When planning your journey to Vietnam especially if it is your first time, you may be clueless wondering what the beautiful attractions in Vietnam are. In having heard about Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue, Hoi An, the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City, you may want to know what the top tourist attractions are in order to plan your vacation accordingly.
Vietnam offers unrivaled attractions in the form of history, colonial remnants, stunning scenery, natural beauty, ethnic diversity and exotic foods. Their shared history as part of Indochina is still evident in the fading French architecture, the cuisine and the ubiquitous reminders of bloody wars; but it is their distinct differences that render the country with such a fantastic travel experience. The country of Vietnam is filled with cherished rice fields which embellish the mountains of Northern regions in Sapa, the pristine sunny and beautiful coastal beaches; the bustling Ho Chi Minh City that plays hard and the enchanting, romantic capital Hanoi. Experience the exotic charm of Asian culture and thriving modern cities set alongside the stunning scenery of Vietnam. This goes from Buddhist temples to the communist monuments, sailing through limestones karst to cruising along narrow delta canals, trekking in the highlands or exploring sacred caves.
Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam really does have it all, you name it. There is anything from paradise beaches, a tempting mix of Asian and French cuisines and Hue imperial citadels as one of the most enchanting historic attractions set out for you in the perfect holiday. Welcome!
Explore The Best and Hottest Tourist Spots in Vietnam
The uniqueness of Vietnam attracts everyone with any taste of traveling. Coming here on a vacation gives you wondrous opportunity to discover the beauties of Vietnam one by one, meet people living in unique Asian culture, visit UNESCO natural wonders like Halong Bay, taste the authentic foods and participate in festivals held year-round. Over the years, the country has changed significantly. However, the highlands and rainforests represent a rich fauna and flora that incite adventure. The beaches and islands of Vietnam are among the most beautiful in all of Southeast Asia, perfect for family pause. Vietnam is a great destination where you can do any type of vacation. Vietnam travel and tourism are increasingly appreciated by people worldwide who want a unique experience in an unforgettable country.
Vietnam has the elongated shape of the letter “S” with long stretched beaches mixed with different types of attractions from cultural heritages of Hue to the natural beauties of Mekong and Sapa. This country is characterized by a rich natural beauty, having mountains in the North and the lush Mekong Delta in the South.
Hanoi – An Old Charming Capital of Vietnam
Hanoi is a capital of Vietnam with a classic beauty and authentic charm. The attractions of Hanoi include the best well-known Vietnam’s classic sites as well as decaying but relatively intact examples of French colonial buildings. When you are in Hanoi, be sure not to miss the incredible maze of 36 streets in the Old Quarter where locals get together with travelers every night to enjoy the city’s finest nightlife. Hanoi’s major sightseeing and places to visit in the city include the Ho Chi Minh Complex, the Temple of Literature, the Museum of Ethnology and Ngoc Son Temple.
Excursions from the capital city of Hanoi allow you to take a short ride to the Perfume Pagoda, a vast series of Buddhist temples dating back to thousands of years, and also Thay Pagoda which dates back to the 11th Century and the birthplace of water puppetry, the Duong Lam Historic Village.
Attractions to explore in Hanoi
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
- Hoa Lo Prison
- Hanoi Citadel
- Hanoi Old Quarter
- One Pillar Pagoda
- Tran Quoc Pagoda
- Ngoc Son Temple
- Temple of Literature
- Quan Thanh Temple
- Vietnam History Museum
- Vietnam Military Museum
- Museum of Ethnology
- Water Puppet Show
- Cooking Classes
Halong Bay, The UNESCO Heritage Natural Site
Halong Bay is considered as one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world, for it is a must-see and do on every trip, it doesn’t matter with whom you travel, whether solo, or with family, Halong Bay must not be missed. This precious site is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, a turquoise bay with thousands of shaped limestone karst. The best way to get into the magic of this incredible bay is to take a cruise tour to enjoy the beauty of this place, cruising through the limestone karst, which loom like castles, complete with rocky spires and hidden caves, still used for fishing having whole families live on floating villages that are easily visited. You may even be lucky enough to be invited on a fishing trip. It was also among Asia’s top 5 tropical island paradises as selected by International Travel Channel.
Choose a right tour organizer to avoid rushing from place to place, taking the best and most economical way to visit Halong Bay and enjoying the cruise trip from Hanoi.
Attractions and activities in Halong Bay
- UNESCO Natural Heritage Site
- Thien Cung Grotto. Dau Go Grotto. Sung Sot Grotto. Luon Cave.
- Floating and fishing villages
- Kayaking and swimming
- Night fishing
- Overnight stay on traditional cruise and or junk
- Photography in the sunrise and sunset of Halong Bay
- Tuan Chau Island
- Cat Ba National Park
- Viet Hai Village
Sapa – Visit Southeast Asia’s Finest Rice Terraces
Sapa is among the seven most dazzling and attractive rice fields in Asia. Northern Sapa, is located in high and virginal mountains near the borders of neighboring China. Visiting Sapa offers a unique experience through the most vivid and colorful remote areas one can find. Locals wearing a traditional custom that looks like a strip of flowers can be seen in a Sapa Sunday Market. Also, there is Fansipan to check out, the highest mountain in Indochina at 3143 meters.
Fansipan overlooks the region with surrounding lush valleys featuring terraced rice paddies, which makes living in Sapa for a few days through unique homestay experience all the more worthwhile. The Sapa regions have been home to several ethnic tribes and minority groups.
The best and most convenient way to get to Sapa is by an overnight train from Hanoi. Travelers can visit the colorful Bac Ha Hill Tribes and the Sunday market in the city. And, on Sundays, minorities in their colorful clothing come down their local houses in the slope of Fansipan to take part in the day market.
Attractions and activities to explore in Sapa
- Hill Tribe Villages: Cat Cat, Ta Van and Ta Phin Villages
- Sara Church. Silver Waterfall and ancient carved stones
- Heaven Gate and Fansipan Summit
- Trekking and Homestay with Hill Tribes
- Boat trip in Ca River
Hue, The Former Imperial Capital
In the early 20th Century, a French explorer visited the imperial city of Hue describing the historic town as “perfume bearers in royal blue.” This UNESCO world heritage site was not only the capital but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen Dynasty from the early 18th to mid-19th Century. The unique feudal capital setting features great natural beauty such at inner Hue, the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple Town. Tourists may take a boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda and other interesting pagodas as well. Hue also features a unique cuisine, combining dishes associated with the former imperial court with everyday street foods, much of it fairly spicy.
Attractions to explore in Hue City
- UNESCO Heritage Site of the Complex of Hue Monuments
- Dong Ba Market
- Nguyen Dynasty Tombs
- Phuoc Tich and Thanh Toan Ancient Villages
- Hue Garden Houses
- Cycling around countryside
- Boat trip on Perfume River
- Royal music performance
- DMZ and Ho Chi Minh Trail
- My Son Sanctuary (UNESCO)
Danang could be more attractive than its sister beaches in Southeast Asia of Thailand and Cambodia such as the neighboring Sihanoukville. Danang beach have been selected as one of the world’s best pristine beaches by the Lonely Planet Book. Danang offers more choices for leisure travelers with its pristine beaches. Currently Danang is the second most popular beach destination for domestic wealthy tourists and foreign travelers. Danang is easily accessible by road and new air links via Danang International Airport.
Attractions to explore in Danang
- Cham Museum
- Marble Mountain
- Danang Beach
- Day trip to Pleiku
Hoi An – Back in Ancient Time
Known as “Faifo” to early Western traders, it was one of the Southeast Asia’s major international ports during the 17th to 19th Century. Hoi An was an important port of call for Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese and other trading vessels. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as it was look like in a century ago and is still preserved with hundreds of houses built of precious wood in a very original style of architecture .
There is a Japanese quarter link with Chinese neighborhoods by a covered bridge, which were constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community in Hoi An. The best way to get around Hoi An is by walking in a tour and stopping at Tan Ky House and Chuc Thanh Pagoda. Or, you can join in one of many Hoi An’s cooking classes. You can take a short bike ride to Tra Que to learn how to make some traditional lanterns, visit My Son Holy land or take a boat trip to exotic Cu Lao Cham Island.
Attractions to explore in Hoi An
- Hoi An Ancient Town
- Japanese Bridge and Tan Ky House
- Cham Island
- Hoi An Lantern Village
- Cooking classes
Premier Beach City of Nha Trang
Nha Trang Bay is a premier beach resort with a long sandy beach and many bars, restaurants and dive shops along Tran Phu Boulevard, with many offshore island ideals for snorkeling and diving. Van Phong has a long and white, sandy beach along with lagoons and a deep seaport industry including Cam Ranh, an off-limits naval bay. For many years Nha Trang has been a very popular vacation destination for Vietnamese and international travelers with its 7 km white sand beaches overlooking the bay perfect for swimming in its quite calm water and taking day trips out to the islands.
Things to do in Nha Trang Island
- Po Nagar Cham Towers
- Fishing villages
- Diving & Snorkeling
- Boat trips off the Nha Trang Beach
- Mud bath
- High end resorts
Dalat, City of Eternal Spring
With European climate and the rolling mountainous terrain, Dalat was historically the summer hill station retreat to royalty and high society. Dalat is Vietnam’s most romantic destination. Set on an elevation of 1475 meters, Dalat is surrounded by forests, coffee plantation and gardens. It is often called a city of eternal spring with its temperature between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius and that is inspired by Vietnam’s last emperor Bao Dai, to be a summer home in Dalat of 1933. Dalat is also one of the best places for golfing as well.
Things to do in Nha Trang Island
- Dalat Flower Gardens
- King Bao Dai’s Palace
- Dalat Train Station
- Liang Biang Mountains
Ho Chi Minh City – The Former Saigon
This Vietnamese metropolis is something like a mixture of old and new Vietnam, with uniquely Asian and international architecture style. Older three-lined streets have a vaguely French atmosphere, while the multi-story building and office blocks show the city’s modern side.
This 300-year-old city has a lot to offer such as Giac Lam Pagoda and Giac Vien Pagoda, but also there is Notre Dame Cathedral which was built between 1877 and 1883, being the most famous of the French era churches in and around Saigon. This city has amazing bustling streets, fantastic restaurants and thriving trees making it perfect for days of sightseeing, afternoon shopping and evening interaction enjoying a sunset drink at a rooftop bar or on a cruise over Saigon River.
Attractions to explore in Ho Chi Minh City
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Reunification Hall
- The War Remnants Museum
- Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh Temple
- Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta – The Rice Bowl of Vietnam
Mekong is a watery landscape with green fields and sleepy villages, everywhere crisscrossed by the brown canals and rivulets fed by the mighty Mekong River. The unique charm of its introduction to life along the river is the real draw. Take a canal cruise through the tiny delta waterways in an open boat and you’ll pass stunning tableaus of people working in their paddy fields, water buffaloes, tangled fruits orchard, simple thatched-roof huts, fishermen and excited children waving. In the delta town, the river remains the center focus of life, ferrying travelers and goods to markets and linking the delta with the world beyond.
Take a few days to explore the floating markets in Can Tho, the islands around My Tho and hill-side pagodas of Chau Doc. Just a few hours from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, life in the Mekong delta unfolds as its own, slow and steady pace.
What to do in the Mekong Delta
- Floating Markets and Life in the Mekong
- Dong Tham Snake Farm
- Countryside cycling
- Mekong River Cruises