discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
Vietnam is a pleasant as well as a peaceful country around the Southern East of Asia. Vietnam, one of the most unique countries in South-East Asia, is a promising destination for those looking for a perfect mix of culture and heritage. With an extended coastline line from the North to the Southeast along with high foothills as well as highlands, Vietnam offers both beaches as well as mountain scenery.

Vietnam is among the many densely-populated nations on earth. The Vietnamese New Year is by far the biggest celebration in Vietnam. In Giao Thua, midnight of New Year's Eve, the whole family meets at the table, lights incense for the ancestors. Every year, millions of people fly, drive and float to their hometown to spend quality time with their friends and their families.

The meals are great, the songs are noisy and everyone is in a good mood. The Tet in Vietnam coincides with the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls around the end of January or the beginning of February. A week before the arrival of the Tet, the families rejoin and together prepare the traditional food in Vietnam like the typical dessert of the party called Banh Chung, a typical cake with rice attached, boiled soy and pork.

In addition, another important moment, typical of the Tet are the Lucky money or Li Xi sachets, which are a gift for people close by and for children. They are strictly red and yellow, the colors of luck and prosperity, and contain new banknotes.

With many islands of Southeast Asia, you will find fantastic vacation spots you could wish to visit while traveling Vietnam.

Best Tourist Destinations In Vietnam

Take a look at a few of the many tourist destinations and things to do in Vietnam which provide exceptional types of encounters which you will not find anywhere else in your life. Here are the best places to visit in Vietnam.

1. Sa Pa

Visit Sapa (northern region) where you can meet with tribal people, enjoy mountainous fairs and festivals, and hike easily. Nestled in the North West of Vietnam, Sapa Valley was once a road less traveled. It is home to some of the lushest trek routes, scenic views of the local villages, and home to the tallest mountain in Vietnam: Fan Si Pan. It is also well known in the travel world for responsible and sustainable tourism practices!

Close to the China border, it is a quaint but beautiful space. Take a walk around this lovely town, enjoy some street food, unwind in a spa, ride across the countryside in a luxury train. Take a road trip to Sapa but in a comfortable limo van that will take you gliding from the capital to the valley. April is perfect timing because the mountains will be in bloom with white pear flowers and peach blossoms.

Once a French hill station, now a gorgeous valley, home to multiple ethnic tribes of Vietnam, Sapa Valley is one of the most underrated and overlooked spots of South East Asia. Undulating hills of green, terrace farms with paddy fields, and the rolling fog parting around the tallest peak of the country - Fan Si Pan - are what await you.

Home to the highest mountain in Vietnam - Fansipan, Sapa should be your next holiday destination especially if you are a mountain lover. Cat Cat Village and Ta Phin Village are also a part of this park along with the cave which are all tourist attractions. So with hiking options, the beautiful mountain, Hoang Lien National park and an opportunity to visit tribal villages - Sapa makes for the perfect travel destination.

2. Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital city, is quite overwhelming in every sense of the word. The sights and smell while walking through its many streets and alleys is a sensory overload that will stay with you forever. Hanoi, besides being the capital and the gateway for all those who visit Vietnam, is one of the most interesting, chaotic and exuberant cities of Southeast Asia.

In this post I tell you places to see in Hanoi besides things to do in Hanoi, where to stay in Hanoi and many other tips.

Undoubtedly the best area to stay in Hanoi is north of Hoan Kiem Lake or the Old Quarter in Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most recommended places to see in Hanoi. Stay in an oasis of calm and serenity. Not only is it an epitome of comfort, but it gives a stunning view of the Old Quarters of the city! Enjoy the Old Quarters of the Vietnamese capital, take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, and enjoy a bamboo cultural show!

Check into a stay that is an enchanting mix of haute couture and hill tribe culture. It brings with it a strain of classical nostalgia from the French Indochina era. Curl up with a book, or even enjoy the spa. Get to see the highest peak in Vietnam via the world's longest cable car system, enjoy the French district in this colonial hill station, visit paddy fields, and do some brocade shopping.

Spend a night in a comfortable cabin on a luxury, overnight train - with vintage, dark wood furnishings and the mystery of the night and twinkling stars.

Of all the points of interest that the lake possesses, perhaps the most important is the Ngoc Son Temple, located on Jade Island and dedicated to the national hero Tran Hung Dao. You have to cross the Huc Bridge, a wooden construction whose red color stands out in the surroundings of the lake.

Inside the Ngoc Son Temple is one of the biggest curiosities to see in Hanoi. It is a giant turtle found and dissected in the 60s and which is believed to be more than 500 years old and may be the famous turtle of the world. Among all the things to see in Hanoi, perhaps the most surprising is to see the train pass by Train Street, close to the wall and with a Hanoi Beer in hand.

One of the most beautiful and popular places to see in Hanoi is the Temple of Literature, built in honor of Confucius. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is one of the must see places in Hanoi. You can see the Tower of the Flag of Hanoi over 33 meters high, and a palace reminiscent of Beijing's Chinese architecture. Right next to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda.

Located on the outskirts of the city, specifically between West Lake (Hồ Tây) and Truc Bach Lake, is Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the most important to see in Hanoi. Hang Buom is an area where you will find an infinity of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Hanoi. One of the most popular attractions to see in Hanoi is the water puppet show.

Perfume Pagoda, at the top of the Perfume Mountain is one of the most popular excursions to do from Hanoi. if you are planning on visiting the train Market and watch the train zip by you need a local shop owner as a chaperone. You cannot walk on tracks without a shop owner for your safety. The train comes by several times a day at high speed.

Two of the most characteristic dishes of Hanoi are the Pho, a kind of very rich noodle soup, and Banh Cuon, a mass of rice. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that the local vendors can prepare in seconds. Generally, all they need to do is put the solid ingredients in a bowl followed by hot water and other liquid ingredients, such as broth. Another of the typical dishes of Hanoi are the Bun Cha.

3. Ninh Binh

We started a new route to Ninh Binh, a town south of the capital. The surroundings of Ninh Binh hide dream landscapes. Many call it Halong Bay in land. The well-known Vietnamese bay is famous for its karstic islets jutting out from the sea, with a vegetation of such intense green that when you visit it it seems that you have strained into Jurassic Park.

The difference with Halong Bay is that here the sea gives way to the rice fields. Trang An located about 8 kilometers from Ninh Binh is a natural park declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To visit Trang An, you have to do it by boat. Tam Coc is the sister landscape of Trang An. Just do not hesitate to take a bike ride around Tam Coc.

There are beautiful landscapes between rice fields and mountains, and other places of interest, such as Bich Dong or Mua Caves, are nearby. It does not hurt either to shop around the town because it is very lively. The grace of Mua Caves is to climb the 500 steps that cross the zigzag mountain and reach their viewpoints, from which you have spectacular views.

Near the start of the climb to the Mua Cave viewpoint is a lotus pond with a wobbly bamboo bridge on top of it. Even if it is not the season for lotus to bloom, the entire experience of walking on top of a wobbly bamboo bridge over a lotus pond is very exciting, to some extent even better than the trek.

You will see the Tam Coc river and the boats that make the walk, which are tiny from the heights. Also, if you like dragonflies, you will go crazy because it is plagued! With 700 hectares, temples of Bai Dinh is the largest Buddhist complex in Vietnam. The site is so large that it is recommended to take a minibus that transports you to the lower part or symbolic entrance.

To climb up to the different temples there is a way in which 500 statues of Arhats (in Buddhism, someone who has gained a deep understanding of existence) accompany you at every step. I would recommend that you take your time and go see all the temples and pagodas that you find on the way.

The temples of Bich Dong are not as spectacular as those of Bai Dinh, but they also have something that makes them special. Its peculiarity is that this small complex is formed by 3 temples, which are located in natural caves of the mountain. Very close to Trang An and Bai Dinh is Hoa Lu, which was the former imperial capital of Vietnam in the 10th century.

Nestled between the mountains of the Pu Luong nature reserve in Vietnam, Kho Muong village charms the visitors with a wild landscape and well-preserved cultural traditions.

From Ninh Binh you will easily find transportation to the busiest places, such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Cat Ba, Sa Pa or Hoi An.

4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Sanctuary offers much scenery. However, nothing is indeed well-liked as the caves. The Phong Nha Caves consist of many cave systems, lots of which are massive enough to contain whole town blocks. The greatest, as well as most remarkable, is Hang Son Doong. Access to the caves is Son Trach, an ample township which is the center of many transportation links all over Vietnam, local dining places as well as conference places for directed trips to the caves.

5. Hue

The world is full of unknown places, lost corners to discover, wild scenes that have never before known the human presence. It seems surreal that there are still places around the globe, virgins, that do not know what that is about the human footprint. Humans believe that we have control over all things, but, luckily, the planet is still a little more powerful than we are.

Also, there are abandoned places, where man has left his trail without any purpose. It seems that we enjoy the idea of ​​transforming things to our liking, as if only the evolution of the planet depended on us. We are not alone in this world. We are not the owners of anything.

We are known for getting tired of things quickly. Why do we build something, often we do not even finish it, and we abandon it? This is the case of the Ho Thuy Tien water park, just one of the many thousands of abandoned places that exist. In the center of Vietnam, between the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi is an abandoned water park, a rather terrifying place that has become a must-see for the most daring adventurers and travelers.

This place is practically unknown, because neither the travel agencies know that it exists, but Ho Thuy Tien is there. Its existence is transmitted from backpackers to backpackers and thanks to the photographs of the visitors. Its location does not appear in Google Maps and not even the inhabitants of the area know where it is.

It is an authentic ghost park in the middle of the wildest jungle in the area. It is located near the Thien An monastery. Among the jungle undergrowth, the visitor can discover in the center of Ho Thuy Tien a giant sculpture of a dragon from which to see the wildlife that surrounds the Park.

6. Bach Ma National Park

The 26 years old, country Local Park boost of rich floras plus faunas with 233 varieties of wild birds. It has also fifty-five varieties of mammals, more so it has over five hundred plant varieties. The Bach Ma National Park covers 22, 031 hectares; the sanctuary is among the biodiversity sites of Indochina. Guests have been touring locate since the 1930's. This Park offers you the best Vietnam Travel experience. A visit to the park comes with lots of benefits to say the list.

7. Da Nang

Many travelers eliminate Danang from their travel list or simply use it as a stopover to get from Hue or Hoi An. Is it worth visiting Danang? The answer is yes. Here are my reasons and what you need to know to visit one of the most unknown places in Vietnam. There are five marble mountains, as the name says, hiding caves, temples and Buddhas. They are inside the city of Danang.

Bảo tàng Đồng Đình is a museum that goes unnoticed but that is worth visiting. It shows the evolution of the homes of the inhabitants of Da Nang.

There are 5 different types of houses surrounded by a magnificent garden. It is on the way to the famous sculpture of Lady Buddha. Da Nang Museum is a very interesting museum to know the history of the Cham ethnic group, majority in this Vietnamese region. You can see traditional costumes and ancient sculptures.

Ba Na Hills is a complex that combines Buddhist temples, a replica of a French village, pagodas and themed gardens. And, if that were not enough, all this is reached by traveling on the longest cable car in the world. The river walk in which the Dragon Bridge reigns is ideal for walking or working for a while in one of its cafeterias.

Hai Van Pass is just around where you can enjoy stunning views over the city and have an unforgettable driving experience. Also, Son Tra peninsula is just around with numerous hidden beaches, breathtaking views from various places, a lot of hiking trails and just amazing driving experience.

Also, Quang Nam province is just next to Da Nang and the nature there is simply amazing! It’s very convenient to just jump on the bike and drive one of many loops around Quang Nam.

8. Hoi An

Over 1,600 years back, the Cham folks from Vietnam started building on several Hindu shrines around the township of Duy Phu. Under the shadow of Cat's Tooth Mountain, which is enclosed by an eco-friendly valley, many of these historic temples still endure. Well-known jointly as My Son, lots of the historic temples are, yet that naturally enhances the ambiance.

Touring My Son is a lot like walking way back in time, thanks to the out-of-the-way location with insufficient touristy system. Cau Lau is a typical dish of the city of Hoi An made with noodles, pork and vegetables. Apparently they cook it with water from a well of Cham, whose location is completely secret somewhere on the outskirts of the coquette Hoi An.

In all the restaurants of Hoi An they include it in the menu and they will say that it is the best Cau Lau of all! White Rose are a specialty of Hoi An. In almost all restaurants in Hoi An you will see them announced. It would be sacrilege to talk about Vietnam, without mentioning it’s culinary delicacies. You won’t find better street food at lower prices elsewhere. Vietnamese food is cheap, healthy, diverse, and of course, tasty.

Local vendors generally price food at around 1–5 dollars in Vietnam. This depends if you’re in a metropolitan area or in the countryside. Vietnamese cuisine is heavily influenced by France during the colonial period. This means that westerners can easily adjust to trying Vietnamese food because there are aspects that they are already used to such as bread (Bánh mì), chocolate (Sô-cô-la) and coffee (Cà phê) and chances are you can enjoy something similar in Vietnam.

Vietnam has one of the best street food in the world and nothing is better than a well-made Banh Mi, it is in fact a work of art. Banh Mi is a typical Vietnamese food cataloged at the top of the best cheap restaurants in each city. Banh mi is a type of sandwich on a baguette, and it doesn’t take long for locals to cut a baguette and put the good stuff inside.

You can try traditional dishes, such as typical Hanoi spring rolls or a delicious Vietnamese mango salad. Vietnamese like to eat green mangoes as a snack, soak in chili salt and chop into a hearty mango salad (goi xoai). The classic fried rice that is in any Asian country, is also eaten in Vietnam at any Vietnamese restaurant. And special mention deserves the Bia Hoi, which is said to be the cheapest beer in the world.

9. Dalat

Bao Loc, in the heart of a fertile region, is known above all for its silk factories, although what attracts tourists are the Dambri waterfalls. The torrent rises from a bamboo forest to fall 60 meters below with a deafening clatter. An elevator (for a fee) allows you to get off without any effort, although the truth is a bit of a sight to the landscape.

10. Cat Tien National Park

The Cat Tien National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Here, in the tropical forests of southern Vietnam live some of the most threatened species in the world. Apart from the great variety of unique and endemic species, Cat Tien is perhaps most famous for its Java rhino herd, which for 40 years was thought to have become extinct.

11. Ho Chi Minh City

For many years it was the main port of Cambodia before the region was annexed to Vietnam. Saigon was the old name of the capital of South Vietnam. But after the war in Vietnam and the triumph of the north (communism), Vietnam reunified, Hanoi became the capital and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh, in honor of the communist leader. It mixes European designs with Asian culture.

There are many road vendors and late night meals stalls that smell quite great. The food is perfect, which infuses the same perfect mix. The coffee, is mind blowing.

Ben Thanh Street Food Market is a food court with a delicious, inexpensive and infinite offer of Asian food.
Precisely the Backpacker Quarter is another place you should visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Here the offer of accommodation, restaurants and entertainment and services is inexhaustible. Beer is cheap, t-shirts are nice and photocopied travel guides are on offer.

Bitexco Tower, at 260 meters is the highest in Ho Chi Minh City. Although by day they attract a lot of attention, at night it is truly spectacular. The city at night is just as chaotic as at 8 in the morning, but it has a certain touch of elegance that is almost invisible during the day. It is impossible to understand this city without the Saigon River, the absolute protagonist of Ho Chi Minh's daily life.

Mekong Delta tour is a couple of hours by bus from HCMC and offers you a understanding of daily lives of river people. Go to the floating market, observe men and women create neighborhood meals (like coconut candy, vermicelli, rice-paper).

The passport must have a minimum validity of six months. In the case of having planned more than one entry within that period or a stay of more than 15 days, a visa must be obtained.

If you travel more than 15 days to Vietnam you need a visa. And to get it you have to request an invitation letter, fill out an infinite document at the airport, hand in a passport photo and pay 25 dollars. At least the airport of Ho Chi Minh do not accept credit card. AirBnb is a great option to sleep cheaply and meet local people.

Interesting Reads: Best Beaches in Vietnam
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Why Girls Are Weird said...

These all sound really great. I've never thought about visiting Vietnam before but these all sound like great places.

Alexandra Cook said...

I have never been to Vietnam and I can say that this is a perfect destination getaway for my whole family. I will def add this to my bucket list, thanks for your guidelines.

Preet said...

I never really thought about going to Vietnam before, it looks beautiful though. May need to add it to my want to do list.

Italian Trip Abroad said...

Vietnam is in my bucket list, the beaches , sun, drinks and crystal water. You are making me want to book a flight straight away!

Taryn said...

Love Vietnam! This is a great list of places to visit. I need to return to see some of them.

Melissa said...

Sounds like there are a lot of great places to see! I have heard it is beautiful there!

Maureen said...

Wow! Vietnam looks so breathtaking, and it sounds like a tourist wonderland. I'd love to visit some of the places you mentioned.

Christa said...

What a beautiful country! I can’t wait to check this one off my bucket list.

Joanna said...

I have been to quite a few of these places during my last trip to Vietnam. The Phong Nha caves were amazing, I would really love to go back and explore some more.

Bindu Thomas said...

These are all great and I'll definitely visit here someday. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

SincerelyMissJ said...

I have never been to Vietnam but your list is making me consider visiting one day.

Rimi Chy said...

Vietnam is just awesome.

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