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16 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam is a fascinating combination of natural beauty and the diversity of its culture.

The scenery varies from jagged mountains seen from the long mountain passes that wind down to lush paddy fields painted with every green hue on the palette. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s rich history and diverse population (with more than 50 ethnic minority groups) ensure that a trip to Vietnam is with a rich cultural heritage.

Outdoor enthusiasts can sink their hands dirty in the countryside in the various national parks, where biking, hiking, and kayaking are all the most popular activities to enjoy. However, Vietnam’s most renowned scenic natural attraction is the stunning seascape of karst in Halong Bay, which is one natural wonder that even the most sluggish can witness from afar during cruises.

While the countryside is awash with beautiful scenery, The cities are brimming with modern life and offer plenty of opportunities to dive into the delicious cuisines of Vietnam.

The fascinating country is filled with delights and is among the most underrated destinations in Southeast Asia. You can plan your itinerary with our guide to the top places to explore in Vietnam.

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1. Halong Bay

The stunning karst landscape of Halong Bay is one of the top places to go around the world to enjoy breathtaking sea views. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many limestone islands lie in this bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, eroded into jagged pinnacles due to wind and water movement over millennia.

With the stunning bay’s landscape best enjoyed by boats, it’s a prime sailing area. Opt for at least an overnight trip to take in Halong Bay’s famous views since a trip for a day isn’t enough to appreciate the beauty.

There are a variety of caves that are accessible, such as those in the Hang Sung Sot, with three mammoth caverns, and one of them is the Hang Dao Go, which is filled with stunningly bizarre stalagmites and stalactites. However, for many, the most enjoyable part is walking through the karsts and enjoying the changing scenery of pinnacles as you go through.

2. Ho Chi Minh City

For those who love big cities, There is no way to visit Vietnam can be complete without a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, the bustling hub of commerce in Vietnam.

The streets are congested with cars and motorbikes. The restaurant and cafe scene is genuinely cosmopolitan, while the shops are among the most popular in the nation.

The center of the city at its center is Dong Khoi, a relatively compact and easy-to-navigate central district that houses most of the city’s landmarks.

In this area, the HCMC Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts that weave the city’s history. It also contains the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the latter part of the 19th century.

Visit the historic district of Da Kao nearby for some of the finest instances of Da Kao’s French colonial architecture and to see the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its fantastic assortment of Buddhist and Taoist sacred icons.

The History Museum is a must-do for anyone who loves history. It has a plethora of relics from several archeological sites.

For many tourists, you should take advantage of the two most popular tourist destinations located a bit away from the city center and along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. It is the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the past as Independence Palace, was the residence of the South Vietnamese president. It is most famous for the location where North Vietnam’s tanks halted at the end of April 1975, marking the war’s end. It’s a fantastic area to visit, complete with furnishings from the 1960s present.

Nearby is the War Remnants Museum. Though biased, it provides a horrifying picture of the brutality of war and the many atrocities perpetrated by US Forces during their Vietnam campaign.

3. Hue

One of Vietnam’s most historical cities, Hue is packed to the brim with treasures from the time of the 19th-century Nguyen Emperors.

It is situated along the banks of the stunning Perfume River The Imperial Enclosure is a vast area surrounded by walls that extend over 2.5 kilometers.

When you visit the grounds, be sure to visit the beautiful Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its exquisitely lacquered interior details, and the Dien Tho Residence, where Queen Mothers would reside as in the Halls of Mandarins with its preserved ceiling murals.

An abundance of historical sites is also located outside the Imperial Enclosure walls.

One of the best methods of seeing various outlying sites is having a cruise aboard a riverboat on the Perfume River. A day cruise will allow you to several royal tombs, as well as some pagodas.

If you’re in a hurry, The best place to see is the Tomb of Tu Doc, and the most crucial pagoda of the region is Thien Mu Pagoda, with its tower rising to 21 meters high.

4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

One of the most beautiful places to go to in Vietnam to caving, Phong Nha-Ke-Bang, a World Heritage-listed site, National Park is an impressive mountain formation of karst honeycombed with enormous caverns. They provide stunning stalagmite and stalactite formations.

The most well-known spot in the park is Paradise Cave, which extends over 31 miles beneath the ground.

The caverns with a yawning arc are stunning. Unfortunately, Tu Lan Cave is a “wet cave,” and it is a must to swim through the cave systems’ river.

The other well-known excursion is The Phong Nha Caves, where you can access the interior by boat.

The entrance to Phong Nha Khe Bang National Park via Son Trach.

5. My Son

Hindu temple ruins at My Son

Lush, jungle-covered mountains surround the area. My Son is a destroyed Cham city in the temple era, which is believed to date back to the 4th century.

The old Hindu temple was extensively used from the 7th through 10th centuries and was demolished and dissolved in the 13th century.

There are more than 20 temples still standing in the area, built from blocks of brick or sandstone and displaying intriguing influences from various Asian empires and empires, including Indian and Malay.

It is important to note that the temples in Group B have the most extended history. Group A had the most significant monument at the site but was destroyed deliberately during the war by US troops throughout the Vietnam War.

The museum has lots of information about Cham.

Access to my Son is available from Hoi An.

6. Hoi An

Lovely Hoi An is the most awe-inspiring city in Vietnam, filled with preserved historic buildings.

Its old-town quarter is fun to walk through, brimming with well-preserved merchant homes that date back to Hoi’s trading hub in the 15th century. Then, Hoi An was a significant gathering place with Japanese and Chinese traders who came to Hoi An for local silks.

Many of the merchant houses are open to the public so you can experience the spirit of the past. The best is the 17th-century Tan Ky House, with stunning architectural and decorative details.

Hoi An’s most famous emblem is the charming Japanese Bridge at the western edge of Tran Phu Street. At the same time, close by, it is home to the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, considered the town’s most lavishly decorated temple.

There are many small museums and pagodas scattered throughout town, but Hoi An’s most appealing charm is located in a stroll through the streets of the old city, taking in the beautiful façades.

7. Sapa Countryside

The lush rice field landscape that surrounds Sapa is bordered by the steep mountains in the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still called by their French colonial-era designation of”the Tonkinese Alps) is the most stunning countryside views.

The valleys in the deep are the home of various ethnic minorities in the country, including people from the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao. The hills rippling over are lined with rice fields and dominated by the tallest mountain in the country, Fansipan Mountain.

It is the most popular trekking spot in Vietnam, with plenty of opportunities to hike or trek through tiny villages and take in the breathtaking views of the mountains.

Sapa is, in itself, the principal base of the town – an old hill station that is today a bustling and growing tourist hub strikingly different from the tranquil and lush countryside in front of it.

8. Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital city is the bustling vitality of the country and a destination that enthralls tourists in the same way it delights them.

The motorbike mania and the pollution and continuous clamoring of street vendors could become too much for some travelers. Still, if you’re looking to get a taste of Vietnamese urban life, Hanoi can be the ideal place.

The old town district has many old-fashioned charms on the market, and history buffs should head to this place to look at the array of museums worth visiting.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Fine Art Museum are excellent introductions to numerous talents of the country. Finally, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is a fitting tribute to the man who was the founder of modern Vietnam.

9. Nha Trang

Nha Trang is the best for fun and sun to have fun with the sand in Vietnam. The well-maintained beach runs for six kilometers along the coast in Central Nha Trang city. It is crowded with families of locals holidaying and foreign tourists during the summer.

It is a great place to swim with designated swimming areas and well-groomed lounging areas, making it a perfect alternative for lazy days of enjoying sunshine and sun.

If you are bored with sunbathing, you can visit the old Po Nagar Cham Towers are located just to the north of the Xom Bong Bridge and have been used as a location to worship from at least the seventh century (with some scholars claiming that Po Nagar itself has been the site of active worship for a long time before).

There’s also a fantastic museum that focuses on the works of Alexandre Yersin, who discovered the reason for the bubonic plague. He created the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute (which still carries the vaccination program in Vietnam today).

10. Cu Chi Tunnels

A fascinating and thrilling experience for anyone who travels, regardless of their interest in Vietnam’s military’s contemporary history. The Cu Chi Tunnels formed an extensive network of tunnels that, in the course of the war, stretched over more than 250 km and allowed VC troops to work and communicate with the area around Ho Chi Minh City.

Two small parts of the network can be visited by a tour guide who’ll lead you into the dimly lit, narrow spaces that are certainly not recommended for people with claustrophobia.

You’ll be climbing on your knees and in some places. You can enter the tunnels from Ben Dinh village (the more well-known option) and Ben Duoc village.

11. Ba Be National Park

Tranquil Ba Be National Park is stunning, especially with the three interconnected Ba Be Lakes at its center, bordered by jagged karst peaks and thickly forested slopes.

Many visitors visit here for a relaxing boat trip or kayaking along the lake to discover the caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites within the area. However, for those who are more energetic, there are great hiking and trekking opportunities in the hills among ethnic minority villages.

It is among the most tranquil places in Vietnam, and visitors who stay the night stay in stilt-house homes with traditional stilt in the vicinity of the lake and can experience an ordinary rural lifestyle.

12. Mekong Delta

The southwest region in Vietnam is where the mighty Mekong River finally finds its route to the ocean in maze-like rivers traversing the floodplain.

Incredibly rich, with lush paddy fields, landscapes, and mangroves. It is also alive with locals. With a bustling floating market for boat excursions, The delta is considered among the top fascinating tourist attractions.

Can Tho is the most sought-after town for a base because it’s near those floating market areas in Phong Dien and Cai Rang, and boat excursions from Ca Mau permit you to visit the U Minh Mangrove Forest and Cau Mau Nature Reserve?

13. Cat Ba Island

One of Vietnam’s leading destinations for activities and tourist attractions, Cat Ba Island, sits at the western end of Halong Bay.

This is ideal if you want to arrange cruises and kayaking excursions within Lan Ha Bay, located south of Cat Ba’s coast. Lan Ha Bay is a lesser-known seascape with outcrops and islets of karst that provide a peaceful option for Halong Bay.

Away from the ocean, most of Cat Ba’s lush jungle’s inner reaches are included in Cat Ba National Park, where hikers can find a wide variety of wildlife, including mammals like macaques.

For many visitors, however, Cat Ba is all about the climbing possibilities. Climbing excursions on Cat Ba make use of the limestone cliffs of the island as well as the outcrops of Lan Ha Bay, offering experiences that are suitable for novice climbers as well as experienced climbers.

14. Ha Giang

The emerald-green mountain landscapes in ha Giang’s mountains make the province’s northmost part a perfect place for scenic road-tripping, whether by motorbike or vehicle.

In particular, the twisted Quan Ba Pass between Ha Giang town and Tam Son provides panoramic vistas of the karst plateau as well as the jagged outcrops of limestone as well as the moving Mai Pi Leng Pass between Dong Van, and Meo Vac gives breathtaking views of the beautiful mountain landscape and the narrow valleys below.

Plan your trip to coincide with one region’s markets when vendors from nearby mountain villages crowd into the town. Dong Van’s market on Sundays is among the top.

15. Phu Quoc Island

It is located 45 kilometers away from the country’s southern coastline in the Gulf of Thailand; Phu Quoc is an island that is densely forested with a smattering of white sand beaches, which attract lots of sun seekers in the winter dry season.

The dry season (November through May) can also be when the island’s underwater and on-the-water tourist attractions get underway. There are many dive sites available in the waters that lie just offshore, and the possibility of snorkeling, kayaking, and boat excursions.

The majority of the boat tours go towards the An Thoi Islands. This is because the Thoi Islands, just to the south of Phu Quoc, are where you can enjoy the best snorkeling in the region.

Off the water, The Phu Quoc cable car provides bird’s-eye views for eight kilometers taking you over the seascape and islands all up to Phu Quoc to the island of Hon Thom in the An Thoi Islands.

Phu Quoc is accessed by ferry or plane to the towns on mainland Rach Gia and Ha Tien. Because Ha Tien lies very close to the boundary crossing into Cambodia, The island is a popular first (or final) stop in Vietnam for travelers who travel overland.

16. Con Dao Islands

The island group is about 160 km offshore in the South China Sea and is known to divers as one of the top places to explore in China due to the diversity of marine life and its coral reefs.

A large portion of Con Dao Islands, and the surrounding waters, are protected wilderness, the islands’ shores are where nesting turtles can be found, and a thick forest covers the island’s interior.

The primary island, as well as the best destination for tourists with all accommodation options and things to do, can be found on Con Son Island, which has sand stretches strung across its coastline, which attracts beach lovers looking for relaxing sun-soaked relaxation and also divers.

If you’re just here to relax, be sure to visit the historical locations in Con Son Town (the island’s sole settlement) comprising Phu Hai Prison, Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, and the prison that is known as the Tiger Cages that document the dark and tragic history of the island’s isolated group.

Con Son’s location in the middle of nowhere resulted in the island being used to detain political prisoners when Vietnam was held by French colonial forces and later by the South Vietnamese government and the American troops. American forces.

The protected sites, including Phu Hai Prison and the prison cages used by US forces, also known as Tiger Cages, and Con Son Town’s Bao Tang Con Dao Museum, are excellent in their job of preserving the history for tourists.

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

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