• Watery tourist destination in north-east Vietnam

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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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8 Top Places to Visit in Northern Vietnam - International Living

vietnam watery tourist destination

Vietnam is one of the most scenic countries I have ever explored. No matter where I go, I’ll find something beautiful, odd, or just different than anything I’ve ever seen before.

More than a thousand miles of coastline to the east and rugged mountains to the west provide endless opportunities for photographers and nature lovers, while brilliant green rice paddies stretch throughout the coastal plains, the Red River Delta, and the Mekong Delta regions.

I don’t think you can go wrong visiting any part of Vietnam , but you’ll find the most spectacular sights in the northern part of the country, and Hanoi makes a great base to explore this region’s many wonders. Here are a few of my favorite “must-see” places:

1. Halong Bay

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay is the most visited destination in all of Vietnam. Hundreds of tiny islands—many of them inhabited only by monkeys—feature dozens of caves and innumerable deserted beaches. Magnificent limestone towers rise above the waters of the bay like brooding primeval sentinels. Halong Bay stretches out along the Tonkin Gulf, just a three-and-a-half-hour drive north of Hanoi. For an unforgettable experience, I recommend taking a one- or two-night cruise. Bring extra batteries for your camera; the scenery is stunning.

2. Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay is Halong Bay’s northern counterpart, and it’s just as spectacular—maybe even a little more so—than its more famous sister to the south. Since it lacks the UNESCO designation, it isn’t nearly as visited as Halong Bay. The hundreds of tiny, uninhabited islands and limestone towers are just as magical, and there are far fewer people and cruise ships to mar the scenery. I’ve been to both bays and prefer Bai Tu Long for this reason.

The old French hill station of Sapa has been delighting visitors for more than a century. The town is surrounded by the craggy “Vietnamese Alps,” including 10,312-foot Mount Fansipan, the highest mountain in the country. The slopes of the mountains around Sapa are famous for their terraced rice paddies, tended to by colorfully dressed ethnic minority people who look as though they are straight out of a National Geographic magazine.

Guides offer trekking to some of the remote minority villages, but you’ll see plenty of Hmong and Dao people at the markets in town, too. A recently opened gondola runs from Sapa to Mount Fansipan, stopping just a few hundred feet shy of the summit. The mountain that used to be conquered only by the few fit and hardy climbers who could manage the long, arduous trek is now accessible to people of all fitness levels.

4. The Dong Van Plateau

The Dong Van Plateau starts just north of the city of Ha Giang, about a six-hour drive from Hanoi. It is a spectacular part of the remote, mountainous region of Vietnam’s far northeast. Spectacular terraced rice paddies climb to the summits of the surrounding mountains, extending beyond the horizon. Further exploration uncovers more gems: Southeast Asia’s deepest canyon, 22 ethnic minority tribes, pristine lakes, pine forests, stone forests, caves bristling with undisturbed formations, and incredible waterfalls are just a few of the many treats that await the intrepid explorer.

5. Ninh Binh

Several tranquil rivers meander near the city of Ninh Binh, just 58 miles south of Hanoi. Take a ride on an aluminum rowboat paddled by local village women and marvel at the rugged karst terrain, mountain goats, and lush foliage as you glide along peaceful river waterways through a series of dark grottoes.

You can easily visit Ninh Binh as a day trip from Hanoi, though if you want to stay longer, check out Cuc Phuong National Park—Vietnam’s oldest national park—and visit one of the Southeast Asia’s largest virgin rainforests, complete with easily-accessed primitive caves, thousands of butterflies, and internationally respected primate and pangolin rescue centers.

6. Mai Chau

Mai Chau is the first town along Vietnam’s gorgeous Northwest Loop. You can stay in an ethnic Thai stilt house and explore caves and waterfalls in the rich, hilly terrain where rice is cultivated by the minority people. Mai Chau can be visited as a day trip from Hanoi, or it can be combined into a longer journey with the more remote towns of Moc Chau, Son La, and Dien Bien Phu, returning through Sapa and back to Hanoi for a five- to seven-day adventure.

7. The Perfume Pagoda

The Perfume Pagoda is a temple complex just a couple of hours from Hanoi. No roads lead to the complex; instead, small rowboats take visitors past several Buddhist temples—all active places of worship—until they arrive at the base of the main complex. Hundreds of steps lead up to the Perfume Pagoda, though it’s an arduous climb. Fortunately, a gondola is available to ferry passengers to the temple complex and back in just a few minutes. The cave housing the main temple is a large one, with high ceilings and huge formations. It’s a popular pilgrimage site for pregnant Vietnamese mothers, who come here to pray for a healthy baby and many local people here in the north try to visit it at least once a year to pray for health and good fortune.

Be sure to allow a minimum of two or three days to explore the city of Hanoi , as well. Beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake is the living cultural, historical, and spiritual heart of Hanoi and it’s a “must see” place to visit. The ancient Old Quarter is a wonderful place to wander, with its maze of small streets and jumble of shops. Historically, each block specialized in selling a certain item—tin, bamboo, herbs, cloth, pottery—the street names still reflect this heritage. Buy a $0.40 glass of freshly brewed beer at one of the many open-air bia hoi’s and listen to the rowdy toasts, conversations and laughter from the regulars who come here to discuss everything from sports to major business deals. Sip coffee at a streetside café and watch the endless procession of street vendors. It’s a unique way to immerse yourself in Vietnamese daily life.

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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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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Dong Ba Market

Visiting the Dong Ba Market in Hue, Vietnam

Reader interactions.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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March 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

The market in Can Cau is fabulous.

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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 ??

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November 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

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

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September 19, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I really liked Da Nang.

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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!

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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.

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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

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November 7, 2014 at 4:11 am

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

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The northern coast Travel Guide

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Although largely devoid of beaches, Vietnam’s northern coast boasts one of the country’s foremost attractions, and one of the most vaunted spots in all of Southeast Asia – the mystical scenery of Ha Long Bay , where jagged emerald islands jut out of the sea in their thousands.

Best places to visit on the North Coast of Vietnam

Top cultural attractions in north coast vietnam, best hotels in north coast vietnam, phong nha-ke bang national park, cuc phuong national park, cat ba island, ha long city, bai tu long bay.

Heading in by boat, you approach wave after wave of hidden bays, needle-sharp ridges and cliffs of ribbed limestone. The waters here are patrolled by squadrons of attractive, old-fashioned tourist junks, on which you’ll be able to spend a night at sea; wonderful Cat Ba island is another great place to stay. You’ll find similar karst scenery inland around the small city of Ninh Binh, while other notable sights in the area are the colonial buildings of Hai Phong and the caves around Dong Hoi.

Travel ideas for Vietnam, created by local experts

Vietnam Culinary Discovery

Vietnam Culinary Discovery

Vietnamese cuisine can be divided into three categories, each pertaining to a specific region, namely the North, Centre and South. You will visit all of these on this culinary tour of Vietnam. Awaken all of your senses to the wonderful sights, sounds and aromas of this fascinating country.

Very Vietnam

Very Vietnam

Vietnam is full of surprises, seamlessly mixing both ancient and modern. See rice paddies, traditional villages, markets, temples and pagodas. Discover romantic cities, cruise around mystical Halong Bay, laze on pristine beaches and get out and about in exuberant Ho Chi Minh City.

Cultural Saigon

Cultural Saigon

Southern Vietnam is home to modern Ho Chi Minh City, a vibrant southern capital full of historic attraction and old Saigonese charm. Soak up some café culture, enjoy authentic street food, and get a taste of the city’s thriving markets.

Southern Vietnam Explored

Southern Vietnam Explored

Discover the charms of Southern Vietnam. From the excitement of Ho Chi Minh City to the sleepy scenic canals of the Mekong Delta with its traditional villages and floating markets, Vietnam’s deep south is one of the most appealing parts of the country.

Vietnam Culinary Experience

Vietnam Culinary Experience

Embark on a Vietnamese culinary adventure, taking cooking classes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Get cultural in the imperial city of Hue with a visit to some royal tombs, cruise around stunning Halong Bay a final stay in nostalgic Hanoi before your return home.

Ancient Meets Modern

Ancient Meets Modern

A trip to Vietnam offers a unique adventure. From ancient Hanoi to imperial, romantic Hue, coastal Hoi An with its atmospheric ruins to burgeoning Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is known today, Vietnam is both an exciting and a rewarding destination.

Heading north from the DMZ, the first stretch is hemmed in by the jagged Truong Son Mountains, which separate Vietnam from Laos. Here, Vietnam shrinks to a mere 50km wide and is edged with sand dunes up to 80m high, marching inland at a rate of 10m per year despite efforts to stabilize them with screw-pine and cactus. The first place of note on this stretch is Dong Hoi, which has a decent beach and a quietly engaging feel. Inland from here is Phong Nha with its spectacular caves, which include Phong Nha Cave itself, Paradise Cave and Son Doong Cave, which at over 5km long, is the largest in the world.

The area north of Dong Hoi is one of the poorest in Vietnam, and is little developed for tourism; however, the mountains brushing the Laos border are home to a number of unique animal species, including the elusive saola ox and the more numerous giant muntjac deer. Intrepid travellers with their own transport are beginning to venture inland, but the vast majority of tourists leapfrog this long coastal stretch, with maybe a stopover in workaday Vinh. The town has little to offer, but you could track down Ho Chi Minh’s birthplace in the nearby village of Kim Lien.

Back on the well-trodden trail is Ninh Binh, just an hour’s drive from Hanoi. Ninh Binh is a rather unattractive city, but such is the wealth of nearby sights that visitors tend to stay for at least a couple of days; said attractions include more karst scenery, underground rivers that can be paddled through by boat, an ancient capital city and Vietnam’s largest temple complex.

Despite the proximity of Hanoi, it’s quite possible to bypass the capital and head straight for Ha Long Bay, via the buzzing city of Haiphong – more appealing than most northern cities thanks to great colonial-era architecture and a young, friendly populace.

Then, of course, there’s Ha Long Bay itself. A doyen of local tourist literature, you’ll most likely have seen dozens of images of this unbelievably scenic place long before your arrival – happily, it really is that pretty, though the weather doesn’t always reveal it in its best light. Tourism is taking its toll too, and pollution is becoming a major issue, so an increasing number of visitors are heading further afield to Bai Tu Long Bay. Many overnight aboard a traditional wooden junk; their tea-coloured sails are just for show since almost all vessels are motor-driven, but there’s a timeless, romantic air to floating among pristine moonlit peaks. By far the largest island in the bay, Cat Ba makes an appealing base for exploring the area with some fine scenery as well as being home to Cat Ba National Park, a forest and maritime reserve that requires the usual mix of luck and dedication to see anything larger than a mosquito.

Six of the best things to see and do from our North Coast Vietnam Travel Guide.

Visit one or more of Phong Nha’s mind-blowing caves, which include the world’s biggest.

A fantasy landscape of limestone crags provides the backdrop for a leisurely cycle ride through Ninh Binh’s prolific rice lands.

Marvel at the massive stones used to build this seven-hundred-year-old citadel in the middle of nowhere.

  • Haiphong’s colonial architecture Hectic Haiphong features a number of striking colonial-era buildings, which give hints as to this port city’s importance under French rule.

With its nice beaches, lush interior and easy access to some of Ha Long Bay’s most beguiling scenery, this is a great spot to spend a few days.

Passing through the maze of limestone pinnacles punctuating the turquoise waters is an unmissable experience.

New boutique riverfront hotel run by a husband-and-wife team who care about the little details. Rooms are simple but immaculate, and some have balconies and a river view. The downstairs lounge bar is a great place to eat.

Luxurious five-star on My Canh beach. It’s easily Dong Hoi’s top hotel, and worth popping into even if you’re not staying – for a small fee non-guests can use the tennis courts, pool and other facilities. Rooms are often discounted, though still rather pricey.

Superb hotel run by affable Aussie Ben and his Vietnamese wife Bich. The setting is gloriously rural and highly picturesque, and though rooms are simple, there’s an on-site swimming pool and chill-out area that hosts cinema nights. In addition, the kitchen serves up delectable, and fairly priced meals – a good thing, as there are no restaurants for miles around. There’s daily transportation to both Dong Hoi and Hue, bicycles for rent, and a whole raft of activities to keep you busy.

Owner Xuan and his family provide the friendliest welcome in Ninh Binh. They have two hotels, situated almost side by side just off the main drag; relatively quiet by Ninh Binh standards, they overlook a lake. The rooms are spotless, modern and well equipped, and some have views of the mountains to the west. The owners are particularly knowledgeable about the area, run excellent day-tours of the surrounding sights, and organize trips to Pu Luong Nature Reserve.

If you want to feel the sand between your toes, head for this low-rise resort hotel, situated right on Cat Co 3 beach. The burgundy-trimmed rooms all have sea-view balconies; best value are the deluxe rooms, whose “Extra King Size” beds are colossal. Hotel facilities include an excellent restaurant, bar, pool and sauna.

Almost entirely flattened in the American War’s bombing raids, Dong Hoi has risen from its ashes to become a prosperous, orderly provincial capital of over sixty thousand people. Tourists who pass by here usually use the town as a base for Phong Nha Cave, a hugely attractive system of caverns 30km away, and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As such, the town itself gets very few visitors and, while there is precious little to see here, the relative lack of tourists makes it a nice step off the beaten track.

The Nhat Le River oozes through town just before hitting the sea, with the bulk of Dong Hoi clustered around its west bank. Here you’ll find remnants of a Nguyen dynasty citadel – the only notable part is its pretty south gate, which has been restored and now functions as the city’s focal point; it’s actually located away from the main body of the complex. There’s a lively riverside market east of the gate and an area of covered stalls where in summer vendors sell ice-cold glasses of sweet-bean chè. Just to the north of the citadel are more ruins, this time of a church destroyed during the American War; only the bell tower is now standing, with a couple of small trees maintaining a lonely vigil on top.

Crossing the Nhat Le, you’ll find yourself on a small spit of land, named My Canh. This is also the name of the small beach rifling down the eastern edge of the isthmus. As with sandy stretches up and down the land, it’s being developed as a resort area.

There are plenty of opportunities to visit caves in Vietnam – especially around Ha Long Bay – but for sheer scale nothing can compare with those at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Designated a World Heritage Site in 2003, Phong Nha’s 885 square kilometres of jungle is littered with caves and underground rivers; every year more are being discovered, surveyed and opened to the public. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about the landscape: the park also offers opportunities for kayaking, ziplining, swimming and biking, plus it has an interesting war history and the rugged terrain provides an ideal habitat for many animals. Phong Nha is home to over one hundred species of mammal, including bears, elephants and muntjacs, as well as over eighty species of reptiles and amphibians, three hundred birds and seventy types of fish.

Located on Highway 20, which leads into the national park, little Phong Nha town (also known as Son Trach) has seen big changes recently, with a visitors’ centre, several recently opened hotels and hostels as well as foreigner-friendly eateries to cater for the growing numbers of visitors, mostly backpackers, who are eager for adventure. Increasing numbers of travellers are spending a few days here, but keep in mind that flooding frequently occurs in October and November, when most caves become inaccessible; the best months to visit are from March to May.

The world’s largest cave

Rarely can the word “cavernous” have been used with such justification. In 2009, a group of British cavers attempted the first-ever detailed survey of the Son Doong (Mountain River) Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, finally giving up 4.5km in; they returned a year later to charter the final 2km. Their records and photographs revealed chambers large enough to swallow up whole city blocks – the largest is over 250m high, and 150m wide – plus 70m-long stalactites, gigantic shards of crystal and grapefruit-sized calcite pearls.

Phong Nha Cave

The only way to Phong Nha Cave is by boat. These seat up to fourteen people, and though it’s theoretically possible to join other groups, you’ll likely be told to charter one of your own. The boats wend their way 5km (30min) upstream to the cave entrance, after which the pilot cuts the engine and starts to paddle through. You’ll drift awhile between rippling walls of limestone, and see immense stalactites and stalagmites, all lit by multicoloured spotlights. The boat eventually draws into a small subterranean beach, from which you follow an easy, 500m-long trail around the cave (flip-flops will be fine) – note that visitors must stick to the path to avoid any risk of rock damage. Your driver will be waiting for you at the end of the path.

Tien Son Cave

You can follow up your visit to Phong Nha by taking a steep, 330-step climb up to Tien Son Cave. From here you’ll have a grand view of the valley, while inside there are Cham inscriptions dating as far back as the ninth century. Unfortunately, their magnificence is diluted somewhat by lurid lighting, presumably placed here to make for a more visually vivid experience – unless you’re a true cave fanatic, you’ll likely be happy with visiting Phong Nha alone.

Thien Duong Cave

Before the discovery of Son Doong, Thien Duong, or "Paradise Cave", held a brief period in the limelight as the longest cavern in Vietnam. Under the same management as the Sun Spa Resort in Dong Hoi, the first kilometre or so has now been fully opened up to tourism – a truly baffling staff-to-visitors ratio shows that there are high hopes of making this one of Vietnam’s major drawcards. This partially explains the high ticket price, though this also affords you a golf-buggy ride to the trailhead, and a (largely unnecessary) guide for the cave itself. It’s a sweaty climb up, but the jaw-dropping beauty of the cavern makes such exertion worthwhile – there’s nothing in particular to see, but it’s simply a joy to be walking in a cavern of such unworldly size – in places, over 100m in both height and width.

Nuoc Mooc Eco-trail

Sprawling along picturesque riverside territory and lassoed together with bamboo bridges, this 1km-long eco-trail shows the reassuring direction in which local tourism is heading. You’re highly unlikely to see any animals, but there are a couple of opportunities to swim – the entry price will see your bags taken care of, though you’ll have to pay extra for drinks.

If you want to see whole swathes of bleak, Soviet-style architecture, you could do worse than heading to Vinh. Although a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese tourists – Ho Chi Minh was born in the nearby village of Kim Lien – it receives very few foreign guests, most of whom use the city as a stop on the long journey between Hué and Hanoi, or a jumping-off point for the Lao border. Still, the place has its merits – plenty of cheap accommodation around the train and bus stations, and the chance to discover a real Vietnamese city, almost entirely unaffected by international tourism.

Brief history of Vinh

Vinh fared particularly badly in the twentieth century. As an industrial port-city dominating major land routes, whose population was known for rebellious tendencies, the town became a natural target during both French and American wars. In the 1950s French bombs destroyed large swathes of Vinh, after which the Viet Minh burnt down what remained rather than let it fall into enemy hands; the rebuilt town was flattened once again during the American air raids. Reconstruction proceeded slowly after 1975, mostly financed by East Germany; the decrepit hulks of barrack-like apartment blocks, totally unsuited to the Vietnamese climate, still dominate the city centre. Things are beginning to improve, however, as trade with Laos brings more money into the region.

Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890 in Hoang Tru Village, Kim Lien commune, 14km west of Vinh. The two simple houses made of bamboo wattle and palm-leaf thatch are 1959 reconstructions, now surrounded by fields of sweet potatoes. Ho’s birthplace is said to be the hut by itself on the left as you approach, while behind stands the brick-built family altar. At the age of 6 Ho moved 2km west, to what is now called Lang Sen (Lotus Village), to live with his father in very similar surroundings. The two Sen houses are also replicas, built in 1955, with nothing much to see inside, but the complex is peaceful and alive with dancing butterflies. The museum nearby illustrates Ho’s world travels with memorabilia and photos.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Ho Chi Minh Trail is a network of trails, footpaths and roadways once used as a military supply route that led from North to South Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia. The communist-led group, The Viet Cong, also known as the National Liberation Front, used the route to send weapons, ammunition and manpower to their allies in the South. The mass political organization, who fought against the USA and South Vietnam, were eventually on the winning side of the Vietnam war.

History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

At the end of its "working" life, the Ho Chi Minh Trail had grown from a rough assemblage of animal tracks and jungle paths to become a highly effective logistical network stretching from near Vinh, north of the Seventeenth Parallel, to Tay Ninh Province on the edge of the Mekong Delta. Initially it took up to six months to walk the trail from north to south, most of the time travelling at night while carrying rations of rice and salt, medicines and equipment; in four years one man, Nguyen Viet Sinh, is reputed to have carried more than fifty tonnes and covered 40,000km, equivalent to walking round the world. By 1975, however, the trail – comprising at least three main arteries plus several feeder roads leading to various battlefronts and totalling over 15,000km – was wide enough to take tanks and heavy trucks, and could be driven in just one week. It was protected by sophisticated anti-aircraft emplacements and supported by regular service stations (fuel and maintenance depots, ammunition dumps, food stores and hospitals), often located underground or in caves and all connected by field telephone. Eventually there was even an oil pipeline constructed alongside the trail to take fuel south from Vinh to a depot at Loc Ninh. All this absorbed thousands of men and women in maintenance work, as engineers, gunners and medical staff, while as many as fifty thousand Youth Volunteers repaired bridges and filled in bomb craters under cover of darkness.

The founding of the trail

The trail was conceived in early 1959 when General Giap ordered the newly created Logistical Group 559 to reconnoitre a safe route by which to direct men and equipment down the length of Vietnam in support of Communist groups in the south. Political cadres blazed the trail, followed in 1964 by the first deployment of ten thousand regular troops, and culminating in the trek south of 150,000 men in preparation for the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was a logistical feat that rivalled Dien Bien Phu in both scale and determination: this time it was sustained over fifteen years and became a symbol to the Vietnamese of both their victory and their sacrifice. For much of its southerly route the trail ran through Laos and Cambodia, sometimes on paths forged during the war against the French, sometimes along riverbeds and always through the most difficult, mountainous terrain plagued with leeches, snakes, malaria and dysentery.

On top of all this, people on the trail had to contend with almost constant bombing. By early 1965, aerial bombardment had begun in earnest, using napalm and defoliants as well as conventional bombs, to be joined later by carpet-bombing B-52s. Every day in the spring of 1965 the US Air Force flew an estimated three hundred bombing raids over the trail and in eight years dropped over two million tonnes of bombs, mostly over Laos, in an effort to cut the flow. Later they experimented with seismic and acoustic sensors to eavesdrop on troop movements and pinpoint targets, but the trail was never completely severed and supplies continued to roll south in sufficient quantities to sustain the war.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail Today

Today, parts of the Ho Chi Minh Trail have vanished beneath time, nature and tarmac but this does not stop eager tourists hoping for a taste of history amongst the green scenic jungle. The route, when followed in full, sees travellers through the isolated beauty of Cambodia and Laos. With increasing popularity, the trail has provided big business for tour companies and bike hire companies alike. With many choosing to opt for guided tours on bikes or choosing to travel solo, the business in Vietnam for hiring motorcycles is booming. Many small local villages have also jumped on the bandwagon, and opened up their homes for a small price to provide tourists with local food and an authentic, rural place to stay whilst passing through on the route. Families share their stories not through language, but through photographs of their loved ones who would have also provided shelter for guerrilla fighters passing the trail themselves.

Unfortunately, the trail cannot be followed lightly and caution is recommended at all times. During the war, around 15 million tonnes of bombs were dropped on Vietnam alone. In Cambodia and Laos there was a total of around 5 million tonnes dropped, many of which still remain killing and injuring hundreds of local people each year. It is highly advised to stay clear of wandering of the track as waiting bombs may be lurking beneath the undergrowth, especially in the remote regions of Laos.

The life of Ho Chi Minh

So inextricably is the life of Ho Chi Minh intertwined with Vietnam’s emergence from colonial rule that his biography is largely an account of the country’s struggle for independence in the twentieth century. As Ho adopted dozens of pseudonyms and never kept diaries, uncertainty clouds his public life and almost nothing is known about the private man beneath the cultivated persona of a celibate and aesthete, totally dedicated to his family – a concept that embraced all the Vietnamese people.

Ho Chi Minh's origins

Ho’s origins were humble enough – he was born Nguyen Sinh Cung in 1890, the youngest child of a minor mandarin who was dismissed from the Imperial court in Hué for anti-colonialist sympathies. Ho attended high school in Hué but was expelled for taking part in a student protest; he left Vietnam for France in 1911, then spent several years wandering the world. He worked in the dockyards of Brooklyn and as a pastry chef in London’s Carlton Hotel, before returning to France in the aftermath of World War I, to earn his living retouching photographs. In Paris, Ho became an increasingly active nationalist, and caused quite a stir during the Versailles Peace Conference when he published a petition demanding democratic constitutional government for Indochina. For a while Ho joined the French Socialists, but when they split in 1920 he defected to become one of the founder members of the French Communist Party, inspired by Lenin’s total opposition to imperialism.

Ho’s energetic role in French Communism was rewarded when he was called to Moscow in 1923 to begin a career in international revolution, and a year later he found himself posted to southern China as a Comintern agent. Within a few months he had set up Vietnam’s first Marxist-Leninist organization, the Revolutionary Youth League, which attracted a band of impassioned young Vietnamese eager to hear about the new ideology. But in 1927, Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Chinese nationalists, turned against the Communists and Ho was forced to flee. For a while he lived in Thailand, disguised as a Buddhist monk, before turning up in Hong Kong in 1930 where he was instrumental in founding the Vietnamese Communist Party. By now the French authorities had placed a death sentence on Ho’s head, for insurrection; he was arrested in Hong Kong but escaped with the help of prison hospital staff, who managed to persuade everyone, including the French police, that Ho had died of tuberculosis.

Return to Vietnam

Ho disappeared again for a few years while the fuss died down, before reappearing on China’s southern border in the late 1930s. In 1941, aged 51, he re-entered Vietnam for the first time in thirty years, wearing a Chinese-style tunic and rubber-tyre sandals, and carrying just a small rattan trunk and his precious typewriter. In the mountains of northern Vietnam, Ho, now finally known as Ho Chi Minh (meaning "He Who Enlightens"), was joined by Vo Nguyen Giap, Pham Van Dong and other young militants. Together they laid the groundwork for the anticipated national uprising, establishing a united patriotic front, the League for the Independence of Vietnam – better known by its abbreviated name, the Viet Minh – and training the guerrilla units that would eventually evolve into the Vietnamese People’s Army. But events conspired against Ho: in 1942 he was arrested as a Franco-Japanese spy when he crossed back into China to raise support for the nationalist cause, and he languished for more than a year in various prisons, writing a collection of poetry later published as the "Prison Diary".

Ho Chi Minh's death

Meanwhile, however, events were hotting up, and when the Japanese occupation of Vietnam ended in August 1945, the Viet Minh were ready to seize control. Ho Chi Minh, by this time seriously ill, led them to a brief period in power following the August Revolution, and then ultimately to Independence in 1954. For the next fifteen years, as President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Uncle Ho took his country along a sometimes rocky socialist path, continually seeking reunification through negotiation and then war. But he didn’t live to see a united Vietnam: early in 1969 his heart began to fail and on September 2, Vietnam’s National Day, he died. Since then, myth and fact have converged in a cult placing Ho Chi Minh at the top of Vietnam’s pantheon of heroes, true to Confucian tradition – though against Ho’s express wishes.

At first glance, the provincial capital of Ninh Binh appears to be yet another dusty, traffic-heavy northern town. However, glance to the west and you’ll be beckoned to stay by a thousand fingers of limestone – a land-lubbing Ha Long Bay, with a clutch of historic and architectural sights to add to its geological beauty.

Despite the wealth of sights surrounding it, Ninh Binh itself claims just one sight of its own: a kilometre to the north a picturesque little pagoda nestles at the base of Non Nuoc Mountain. This knobbly outcrop – no more than 60m high – is noted for an eminently missable collection of ancient poetic inscriptions and views east over a power station to the graphically named “Sleeping Lady Mountain”.

Twelve kilometres northwest of Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu makes another rewarding excursion. In the 10th century, this site was the capital of an early, independent Vietnamese Kingdom called Dai Co Viet. The fortified royal palaces of the Dinh and Le kings are now reduced to archaeological remains, but their dynastic temples (seventeenth-century copies of eleventh-century originals) still rest quietly in a narrow valley surrounded by wooded, limestone hills. Though the temple buildings and attractive walled courtyards are unspectacular, the inner sanctuaries are compelling – mysterious, dark caverns where statues of the kings, wrapped in veils of pungent incense, are worshipped by the light of candles.

Making the most of Ninh Binh

While the town itself has little to detain you, the surrounding hills shelter Tam Coc , where sampans slither through the limestone tunnels of “Ha Long Bay on land”, and one of Vietnam’s ancient capitals, Hoa Lu, represented by two darkly atmospheric dynastic temples. On the way to Hoa Lu is Trang Anh, a less-touristed version of Tam Coc , while further on is is Bai Dinh Pagoda – though decidedly non-ancient, this ranks as the largest Buddhist complex in Vietnam, and quite possibly the whole world, and is worth a look for its sheer scale alone. All of these places can be tackled in one day by car or motorbike, or by bicycle via the back lanes.

To the east, the stone mass of Phat Diem Cathedral wallows in the rice fields, an extraordinary amalgam of Western and Oriental architecture that still shepherds an active Catholic community. Heading west instead, Cuc Phuong is one of Vietnam’s more accessible national parks and contains some magnificent, centuries-old trees.

More boat trips are in store at Kenh Ga, to visit a limestone cave, and at Van Long nature reserve, both on the Cuc Phuong road. These last sights are more distant: the cathedral requires a half-day outing, while Cuc Phuong and either Kenh Ga or Van Long can be combined in a long day-trip. Hanoi is only a couple of hours away, and the Hoa Lu/Tam Coc–Bich Dong circuit makes a popular and inexpensive day tour out of the capital. However, with more time, it’s far better to take advantage of Ninh Binh’s hotels and services to explore the area at a more leisurely pace.

In 1962 Vietnam’s first national park was established around a narrow valley between forested limestone hills on the borders of Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa and Hoa Binh provinces, containing over two hundred square kilometres of tropical evergreen rainforest. Cuc Phuong is well set up for tourism and sees a steady stream of visitors, attracted principally by the excellent primate rescue centre, but also by the easy access to impressively ancient trees. With more time, you can walk into the park interior, overnight in a Muong village and experience the multi-layered forest. The most enjoyable time for walking in these hills is October to January, when mosquitoes and leeches take a break and temperatures are relatively cool – but this is also peak season. Flowers are at their best February and March, while April and May are the months when lepidopterists can enjoy the “butterfly festival” as thousands of butterflies colour the forest.

Cuc Phuong’s flora and fauna

Even now the park has not been fully surveyed but is estimated to contain approximately three hundred bird species and ninety mammal species, some of which were first discovered in Cuc Phuong, such as red-bellied squirrels and a fish that lives in underground rivers. Several species of bat and monkey, including the critically endangered Delacour’s langur, inhabit the park, while bears and leopards roam its upper reaches. Hunting has taken its toll, though, and you’re really only likely to see butterflies, birds and perhaps a civet cat or a tree squirrel, rather than the more exotic fauna. What you can’t miss, though, is the luxuriant vegetation including 1000-year-old trees (living fossils up to 70m high), tree ferns and kilometre-long corkscrewing lianas, as well as a treasure-trove of medicinal plants.

Walking in Cuc Phuong

Of several walks in the park, one of the most popular starts at Car Park A, 18km from the park gate. For a steamy 7km (roughly 2hr), a well-trodden path winds through typical rainforest to reach the magnificent cho xanh tree, a 45m-high, 1000-year-old specimen of Terminalia myriocarpa – its dignity only slightly marred by a viewing platform. Dropping back down to the flat, take a left turn at the unmarked T-junction to bring you back to the road higher up at Car Park B. This second car park is also the start of the "Adventurous Trail", an 18-km hike through the park to Muong villages, noted for their gigantic wooden waterwheels, for which you’ll need a guide and a night’s accommodation.

Buzzing Haiphong is a great place to get a handle on urban Vietnam. A city of almost two million souls, it’s the third-largest in the land, though with just a fraction of Hanoi’s and Ho Chi Minh City’s tourists and expats, your presence is likely to be greeted with genuine curiosity. Haiphong is well connected to both Hanoi and Cat Ba and can function as a good stopping-off point for those who don’t fancy joining a Ha Long Bay tour; hole up here for a while and you’ll uncover varied eating and drinking options, and enjoy the pleasant lack of street hustlers. Although a little scruffy around the edges, Haiphong’s broad and bustling central avenues are shaded by ranks of flame trees and dotted with well-tended colonial villas, most of which lie along the crescent-shaped nineteenth-century core that forms a southern boundary to today’s city centre.

Haiphong Museum

On the northern side of the city centre, the wine-red Haiphong Museum is an attractive example of Haiphong’s colonial-era structures, even if the displays themselves lack glamour. The collection spans seventeen rooms and contains around three thousand exhibits, which are divided into three sections – on natural resources, local history before 1955, and from 1955 to the present. These exhibits include ancient jewellery, household implements and colonial-era photos, and many are labelled in English. In the garden outside are war relics such as an MIC-17 aircraft and a minesweeper of the Vietnamese Navy. Note that opening hours are limited, and even during listed times it isn’t always open.

Dragon-back mountain ranges mass on the horizon 20km out of Hai Phong as you approach Cat Ba Island. The island, the largest member of an archipelago sitting on the west of Ha Long Bay, boasts only one settlement of any size – Cat Ba Town, a fishing village now redefining itself as a tourist centre. The rest of the island is largely unspoilt and mostly inaccessible, with just a handful of paved roads across a landscape of enclosed valleys and shaggily forested limestone peaks, occasionally descending to lush coastal plains. In 1986 almost half the island and its adjacent waters were declared a national park in an effort to protect its diverse ecosystems, which range from offshore coral reefs and coastal mangrove swamps to tropical evergreen forest. Its value was further recognized in 2004, when the Cat Ba Archipelago was approved as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. However, change is coming – at the time of writing, a huge resort was under construction outside Cat Ba Town, and may be the first of many.

Brief History of Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island was named many centuries ago, and translates to 'Womens Island'. It is believed that three women were killed during the Tran Dynasty and that their bodies washed ashore onto three seperate beaches on the Island. The women, found by local fisherman and mourned by islanders, had temples built in their honour. Eventually the story became part of the island, hence the name.

Archaeological evidence shows that humans inhabited Cat Ba’s many limestone caves at least six thousand years ago. Centuries later these same caves provided the perfect wartime hideaway – the military presence on Cat Ba has always been strong, for obvious strategic reasons. When trouble with China flared up in 1979, hundreds of ethnic Chinese islanders felt compelled to flee and the exodus continued into the next decade as “boat people” sailed off in search of a better life, depleting the island’s population to fewer than fifteen thousand. Now that prosperity has come in the form of tourism, the population is growing rapidly.

National Parks

National Parks on the island are somewhat of a treat in themselves. With hundreds of indigenous plants and mammals, it is a haven for those who adore wildlife. The Island is home to the Cat Ba Langur, one of the rarest primates in the world - so keep your eyes open for a unique spotting.

Getting to Cat Ba Island

When you think about travelling to an Island in less developed country, you almost automatically assume it will not be such an easy ride. Yet, surprisingly getting to Cat Ba Island is relatively easy, although half-a-day is probably needed. Many local tour companies in Hanoi offer one-way trips to the Island (getting back is just as easy as getting there) inclusive of hotel pick-up and drop off.

If you would prefer to make your way to the Island without a company, you can purchase tickets from Luong Yen Bus Station. Here you will ride a bus to Hai Phong City and catch a boat to Phu Long Pier before another one-hour ride to Cat Ba Town.

Getting around Cat Ba Island

Motorcycle taxis are the most common and affordable means of transport on the Island. With the town being fairly small, walking and riding via bicycle are common choices of transport, however, with very little road traffic, it is also an option to hire your own motorcycle to travel to the more remote areas, such as the National Parks. Just make sure you have a driving license and travel insurance beforehand.

Things to do on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island has a range of things to do, from more relaxing pastimes such as swimming and sunbathing on the beach to more active experiences such as caving and rock-climbing in the National Parks. The island has many scenic beaches and much of its nearby waters are protected due to it's diverse and rare range of marine life, therefore snorkelling and diving are rewarding activities with lots of fish and corals to be seen.

Trekking is also popular, particularly in the rocky areas of the National Parks. For a more historical touch, treks to the Old Fort sat upon a hilltop is a good trip that allows you to explore several war bunkers that still contain eerie war remains and propaganda posters on its walls. For obvious reasons, the Island was a strategic look-out point during the war and had several uses.

If this interests you, you may also visit the Hospital Cave, an impressive three-storey building amongst the caves used as a hospital for wounded soldiers and a hideout for important members of the Viet Cong.

To explore further afield, you can also hire a kayak for the day and make your way to either Monkey Island or Lan Ha Bay. Both offer secluded scenic beaches and make a nice change of scenary, kayaking on the open waters around the Bay is also quite spectacular.

Food on the island is something not to be missed. Although there are international restaurants that cater for all taste buds, the seafood is somewhat of a delicacy on Cat Ba. Freshly caught fish is cooked in traditional methods, be sure to try classics such as geoduck clams, mantis shrimps and oysters. Local beers on the island are also very cheap, as with most beers in South East Asia.

Discovering the island

One of the most rewarding ways to explore the area is by boat from Cat Ba Town, passing through the labyrinth of Lan Ha Bay, a miniature version of neighbouring Ha Long Bay but one which receives fewer visitors. There are floating villages and oyster farms in the area, which can be included in tour itineraries. Other options are kayaking, rock-climbing and visits to isolated beaches where the water is noticeably cleaner than elsewhere in the bay. Be warned, though: Cat Ba is by no means undiscovered and during the local summer holidays (June to mid-Aug) hotels and beaches in the area can be swamped.

The rest of the island

One of Cat Ba’s main draws is its rugged unspoilt scenery. A recommended outing is to rent a motorbike or a car for the day and explore the island’s few paved roads and its isolated beaches.

Quan Y Cave

The main cross-island road climbs sharply out of Cat Ba Town, giving views over distant islands and glimpses of secluded coves, and then follows a series of high valleys. After 8km look out on the right for the distinctive Quan Y Cave, a gaping mouth embellished with concrete, not far from the road. During the American War the cave became an army hospital big enough to treat 150 patients at a time.

Cat Ba National Park

Taking up much of the island is Cat Ba National Park, established in 1986 and little changed in decades. Its most famous inhabitant is a sub-species of the critically endangered golden-headed langur, a monkey found only on Cat Ba and now probably numbering fewer than sixty individuals. Considerably more visible will be the rich diversity of plant species, including some 350 of medicinal value, as well as birds, snakes and plenty of mosquitoes.

Vietnam evidently has grand plans for Ha Long City. South-facing, and with Ha Long Bay raising its limestone fingers just across the sea, this place has great potential – unfortunately, development has been haphazard, and the vast majority of Western tourists hitting the bay do so on the express service from Hanoi, seeing the city only on the short walk between bus and junk. However, tourists from Vietnam and China pack the place out during the busy season, and the city now boasts several huge resort-style hotels.

Ha Long City is an amalgam of Hong Gai and Bai Chay, two towns merged in 1994, and now lassoed together by a bridge. For the moment, locals still use the old names – as do ferry services, buses and so on – as a useful way to distinguish between the two areas, each with its own distinct character, lying either side of the narrow Cua Luc channel. The hub of tourist activity and accommodation is Bai Chay, a rather unattractive beach resort and the main departure point for boat tours. For those in search of more local colour, or who are put off by Bai Chay’s overwhelming devotion to tourism, Hong Gai provides only basic tourist facilities but has a more bustling, workaday atmosphere.

East of Ha Long Bay, stretching up towards the Chinese border, lies an attractive area of islands, known as Bai Tu Long or “Children of the Dragon”. Some of the larger islands feature important forest reserves and are home to a number of rare species, such as the pale-capped pigeon, while dugong (sea cows) inhabit the surrounding waters. In 2001, Bai Tu Long National Park was created to protect 15,700 hectares of marine and island habitat. As Ha Long Bay begins to suffer from huge numbers of visitors, more and more tour companies are offering tours to this quieter, but equally impressive, bay. The only downside is that there are few caves to visit and it’s more remote, so boats need to use more fuel, but most visitors are happy with this trade-off for a more tranquil experience.

Quan Lan Island

Though there are few specific sights in the area, the odd intrepid tourist heads as far as Quan Lan Island, a long skinny strip of land on the outer fringes of the bay. Although there has been much talk of developing the larger islands in Bai Tu Long as ecotourism destinations, until now Quan Lan retains a welcome “away-from-it-all” vibe.

The island’s main attractions are the empty, sandy and relatively clean beaches fringing its east coast; the most attractive are Minh Chau beach on the northeast coast and secluded Son Hao to the east. A cycle ride – or better still, motorcycle ride – makes a pleasant jaunt through rice paddies and over the dunes to the north tip. Otherwise, there’s not much to do apart from enjoying simply being off the tourist trail – prepare to smile and wave to every local school child. Take whatever cash you need as there is no ATM on the island, and be aware that stores don’t really cater to Westerners. Take supplies.

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

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  • Last Updated: January 25, 2024

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam for 1, 2, or 3 weeks then you must start with this post to help plan your Vietnam itinerary. 

Vietnam has something for everyone. It’s bursting with history, delicious foods, hiking opportunities, beautiful landscapes, beaches, and of course the wonderful Vietnamese people.  

Our Vietnam itinerary guide will give you an overview of the country, with some great itinerary options depending on how long you plan to visit. 

We have something for everyone with:

  • 10 days in Vietnam: Highlights Itinerary – These are the must-see places in Vietnam
  • 1 week in Vietnam focusing on the North
  • 1 week in Vietnam focusing on the South
  • 2 weeks in Vietnam, by combining the two above
  • 3 weeks in Vietnam, or longer, by adding our extended options to your itinerary.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our complete guide to travelling in Vietnam !

Table of Contents

Day 1 – Hanoi 

Day 2 and 3 – halong bay, day 4 and 5 – sapa , day 6 and 7 – hue , day 8 – hoi an, day 9 and 10 – explore saigon, and take a full or half-day tour to the cu chi tunnels or the mekong delta, tour options, da nang , day 2 and 3 – ha long bay, day 4 and 5 – sapa, day 6  – hue, day 7 – hoi an, ninh binh (near hanoi), phong nha – ke bang national park (near hue), my son (near hoi an), ba be national park (near sapa), bach ma national park (between dan nang and hue), dong ha – for dmz tour (between dong hoi and da nang), day 1 – nha trang , day 2 – dalat , day 3 – mui ne , day 4 and 5 – ho chi minh city, day 6 and 7 – phu quoc island, cu chi tunnels or the mekong delta , con dao island, cat tien national park, did you find my vietnam itinerary helpful, 1, 2, and 3-week vietnam itinerary options .

We broke this Vietnam Itinerary into three main sections. 

Simply decide how long you have, and use one of our itineraries to guide you to the top things to do in Vietnam!

10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary: Vietnam Highlights

Our 10 days in Vietnam itinerary will highlight the absolute best of North and South Vietnam – from hiking in Sapa , to sinking beer in lively Ho Chi Minh City (more commonly referred to by its former name, Saigon).

This can be the core of a longer 2 or 3-week journey by adding extension opportunities to it.

You can do this trip from North to South, or in reverse.

After flying into Hanoi, you’ll have one day to see this beautiful city, so get ready to hit the ground running. 

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is full of beautiful architecture, culture, and unique food.  The old city is surrounded by remnants of fortified walls, and most things you will want to visit are in the Old Quarter. 

I would suggest finding a walking tour, so you can learn about the city’s history as you explore the city.

Take a stroll around the Hoàn Kiếm Lake and visit the Temple of the Jade Moutain, and stop to help the locals practice their English. 

Try the local beer called Bia hơi or fresh beer, which is brewed fresh each morning, and doesn’t contain any preservatives. 

One of the best things to do in Hanoi is to have an egg coffee while sitting at a café in Hanoi’s Train Street. 

Then get ready to get out of the way when the train rattles past, so close to you that it takes your breath away!

For dinner, don’t forget to have a regional specialty, called Bun Cha. It’s found all through the old quarter, so you won’t have to go far to find it. 

Where to stay in Hanoi: We recommend staying right in the Old Quarter.

READ MORE: Learn more about what to do in Hanoi with our Hanoi city guide .

Hanoi Train Street

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , and is one of the most popular things to see in Vietnam.  

The stunning bay is full of thousands of limestone islands, pristine beaches, caves, and floating villages.  The Vietnamese call it The Bay of the Descending Dragons. 

One of the best ways to visit the islands is by boat. 

You can take one of the many cruises on offer from the tour operators in town, taking you from Hanoi to Halong Bay, spending a night onboard a boat, and returning you to Hanoi the following day. 

Alternatively, make your own way to Halong Bay, and arrange a boat from there. 

Halong Bay cruise options vary depending on your budget.

The cruises normally include kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, swimming, visiting floating villages, and exploring caves.

If you find the Halong Bay cruises a little out of your budget, check out this guide to Halong Bay on a budget . 

Where to stay in Ha Long Bay: Spend the first night at Halong bay, preferably on board a junk boat.  Alternatively, spend the night on Cat Ba Island . Return to Hanoi, and spend the second night there, ready to head to Sapa in the morning.

After a restful night in Hanoi after your cruise, and having enjoyed some more Bun Cha and fresh beer, it’s time to get on a bus from Hanoi to Sapa.

You can also travel by train if you prefer, but buses are the fastest and the best way to get to Sapa from Hanoi. 

Alternatively, you can hire a private car, which will get you there faster, but at considerably more expensive.

Sapa is a region in Vietnam’s northwest and is home to beautiful terraced rice fields, great trekking, and exquisite vistas. 

Sapa has some of the best trekking in Vietnam . 

You can navigate some of these hikes yourself, arrange a private guide, or organize one of the many tours, either from Hanoi or in Sapa itself. 

The most popular attraction in Sapa is the highest mountain in the region, Fan Si Pan .

But unless you take the cable car to the top, you’ll need more time in the area for this hike. 

Some of the shorter day hikes are Cat Cat, and Tả Phìn , which can be done with or without a guide.

Where to stay in Sapa: Spend two nights in Sapa.  Consider a mountain lodge for the true Sapa experience, and then hop on the bus back to Hanoi early the following day.  Then fly from Hanoi to Hue. If you would prefer not to fly, you can take an overnight train or bus from Hanoi to Hue instead, arriving in the morning of Day 7.

Hue is the old Imperial City, and is where the Nguyen Dynasty held the throne for 143 years. 

The last Emperor, Bao Dai, abdicated his throne and power passed to Ho Chi Minh.

During the American War, the North Vietnamese Army captured Hue as part of the Tet Offensive. 

Thus began a battle to regain the Imperial city by the South Vietnamese and the Americans, which lasted almost a month with thousands dead, and the city was mostly destroyed. 

After spending the previous night in Hue, or arriving in the morning by bus or train, visit the Old City with its pavilions, beautiful temples, and the Royal Palace , all protected by high walls, exquisite gates, and moats. 

Hue is also known for the tombs of the Ancient Emperors.  They are all intricate and beautiful.

But don’t miss the Tomb of Tu Duc , or a visit to Tu Hieu Pagoda , which dates back to 1843. 

One of the last things to do in Hue is to try the famous Bún Bò Huế , a local noodle dish with beef and chili oil, washed down with fresh beer. 

Where to stay in Hue: Spend another night in Hue, then head off early on Day 8 to Hoi An.  The most spectacular way is on a motorbike tour through the Hai Van Pass.  The operators will take you on the back of a motorbike, and deliver both you and your luggage to your hotel in Hoi An.

Alternatively, you can take a private car or bus.

READ MORE: Learn more about what to do in Hue with our Hue city guide .

One Of The More Beautiful Gates Guarding The Entrance Into The Old Imperial City

Explore the beautiful city, and enjoy some rest and relaxation at the beach, sitting on beach chairs and drinking cold coconuts. 

The old town is simply stunning. As you walk around you’ll pass stores selling little souvenirs,  great restaurants, and lots of clothes.

Hoi An is the place to be if you want to have some clothes made.  Tailors are everywhere, and prices are affordable. 

Make sure to head out into town at night, as the city lights up with hanging lanterns, and comes alive with markets, street food, and people. 

While out and about visit the wooden Japanese Covered Bridge from the 18 th Century, and take a boat ride up the river to get a better view of the lights. 

Use Grab or take a taxi or scooter and head to the beach.  You can sit at one of the many restaurants, use their lounge chairs and stay all afternoon soaking up the sun!

Where to stay in Hoi An: Spend the night in Hoi An, and fly from nearby Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City the next morning.

READ MORE: Add these things to do in Hoi An to your itinerary !

The Magical Hoi An Light Up At Night With Lanterns Everywhere

After experiencing incredible Hoi An, it’s time for one last big effort as we reach the home stretch of our 10-day itinerary. 

Our time allows for one of two tour options, or if you have an extra day, both.

Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh, is a bustling array of buildings, people, food and scooters! 

Saigon is where a lot of ex-pats live as it offers so much variety and, like New York, the city never sleeps! 

These are your last couple of days in Vietnam, and there is plenty to see.  The Vietnam War Museum, Notre Dame (yes they have one too!), the beautiful Central Post Office, and Independence Palace are all must-see destinations while in HCMC.

One of the things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is to head to Bui Ven Walking Street , where all the action happens. 

After dark, this street is packed with people sitting at small plastic tables and chairs sinking beers, eating street food, and people-watching. 

After a few beers and some food, head back to your hotel and get some rest before your flight home.

READ MORE: Consider these 8 day trips from Ho Chi Minh City .

Enjoy A Beer On Walking Street, While Watching The World Go By.

The Cu Chi Tunnels

Even if you’re not particularly interested in Vietnam’s war history, this is an interesting place to visit. 

There are two different locations, Ben Dinh and Ben Doc . 

Most tour companies usually head to the one closest to the city, Ben Dinh, which is also the largest. 

The Tunnels offer an interesting insight into what it was like for the people fighting in the Vietnam/American War, their living conditions, and how they used the tunnels to hide underground during the day and fight the enemy at night.  

Today you can go into some of the tunnels, which have been widened for westerners to fit in. 

You can only visit the tunnels with a guide, which is provided as part of the entry ticket or part of your tour . 

One Of The Small Holes Into The Massive Network Of Underground Tunnels.

The Mekong Delta Tour

If small little tunnels aren’t your thing and you would prefer to take a pleasant boat ride down the Mekong river instead, there are half-day tours available from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta. 

Mekong Delta tours usually include exploring small canals by a sampan boat, visiting villages and islands, sampling exotic fruit and touring a coconut candy farm. Yum!

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City: For your two nights in Saigon, stay in District 1 to be right in the middle of everything, District 3 if you’d like a more relaxed stay that’s still only moments away from the action or District 4 for a real local experience.

Extension Option

If you’re able to extend your tour to 2 weeks in Vietnam, you’ll have more time for these excursions. Any 2 week Vietnam itinerary should include these!

Da Nang has lots to offer .  If you are comfortable on a scooter or motorbike, you can ride from Hue to Da Nang (before going to Hoi An), through the Hai Van Pass . 

This route used to be a little dangerous due to all the cars and trucks using the pass.

But since they have built the new freeway and tunnel there is very little traffic, making it a very enjoyable and incredibly scenic ride.  

The best way to do this is by motorbike tour from Hue, to either Da Nang or to Hoi An, or in reverse. 

Setting out from Da Nang, Ba Na Hills is a scooter ride away.  You may recognize the bridge seemingly held up by two large hands.

Between Da Nang and Hoi An lies Marble Mountain , and to the east of Da Nang there’s a large Buddhist temple complex and pagoda called Chua Linh Ung .

Set On A Mountain Top, Make Sure You Visit The Large Buddha, And Beautiful Temple.

If you have longer in Vietnam and would like to explore more of this beautiful country, combine our North and South options below to create a 2 weeks in Vietnam itinerary. 

2 Week Vietnam Itinerary – 1 Week in the North

Start your 2 weeks in Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, with beautiful architecture, culture, and food. 

While in Hanoi don’t forget to try egg coffee, fresh beer (Bia hơi), and especially the regional dish of Hanoi, Bun Cha .   (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

Take A Stroll Around The Lake And Visit The Temple Of The Jade Mountain.

Where to stay in Hanoi: Spend the night in Hanoi.  We recommend staying right in the Old Quarter.

Ha Long Bay, with its beautiful limestone islands, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

It’s a must-see while in Vietnam, with an overnight boat tour to the islands, and other fun activities like SUPing, kayaking, and exploring caves. 

The easiest way to see Ha Long Bay is to organize a tour from Hanoi . (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

Where to stay in Ha Long Bay: Spend the first night at Ha Long Bay, preferably on board a junk boat.  Alternatively, spend the night on Cat Ba Island .  Return to Hanoi, and spend the second night there, ready to head to Sapa in the morning.

Think of beautiful rice terraces set high up in the mountains, trekking, and staying in mountain lodges. 

Sapa is located in the northwest part of the country, and best seen by a two-day tour from Hanoi. (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

Where to stay in Sapa: Spend two nights in Sapa.  Consider a mountain lodge for the true Sapa experience, and then hop on the bus back to Hanoi early the following day.  Then fly from Hanoi to Hue.

If you would prefer not to fly, you can take an overnight train or bus from Hanoi to Hue instead, arriving in the morning of Day 7.

The old imperial city still has many secrets to uncover. 

Hidden behind towering walls and large gates, you can explore where the last Emperor ruled from before abdicating his rule in favor of Ho Chi Minh.

This is where the North Vietnamese overtook the city, sparking a battle that lasted for almost a month in what was known as the Tet Offensive. (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

Where to stay in Hue: Spend the night in town.  Leave your bags at your hotel while you explore the city the next morning, then head to Hoi An after lunch. 

The most spectacular way is on a motorbike tour through the Hai Van Pass .  The operators will take you on the back of a motorbike, and deliver both you and your luggage to your hotel in Hoi An.

Head to the beach during the day and relax on one of the many lounge chairs offered by the restaurants lining the foreshore of Central Vietnam.

In the evening enjoy the magical old town that comes alive at night with lights, markets, food, and more!  (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

Spend Your Day Relaxing And Drinking Cold Coconuts.

Where to stay in Hoi An: Spend the night in Hoi An, and fly from nearby Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City, or head to Nha Trang to link up with the Southern Vietnam Itinerary below.

READ MORE: Add these things to do in Hoi An to your 2 week Vietnam itinerary!

Extension Options

If you want more time in the north during your 2 week Vietnam itinerary, add on these trips such as Ninh Binh and some cool national parks.

Considered the inland version of Halong Bay, Ninh Binh is best seen by boat, on a pushbike, or scooter. 

We spent two full days in Ninh Binh and enjoyed a pushbike ride in the surrounding area.

We then hired a scooter in Ninh Binh and set out to see more of the beautiful lush hills, taking a boat ride through Tam Coc, and visiting pagodas.

You can easily book an awesome 2-day, 1-night tour of Ninh Binh from Hanoi if you’re not comfortable riding a scooter in the crazy Vietnam traffic.

Tam Coc Is Considered The Inland Version Of Halong Bay.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is home to over 300 caves and grottoes.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site protects the oldest karst system in Vietnam. 

It comprises of a precious ecosystem, limestone forest, and the world’s largest cave, Son Doong . 

The park offers eco-tourism, mountain climbing, trekking, flora and fauna, and caving. 

Some of this can be done independently, but tours are often the best option to get the most out of your time. 

The My Son ruins are another important UNESCO World Heritage site in central Vietnam. 

This temple complex was built by the Champas during their rule, and was influenced by Hinduism. 

The ruins of the brick temples and sculptures are often likened to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Bagan in Myanmar.

Book a tour of My Son to make the most of your experience.

Ba Be Lake is the centre of the National Park, and of the Ba Be Lake legend. 

People believe that the lake was formed by an enchantress, who cursed the people of the surrounding area for not showing compassion to her when she asked for help.

Legends aside, Ba Be Lake offers a wide range of activities, from trekking, kayaking, motor-biking, waterfalls, caves, and the natural beauty and diversity of the area. 

The highest point of Bach Ma National Park is the 1450m high mountain of the same name. 

The park is known for its biodiversity, with lots of birds, flora, mammals, and primates.

The government finally protected the area in 1962, after the area was greatly damaged due to the use of agent orange during the Vietnam War.

The area is now safe for people to explore and is best seen with a tour guide . 

You can hike the Five Lakes Cascade Trail taking in the waterfalls, visit the monastery, and hike the Pheasant Trail .  

A visit to the demilitarized zone (DMZ), is a great one-day outing for history buffs. 

The DMZ area was the dividing line between North and South Vietnam during the war, and as a result, saw heavy fighting. 

The tour explains the extent of the fighting in this area, and the importance of the location in the Vietnam War. 

2 Week Vietnam Itinerary – 1 Week in the South

Next on your 2 weeks in Vietnam, spend 1 week in the south of Vietnam. You could easily spend 2 weeks in Vietnam in just the north or the south, but you can also spread out your time between both areas.

Our Southern itinerary begins in Nha Trang.  Either fly there from Saigon or Hanoi, or take a bus down from Hoi An if you’re continuing on from our Northern Itinerary.

Nha Trang is the most famous seaside resort in Vietnam and is known for its white-sand beaches, coastal islands, and clear waters with abundant marine life, making it perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling. 

The town itself also offers interesting cultural sites close by, and places where you can pamper yourself with a mud-bath, or enjoy a seafood dinner. 

Where to stay in Nha Trang: Spend a night in Nha Trang, and take a bus or private car to Dalat the next morning.

After a relaxing time on the beach, it’s time to get some more culture in during your 2 week Vietnam itinerary! 

Dalat is heavily influenced by the colonial period from the French occupation, as the French built their holiday homes here to take advantage of the temperate weather.

With beautiful buildings, gardens, interesting architecture, coffee and tea plantation tours, waterfalls, mountain biking, hiking, and canyoning , you don’t want to miss out on this city!

Where to stay in Dalat: Spend the night in Dalat, and take a bus or private car to Mui Ne the next morning.

READ MORE: Learn more about what to do in Dalat with our Dalat city guide .

Three main things are offered in this beautiful resort destination; relaxation, watersports, and sand dunes.

Mui Ne beach is dotted with resorts, hotels, and hostels, and is a great place to just sit and enjoy your surroundings. 

Although Mui Ne is more than just the beach, this area is set up for tourists and has one main street of shops, cafes, bars, and shopping.

Being a beach town, watersports are a big thing here, and just about everything is on offer from kitesurfing to parasailing. 

The Mui Ne sand dunes are popular, and a spectacular sight. 

There are two locations, the smaller, closer, red sand dunes, and the white sand dunes about 26km from town. 

Tours are available for both locations and you can also hire dune buggies, or go sledding! 

Where to stay in Mui Ne: Spend a night in Mui Ne, then shake the sand from your belongings and take a bus or the train to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) the next morning.

There’s so much to see and experience in this historic city, including day tours to some pretty important locations, that you’ll need two days .  

On the first day, you’ll head out into Ho Chi Minh City.  It has some great cultural sites, like the Vietnam War Museum, Independence Palace, Notre Dame, and it also boasts some pretty great nightlife too.  

For the second day, we suggest you head out of the city on a day tour.  There are two great options: The Chu Chi Tunnels, or a trip to the Mekong Delta. (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

The War Museum In Saigon Is A Must-See While Visiting Hcmc.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City: For your two nights in Saigon, stay in District 1 to be right in the middle of everything, District 3 if you’d like a more relaxed stay that’s still only moments away from the action or District 4 for a real local experience. Fly to Phu Quoc Island on Day 6.

Phu Quoc is a small island off the coast of Cambodia, lined with white sand beaches and palm trees.  

There are many resorts along the southwest coast providing you with ample opportunity for some relaxation time, while you swim, and eat your last fill of tasty Vietnamese food.   

Phu Quoc island is home to mountains, tropical rainforest, hiking and wildlife, all within its National Park. 

Lots of tours are available to explore the island which offers snorkelling as well, or you can hire a scooter and set off by yourself.

One Of The More Beautiful Beaches In Phu Quoc, With Beautiful White Sand, And Crystal Clear Water.

Where to stay in Phu Quoc Island: Spend two relaxing nights on Phu Quoc Island, then fly back to Saigon to catch your onward flight!

If you have more time to spend during your 2 weeks in Vietnam, take the ferry to the mainland, and continue overland to some of the extension options listed below, or to Cambodia.

If you have more time for your 2 week Vietnam itinerary, or you want to further explore one area rather than hopping around, here are some ideas!

Depending on what you did in 7 days for our Southern Vietnam Itinerary, if you have time you might like to see the other option best explored out of Ho Chi Minh City.  (See Above 10-day Vietnam Itinerary)

During the French occupation, and later the Saigon regime, this island was used to house political prisoners and prisoners that were considered especially dangerous.

Aside from its harrowing past, the island is known for its natural beauty with over 80% of the island being a National Park. 

These days the island is frequented for its spectacular snorkelling and diving, with abundant coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and hidden lagoons.   

Can Tho is the de facto capital of the delta region and an unassuming city full of life. 

Most of the activity happens around the pier where you can enjoy great food and cold beer. 

Boat rides are available to show you more of the city and surrounding area, and visit some early-morning markets. 

Lots Of Life On The River.  Make Sure You Get Up Early For A Tour Of The Nearby Floating Markets.

If you’d like a little break from the tourists and are looking to just relax and hang out with the locals, Qui Nhon is the place to come . 

Unspoiled by tourism, this sleepy town has squeaky white sand beaches, snorkeling, swimming, temples, and museums. 

Cat Tien National Park is comprised of two sections Cat Loc, and Nam Cat Tien, the former being the most visited of the two. 

The river by Nam Cat Tien houses an important Hindu archaeological site and temple, where a large number of artifacts have been uncovered and are now in the Dalat museum. 

The national park has spectacular flora and fauna and trekking.

READ MORE: 33 amazing things to do in Vietnam !

Vietnam is a large and diverse country, with a great deal to offer the traveller who goes in with an open mind and heart. 

While we’ve listed what we feel are the main highlights, there is much more to be explored when you visit Vietnam.

Friendly people really make Vietnam a special place to visit.

The itineraries listed above are a bare minimum if you need to get the most out of a short amount of time. 

While doable, if possible it would be a much more relaxing trip if you could pad it out by adding a few days to your Vietnam itinerary, and slow down a little!

We hope you have a wonderful time there!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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9 Most Amazing Things To Do In Vietnam's Mekong Delta


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Mekong Delta, also called “Mien Tay” by the locals, is seemingly off-the-beaten-track to foreign tourists , where a flat expense of sandbars and watercourses form a 35,000 square kilometer triangle lying just west of Ho Chi Minh City. Yet, this place of unrelenting beauty - coined the "rice bowl" of the country where over fifty percent of Vietnam’s rice is produced - turns out to be an ideal destination with many fascinating experiences.

For those who plan to come to Mekong Delta - a region of astounding, untouched beauty that is central to all local life - the best things to do are boat trips along the Mekong River's twisting capillaries of tropical canals, mangroves, and rice paddies, trading in the floating markets, enjoying the flavor of fresh fruits, exploring its historic attractions, temples and pagodas, and seeing the authenticity of the native way of life left unaffected by the outside world. Need specifics? Then consider these truly amazing sights, sounds, and scenes for that dream trip to Vietnam's unique Mekong Delta Region.

Related: Vietnam Vacation: Skip Ha Long Bay And Visit This Stunning Destination, Instead

9 Shopping At The Floating Markets

One of the most immersive experiences for tourists to discover the local way of life is the region's bustling floating markets. It's all along these busy watery hubs where bountiful bargains and loads of haggling take place, all at the region's fascinating floating markets - a key part of the culture and trade in the Mekong Delta area that's seemingly remained unchanged since the early 1800s during the Nyugen Dynasty (as some historians believe).

A practice centuries old, trade and bartering at floating markets continue to be the base of enterprise and the principal livelihoods for many locals - many of whom reside in floating houses along the Mekong Delta River. Ripe fruit, flower stalls, fresh food, and more are all for sale on along the tropical canals, with local vendors shopping and trading from their sampans - a traditional kind of boat used by the local people.

In the region, there are five known floating markets to visit, including Cai Rang, Cai Be, Phong Dien, Nga Nam, and Long Xuyen. Cai Rang and Cai Be are the most popular and busiest, the former also being the largest while the latter is the only one reachable on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City. The only downside of these floating markets is that they're not for folks who struggle to get up early in the morning; the best time to visit any of them is as early as possible - as early as 3 am when hundreds of vendors begin steering their sampans into the market area.

Related: A Travel Guide To Vietnam: 11 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip

8 Discover The Vinh Trang Pagoda in My Tho, Tien Giang Province

Featuring a fascinating blend of Eastern and Western architecture, the 150 year-old Vinh Trang pagoda is an icon known across Vietnam, and is celebrated for its architectural, historical, and religious importance. The Buddhist pagoda is a magnificent cultural relic surrounded by an enchanting series of ornate gardens home to four enormous interconnected sections, five buildings, 60 statues, 178 pillars, and an old bell dating back to 1854.

Showcasing spectacles of stunning artwork, the designs to be marveled at on-site are truly mesmeric; there are vibrant mosaics showing off stories of nature and folklore, as well as 18 amazing arhats carved from the wood of jackfruit trees - to name just a handful of the breathtaking features of this historic, artistic space.

Related: Vietnam's Underground Tunnels Are A Must For History Buffs

7 Tour Tan Lap Floating Village In Long An Province

Eco-conscious travelers will praise a visit to Tan Lap - one of Vietnam's renowned ecotourism spots visited by the most intrepid of travelers. It's easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City on a day trip since it's a mere 100 kilometers away, taking only about two hours to reach by car or motorbike (but do allow three or four ours out of the day to explore it properly, for its treasures are best enjoyed slowly with ample time to take them all in). However, those in need of more time to bask in the surrounding's serene relaxation and rejuvenation in nature can find a number accommodation options in the village.

Set in the midst of a mystic floating forest and swamp rivers, Tan Lap floating village is a tranquil place of tropical beauty left unfettered by the outside world of over-tourism and enterprise. Be it by oneself or on a sightseeing tour, one can discover its beauty on a boat ride that traverses the wetlands and their meandering raised walkways, where water flora bloom throughout the networks of mangrove forests and towering tropical trees that create a shaded canopy for refuge under the sweltering daytime sun.

6 Explore The Region On A Mekong River Cruise

For the most part, luscious wetlands cover the Mekong Delta region, which mean one thing for sure; water activities are the best ways to have fun and explore its gems within - and one of the most enthralling is a river cruise along the Mekong River. Opening up both sightseeing and cultural scenes, a trip down the Mekong River that runs through Vietnam is one of the most eye-opening experiences to have in the region - where life revolves entirely around the rivers. The perfect mix of scenery and cultural immersion can be had on a river cruise, many of which take travelers to lots more places than they might have first thought.

Most Mekong River cruises not only follow the river to observe the natural scenery, they also offer the chance to explore areas and take part in local activities for a truly enriching escapade. Generally speaking, in terms of tour operator lingo, a river cruise provides an overnight trip along the river with water activities and a few destinations included, while on the other hand, a package tour only involves one daytime river cruise trip as one activity, coupled with several other inland or water activities. Mekong River cruises take guests to discover local Mekong provinces, and on the whole, cost a few hundred dollars per person. However, there are other luxury liners that explore further for longer, taking explorers not only to parts of the Delta, but also to others such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, costing up to a couple of thousand dollars in comparison.

Related: 10 Best Things To Do In Vietnam

5 Take A Sampan Boat Trip

The modest, traditional version of a Mekong River cruise, taking a simple sampan boat sailed by a local is an experience no discerning travelers should skip during their stay in the Delta. Floating through emerald mangrove forests to reach various tourist attractions and treasures off the beaten trail, one can discover a distinct sense of peace and quiet along with a separate way of life when traversing the region's untouched watery veins within.

Proving a unique insight into both sides of the coin, hopping on a sampan boat before or after experiencing a tourist-geared Mekong River cruise shows the intense contrast between the touristic facade and the genuine but basic local lifestyle and method of transport. Both are equally as beautiful and enriching of course, but they are intriguingly different and do complement each other.

As for where to go for a relaxing sampan boat trip along the river, there are various possibilities. For just a few dollars, three to four people per sampan boat can explore several known spots, such as Tra Su Cajuput forest (An Giang), Thi Tuong Lagoon (Ca Mau), and Thoi Son Islet (Ben Tre) to mention only a small handful of beautiful places.

4 Visit The Khmer Pagodas Of Tra Vinh Province

Because Tra Vinh used to be a part of the Khmer empire, there are still over 300,000 Khmer people residing in the province - the highest population in the entire Mekong Delta region. As such, it's not at all surprising that the province boasts 140 Khmer temples peppered all over its lush landscapes, offering a unique look and feel to this part of the country unlike most others.

Of significant note, pagodas that should not be missed on one's trip to this part of the Delta include the Hang Pagoda and the Kompong Chray Pagoda - both for their imposing features and surreal settings in pristine nature. Hang pagoda ("hang" meaning "cave" in the Vietnamese language) is named after its most defining features - the 12 meter-deep dome shaped gate that affords majestic photography opportunities to those who come with a camera good enough to capture its glory. It's also well known for the families of storks that are often seen nestling in the trees surrounding the ornamental site.

The ultimate way to satiate one's discovery of these truly stunning sites, visitors intrigued by more than just the beauty of the Khmer pagodas and temples - but also the Khmer culture and history - will satisfy their curious cravings by checking out the Khmer Culture Museum .

Related: Golden Bridge: The Vietnam Walkway Held By Giant's Hands

3 Enjoy Bird Watching At Tra Su Bird Sanctuary in Chau Doc, An Giang Province

Succumb to the sweet songs of over 70 unique species of birds at the magnificent Tra Su Bird Sanctuary - a retreat of pure bliss and serenity set on 800,000 hectares of land and water and accessible via a boat ride. Much of the sanctuary's entirety is sectioned off with only a few areas for guests to explore, which grants the bird population safe space to nest and flourish in peace - much to the delight of nature lovers and photographers keen to observe bounties of birds in their natural environment undisturbed and unaffected by humans. Plus, there's also a viewing tower for visitors, allowing them to gaze over the verdant labyrinth of rich wetlands and observe the resident birds from above.

The months between August and November are said to be the best time to visit the sanctuary as this is when the water levels are at their highest, which is favorable to the birds. But bird watchers adamant on witnessing droves of chicks and interesting parent behaviors should come for the hatching season between December and January.

Related: 10 Places In Vietnam To Visit Now

2 Savor The Local Cuisine Of The Mekong Delta Region

Vietnamese cuisine is a worldwide favorite, and the dishes to be discovered in its Mekong Delta Region validate the country's celebrated culinary status truer than ever. The region is not be famous for its fancy feasts and luxury cuisine, but rather its unique local delicacies that can't be compared to any other in Asia. There are a wealth of taste bud tantalizing foods to try, including bun rieu, pia cake, hu tieu, Vietnamese pancake, and for the very bravest travelers, Coconut Larvae. Interestingly, what makes Delta dishes so different is that many of them are made from ingredients that come straight from the natural environment; for example, flowers play a major role in many local dishes, such as sesbania, sesban, and the lovely flower hotpot.

Naturally, some of the best spots at which to sample the local cuisine are the many floating markets. Imagine floating on an authentic, rustic sampan boat tucking into a variety of unique, otherworldly foods with all the hustle and bustle of market vendors going on in the background - does dining in the Delta region get any more enriching than that? (Note that floating markets are only for early birds and typically only serve breakfast. Local restaurants and markets in the villages are a better option for lunch and dinner). Throw in the fact that the average price tag per meal rests at just half a dollar to five dollars, and there's no reason not to order a plate of everything available right then and there for a fantastic Mekong Delta feast.

Related: Hoi An: A Guide To Some Of The Best Food In Vietnam

1 Bite Into The Freshest, Juiciest Treats At Fruit Orchards

The Delta's sublime tropical climate makes its fruit orchards flourish, and the region is indeed famed as one of the country's largest fruit producers. Of course, one can find and sample all of the region's delicious fruits at the floating markets, however, the short season coupled with the lengthy fruit picking and transporting process affects the fruits' freshness by the time it's finally made its way into customers' mouths.

This means that there's no juicier, fresher way to enjoy the region's mouth-watering fruits than picking them straight from the tree and biting into them right then and there. It's possible to visit the Delta's fruit orchards year-round, but undeniably the best time is the summer season when the majority of the fruits are ripe, ready, and bursting with flavor.

There are ample amounts of fruit orchards to visit in the area, with the Tien Giang Province being the largest fruit producer in the whole area thanks to the Tien River's fertile surrounding terrain. On the other hand, the Cai Be Fruit Orchard is one of the region's largest fruit gardens - one that specializes in longans , jackfruit, tangerines, guavas, rambutan, grapefruits, and more.

Another orchard worthy of a visit is the Dragon Fruit Farm in Long An province, renowned for its bright pink, white, and yellow variants of this irresistible tropical fruit. And, anyone with a taste for mangos should not miss out on a trip to Hoa Loc Mango Garden - one of the Delta's most iconic orchards that is responsible for the sweet-scented, flavorful Hoa Loc Mango that's known to be among the world's tastiest mangos of all time.

Lastly, there are numbers of other fruit orchards to check out as well, with some including:

Exploring Western Vietnam in watery season

Tra su melaleuca forest, an giang.

The mangrove forest is a typical feature of Western Vietnam . Tra Su Melaleuca forest is located in Van Giao commune, Tinh Bien district, with an area of ​​about 850 hectares, Zing News reported.

The ideal time to visit Tra Su Melaleuca forest is early morning as it wears fresh garb. Coming here, don’t miss out on the opportunity to boat amidst the green duckweed carpets. The bamboo bridge spanning the forest is a perfect place to take great check-in photos.

Tickets to visit Melaleuca forest are priced at 190,000 VND (US$ 8.2) per person. If traveling in groups of 7 or more people, the ticket price is reduced to 95,000 VND per person (US$4.1).

Cai Rang Floating Market, Can Tho

The floating market is a long-lasting cultural trait of the southwest. The market sells various kinds of fruits and agricultural products of the region. Every morning, hundreds of colorful boats anchor, creating a bustling vibe.

The market often ends at 9 a.m, so, visitors should come here soon. You will have the chance to enjoy the breakfast amidst the immense river and get a closer insight into the daily life of the locals.

Tan Lap floating village, Long An

Tan Lap floating village, Long An is situated in Moc Hoa district, Long An province, about 100 km to the West of Ho Chi Minh City. The village covers an area of ​​about 5 hectares with buildings, guesthouses, parks and wharves, the rest is 130 hectares of Melaleuca forest.

The 5-kilometer forest trail is among the highlights of Tan Lap floating village. On the two sides of the roads are covered by high melaleuca trees. Going by normal boat costs 60,000 VND (US$2.6) and motorboat is 130,000 VND (US$5.6).

Tram Chim National Park, Dong Thap

Tram Chim is one of the most renowned ecological destinations in the West. The place owns diverse flora and fauna notably the rare red-headed cranes.

Coming to Tram Chim National Park, visitors will have the chance to wander along the green canals, watching flocks of birds flying in the sky. Adding to the serene beauty of Tram Chim National Park is glorious lotus lagoons. There are no modern tourism services here, therefore, Tram Chim is the best getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Binh Thuy ancient house, Can Tho

Binh Thuy Ancient House has become a hot check-in place in Can Tho. The ancient house spellbinds tourists by its antique and poetic beauty.

It was built in 1870 by the Duong family and consists of 5 compartments with 2 roofs. From the outside, visitors will see 4 arched stairways connected from the yard to the main house and the airy window system. More than 150 years elapsed, the house still preserves its original architectures.

Dat Mui, Ca Mau

Dat Mui is the southernmost point of Vietnam and famous for the specialty of crabs. Tourists can combine to explore U Minh Ha National Park or Cai Rang floating market.

The watery season is the most perfect time to visit Ca Mau as waterway is so convenient.

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Vietnam’s 10 best natural wonders 

James Pham

Nov 6, 2023 • 5 min read

A boat among the karsts at Halong Bay in Vietnam, as seen from Ti Top island.

Vietnam offers a dizzying platter of breathtaking natural wonders © Jun Photo / Shutterstock

Breathtaking landscapes appear at every turn in Vietnam . From the window of a trundling train you'll witness an endless patchwork of impossible-green rice paddies, while in Halong Bay a horizon studded with incisor-like limestone islands makes an ethereal sight. From Mui Ne in the deep south, where you can wonder at a Sahara-esque scene of wind-sculpted sand dunes from the basket of a hot-air balloon, to the stupendous karst mountains of the far north, Vietnam offers up a bewitching array of superlative landscapes.

Halong Bay’s stunning combination of karst limestone peaks and sheltered, shimmering seas is one of Vietnam’s top tourist draws, but with more than 2000 different islands, there’s plenty of superb scenery to go around. Definitely book an overnight cruise and make time for your own special moments on this World Heritage wonder – rise early for an ethereal misty dawn, or pilot a kayak into grottoes and lagoons. If you’re hankering for more karst action, move on to the less touristy but equally spectacular Lan Ha Bay . Most tourists do a one-night cruise, but if you can, consider taking a 2- or even 3-night cruise which allows for getting off typical itinerary with time for kayaking, hiking and swimming.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park 

With jagged hills shrouded in rainforest, and mountain rivers coursing through impressive ravines, above ground the Phong Nha-Ke Bang region is one of Vietnam's most spectacular national parks. Head underground for even more proof that this area should be part of any Vietnamese itinerary. A fortunate selection of travelers can experience the cathedral-like chambers of Hang Son Doong, the world's largest cave, but more accessible are the ziplining and kayaking thrills of Hang Toi (Dark Cave), and the other-worldly beauty of aptly named Paradise Cave.

A woman wearing a helmet with a light stands at the top of a jagged rock gazes up to a hole in the ceiling in the expansive Hang Son Doong cave.

Hang Son Doong 

Hang Son Doong (Mountain River Cave) is known as the world's largest cave, and is one of the most spectacular sights in Southeast Asia, with access only approved by the government in 2013. 

This enormous cave was discovered quite recently. Ho Khanh, a hunter from a jungle settlement close to the Vietnam–Laos border, would often take shelter in the caves that honeycomb his mountain homeland. He stumbled across gargantuan Hang Son Doong in the early 1990s, but the sheer scale and majesty of the principal cavern (more than 5km [3.1mi] long, 200m high [656ft] and, in some places, 150m [492ft] wide) was only confirmed as the world’s biggest cave when British explorers returned with him in 2009.

How to explore the world's largest cave, Hang San Doong 

Phu Quoc Island 

Lapped by azure waters and edged with the kind of white-sand beaches that make sun-seekers sink to their weak knees, Phu Quoc – way down in the south of Vietnam – is ideal for a no-hassle beach break, reaching for a seaside cocktail and toasting a blood-orange sun as it dips into the sea. In addition to beautiful beaches, over 70% of the island is a leafy national park . So if you want to take it up a notch, grab a bike and hit the red-dirt roads: the island is relatively compact, around the size of Singapore.

Tonkinese Alps 

The spectacular Tonkinese Alps soar skywards along the rugged, uncompromising edges of the country and include Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak. From sinuous and spidery ridges, rice terraces cascade down into river valleys home to ethnic minority villages of Hmong, Red Dzao and Giay peoples.

The Ban Gioc Waterfalls flanked by green vegetation on a sunny day.

Ban Gioc Waterfall 

Ban Gioc is one of Vietnam’s best-known waterfalls, and its image adorns the lobby of many a cheap guesthouse. The falls, fed by the Quay Son River that marks the border with China, are an impressive sight in a highly scenic location. Aim to visit around lunchtime when the upstream dam is opened to allow full flow.

Boat owners here will punt you on bamboo rafts (for a small fee) close enough to the waterfall so you can feel the spray on your face. Rafts on the Vietnamese side have blue canopies; on the Chinese side canopies are green.

With picture-perfect white sand, the delightful curve of beautiful Sao Beach bends out alongside a sea of mineral-water clarity just a few miles from An Thoi , the main shipping port at the southern tip of the island. There are a couple of beachfront restaurants where you can settle into a deckchair, change into bathers or partake in water sports.

an empty boat traveling down a smooth waterway in Ba Be National Park

Ba Be National Park  

Detour off the regular Vietnam tourist trail in Ba Be National Park , an essential destination for adventurous travelers, with towering limestone mountains, plunging valleys and evergreen forests. Waterfalls, caves and lakes combine in a landscape that sustains over 550 different plants and hundreds of different bird and animal species. Explore Ba Be’s natural spectacle by boat or on trekking and mountain-biking excursions, before relaxing and recharging in the rustic homestays and village guesthouses of the local Tay ethnic minority.

Thuy Son is the largest and most famous of the five Marble Mountains , with a number of natural caves in which first Hindu and later Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. Of the two paths heading up the mountain, the one closer to the beach (at the end of the village) makes for a better circuit. At the top of the staircase is a gate, Ong Chon, which is pockmarked with bullet holes, leading to Linh Ong Pagoda.

White sand dune in Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne Sand Dunes 

Mui Ne is famous for its enormous red and white sand dunes. The smaller “red dunes” (doi hong) are conveniently located north of the main strip, but the “white dunes” (doi cat trang), 24km (14.9mi) northeast, are the more impressive – the near-constant oceanic winds sculpt the pale-yellow sands into wonderful Saharaesque formations. But as this is Vietnam (not deepest Mali) there's little chance of experiencing the silence of the desert.

Prepare yourself for the hard sell as children press you to hire a plastic sledge to ride the dunes. Unless you're very light, it can be tricky to travel for more than a few feet this way.

This article was first published Oct 22, 2020 and updated Nov 6, 2023.

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Central Asia, Vietnam new buzzing destinations on Indian tourist map

The trend of impulsive travel among india's upwardly mobile population has also contributed to the surge in demand..

vietnam watery tourist destination

Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are brimming with posts from Indians travelling to Silk Road countries such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, and Southeast Asia’s latest tourism hotspot , Vietnam.

Before the pandemic, these destinations largely attracted more discerning travellers from India. But now, with a combination of enhanced direct flight connectivity, swift and hassle-free visa regimes, and relatively more affordable prices than the conventional touristy destinations, these countries are drawing price-sensitive Indian travellers in droves.

vietnam watery tourist destination

Consider this: Passenger traffic on direct flights from India to Azerbaijan in October-March (H2) 2023-24 (FY24) jumped by a whopping 750 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), while for Georgia, it shot up by nearly 200 per cent, as per The Indian Express ’s analysis of international air traffic data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The jump was around 115 per cent in the case of Uzbekistan, 108 per cent for Vietnam, and 70 per cent for Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, India’s total outbound passenger traffic on international flights in H2 of FY24 grew 16.5 per cent y-o-y, the DGCA data shows.

Price point

Besides simple visa rules and easy connectivity, these countries have an added allure: they cost nearly as much or only moderately higher than a holiday at a popular domestic destination. And Indian airlines are taking notice of the demand, increasing routes as well as frequency.

In the case of countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus, all of which were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, the jump in traffic came on a low base and was largely due to the introduction of direct flights from India by the country’s largest airline IndiGo in 2023. The airline felt that these markets were underserved and also saw an opportunity to stimulate demand further.

Festive offer

Before IndiGo’s flights to Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, most of these markets were served from India by their respective state carriers, essentially making them monopoly routes.

Central Asia, Vietnam new buzzing destinations on Indian tourist map

The other option was to travel via a hub airport in a third country. While that would have served existing demand, it was unlikely to have significantly stimulated demand and grown the market. There is no publicly available official data on the number of travellers from India who flew to overseas destinations via a third country. All these countries have a sizable number of Indian students, mainly those pursuing medicine. This provides a base demand, which is now being augmented by rapidly growing leisure travel.

IndiGo’s entry, industry watchers say, has brought in competition on these routes, made fares competitive, and provided more options to passengers, which, along with other factors, have led to demand creation. IndiGo’s announcement last month that it will run daily flights to Tashkent, Almaty and Tbilisi from August, instead of the earlier frequency of three to four a week, is being seen as a testament to the strong demand the airline is seeing in these markets. IndiGo is already operating a daily service to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

The fact that some of these destinations offer a near-European experience — at a fraction of the cost and without the hassle of obtaining a Schengen visa — while still being off the beaten path, adds to their allure.

Indian passport holders currently do not require a visa for Kazakhstan for a stay of up to 14 days. For Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia, electronic visas (e-visas) can be obtained easily in under a week for reasonable prices without going through a third-party or a travel agent.

In fact, in some cases, travelling to these countries might cost nearly as much or only moderately higher than a holiday at a popular domestic destination, thanks to costly domestic airfares, according to industry insiders. An opportunity to travel to another country by shelling out as much as one would for a holiday in Kerala, Ladakh or Goa is a hard-to-ignore value proposition for many travel bugs itching to take off.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented surge in bookings to destinations like Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan — a double-digit increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. Direct air connectivity and improved accessibility have been instrumental in the rising popularity of these short-haul destinations,” said Karthick Prabu, Head of Strategy at online travel agency Cleartrip.

According to Cleartrip, it received 10 times the bookings for Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam put together in the first six months of calendar year 2024 than in the corresponding period in the pre-Covid year of 2019. In May, another major online travel agency, MakeMyTrip , had said that Baku and Almaty were among the international destinations recording the highest growth in searches on its platform.

In the case of Vietnam, which also offers a fast, cheap and convenient e-visa for Indian passport holders, IndiGo was already operating flights from India, apart from Vietnamese carriers VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines — both of which have been adding seat capacity on their India flights. The surge in demand for travel to Vietnam made the Tata group, too, sit up and take notice. The group’s flagship airline, Air India, launched its New Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City service just last month.

“Travellers are shifting preferences to destinations that promise accessibility, affordability, and cultural richness. India’s consumers are hence displaying a strong travel appetite for destinations like Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Vietnam… Our data indicates an exponential demand of 300-600 per cent for such almost-borderless travel destinations,” said Thomas Cook (India)’s president & country head for holidays Rajeev Kale.

According to Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head (Holidays) at SOTC Travel, frictionless travel with easy visa regimes is helping these countries garner a lot of tourists from India, given the growing tendency of impulsive travel without long-drawn planning among the growing and upwardly mobile segments of India’s population.

“Our trends indicate that travellers are now planning their trips closer to departure dates, with a reduction in the average booking window of 30-35 days for short-haul destinations, and around 90 days for long-haul trips. This challenge is an added opportunity for destinations like Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, etc, given their easy visa regimes that inspire late bookers and impulse buying,” D’Souza said.


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Sukalp Sharma is a Senior Assistant Editor with The Indian Express and writes on a host of subjects and sectors, notably energy and aviation. He has over 13 years of experience in journalism with a body of work spanning areas like politics, development, equity markets, corporates, trade, and economic policy. Before joining The Indian Express, Sukalp had long and enriching stints at financial newswire Informist and the Express Group’s pink paper The Financial Express. He considers himself an above-average photographer, which goes well with his love for travel. ... Read More

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Anthony Vaccarello finally figured out how to reproduce his collection of ultra-sheer pantyhose dresses. Bella Hadid hit Cannes in look seven from the Saint Laurent fall 2024 show: a halter dress featuring 10 denier hosiery cups, a knotted pantyhose bodice, and a below-the-knee skirt with a control top hemline.

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Hadid, styled by Molly Dickson, leaned into the Old Hollywood glamour that has become synonymous with the Cannes Film Festival, adding a pair of mahogany peep-toe ankle strap heels and an enormous pair of drop earrings from Chopard.

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This look fits into Hadid’s latest sartorial M.O. of sheer earthy tones that can only be described as “sexy nymph.” While promoting her fragrance, Orebella, in New York, the model wore a diaphanous nude Dior slip dress by John Galliano, as well as a cream-colored Rokh dress with a lace bodice. And yesterday in Cannes, she further explored brown tones in a simple tank dress . But this look—with only some extremely well-placed seams preserving her modesty—is by far her boldest to date.

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When asked about how he would manufacture these ephemeral pieces from the collection, Vaccarello told Vogue, “Don’t even ask me about production—I can’t tell you.” This being the first instance the delicate outfits have been spotted on the red carpet speaks to Hadid’s risk-taking style. Even if she is the only person who ever wears one of these sheer Saint Laurent looks out in the world (let’s see if she can make it to the end of the night without any snags) the fact that Vaccarello was readily willing to make one for her speaks to Hadid’s immense power in the fashion industry.

And if this is Hadid’s wardrobe for her first official day of events in Cannes? We can only imagine what’s to come.

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  1. Watery tourist destination in north-east Vietnam

    This crossword clue belongs to CodyCross India Group 1499 Puzzle 3. The answer we have below for Watery tourist destination in north-east Vietnam has a total of 9 letters. HINTS AND TIPS: Before giving away the correct answer, here are some more hints and tips for you to guess the solution on your own! 1. The first letter of the answer is: H. H.

  2. 10 of the best places to visit in Vietnam

    10. Ha Giang. Best for mountain views. Trekking to the minority villages in the hills around Sapa is one of Vietnam's top draws, but the country's trekking capital feels rather commercialized these days. Hikers have to walk further every year to find the rural idyll that first drew people to the northwest.

  3. Northern Vietnam: The 12 hottest bucket-list destinations

    This article will provide a specific travel guide about 12 top-rated destinations in Northern Vietnam to help you decide which one to visit. 1. Ha Long Bay - A scenic UNESCO Heritage Site living up to the hype. Recognized as a natural wonder of the world by UNESCO, Ha Long Bay is a tourism paradise in Northern Vietnam.

  4. Must-see attractions in Northeast Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh Monument. Cat Ba Island. This monument stands up on imaginatively named Mountain No 1, the hillock opposite the pier in Cat Ba Town. 1. 2. Discover the best attractions in Northeast Vietnam including Lan Ha Bay, Ban Gioc Waterfall, and Cannon Fort.

  5. Northeast Vietnam travel

    Vietnam, Asia. Northeast Vietnam includes Halong Bay, one of the region's biggest draws. Reasons to linger after your boat trip include the lesser-known but stunning Bai Tu Long Bay, the intersection of nature and culture that is Ba Be National Park, the otherworldly karst landscapes outside of Cao Bang and the urban options in Haiphong.

  6. 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Vietnam You Have To See

    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 ...

  7. 8 Top Places to Visit in Northern Vietnam

    4. The Dong Van Plateau. The Dong Van Plateau starts just north of the city of Ha Giang, about a six-hour drive from Hanoi. It is a spectacular part of the remote, mountainous region of Vietnam's far northeast. Spectacular terraced rice paddies climb to the summits of the surrounding mountains, extending beyond the horizon.

  8. 17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

    4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. 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.

  9. 8 of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Vietnam

    Goats on the Road share their tips on getting the most from well-known Halong Bay and Sapa, and then take us beyond those famous destinations to find the hidden treasures up in Vietnam's far north. Halong Bay. Beyond Halong Bay. Sapa and surrounds. Dong Van Plateau. Mai Chau.

  10. 17 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam (+Map)

    14. 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.

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  12. North Coast Vietnam

    Rough Guides® is a trademark owned by Apa Group with its headquarters at 7 Bell Yard London WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom. Plan your visit to North Coast Vietnam: find out where to go and what to do in North Coast Vietnam with Rough Guides. Read about itineraries, activities, places to stay and travel essentials and get inspiration from the blog in ...

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

    Ba Be National Park (Near Sapa) Bach Ma National Park (between Dan Nang and Hue) Dong Ha - for DMZ tour (Between Dong Hoi and Da Nang) 2 Week Vietnam Itinerary - 1 Week in the South. Day 1 - Nha Trang. Day 2 - Dalat. Day 3 - Mui Ne. Day 4 and 5 - Ho Chi Minh City. Day 6 and 7 - Phu Quoc Island.

  14. 9 Most Amazing Things To Do In Vietnam's Mekong Delta

    One of the most immersive experiences for tourists to discover the local way of life is the region's bustling floating markets. It's all along these busy watery hubs where bountiful bargains and loads of haggling take place, all at the region's fascinating floating markets - a key part of the culture and trade in the Mekong Delta area that's seemingly remained unchanged since the early 1800s ...

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  16. Must-see attractions Northern Vietnam, Vietnam

    Van Chay Beach. Bai Tu Long Bay. Located in the northwestern corner of Co To Island is broad Van Chay Beach. During the summer months it's home to lots of food stalls, as well as kayak…. 1. 2. Discover the best attractions in Northern Vietnam including Lan Ha Bay, Cannon Fort, and Bac Ha Market.

  17. Exploring Western Vietnam in watery season

    In the watery season annually, Western Vietnam attracts the influx of tourists to take photos. Here are 6 destinations that should not be missed. February 04, 2024 10:32 | About us

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  20. Vietnam's 10 best natural wonders

    Detour off the regular Vietnam tourist trail in Ba Be National Park, an essential destination for adventurous travelers, with towering limestone mountains, plunging valleys and evergreen forests. Waterfalls, caves and lakes combine in a landscape that sustains over 550 different plants and hundreds of different bird and animal species. Explore ...

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  23. Central Asia, Vietnam new buzzing destinations on Indian tourist map

    The surge in demand for travel to Vietnam made the Tata group, too, sit up and take notice. The group's flagship airline, Air India, launched its New Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City service just last month. "Travellers are shifting preferences to destinations that promise accessibility, affordability, and cultural richness.

  24. Bella Hadid Wears the Naked Dress to End All Naked Dresses

    The Saint Laurent dress—with only some extremely well-placed seams preserving her modesty—is by far Bella Hadid's boldest to date.

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