Now that you understand the fundamentals of planning a trip to Vietnam, let’s dive into this guide about where to go in Hanoi and what locations you should not miss on your Vietnam trip! Here is a list of the top 10 Vietnam best places to visit.
Vietnam Best Places to Visit in Northern
Hanoi’s rich history and vibrant chaotic streets, which showcase everything from broken down shophouses to colorful exteriors, have long made it a stop on any northern Vietnam itinerary.
As the capital city, Hanoi provides visitors with a glimpse into traditions that are still visible on the streets today. Old and new blend seamlessly in Hanoi, creating a melting pot of society, history, culture, and authentic cuisine.
The Old Quarter is Hanoi’s beating heart, and it’s likely where you’ll spend the majority of your time. With a history that dates back over 1000 years, the Old Quarter has something for everyone, no matter what your interests are!
Shopaholics and photographers should not miss getting lost in the maze of shops and alleys that line the 36 Pho Phuong street (merchant streets). Local merchants are organized here by the products they sell, which range from flowers and jewelry to silks and toys, to name a few. Around every corner, there are endless photo opportunities and opportunities to experience the city like a true local. Hoan Kiem Lake is a must-see for those looking to explore the natural beauty, albeit not less chaotic, side of the Old Quarter.
Ha Long Bay
If there is one natural wonder in Asia that you should visit, it is Ha Long Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its limestone caves and caverns with centuries-old stalactites and stalagmites. It consists of over 1600 limestone islets in all shapes and sizes imaginable, all covered in lush green vegetation.
Although Ha Long Bay has suffered from overtourism in recent years, its iconic emerald waters and towering limestone karsts are well worth the 3 hour bus ride from Hanoi, and even the crowds!
Cat Ba Island is among the most beautiful places in Vietnam. The island is easily accessible by bus from Hanoi/Hai Phong. You must first travel to Cat Hai (a small island). Then take a short ferry ride before boarding another bus that makes several stops on Cat Ba Island.
Cat Ba, the island’s main town, is a laid-back place in a fantastic location. Visitors can tour the island (best done by motorbike) or join a boat tour of Ha Long Bay from Cat Ba town.
Vietnam Best Places to Visit in Central
VIETNAM BEST PLACES
Ninh Binh is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful destinations. Not only can you enjoy breathtaking views from the 500 steps of Mua Caves, but you can also visit Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trang An offers a 3-hour boat tour with a local guide to explore the towering limestone karsts. Explore beautiful hidden temples, watch the Kong: Skull Island set, and squeeze your way through hundreds of meters of river caves for an unforgettable experience. Most importantly, Mua Caves Ecolodge allows you to fall asleep to the sound of frogs, rather than a car horn!
Phong Nha-Ke Bang
The world’s largest cave and Asia’s oldest karst mountains can be found in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-K Bàng National Park. This 400 million year old site was discovered only 20 years ago and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.
Not only has this incredible cave system elevated the Phong Nha-K Bàng National Park to the top of the country’s natural highlights list, but the surrounding forest also provides jungle trekking and road cycling opportunities for the more adventurous. Because of these additional activities, the area has earned the moniker “Adventure Capital of Asia.”
Nothing captures the history of Hue better than the great Imperial City of Hue, a fortified complex of royal buildings. This was the seat of power during the Nguyen Dynasty, which united Vietnam in 1802 and was the country’s last imperial dynasty to rule. Despite the fact that many of the buildings within the Imperial City were damaged during the Vietnam War, seeing all of the temples properly will take several hours.
VIETNAM BEST PLACES
If you are traveling through Vietnam, Da Nang is unquestionably one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. We went there as a day trip from Hoi An and had a fantastic time! There’s a lot to do there, including such heading up and over Tho Quang, a large mountain right on the water. The best views are spectacular, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
Vietnam Best Places to Visit in South
Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s prestigious tourism attractions and an absolute must for anyone looking for a low-cost beach vacation in Vietnam. Spend your days relaxing on Tran Phu Beach or taking a dip in the South China Sea. Drop by the Sailing Club for a well-deserved sundowner while enjoying the beach vibes with a cocktail in hand.
Those looking for adventure can try their hand at kitesurfing, surfing, snorkeling, or cycling along the nearby promenade. Shopaholics will not be disappointed in Nha Trang! Head to the Dam Market, which is ideal for picking up local trinkets and cheap knockoffs.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is many things, but the absolute chaos and bustle of the city will leave an indelible impression on you. Which, oddly, appears to be organized chaos!
The streets are alive with various smells and sights. Not to mention the scooters and motorcycles zipping by, all eagerly honking their way through the congested streets. Navigating yourself here may be a little more difficult than in the rest of Vietnam. So, if I can give you one piece of advice, keep an eye out for scooters on the sidewalks! If you don’t feel like walking, there are plenty of Grab taxis available.
Dalat is a delightfulsurprise. After sweating profusely all day, the cool spring weather that Dalat brings will be a welcome change. Dalat’s houses will astound and enchant you. The European vibe is appealing. Dalat has something for everyone, whether you want to relax, go on an adventure, or learn about the culture. Dalat is ideal for single travelers, couples, and families.
There is plenty to do in and around Dalat, but perhaps the most thrilling activity is to hop on a motorcycle or scooter and ride to or from the city.
The Mr. Rot Secret Tour is another fantastic experience in Dalat. I can’t tell you too much about this tour because it’s a closely guarded secret. Make sure you get the original and not the copies that are common in Vietnam. You can expect a great time, lots of laughs, and the opportunity to learn more about Vietnamese culture.
The crazy house and the 100 roof bar are simply not to be missed! These are unique places in Vietnam that are also creative, brilliant, and wonderful.
Canyoning, which is popular in Dalat, is another option for thrill seekers.