Visit Vietnam to experience its rich history and the multiple cultural influences that has shaped it over the years, its exquisite street-food stalls and bustling night markets and calmness of the emerald waters at Ha Long Bay; its beautiful tropical beaches and the sandy dunes.
Spread across the many states in Vietnam (or provinces, as the Vietnamese call it), here’s a list of 15 most beautiful places in Vietnam that you should visit.
Welcome to the capital of Vietnam! Hanoi is chaos-beautiful and befuddling in its own way. This is the place where you deep dive into the city life of Vietnam, it being one of the 3 major cities in Vietnam. History buffs will be happy with the numerous museums that the city offers, like the Vietnam Fine Art Museum or the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
- Ho Chi Minh City
Night life in Ho Chi Minh City is vibrant and alive. Head to a Rooftop Bar or go to a nightclub to dance your worries away-you will get options aplenty. If you want a more local experience where you enjoy your drinks on a pavement, head to the Pham Ngu Lao area. The Ben Thanh market is the city’s night market to quench your shopping and eating needs.
- Hoi An Town
Visit Hoi An if you want to see how multiple cultures influenced this trading centre, as is reflected in this town’s architecture that ranges from wooden Chinese temples and shops to colourful building built by the French and the famous Japanese Bridge.
This is where you head to if you want to know more about Vietnam’s history. Located along the Northern banks of the Perfume River, The Imperial Enclosure is where the emperors lived and is another ‘World Heritage Site’ in Vietnam, exhibiting a magnificent architectural structure. Hue’s essence can be best felt with a ‘Dragon Boat Trip’ through the Perfume River.
- Ha Long Bay
Situated in the north eastern part of Vietnam, visit the Ha Long Bay to wonder at the beauty of its emerald waters and the breathtaking limestone islands that seem to shoot out of the sea. It’s a UNESCO declared ‘World Heritage Site’ which can be best experienced with a boat tour. If you have time, explore some of the caves in the Bay such as the Hang Sun Sot and Hang Dao Go.
- Sa Pa
The countryside surrounding Sapa is one of the most popular trekking spots in Vietnam where you can choose from various options like treks and day hikes between quaint old villages as you breathe in the mountain air. This mountain town is nestled among the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which also happens to have Vietnam’s highest peak-Fan Si Pan. Also look out for the view of the terraced fields of rice.
- Nha Trang
If you’re craving some beach time fun and frolic, this well maintained stretch of beach along the city of Nha Trang is perfect for you. There are great lounging areas too, where you can relax after a dip in the sea. This is basically a plush resort city located by the sea, a hit among tourists!
- The Mekong Delta
The southern tip of Vietnam is a mind boggling maze of rivers, islands and swamps where you can find anything the most amazing things ranging from vibrant floating markets to rice paddies, and Khmer pagodas to quaint old villages. You can jump on a boat from Ho hi Minh City to take you for a tour.
- Mui Ne
Just in case you were wondering what else Vietnam could offer, say hello to sand dunes. Eroded by the oceanic wind, the red and white sand dunes make a fascinating pattern. However, trekking the entire area is near to impossible and hence hiring sledges, buggies or quad bikes is recommended.
- My Son
A major site of architectural interest and wonder located near the Duy Phu village, My Son is a temple complex that houses partially ruined temples, dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva. These were constructed between the 4th and 14th century by the kings of Champa. A large part of the temple’s architecture was destroyed during the Vietnam War but this is still regarded as one of the major heritage sites of Vietnam.
- Da Lat
Treated as a summer retreat by the French colonialists and Vietnamese emperors due to its all-year cool weather, misty valleys and colourful flower beds, Da Lat is still a favourite among those looking to escape the Vietnamese heat momentarily. The beautiful French architecture and pretty landscapes add to the experience.
- Con Dao Island
Once a place for prisoners, the Con Dao islands is a group of 16 islets which are now a star attraction. Think white sandy beaches, a refreshing swim, jungle hikes, and scooter rides along the coast roads. You can also spend your time visiting the prisons from the colonial area and unearthing the stories of the prison inmates.
- Cu Chi Tunnels
An elaborate tunnel network that allowed troops to communicate secretly and undertake their missions in secrecy during the war, this 250 km long stretch is something you should visit if you’re not claustrophobic.
- Ba Be National Park
Probably one of the peaceful places to visit, this one is all about taking a laid back boat ride along the Ba Be lakes as you soak in the beauty of the plush green of the surrounding slopes, the sudden Karst peaks and the mysterious caves. Be sure to spot some rare mammals, fishes and butterflies.
- Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Another World Heritage Site, this biosphere reserve is home to more than a hundred species of fauna (Including tigers) and evergreen forests. The entire area has the famous Karst mountains typical of Vietnam, underground rivers and caves.