8 best places to visit in Vietnam
A travel guide to the 8 must-visit places in Vietnam including the mountainous Sapa town hidden in the mist, a World Heritage Site Halong Bay, the amazingly pristine Phu Quoc Island and the pastoral Mekong Delta, etc.
Vietnam is a striking travel destination possessing the most attractive tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. This country offers a distinct contrast of cultures and religious rituals between the North and the South regions, offering endless curiosity and surprises for tourists. Among the variety of fascinating places to explore, here is a list of the top 8 best places in Vietnam for you to plan your next trip to Vietnam.
Hanoi is the ancient capital, located in northern Vietnam. This city is where travellers can find many great architectures including well-preserved colonial buildings, thousand-year-old pagodas and centuries-old monuments. Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Dong Xuan Market are some of the must-see locations for any traveller visiting Hanoi
This city is not only renowned for its historical and scenic points but also for its delectable food heaven. Tourists searching for a real cultural immersion in artisanal dishes should venture into The Old Quarter to sample a taste of the local delicacies such as Grilled Pork & Noodles (Bun Cha), Egg Coffee (Ca Phe Trung), Vietnamese Style Fish with Turmeric & Dill (Cha Ca), Fresh Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon), Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich (Banh My), Traditional Noodle Soup (Pho) and Fresh Brewed Beer (Bia Hoi), etc.
2. Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a magnificent artwork of nature, awarded the World Heritage Site for its aesthetic and geomorphological values. This site contains a multitude of stunning limestone pillars sitting on the emerald water and associated notches, caves and islands, which is not seriously degraded despite a long history of human use. As the most eminent attraction of Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay completely satisfy the tourist’s expectation with many choices of Halong cruises from luxury, mid-range, private to budget cruises. This wonder is also a perfect combination for both adventure and leisure travel due to providing numerous interesting activities such as kayaking, visiting caves and floating villages, swimming, fishing, sunrise Tai Chi and rock climbing.
Sapa is a quiet town, surrounded by the marvellous mountains, beautiful rice terraces and a lot of hill tribes. Waking up with fog underneath your ankles is very usual in this city. Pretty much everything including houses, woods and mountains is covered in fog, which is why there’s a name of “Sapa – the City of Fog“. This is also the top trekking destination in Vietnam with a range of trails and route options to the local villages such as Lao Chai village, Ta Van village and Cat Cat village. Moreover, one of the most attractive things of Sapa that is Fansipan Peak, a top choice for any adventurous tourist who wants to conquer this highest mountain in Indochina peninsula.
4. Hoi An
As the most quaint town in South Central Vietnam, Hoi An has been rated the best place to visit in Vietnam in most travellers list. The spellbinding architectural sites such as Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall and Old House of Tan Ky, etc are parts of the reason why Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When the night falls, Hoi An is even more beautiful than anyone can ever imagine. All the streets are filled with illuminated lanterns and the Thu Bon River running through the town is also brightened up with lots of sparkling candles. Last but not least, Hoi An is also famous for many fun activities such as learning to cook the local specialities, exploring pristine beaches and visiting local villages in the countryside.
5. Phu Quoc Island
Luxury meets peace. Modern restaurants, vibrant nightclubs and upscale resorts on the coast altogether make this place a true paradise to relax and purify your soul. Phu Quoc is also called the “Jade Island”, perhaps, due to the jade-like colour of the water surrounding it. If you do get bored of beach bustle, take a trip to Duong Dong town where you can enjoy a lot of fresh fruits and local specialities such as fish sauce, pepper and seafood. Another interesting tourist attraction is the Phu Quoc prison, used to hold more than 32.000 prisoners during Vietnam War. The island is divided into 3 main tourist areas including the North, the East and the South. The north coast remains untouched by civilization while the east and south are highly developed for tourism.
6. Ho Chi Minh City
Known as the most bustling cosmopolitan city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is full of surprises for visitors. You can spend a day to stroll through the city’s highlights such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, War Remnants Museum, etc or go shopping for various unique souvenirs, handicrafts and authentic goods in Ben Thanh Market. When the sun goes down, the whole city will transform into the most dynamic playground ever for the expat community. You will find yourself get blended in with the locals, backpackers and many other travellers pretty easily. You can freely dance with your friends on the Nguyen Hue walking street, drink beer on Bui Vien Street or venture off to one of the famous bars and enjoy your big night party.
7. Cu Chi Tunnels
During Vietnam War, thousands of residents in Cu Chi, a Vietnamese province, lived in a complex system of underground tunnels. The Cu Chi tunnel system had become legendary during the 1960s as a strategic military base and community life centre. You will have a chance to discover this incredible underground maze including innumerable trap doors, living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories and classrooms. Also, don’t forget to try some authentic shooting experience in the shooting area.
8. Mekong Delta
The mighty Mekong River belongs to the far south of Vietnam. Known as “The Rice Bowl of Vietnam”, this region possesses a unique advantage over agricultural activities. Therefore, visitors will often find colourful floating markets, abundant fruit orchards and green rice paddies along the Mekong River’s banks. Also, your trip will not be perfect without visiting the coconut and sleep mattress workshops located along the canal.
As one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia, Vietnam will definitely bring you different emotions as well as unique experiences unlike anywhere else. From the calm and peaceful rice fields to vigorous street corners, this land is filled with full of surprises for visitors. Hopefully, you find our travel guides useful and now you can better plan your next trip to Vietnam.
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