12 most beautiful places to visit in Vietnam for travel enthusiasts

To visit the most charming destinations during your trip to Vietnam and save time, Vietnamdrive’s team selects the 12 most beautiful places in this country to explore. These places mentioned are in order from North – Central – South.
Let’s go deeper!

beautiful places in vietnam to visit

1. Rice Tray Viewpoint

  • Address: Q5V2+4Q8, La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai Province
  • Highlights: Impressive hilly landscape, beautiful terraced rice fields
rice tray hill in mu cang chai
It is picturesque in Rice Tray Hill. ©ThuyHaBich/Pixabay

About 300km northwest of Hanoi, Mam Xoi Hill in Mu Cang Chai district in Yen Bai province is a surprisingly beautiful natural landscape.

Mam Xoi Hill appears with strangely eye-catching stacked terraced fields. In particular, during the ripe rice season, which lasts from late September to early October every year, the whole area is dyed golden, exuding an irresistible charm. In the distance, it looks like a giant tray filled with fragrant sticky rice. That’s why people call this landscape the name “Doi Mam Xoi” (Sticky Rice Tray Hill)!?

Coming to Vietnam, don’t miss the beautiful photos of this place to share with your friends. And, you can pay a low fee to enter the rice fields and take pictures. This cost is worth it for what you get from this place.

2. Tran Quoc Pagoda

  • Address: 46 Thanh Nien Street, Truc Bach Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
  • Highlights: Ancient and sacred temple, peaceful scene
tran quoc pagoda ho tay
The tranquil scenery in Tan Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Located on a small island of West Lake, in Tay Ho district, the pagoda stands out with a 15m high stupa with 11 floors and many ancient Buddha statues preserved inside the main hall.

The tranquil scenery here combines with ancient architecture, which makes Tran Quoc Pagoda a symbol of the Vietnamese pagoda style.

Thanks to its location with exceptional feng shui values, plus its long history, the pagoda has become a sacred place of worshipping and praying for local people on full moon days, the beginning of the lunar month, or Tet holidays.

As a tourist, the late afternoon is the most suitable time to fully feel the mysterious beauty of the pagoda, immersed in the poetic scenery of the lake glistening with the sunset.

3. Ha Long Bay

  • Address: Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
  • Highlights: limestone islands, caves, cruise tourism
ha long bay in quang ninh
Halong has beautiful landscapes created by thousands of islands.

Located northeast of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province is one of the not-missed tourist destinations in Vietnam to explore.

This place stands out with its 1,553 square kilometer bay landscape, adorned with thousands of large and small rocky islands. Inside each rocky island, there are hidden beautiful and mysterious stalactite caves. It can be said that Ha Long is like a wonderland ready to welcome you.

Outstanding activities in Ha Long Bay include swimming, kayaking, adventurous mountain climbing, admiring the incredible natural beauty, exploring caves, spending the night on luxury cruises, and enjoying many delicious fresh seafood dishes.

The most suitable time to travel to this place is March – April. The weather at this time is quite warm, with few storms and calm seas; therefore, it is favorable for exploring and taking pictures of this Natural Wonder of the World.

In addition, during the summer period, lasting from May to September, the weather here is suitable for swimming and enjoying the scenery. However, at this time, the weather is quite hot, with occasional rain and storms. During this period, you should check the weather forecast carefully to ensure good conditions to spend time here.

4. Tam Coc – Bich Dong

  • Address: Ninh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province
  • Highlights: Rocky mountains, caves, and field scenes
tam coc ninh binh
A lovely boat trip to explore Tam Coc

Belonging to the list of famous tourist destinations of Ninh Binh, Tam Coc-Bich Dong captivates you from the first time you set foot here. It is because of the charm of the Ngo Dong River and lush rice fields mixed with the rolling mountain landscape. Everything seems to be an incredible scene.

Although known as the terrestrial twin sister of Ha Long Bay, Tam Coc-Bich Dong still has unique features that cannot be found anywhere else. It owns the beauty of the mountainous region, and somewhere is the hidden peace in the gentle countryside. At the end of the exploring route, it suddenly opens the mystery of a stalactite cave system.

To explore Tam Coc, you must use small boats rowed by local people as a means of transportation to the cave area.

February and March are the most suitable weather to come to Tam Coc. However, if you want to admire the golden rice fields along the Ngo Dong River, come here at the end of May to early June.

5. Paradise Cave

  • Address: Km 16 Ho Chi Minh Street (West Branch), Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province
  • Highlights: amazing caves, enchanting stalactites
Paradise Cave
Paradise Cave in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. Photo: Vietnamdrive

Located in the cave complex of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh province, Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave) has enchanting charm with a thousand columns of stalactites and stalagmites.

If compared with other caves that have been exploited for exploitation in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, such as Phong Nha Cave (also known as Water Cave) and Son Doong Cave, Paradise Cave is the place that attracts the most tourists.

It is because, in terms of scale and aesthetics, Paradise Cave is superior to Phong Nha Cave, but it is much smaller when compared to Son Doong Cave.

But considering the convenience of tourist activities for visiting Paradise Cave, you do not need to use a boat like in Phong Nha Cave. You also don’t have to spend too much time, effort, adventure, and high costs like exploring Son Doong Cave.

Therefore, the Paradise Cave is a perfect choice for tourists to admire the unique and mysterious beauty of the world-famous cave system in this region.

A notable point when exploring Thien Duong cave is that you have to climb up 524 stone steps or 570m of slope to reach the cave entrance. Therefore, for elderly travelers, children, or people with poor health, you should consider this feature before departing.

The dry season, from March to September every year, is the most suitable time to visit and travel to Thien Duong Cave.

6. Hue Imperial Citadel

  • Address: 23rd August Road, Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Ancient architecture, the king’s palace, an airy area with green trees
hue imperial city
Hue Imperial City ©Vietnamdrive

Located in the heart of Hue City, on the northern bank of the romantic Perfume River, Hue Imperial Citadel has become a prominent destination in Central Vietnam. Most tourists who want to learn about the culture and history of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty – the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945) cannot miss this relic.

With a total area of 520 hectares, Hue Imperial Citadel is where architectural works that used to be the Royal Palaces of the Nguyen feudal regime exist. Among them, the main areas that attract tourists include the Outer Walls, Royal Palaces, and the Forbidden City.

Depending on your need to learn more about history, architecture, and culture or just have an overall view of the Royal Palaces of the Nguyen Dynasty, you can spend 1-3 hours at this location.

7. Hai Van Pass

  • Address: Lang Co, Phu Loc district, Thua Thien Hue province
  • Highlights: Winding mountain pass, beautiful views of mountains and sea
hai van pass hue
A curve to go up Hai Van Pass. ©Vietnamdrive

Hai Van Pass is located on National Highway 1A, connecting Thua Thien Hue province and Da Nang City. This beautiful landscape comes from a majestic mountain pass on one side and a vast sea on the other.

During the journey from Hue to Hoi An or vice versa, you will have a good chance to sip coffee and enjoy the majestic beauty at the top of Hai Van Pass. To do that, you need to travel by car with a professional driver, and then he will help you conquer the winding curves here.

In addition, at the top of Hai Van Pass, there are also historical relics, such as Hai Van Quan, and a few bunkers left over from the war for you to explore.

The unfortunate minus point of this landscape is the situation of soliciting and following customers by a few street vendors.

8. Hoi An Ancient Town

  • Address: Hoi An city, Quang Nam province, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Ancient houses, engaging shopping, tailoring, lantern colors
hoi an ancient town vietnam
A beautiful morning in Hoi An Old Town. ©Vietnamdrive

As the heart of the city, Hoi An ancient town has become the gathering place for most tourists when visiting and staying here.

Although it only has an area of about 5 km2, the Old Quarter still fully meets the needs of tourists, from sightseeing, dining, photography, entertainment, shopping, and tailoring.

The unique feature that makes Hoi An attractive lies in the ancient houses, assembly halls, and pagodas. All these buildings connect with each other to create a street with a strong impression of the old urban area. Besides, there are also Hoi An people who are gentle and hospitable, contributing to lively life in the ancient region.

After walking through the rows of ancient houses until your knees are tired, stop at a restaurant or small shop on the side of the road to try a cup of coffee and enjoy some delicious local dishes. It is truly an exciting experience that should not be missed.

In the evening, take time to walk around the old town. And then, you can admire the shimmering colors of the lanterns and explore the peaceful life of the local people. That helps you realize how beautiful and peaceful Hoi An is at night.

9. Nha Trang Bay

  • Address: Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Sea, islands, coral reef
nha trang bay vietnam

Nha Trang City is on the list of famous coastal cities in Vietnam, which attracts plenty of domestic and foreign visitors. Among the guests coming to this city, more tourists in Ho Chi Minh City like to travel to this area to have fun, rest, swim, and enjoy seafood.

And, Nha Trang Bay is located east of Nha Trang City, in Khanh Hoa Province, about 500km from Hoi An City. The bay has a total area of about 507 km2, including 19 large and small islands, of which Hon Tre is the largest island.

Thanks to its terrain advantage with all the good elements of sea, island, land, and mountain forest, this place is honored to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is the second most charming bay in the country, only behind Ha Long.

There are many exciting activities in Nha Trang Bay for you to experience, such as playing at Vinwonders Hon Tre, diving to see coral at Hon Tam, visiting Hon Mot fishing village, exploring Hon Mieu Aquarium, or simply swimming and enjoying fresh seafood.

The best time to travel to Nha Trang Bay lasts from January to September every year. This duration is when Nha Trang enters the dry season, so visiting the beach city and islands is fascinating. However, you should also check the weather forecast before starting your journey, which will help you avoid unnecessary inconveniences caused by unusually bad weather.

10. Red Sand Dunes

  • Address: Vo Nguyen Giap Street, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Large red sand dunes
mui ne sand dunes
A beautiful photo at Mui Ne sand dunes. ©Thomas G./Pixabay

Red Sand Dunes is about 25km north of Mui Ne city center. The sand dunes are located along Vo Nguyen Giap Street, about 1km from the intersection of Nguyen Huu Tho and Vo Nguyen Giap.

This place looks like the capital of sand dunes with countless rows of red and yellow sand waves, enchantingly beautiful. Because of that magnificent feature, this area is called Red Sand Dunes or Golden Sand Dunes.

Coming to the Red Sand Dunes, you will experience the feeling of freely playing in the sand, participating in sandboarding, sliding on the sand, or crossing the rolling dunes by Jeep tour. In addition, this is also a great place to help you get many delightful photos.

A note for you: walking on the sand during hot weather is never an experience you should try, so please be careful to avoid the hot hours. At the same time, when walking barefoot on the sand, you also need to pay attention to some sharp objects that may by chance hide somewhere.

11. Cu Chi Tunnels

  • Address: Road 15, Phu Hiep Commune, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Tunnel system under the ground
cu chi tunnels hcm

Cu Chi Tunnels is about 55km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City center. This unique historical site is a hard-to-believe destination when you want to learn about the history and war in Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels is a complex tunnel system consisting of many small underpasses connected together, forming a network of deep underground. This region is where many local people lived during the war years. It contains all the hardships of the people over a long period.

To experience this place, you can join a round-trip tour from Ho Chi Minh City to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. It can take you about 4 to 5 hours to do this tour.

12. Cai Rang floating market

  • Address: Can Tho River, Can Tho City, Vietnam
  • Highlights: Floating market on the river, trading activities on boats
cai rang floating market can tho
Visiting the typical Cai Rang floating market is a great experience.

Cai Rang Floating Market operates on the Can Tho River, near the Cai Rang bridge, about 6km from Can Tho City. It is one of the most famous and unique markets in Vietnam. To get to the market, you need to travel by boat, and it will take about 30 minutes if you depart from Ninh Kieu Wharf.

Previously, this market was only dedicated to trading specialty fruits of the Mekong Delta to neighboring cities. Today, in addition to fruits, the Cai Rang floating market sells various items and local dishes that you can enjoy right on the boat.

The market opens early in the morning, from 5 to 9 AM. every day. The busiest time is between 5:30 and 7:00 AM. Therefore, remember to wind up your alarm clock to get there in time when the market is crowded. And you have to book a boat to float on the river and join the activities of the locals.

Vietnam looks small on the world map, but you needs many weeks to explore its all beauty.

The top 12 stunning attractions above were selected based on cultural and historical value, natural landscape, and transportation convenience. Vietnamdrive believes these places are worth the time and money to come.

With authentic experiences in organizing tours to visit Vietnam, we recommend that you make a detailed travel plan. It helps you put these famous destinations on a suitable schedule, and it is also easier to visit other charming attractions in this country. At the same time, planning is the best way to save time and money on your journey.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.