past, all eagerly honking their way through the dense traffic. Navigating yourself here might be a tad harder than the rest of Vietnam.  So if there is one tip, I can give you – watch out for the scooters on the sidewalks! If you aren’t comfortable walking, Grab taxis are plentiful.

As for things to do, the options are endless! And any visit here will quickly reveal why HCMC is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Get a closer look at the city’s pivotal role in the Vietnam War by stepping foot in the War Remnants Museum. Or pop by the Notre-Dame Cathedral – one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A short stroll away, you can drop by the Saigon Central Post Office where Ho Chi Minh’s picture is on display. The Independence Palace and the Saigon Skydeck are other activities not to miss on your visit here.

Also, don’t miss the chance to shop till you drop at Ben Thanh Market – one of the best spots to hunt for local souvenirs! But don’t forget to haggle!  

Best Places to visit in the Mekong Delta

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

No visit to Vietnam would be complete without cruising along the Mekong River Delta. If you are pressed for time, Cái Bè is the perfect solution.

This small fishing village that is home to stilt houses, unique riverscapes, and delicious fresh produce is just a short 2-hour trip away from Ho Chi Minh City and easily explored on a day trip .

Day trips can be booked practically anywhere in HCMC, and travel agencies offer numerous packages to suit every traveler’s pocket. Usually, these will also include stopping by the world-renowned Cu Chi Tunnels where you can get a glimpse into what life was like for the Viet Cong soldiers on the front lines.

Cruising along the Mekong River, canoeing through the mysterious river canals, visiting the floating market, cycling along with lush greenery and sampling some of the local tropical fruit are just a few of the unique things you can enjoy on a day trip to Cái Bè.

Cái Bè doesn’t offer much in terms of accommodation, but it’s a great place to visit in Vietnam even if it is just for a day!

attractions vietnam tourist places

Recommended by Claire | Claire’s Footsteps

Not so many travelers make it down to Can Tho in Southern Vietnam, but it’s well worth adding it to your best places to visit Vietnam itinerary. Located about four hours south from Ho Chi Minh City, or four and a half hours from Ha Tien, the southern border with Cambodia, Can Tho is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta area.

The Mekong Delta region grows most of Vietnam’s fruit, and is a prosperous area for rice farming, with 3-4 yields per year.

Life here understandably revolves around the river; so as far as attractions in Can Tho go, you’ll want to head out to the water! It’s possible to see the local floating market at sunrise, head to the land market, cycle around the countryside and tour a local cocoa plantation.

There are also some museums and temples in Can Tho city, but a big part of visiting the Mekong Delta area is just relaxing and enjoying the surrounding nature. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the country, along with friendly people who love to chat to visitors (because Can Tho is actually quite a large city, many locals can speak great English).

Phu Quoc Island

attractions vietnam tourist places

Recommended by Ania |The Travelling Twins

Phu Quoc is the biggest Vietnamese island. It is in the extreme south-west, actually closer to the coast of Cambodia than Vietnam’s mainland. Ho Chi Minh City was hot and hectic and I was looking for some beach time. We arrived by air, but there are ferries too. The island is a Special Economic Zone, which means that tourists can stay 30 days without a visa.

Phu Quoc was perfect for our week’s holiday within a holiday.  We enjoyed clean beaches, entertainment parks, a modern aquarium, and zoo safaris.  My girls especially loved the Bee Farm, and there was even a night market for those times when we found we were missing the city after all. The food is delicious, with any number of options to enjoy a yummy prawn barbecue against an ocean sunset backdrop.

To top it all even transport is fun.  Phu Quoc is the only place in Vietnam where I would recommend hiring a scooter. Traffic is minimal, and the island is small enough to explore by yourself.  We went in true Asian style with the whole brood perched on one seat.

The island has a full spectrum of accommodation too. Choose from very simple and inexpensive home-stays to a five-star resort.  We had a great time on our break in Phu Quoc with kids , and we will be going again for sure.

Where to Go in Vietnam in Conclusion

As you can see, Vietnam is home to a whole host of amazing places to visit and things to do! While this post barely scratches the surface of awesome places to travel to in Vietnam, it undeniably covers all the must-see places to add to your Vietnam itinerary! Have you ever traveled to Vietnam? What’s your favorite place to visit in Vietnam?

Well, there you have it – the ABSOLUTE best places to go to in Vietnam! If you have any suggestions to add to this list of must-visit places in Vietnam, let me know in the comments below.

Liked this post? Maybe your friends will too. Share where to go in Vietnam with them here.

Vietnam Complete Travel Guide // Discover the absolute best places to visit in Vietnam in this comprehensive guide. We highlight everything you need to know about planning a Vietnam itinerary, plus pro tips on what to do and where to go in Vietnam. #vietnam #southeastasia #vietnamtravel #vietnamitinerary #travelplanning #wheretogoinvietnam #travelguide #firsttimersguide

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May 5, 2020 at

I simply love Vietnam and as a pilot would visit there on many an occasion. I even managed to get in a tour of the tunnels, totally awesome! The beauty of Vietnam, the friendly people and the food are simply exquisite.

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May 16, 2020 at

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Rick. Vietnam is indeed an incredible destination to visit. Glad you got a chance to see the tunnels – it was one of the highlights of our trip!

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15 best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

James Pham

Jul 20, 2021 • 12 min read

attractions vietnam tourist places

Ho Chi Minh City has a skyline of tall buildings perfect to get a birds-eye-view of the city Ho Ngoc Binh / Getty Images

It would be easy to roar around Ho Chi Minh City like one of the local motorcyclists – stopping at every corner, but never really seeing much – but Vietnam's most populated city is worthy of some slow exploration. 

From world-class museums and Vietnam's tallest skyscrapers to fragrant, incense-filled temples and street food stalls that recall old Saigon, this former French colonial city is well worth at least three or four days of your time. These are the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.

Several war planes sit outside of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

1. War Remnants Museum

Best museum in Ho Chi Minh City

To understand the context of the war with the USA, and its devastating impact on Vietnamese civilians, this remarkable, deeply moving museum is an essential visit. Many atrocities documented here were well publicised, but rarely do Americans and Europeans hear the victims of military action tell their own stories. While some displays are one-sided, many of the most disturbing photographs illustrating atrocities are from US sources, including those from the My Lai massacre.

The museum primarily deals with the American War, but the French-colonial period and conflicts with China are also documented. US armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons are on display outside. One corner of the grounds is devoted to the notorious French and South Vietnamese prisons on Phu Quoc and Con Son islands. Artefacts include that most iconic of French appliances, the guillotine, and the notoriously inhumane ‘tiger cages’ used to house war prisoners. Allow at least a couple of hours for your visit.

The face of the Jade Emperor statue inside Jade Emperor Pagoda (called Ngoc Hoang pagoda) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

2. Jade Emperor Pagoda 

Built in 1909 in honour of the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang), this is one of the most atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City, stuffed with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. The pungent smoke of incense ( huong ) fills the air, obscuring the exquisite woodcarvings. Its roof is encrusted with elaborate tile work, and the temple's statues, depicting characters from both Buddhist and Taoist lore, are made from reinforced papier mâché.

Inside, worshippers mass before the ineffable Jade Emperor, who presides – draped in luxurious robes and shrouded in a dense fug of incense smoke – over the main sanctuary. He is flanked by his guardians, the Four Big Diamonds (Tu Dai Kim Cuong), so named because they are said to be as hard as diamonds.

An aerial shot of several people gathered around a slim outside table eating street food in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

3. Eat street food in District 4

Best for foodies 

Just south of the glitzy Dong Khoi area, it's a short walk over the Ben Nghe Channel to working-class District 4. Here the ambience is far more Saigonese, with little or no concession to tourism, and narrow lanes, street markets and shabby concrete apartment blocks. Order a coffee here and expect a drip-fed Vietnamese coffee that resembles engine oil rather than a frothy cappuccino.

District 4 is the best area in the city to sample authentic street food, with dozens of places on Ɖ Vinh Khanh. For great seafood at affordable prices, try Oc Dao 2 . HCMC is a city in love with snails, and District 4 is something of a magnet for snail eaters, with many fine places on the buzzing alley Lo J KTT, including Oc Po , which is always packed.

4. Giac Lam Pagoda 

Believed to be the oldest temple in HCMC (1744), Giac Lam is a fantastically atmospheric place set in peaceful, garden-like grounds. The Chinese characters that constitute the temple's name (覚林寺) mean 'Feel the Woods Temple' and the looming Bodhi tree (a native fig tree, sacred to Buddhists) in the front garden was the gift of a Sri Lankan monk in 1953. Prayers are held daily from 4am to 5am, 11am to noon, 4pm to 5pm and 7pm to 9pm.

Next to the tree stands a gleaming white statue of compassionate Quan The Am Bo Tat (also known as the Goddess of Mercy) on a lotus blossom, a symbol of purity. As at many Vietnamese Buddhist temples, aspects of both Taoism and Confucianism can be found here. For the sick and elderly, the pagoda is a minor pilgrimage sight, as it contains a bronze bell that, when rung, is believed to answer the prayers posted by petitioners. About 3km from Cholon, Giac Lam Pagoda is best reached by taxi or xe om (motorbike taxi).

Read more:   Best day trips from Ho Chi Minh City

A man in glasses sits at the bar of Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Ho Chi Min City

5. Check out the craft beer scene

Best bars in Ho Chi Minh City

Happening HCMC is concentrated around the Dong Khoi area, with everything from dives to designer bars open until 1am. Pham Ngu Lao stays open later, and PNL's Ð Bui Vien is a pedestrian-only street from 7pm to 2am on Saturdays and Sundays. Dance clubs usually kick off after 10pm. Amongst all the late night action is a blossoming craft beer scene, including the following bars.

Heart of Darkness

This premier craft brewery has an always-interesting selection of innovative beers on tap. The selection varies as the Heart of Darkness brewers are always trying something, but the Dream Alone pale ale and Sacred Fire golden ale are great drops.

With almost 40 taps, BiaCraft is an essential destination for thirsty souls. Complementing its own creations are ales and ciders from craft breweries in Saigon and Hanoi; it's possible to take out freshly sealed cans of all available beers. Combine a tasting paddle with probably the city's best bar food, with quirky offerings like drunken baby potatoes and Nashville hot quail.

Rogue Saigon

Live music and Vietnamese craft beers combine on Rogue's rooftop terrace in a gritty building on the riverside edge of District 1. You'll find good beers such as Lac Brewing's Devil's Lake IPA, and music with an acoustic, blues or rock vibe. There are DJ sessions on Saturday and also jams and quiz nights.

The yellow-and-green colonial French exterior of the Central Post Office in the blazing sunshine in Ho Chi Min City

6. Architecture 

Ho Chi Minh City is littered with faded, century-old buildings from when it was still under French colonial rule. Scores of heritage buildings are scattered throughout the city, mainly in Districts 1 and 3. Here's some of the most historically intriguing. 

People’s Committee Building 

One of the city’s most prominent landmarks is home to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. Built between 1901 and 1908, the former Hôtel de Ville decorates the northwestern end of ÐL Nguyen Hue, but unfortunately the ornate interior is not open to the public.

Central Post Office 

The city's landmark French-era post office is a period classic, designed by Marie-Alfred Foulhoux (though often credited to Gustave Eiffel) and built between 1886 and 1891. Painted on the walls of its grand concourse are fascinating historical maps of South Vietnam, Saigon and Cholon, while a mosaic of Ho Chi Minh takes pride of place at the end of its barrel-vaulted hall. Note the magnificent tiled floor of the interior and the copious green-painted wrought iron.

Municipal Theatre (Saigon Opera House)

Gracing the intersection of Ð Dong Khoi and ÐL Le Loi, this grand colonial edifice with a sweeping staircase was built in 1897 and is one of the city's most recognisable buildings. Officially known as the Municipal Theatre , the Opera House captures the flamboyance of France’s belle époque. Performances range from ballet and opera to modern dance and musicals.

The balconies of a pink-hued building along Dong Khoi street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

7. Explore Dong Khoi Area

This well-heeled area, immediately west of the Saigon River, packages the heart of old Saigon into a swish enclave of designer shops and skyscrapers. Slicing from the river to august Notre Dame Cathedral via the Opera House (Municipal Theatre), ritzy Ð Dong Khoi is the main shopping strip and lends its name to the encircling civic centre and central business district. 

Yet it’s the wide, tree-lined boulevards of ÐL Le Loi and ÐL Nguyen Hue, perpetually swarming with motorbikes, that leave more of an impression – not least if you’ve survived crossing them on foot. It’s in these grand thoroughfares that French-colonial elegance and urban modernity fashion an alluring concoction.

Read more:   Top 20 free things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

The red-brick Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica on blue sky background in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

8. Notre Dame Cathedral

Built between 1877 and 1883, Notre Dame Cathedral enlivens the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's government quarter, facing Ð Dong Khoi. A red-brick, neo-Romanesque church, it has twin bell towers that are both topped with spires and crosses that reach 60m. This Catholic cathedral, named after the Virgin Mary, includes some lovely stained-glass windows and interior walls inlaid with devotional tablets. Its red bricks were imported from Toulouse, France.

The entrance to the History Museum and the Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City

9. History Museum

Built in 1929, this notable Sino-French museum houses a rewarding collection of artefacts illustrating the evolution of the cultures of Vietnam, from the Bronze Age Dong Son civilisation (which emerged in 2000 BCE) and the Funan civilisation (1st to 6th centuries CE) to the Cham, Khmer and Vietnamese. Highlights include valuable relics taken from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and a fine collection of Buddha statues. There's good English information.

There's also a perfectly preserved mummy of a local woman who died in 1869, excavated from Xom Cai in District 5; and some exquisite stylised mother-of-pearl Chinese characters inlaid into panels. It's located beside the Botanical Gardens.

10. Botanical Gardens

One of the first projects undertaken by the French after establishing Cochin-China as a colony was founding these fantastic, lush gardens . Once one of the finest such gardens in Asia, they’re very agreeable for strolling beneath giant tropical trees. Skip the miserable zoo though.

Traffic, particularly motorbikes, crawls past Binh Tay Market (Cholon Chinatown Market) in Ho Chi Minh City is the largest marketplace before the road leading West to Mien Tay

11. Cholon (Chinatown)

Rummage through Cholon (District 5) and lift the lid on a treasure trove of historic temples and Chinese flavours. Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown is less Chinese than it once was, largely due to the 1978–79 anti-capitalist and anti-Chinese campaign, when many ethnic Chinese fled the country, taking with them their money and entrepreneurial skills. 

A lot of those refugees have since returned (with foreign passports) to explore investment possibilities. Full-form written Chinese characters (as opposed to the simplified system used in mainland China) decorate shopfronts and temples in abundance, adding to the sensation that you have strayed into a forgotten corner of China. 

Cholon means ‘big market’ and during the American War it was home to a thriving black market. Like much of HCMC, Cholon’s historic shopfronts are swiftly disappearing under advertising hoardings or succumbing to developers’ bulldozers, but some traditional architecture survives and an atmospheric strip of traditional herb shops thrives between Ð Luong Nhu Hoc and Ð Trieu Quang Phuc, providing both a visual and an olfactory reminder of the old Chinese city.

The egg-yolk-yellow Fine Arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh City with its French colonial design and architecture

12. Fine Arts Museum

With its airy corridors and verandas, this elegant 1929 colonial-era, yellow-and-white building is stuffed with period details; it is exuberantly tiled throughout and home to some fine (albeit deteriorated) stained glass, as well as one of Saigon's oldest lifts. Hung from the walls is an impressive selection of art, including thoughtful pieces from the modern period. As well as contemporary art, much of it (unsurprisingly) inspired by war, the museum displays pieces dating back to the 4th century.

These include elegant Funan-era sculptures of Vishnu, the Buddha and other revered figures (carved in both wood and stone), and Cham art dating from the 7th century to the 14th century. More statuary is scattered around the grounds and in the central courtyard (accessed from the rear of the building). There’s a selection of lovely prints for sale (from 150,000d) at the shop. Building No 2 alongside hosts lesser-known works and stages exhibitions.

A tourist walks along the path towards the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnamese flags flapping in the wind

13. Reunification Palace

Surrounded by royal palm trees, the dissonant 1960s architecture of this landmark government building and the eerie ambience of its deserted halls make it an intriguing spectacle. The first Communist tanks to arrive in Saigon rumbled here on 30 April 1975 and it’s as if time has stood still since then. The building is deeply associated with the fall of the city in 1975, yet it's the kitsch detailing and period motifs that steal the show. It's also known as the Independence Palace.

The ground floor is arranged with meeting rooms, while upstairs is a grand set of reception rooms, used for welcoming foreign and national dignitaries. In the back of the structure are the president’s living quarters; check out the model boats, horse tails and severed elephants’ feet. Perhaps most fascinating of all is the basement with its telecommunications centre, war room and warren of tunnels, where hulking old fans chop the air and ancient radio transmitters sit impassively. Towards the end are rooms where videos appraise the palace and its history in Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese and Japanese. The national anthem is played at the end of the tape and you are expected to stand up – it would be rude not to.

14. Rooftop bars

Best thing to do at night

Enjoy Ho Chi Minh City’s frenetic energy from a barstool high above the chaos below. Saigon Saigon Bar in the historic Caravelle Hotel was a favourite hangout of wartime journalists who would report from the ninth storey vantage point, cold beer in hand. Today, that same beer with the same great views is available as The Caravelle Terrace Draft.

For cocktails that are equally artsy as alcoholic, Shri Restaurant & Lounge tops the list. Located 23 floors up, sip on innovative cocktails inspired by various neighbourhoods like the Ben Thanh featuring lychee and ginger found in the city’s best-known market or the Thao Cam Vien with notes of cucumber and elderflower, inspired by the botanical gardens.

Patrons look over the city from 50 floors above at Café Eon inside the Bitexco Tower in Ho Chi Minh City

15. Skyscraper observation towers

From the street level, Ho Chi Minh City seems incredibly chaotic, but there’s a quiet beauty to the city when experienced from above the fray. A number of skyscrapers have observation towers (or bars) which offer views of the city's tree-lined boulevards and the snaking Saigon River.

Bitexco Financial Tower

From the 68-storey  Bitexco Financial Tower  – or, indeed, its chic  EON Heli Bar  on the 52nd floor – visitors can sip on a coffee whilst watching the world go by.

Landmark 81

At 81 stories high, the Tetris -like Landmark 81 is Vietnam's tallest building. Its Blank Lounge, some 76 floors up, is where they share the views of the sprawling metropolis with the public. 

You may also like: Vietnam tips: a first-timer's guide Best places to eat in Ho Chi Minh City in 2020 Ho Chi Minh City’s best rooftop bars

This article was first published Mar 25, 2020 and updated Jul 20, 2021.

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10 Best Tourist Attractions In Vietnam You Have To See

women selling flowers on a boat

The choice of Vietnam tourist attractions is staggering; this mesmerizing country blessed with jaw-dropping natural beauty, an unfair tally of World Heritage Sites, historical legacies extending from 10th-century pagodas to wartime tunnels, vibrant cities revealing multi-national architectural wonders, and rich cultural diversity. One trip may not be enough, but for first-timers, be it, honeymooners or adventure seekers, here’s our what to see on your trip to Vietnam .

Old buildings and a streets lit up with anterns

The beauty of Hoi An Old Town is well renowned

1. Hoi An’s Ancient Town

Hoi An’s utterly charming Ancient Town is one of Vietnam’s top attractions, but despite the crowds, still hasn’t lost its beguiling charm. Centrally located in Hoi An town, alongside picturesque Thu Bon River, this compact enclave was once a thriving Silk Road trading port, from the 16th to 19th centuries. Today, this beautifully preserved Ancient Town is one of Southeast Asia’s oldest towns and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, its atmospheric narrow streets lined with centuries-old cultural treasures, historic sites, and quaint buildings, a hybrid of the port’s multi-national architectural legacies.

Admire the Chinese shophouses and gaudy assembly halls, iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, and faded French colonial-era mansions. This old quarter is also home to a strong local community, with markets and artisan workshops and riverside open-air cafés and restaurants, perfect for sampling local culinary delights. The Ancient Town comes into its own after dark, especially during the monthly, full moon lantern festival, when, traffic-free streets are illuminated solely with hundreds of multi-colored silk lanterns and vibrant with traditional festivities.

Ruins of a brick temple

The old kingdom in ruins

2. My Son Cham Towers

While in Hoi An, be sure to visit My Son Cham towers , located southwest. Not only is this one of Vietnam’s most striking examples of its ancient Champa Kingdom and a World Heritage Site, but also one of Southeast Asia’s most important archaeological sites and a foremost Hindu temple complex. Set in a narrow wooded valley, surrounded by forested mountains, this evocative Cham temple sanctuary was once an important spiritual and political center and royal burial ground of the former Champa civilization, built between the 4th to the 14th centuries.

My Son lay neglected for centuries, rediscovered by French archaeologists in 1898. Ravaged by time, ironically the greatest damage occurred during the Vietnam War, however, the majority of the central complex managed to survive the bombs and some parts are being restored. Devoted to Hindu Gods, the sanctuary is comprised of more than 70 red brick and sandstone temples arranged in clusters, incorporating striking decorative carvings, stele, sculptures, and inscriptions.

Today, in various states of ruin, repair, and vegetation overgrowth, My Son nevertheless is still impressive, with around 20 temple structures still standing. There’s also an interesting on-site museum; visit early morning to escape the tour groups and heat.

Aerial view of the Independence Palace

Palace in the noisy city center

3. HCMC’s Independence Palace & War Remnants Museum

Wartime legacies are prominent attractions in Ho Chi Minh City and these two museums are the most popular, equally fascinating, and a must-do experience. The imposing Independence Palace (or Reunification Palace) is of great symbolic importance in the nation’s history. Formerly, the South Vietnam government’s HQ and official presidential residence, this was where North Vietnamese Army tanks crashed through the main gates on April 30, 1975: the defining ‘Fall of Saigon’ moment and the start of Reunification.

Now a ‘National Cultural and Historical Relic,’ museum and VIP function space, this landmark monolith building, ensconced in pretty grounds, stands frozen in time from that fateful day. Take a guided tour through five floors and rooms preserved in the 1960s and 1970s time-warp: highlights include the bomb-proof basement, with secret tunnels and war command room, kitschy cinema and casino, and glittering reception halls.

Although somber and gut-wrenching, the War Remnants Museum is the city’s most-visited museum, where a series of exhibition rooms starkly chronicles the horrors and futility of war – (both the Vietnam and Indochina wars). Shocking exhibits contain graphic photojournalism, notorious ‘tiger cages’ and legacies of chemical defoliants, while the outer courtyard is littered with wartime fighter planes, tanks, and bomb varieties.

An entrance to the tunnel

An entrance to the tunnel

4. Cu Chi Tunnels

Located north of Greater Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels provide a more interactive historical experience for all ages (although claustrophobics should perhaps miss this one).

Stretching for 100-plus miles towards former Saigon, this immense network of connecting underground tunnels was the secret HQ for the Viet Cong’s military operations during the Vietnam and Indochina wars. Of immense strategic value, the Cu Chi Tunnels played a major role in the Northern Vietnamese victory, regarded as one of their proudest wartime achievements.

These historic tunnels have now been preserved and transformed into a war memorial park and hugely popular attraction. Visitors can enter two short sections of the original tunnel network, at either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc villages, which have been restored, slightly widened and cemented. Led by guides, crawl along the deep tunnels and get a rough idea of what conditions were like and see former subterranean facilities, like the conference rooms.

Above-ground attractions include a shooting range, display of mantraps and burnt-out tanks and a restaurant serving simple meals that the soldiers would have eaten. Some half-day tours offer speedboat transport along the river, for part of the journey here.

Boats of vendors seen from abve

Vendors at work

5. Mekong Delta’s floating markets

The southern Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s most productive agricultural area, with an intensively cultivated bountiful landscape brimming with rice paddies, banana, sugarcane and coconut plantations, tropical fruit orchards and more. Visiting the Mekong Delta is one of the absolute musts when in Vietnam.

This lush, flat ‘Delta is also dominated by – and highly dependent on – the Mekong River, which branches out into a network of waterways and tributaries that for many is the main way of getting around. This may explain why this region’s traditional means of trading are floating markets, a way of life and trade for well over a century.

Despite modern-day developments, the ‘Delta’s floating markets are in decline, but many still operate in strategic localities; for visitors, this is an iconic Vietnamese sight and wonderful opportunity to engage with locals and experience a traditional southern culture – besides a fantastic photographic opportunity. Take an early morning guided tour on a small vessel, weaving in amongst dozens of colorful barges piled high with seasonal produce and household items and ordering Vietnamese breakfast and coffee from floating kitchens! The largest, most renowned floating markets are Phong Dien and Phung Hiep, but especially, Cai Be and Cai Rang, popular for its vibrant atmosphere. All can easily be visited in a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City, but afterward, continue boating deep into the ‘’Delta countryside, disembarking at fruit orchards and stilt-house communities.

Hue Citadel Entrace

A forbidden city of Nguyen Dynasty

6. Complex of Hué Monuments

Located in the Central Provinces, Hue was Vietnam’s imperial capital from 1802 to 1945, the home of a dynasty of Nguyen Emperors and the nation’s political, cultural and religious heart. All those imperial legacies, a collection of relatively well-preserved ancient monuments, royal court traditions and relics of great historical and cultural importance, now come listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, or ‘Complex of Hue Monuments.’ Thus, this amiable, languid city, majestic beside the scenic Perfume River, offers visitors many attractions to see, many easily accessed by bicycle or on leisurely ‘Dragon Boat‘ cruises.

Hue’s crown jewel is the magnificent 19th century Imperial Citadel, a sprawling walled complex containing the Imperial Enclosure, Forbidden Purple City, palaces, temples, gates, and much more. Although much was destroyed during the Vietnam War, many parts are under restoration and worth exploring, including the Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate and Thai Hoa Palace. Other gems cover several Mandarin Garden Houses and the incredible Emperor’s royal mausoleums lying hidden amid the river valley and low-lying hills. Among Hue’s numerous exquisite pagodas, don’t miss the most historic, the seven-tiered, 17th century Thien Mu Pagoda. Even Hue’s delicious imperial cuisine is descended from the royal courts!

Fish farms in Halong Bay

Fish farms in Halong Bay

7. Halong & Lan Ha Bay

This vast bay area is not just one of Asia’s most spectacular natural wonders, protected as a World Heritage Site, but one big tourist attraction in itself and one of Vietnam’s most iconic sights. Northern Vietnam’s stuff of legends, this ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’ presents an ethereal seascape of 2,000-plus limestone islands and rock formations magically jutting out of the Gulf of Tonkin’s emerald-hued waters. Halong Bay’s southern extension, the extraordinarily beautiful Lan Ha Bay, reveals equally stunning scenery, but as a relatively new tourism destination with fewer tourist vessels passing through, offers a more remote, tranquil experience.

Both Halong and Lan Ha bays are prime cruising territory , especially the overnight luxury varieties, viewing an ever-changing backdrop of jungle-clad karsts from the sundeck and a fantastical playground for nature and adventure activities. Explore mythical caves and floating fish farms, kayak to hidden lagoons, and snorkel off coral beaches, while the bay’s largest island, Cat Ba, offers trekking, mountain biking, and rock climbing opportunities for amongst primeval rainforests. For the ultimate birds-eye view, take a stupendous seaplane scenic flight over the entire bay.

Narrow river among the hills

Spectacular site in Ninh Binh Province

8. Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex

In northern Ninh Binh Province, Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex is uniquely a World Heritage Site for both its nature and culture, spellbinding visitors with its spectacular landscapes of timeless waterways and jungle-covered limestone karsts and towering cliffs dramatically rising from jade-green valleys, along with ancient sites of great national significance.

The big drawcard is taking a paddleboat through two main tourist attractions, in this watery wonderland, dubbed a ‘land-locked Halong Bay and ‘outdoor geological museum.’ At Tam Coc, enjoy a slow, languorous sampan ride along the tranquil Ngo Dong River, which merges with lush rice paddies surrounded by surreal limestone formations and gliding underneath three low-hanging grottoes. At Trang An, an equally impressive boat ride transports you along emerald-green waterways brimming with rich biodiversity overshadowed by stunning islets and a series of karst caves and caverns which the boat passes through. Off the boats, be sure to visit magnificent Bái Đính Pagoda, Vietnam’s largest Buddhist pagoda complex and the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, where two dynastic temples stand at the site of 10th and 11th-century citadel.

Street flower vendor

Flower vendors are always present in the Old Quarter

9. Hanoi’s Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake

Nestled beside the Red River, Vietnam’s enchanting ancient capital, Hanoi, is jam-packed with wonderful things to see. Key attractions and centuries-old legacies are clustered in clearly defined historic districts, with the most popular being the evocative Old Quarter, a compact, a square kilometer of ancient merchant quarters, dating back more than 500 years – something not to miss on your vacation in Vietnam.

Since the 15th century, each street specialized in specific craft merchandise of which it was named after; even today, some of these charming streets still specialize in that original product or the modern equivalent, from tombstones to silk.

Take a stroll or cyclo ride through this endearingly chaotic quarter, a fascinating glance at Hanoi’s daily life played out on the streets and soak up key sights that include merchant ‘tube houses’ and 11th century White Horse Temple. Be sure to stop-off at one of the gorgeous artsy cafés and street food eateries.

Just south is Hoan Kiem Lake, an unexpected oasis of tranquility and beauty at the heart – literally – of Hanoi, awarded ‘Special National Relic’ status. Translating as ‘Lake of the Restored Sword,’ legend-strewn Hoan Kiem is hugely popular with locals and tourists at any time. However, come at sunrise, when Hanoians flock here to exercise on the lake’s shaded shores and on weekend evenings when the surrounding streets morph as a vibrant pedestrianized zone with open-air entertainment.

Colorful water puppets

Hanoi is the best place to watch the performance

10. Vietnamese Water Puppets

You don’t have to be a child to enjoy Vietnam’s enchanting water puppetry; deep insight into traditional folklore and a surprisingly quirky, cultural experience. Traditional water puppetry originated in the North’s Red River Delta, where for centuries, farmers practiced this recreational art form in flooded paddies. Handed down the generations, this unique puppetry nearly died out but has seen a huge revival, recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage and performed in theatres in major cities and award-winning international tours.

Hidden behind a bamboo screen, puppeteers manipulate lacquered wooden puppets using rods while wading in waist-deep water, which act out traditional stories based on ancient folk tales and rural village life on an ever-changing, watery stage, The hour-long shows of short vignettes are accompanied by live traditional music and while all in Vietnamese, the comical, delightful puppetry and music keeps the audience enthralled. In Hanoi, book your tickets at the world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theater and in Ho Chi Minh City, at The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theater or Museum of Vietnamese History.

While Rainforest Cruises aim to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information herein or found by following any link on this site. Rainforest Cruises cannot and will not accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies, or for any consequences arising therefrom, including any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the display or use of this information.

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Discover Hidden Gems: Vietnam's 10 Off-The-Beaten-Track Tourist Attractions

V ietnam is one of the most underrated destinations in Southeast Asia, yet it's a beautiful country with rich culture and incredible history. From the ancient capital of Hanoi to the stunning beaches of Da Nang, there's no shortage of amazing places to visit in Vietnam. However, there are various off-the-beaten-track tourist attractions and hidden gems in Vietnam waiting to be explored.

From mysterious caves and parks to abandoned temples and floating markets, it's time to list some of the best off-the-beaten-track attractions in Vietnam, making for an unforgettable experience for those seeking places and activities away from the masses of tourists. These spots and their adventures are proof that Vietnam is among the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia to visit.

Related: 10 Places In Vietnam To Visit Now

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Located near the border with Laos in Vietnam and spanning over 800 square kilometers, visiting Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is bucket list-worthy yet happens to be among the less touristy things to do in Vietnam.

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its spectacular limestone karst formations, underground rivers, and some of the largest cave systems in the world, with over 300 caves and grottoes, including the namesake Phong Nha and Ke Bang caves.

Besides the caves, the park has diverse flora and fauna, including many rare and endangered species. Visitors can explore the natural wonders scattered around the park and indulge in various recreational activities such as trekking, kayaking, and cycling.

  • Best Time to Visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: March to August (the dry season)

Con Dao Islands

Located off the southern coast of Vietnam, in the East Sea, Con Dao Islands is a group of 16 famed for its pristine coastal landscapes. The islands offer incredible deserted beaches surrounded by lush greenery, including the most popular Dam Trau Beach, Dat Doc Beach, and An Hai Beach.

However, the islands' main attraction is the Con Dao National Park, featuring a diverse range of animal and plant species and various outdoor activities such as trekking, bird watching, and snorkeling in the park.

  • Best Time to Visit The Con Dao Islands: October to February (for the dry season) or March to June (for the calmest ocean conditions)

Situated in the Cat Ba Archipelago, covering an area of 7000 hectares, Lan Ha Bay is among the best hidden gems in Vietnam; it's a stunningly beautiful bay, a relatively undiscovered spot, featuring crystal-clear waters and pristine sandy beaches.

The bay is surrounded by high mountains on three sides, offering visitors a wide range of activities such as kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and exploring the many caves and grottoes scattered throughout the bay. Visitors can also take a boat trip around the bay to explore the incredible marine life and beautiful coral reefs.

  • Best Time to Visit Lan Ha Bay: March and June or October and November (for the best weather)

Related: Dos And Don'ts When Traveling To Vietnam

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

Nestled in the northernmost province of Vietnam, Ha Giang, covering an area of about 2,350 square kilometers, Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark is one of the lesser-known places in Vietnam. It's also a UNESCO Global Geopark established in 2010.

Located 1,000 to 1,600 meters above sea level, the park features a rugged mountainous area characterized by steep limestone peaks, deep valleys, karst formations, caves, sinkholes, and winding rivers.

Although it's one of the lesser-known spots in Vietnam, the area does feature a wide range of activities, such as trekking, hiking, cycling, and sightseeing, offering visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty and geological wonders of the country.

  • Best Time to Visit Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark: September to November (for drier weather) or October to November (to see blooming buckwheat flowers)

Turtle Tower

Located on a small island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Turtle Tower is a small historical structure dating back to the 15th century and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hanoi. The structure of the tower consists of a three-story building made of brick and stone, with a curved roof and decorative details on the walls.

Visitors can soak in the beautiful view of the tower and surrounding landscape from the shore but cannot access the structure in the center of the lake.

  • Best Time to Visit Hoan Kiem Lake In Hanoi: October to November (for pleasant, cooler weather ideal for walking)

Pongour Waterfall

Located in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, about 50 kilometers south of Da Lat City (which offers plenty to do) , Pongour Waterfall is among the most beautiful natural wonders in Vietnam, known for its dramatic beauty and serene surrounding valley covered in forests.

Pongour is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam, as it cascades down a series of rock tiers, creating a stunning natural spectacle. Visitors to the waterfall can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking and swimming. Picnic areas and campsites are also available for visitors to soak in the beauty of the incredible natural landscape.

  • Best Time to Visit Pongour Waterfall: December to Early March (for the dry season) or the 15th of the Lunar first month (typically February in the Gregorian calendar) for the waterfall's K'Ho festival

Related: 10 Best Ways To Explore Halong Bay, Vietnam

Huyen Khong Son Thuong Pagoda

Huyen Khong Son Thuong Pagoda, also known as Huyen Khong Pagoda, is one of the off-the-beaten-path attractions in Vietnam. It's a pretty Buddhist temple located on a hillside in the Marble Mountains in Da Nang.

Built in the 17th century by a Buddhist monk Minh Dung, the temple is famous for its serene natural surroundings and unique architecture. The structure of the temple is made from stone and features a series of caves and grottoes adorned with intricate carvings and paintings, offering visitors a glimpse of Buddhist culture and mythology.

  • Hours: 24 Hours
  • Admission: Free

Cai Be Floating Market

Cai Be Floating Market is a vibrant and unique market in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. The market was originally established as a place for farmers to sell their goods but is now a lively and colorful market. While it's not exactly one of the most uncrowded places in Vietnam to visit, it's worth checking out to see the bustling local way of life in the Mekong Delta area.

The market's vendors sell a wide range of goods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and local specialties, such as coconut candy, rice paper, handicrafts, and souvenirs, from their boats. Visitors to the floating market can experience the unique culture and activities of the Mekong Delta region , with waterways as the main mode of transportation and commerce.

  • Best Time to Visit Cai Be Floating Market: 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM daily (to see the most vendors) and November to April (for the driest weather)

Muong Hoa Valley

Located northwest of Vietnam in the remote town of Sapa (home to must-do activities) of Lào Cai Province, Muong Hoa Valley is a scenic valley known for its rich cultural heritage, serene landscape, and unique trekking experiences.

The valley is home to some of the lesser-known attractions in Vietnam and is surrounded by lush forests, rice terraces, and small villages inhabited by ethnic minority groups, including the Hmong, Dao, and Tay.

The area is among the less touristy places in Vietnam, but it's treasured for its hiking opportunities. The trekking routes in the valley vary in difficulty, offering incredible views of the local villages and beautiful rice terraces scattered over the lush green mountains. The valley also has several beautiful waterfalls, including Silver Waterfall and Love Waterfall.

  • Best Time to Visit The Muong Hoa Valley: March to May (for pleasant weather, views of lush green rice terraces, and cultural activities)

Related: 8 Things Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is Famous For

Found in the northeastern province of Bac Kan, approximately 230 kilometers from Hanoi, Ba Be Lake is among the largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam. Situated in Ba Be National Park (which visitors can book a tour of) , visiting this lake is one of the off-the-beaten-path things to do in Vietnam away from the crowds.

Ba Be Lake covers an area of about 500 hectares, surrounded by karst mountains, lush forests, and small villages. Visitors to the lake can take boat tours to enjoy the stunning scenery and diverse wildlife ecosystem of the lake. Some of the highlights of the boat tour include Puong Cave, Dau Dang Waterfall, and Widow Island.

  • Best Time to Visit Ba Be Lake: August to October (for the best swimming and kayaking experience at Ba Be Lake)

Discover Hidden Gems: Vietnam's 10 Off-The-Beaten-Track Tourist Attractions


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Top 10 Things To Do In My Tho, Vietnam: A Complete Guide For Wanderers

Whether you are exploring the bustling markets, cruising along the Mekong River or indulging in local delicacies, My Tho promises a memorable journey in your Vietnam Trip Package . 

This My Tho Vietnam Travel Guide will take you through the top 10 things to do in My Tho, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

1. Mekong River Cruise


The cruise often includes stops at local villages where you can witness traditional handicrafts, sample fresh fruits and enjoy folk music performances. The Mekong River Cruise is a must do for anyone visiting My Tho in Vietnam.

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2. Vinh Trang Pagoda

The serene atmosphere and intricate designs make Vinh Trang Pagoda a spiritual and cultural highlight in My Tho Vietnam.

3. My Tho Market

You can also find unique souvenirs, handicrafts and delicious street food here. A visit to My Tho Market offers a genuine taste of the Culture of My Tho.

4. Dong Tam Snake Farm

The farm also has a section with other animals like crocodiles and turtles. It’s an interesting place to learn about the wildlife of Vietnam and adds a distinctive touch to your My Tho Vietnam Travel Guide.

5. Tan Thanh Beach

You can also enjoy fresh seafood from the nearby restaurants. Tan Thanh Beach is a great spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of My Tho in Vietnam.

6. Local Fruit Orchards

This experience provides insight into the agricultural practices and local produce of My Tho.

7. Cai Be Floating Market

Visiting Cai Be Floating Market is a highlight in any My Tho Travel Guide and offers a glimpse into the vibrant commercial life of the Mekong Delta.

8. Thoi Son Island

Thoi Son Island is one of the must visit Places to Visit in My Tho for its natural beauty and cultural experiences.

9. Chùa Buu Lam (Buu Lam Pagoda)

10. night market.

Shopping in My Tho’s night market is a great way to end your day and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

Best Time to Visit My Tho

How to reach my tho.

Buses are available from Mien Tay Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh City offering a convenient and affordable way to travel.

Places to Stay in My Tho

These hotels offer comfortable stays with amenities like Wi-Fi, restaurants and scenic views of the Mekong River.

What to Eat in My Tho

Street food stalls and local restaurants serve delicious meals that reflect the rich culinary heritage of the Mekong Delta.

Tips of visit in My Tho

  • Plan your visit during the dry season to enjoy pleasant weather and avoid heavy rains.
  • Carry cash , as many local markets and small shops may not accept credit cards.
  • Respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Try local fruits and street food for an authentic taste of My Tho’s cuisine.
  • Hire a local guide for a more informative and enriching experience, especially when exploring cultural sites and the Mekong Delta.

History of My Tho

The city played a significant role during the French colonial period and the Vietnam War. Today, My Tho is a vibrant city that blends historical heritage with modern development.

In conclusion, My Tho is a captivating destination that offers a rich blend of history, culture and natural beauty. From cruising the Mekong River to exploring ancient pagodas, there are countless Things to do in My Tho that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover or a foodie, My Tho in Vietnam has something for everyone. 

Follow this My Tho Vietnam Travel Guide to make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories in this charming city.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q: what makes my tho a must-visit destination in vietnam, q: what are the top attractions to explore in my tho, q: how do i get to my tho from ho chi minh city, q: what are the best times to visit my tho.

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