Snaking its way down the eastern shores of the SouthEast Asia, Vietnam is a long, narrow country that hosts wartime relics, serene beaches, rice paddies and vibrant nightlife. Moreover, the Vietnamese people themselves are renowned for their graciousness and good cheer.
With more than a thousand miles of coastline to the east and rugged mountains to the west provide endless opportunities for photographers and nature lovers. One time trip to this scenic country will leave you unsettled as you will always want to travel back to this place again and again. If you are planning to visit this surreal beauty soon, we have prepared the list of best 10 places to visit in Vietnam to make the most of your vacations.
1. Ha Long Bay
Being recognized as the Natural Wonder of the world by UNESCO, Halong Bay is one hell of a beauty. Situated about 130km east of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, this stunning bay features more than 2,000 islands, intriguing caves, sinkholes, karsts and lakes. In the autumn, the weather is ideal and cool for vacations and holiday. One time visit to this place and we bet you won’t be able to get this place of your mind as it is a visual feast for the eyes and an unforgettable experience for natural landscape lovers.
Residing amidst the mountains, this place is an exemplary beauty of nature and culture with lush green rice terraces and home to country’s ethnic minorities(like the Hmong, Red and Giay Dzao tribes). One of the most preferred destinations for trekking in Vietnam as it is used as a base point to map the towering peaks of the Hoang Lien Son Mountains and of course the magical paddy fields and tribal villages. Tonkinese Alps Mountains have colonial-era touch as its name says it all. Visit this place to get awestruck by the stunning views and beautiful rural vistas.
Once served as the capital of Vietnam, Hue is one of Vietnam's most historic towns, is brimming with vestiges of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors. Situated on the banks of the stunning Perfume River, this place is home to many pagodas, tombs and other types of buildings that link the past to present around Hue’s beautiful countryside. Many of them were ruined (but luckily not totally destroyed) by war but many managed to escape without any damage. Such places include the Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and Long An Palace Museum. If you are a history lover, this place should be on top of your list when visiting Vietnam.
4. My Son
Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is a ruined Cham era temple city that dates from the 4th century. Originally a historical Hindu religious site, the city was still very much an active site of worship during the 7th to 10th centuries, before falling into complete decline and abandonment in 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. Some of the most important monuments were deliberately destroyed by US forces during the Vietnam War. If you are a history lover, there is a good museum on-site that houses plenty of information on the Cham.
5. Hoi An
The ancient town of Hoi An, 100km south, down the coast, is a much more charming place to spend a few days, with its lazy river lined with mustard-yellow merchants houses, and beaches a few kilometers away. When traveling to Hoi An, the old town quarter is a particularly great place to explore, characterized with well-preserved merchant houses that date back to Hoi An's role as a trading hub in the 15th century. Most of the old merchant houses are open to the public, so you'll get a rare glimpse into a distant era of Vietnamese history. Yes, it’s touristy, but the old town is surprisingly extensive and can absorb a lot of visitors without losing its dreamy atmosphere. A walk on the streets with merchant houses on one side and river on the other side will give you memories which lasts a lifetime.
6. Nha Trang
Combining the convenience and practicality of an urban locale with the beauty and serenity of a coastal fishing village, Nha Trang has a stream of attractions for all age groups and types of travelers - from conventional tourists to explorers looking to take the unbeaten path through town. Moreover, it is a seaside resort city where you can sunbathe by the beach in the day and groove to pumping music in the night as it has many amazing nightclubs, bars and lounges. It is also popular among Vietnamese, tourists and dedicated Scuba Divers. If you get bored of sunbathing, the ancient and historical Po Nagar Cham Towers to the north across the Xom Bong Bridge is worth a visit. Sunbathing at the serene beaches is loved by all, go there and feel the same way!
7. Ho Chi Minh City
Still often referred to by its old name, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City served as the capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. At present, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's commercial hub and largest city, and it's a place where old abuts new with striking contrast. With its elegant French colonial architecture and wide, tree-lined avenues and its vibrant nightlife scene, Ho Chi Minh has a lot in store. Places to visit in the former capital are Notre Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum.
Not far from the city, the famous Cu Chi tunnels are a must-see attraction, and the lush waterscapes and small villages of the Mekong Delta provide a fascinating glimpse of rural life. Trust us, the surreal beauty of the place will give you goosebumps and make you agree that the world is full of beautiful places!
The second biggest city in the country, Hanoi is the perfect place to dive into Vietnamese city life. It is an interesting mix of the East and the West with noticeable traces of the communist influence as well as the French invasion. It is a favored destination for tourists. Major landmarks of this city are its Old Quarters, Grand Opera House, the Presidential Palace and Saint Joseph Cathedral. In fact, TripAdvisor named Hanoi to be the 8th most popular destination in the World in 2016. So when are you heading to this beautiful city?
Known as a romantic and quiet city, Da Lat never lacks interesting activities for people of all ages. With cool weather year-round and beautiful landscapes of misty valleys, pine trees, and vibrant flowers, this walkable city offers beautiful scenes of classic French colonial architecture and villas, nestled amidst idyllic landscapes - a definite change of scenery from the rest of Vietnam. If you are not a nature lover, the beauty of this place will make sure, you turn into one.
10. HAN SON DOONG CAVE
Famously known as the ‘cave of the mountain river’, Han Son Doong Cave is a world of its own. The sound of the roaring river and the wind blowing through it, make the perfect welcome music for an adventurer’s soul. It is the largest cave passage section in the world, located in Vietnam near Laos-Vietnam border. Locals call this cave the heart of Phong Nha Ke Bang National park as this place is the best part of the National Park.
Son Doong Cave is amazing, filled with spectacular views all around it. Moreover, It offers a view of the way of life that has been unchanged for centuries. It is apparent that there’s something magical waiting just beyond the opening to the cave. Go there, explore and tell us, what do you have to say about it?