Top 5 Things to See and Do in Vietnam

The beach scene along the coast of Nha Trang, Vietnam with the city skyline towering along the coastline
1. Tour the Mekong Delta
The delta, also known as the Nine Dragon River Delta, is a 60,000-kilometer (37,000-mile) long web of interconnected waterways, which spans three Vietnamese provinces. It is extremely important for the agricultural industry and has been used by humans since the 4th century BCE. Wildlife thrives in this region; it’s home to over 1,000 species of animals. The area is filled with small villages, pagodas, mangroves, and orchards. The best way to experience the area is to go on a boat or bike tour, where you’ll experience rural Vietnamese culture. Throughout a tour of the delta, you will cruise past temples, shop for fresh fruit and cut flowers on small boats called “floating markets”, explore the wild and overgrown jungle, and eat delicious local food. You get to spend a few days really getting to know the region outside the hustle and bustle of the cities. Day trips on the river start around 575,000 VND per person.

2. Wander Hanoi
Vietnam’s capital dates to the 3rd century BCE when it was the capital of the ancient nation of Au Lac. Explore the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, visit the countless temples and galleries, see the history museum, and tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The city is full of historic French colonial architecture, ancient Vietnamese landmarks, temples, and other religious centers. In 1999, it was dubbed a UNESCO “City for Peace” due to its efforts to promote education, environmental protection, equality, and nourish younger generations. Hanoi is also a good base for doing multi-day tours to Ha Long Bay. It’s a hectic, chaotic city — embrace it!

3. Explore Ha Long Bay
More than 3,000 islands sit within the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Ha Long translates to “descending dragon” in Vietnamese, and there is a legend that the gods sent dragons to assist the Vietnamese in a war long ago. The dragons spit out jade jewels that grew into islands protecting the mainland from invaders. The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans 370,000 acres. The islands are populated by rich jungles. Cat Ba Island is great for hiking and many tourists find themselves taking one of the cave tours. Tours here usually leave from Hanoi and last 3 or 5 days. Just keep in mind that the bay gets very busy!

4. Hang out in Hoi An
Hoi An is packed with historical homes and quaint cafes. It was a thriving port city between the 15th and 19th centuries and the architecture is incredibly well preserved (the entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It’s small and great for walking, buying suits (they have a huge fashion and tailor market), eating, and relaxing by the river. Hoi An also has some of the most gorgeous white sand beaches in Vietnam including An Bang and Cui Dai. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, nightlife, nature, or shopping, there is something for you to enjoy on a visit to Hoi An. It was easily my favorite place in Vietnam.

5. Get adventurous in Sapa
This is northern Vietnam’s premier trekking area and it’s hugely popular with all sorts of travelers. Sapa is famous for its hill tribes, lush vegetation, beautiful hiking trails, and breathtaking mountains. If you’re looking to experience the scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities Vietnam has to offer, this is the place. Hike to the summit of Mount Fansipan, otherwise known as the Roof of Indochina, for the most incredible views. Afterward, relax with a special herbal bath that is used by the Red Dao people for its healing benefits. It’s a wonderful place to camp, hike, bike, and explore. To avoid the tourists, come during the off-season or take longer hikes to parts the crowds don’t go to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *