10 Best Vietnam Places to Visit with Highlights and Suggested Activities

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

In this article, we would like to introduce you to the famous Vietnam places to visit for your exploration of this beautiful country in the future. First, we will tell you the general of each destination why and what you visit, then we suggest some popular activities at that place for you to do while you stay there.

life in Vietnam
Life in Vietnam – Photo: kieutruongphoto/ pixabay

We do this post with the hope of supplying overview information for you to plan your journeys to Vietnam. Please use the content menu below to jump to any place you like to see the most. And, in this list, we start from the most favorite place.

The best thing to make Vietnam worth visiting

Vietnam is not only a beautiful country but also a truly wonderful destination with many interesting places waiting for visitors to visit and experience.

One of the top impressive things is Vietnam’s long-standing culture, including daily life, traditional style, culinary, and community culture. Those values ​​are still vividly displayed in everyday life. That culture is constantly being enriched day by day by the Vietnamese people.

Although many centuries have passed, life has moved, and plenty of things are changes, the quintessence and identity have remained the same.

It is a tradition of family reunion every holiday including Tet holidays, and the habit of visiting the temples in Vietnam on certain days of the year, to pray and wish good luck for life though many people do not follow a religion. This habit has created a special connection in the community and families of Vietnamese people.

Vietnamese cultural identity makes foreign visitors feel interesting, motivating them to embark on a journey of studying and practical experience. That is great to meet the local people who preserve and cultivate traditional heritage and values in this lovely nation.

Besides its cultural values, the landscapes, architectures, and cuisine in Vietnam are also impressive. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh (from the North to South), there are different places with amazing views that you can prolong your journeys.

You can find Halong Bay with incredible views created thousands of islands in the sea, Hanoi with a lot of old interesting streets, Ninh Binh with amazing landscapes, Phong Nha Ke Bang in Quang Binh with marvelous caves, Hoi An with hundreds old houses and a classic lifestyle, Hue with majestic old palaces and great local food, Ho Chi Minh with vibrant life and unbelieve tunnels, and much more.

1. Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital with a rich culture and unique daily life

Hanoi is charming and attractive in a particular way with sidewalk eateries, old-color dormitories, and pretty small streets where have selling-street vendors and smiles of casual workers …

Hanoi always has a typical attraction, an old and modern city. Although it’s noisy and bustling, it still retains the quiet, peaceful with ancient features in an old-new space intertwined. An open-minded, creative spirit and dynamism exist everywhere, which creates the personality and typical beauty of Hanoi. Each day, this place offers visitors new and interesting experiences.

Hanoi Vietnam
Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi – Photo: Thomas_Gerlach/pixabay

Although the vehicles are more crowded and life is more urgent, the behavior of Hanoi people is still very elegant and civilized. The way Hanoians welcome visitors is always the same: warm, friendly, and enthusiastic.

Many guests find the old-new interference, tranquility combined with the noisy, bustling atmosphere of a mysterious Eastern city, making curiosity that impulse to experience and explore.

The daily life is the most impressive thing that is associated with the streets. Looking at living scenes on the street is a great experience, not boring because it changes and moves continuously. And, sidewalk coffee is one of these specialties, you see people sitting down and watching the movement on the roads.

Also, sidewalk space creates unique life colors. A lot of activities of residents here happens on the pavements. People trade, chat, exercise, cut their hair, play with their kids, and even quarrel or get angry at each other… on the sidewalks. All create cohesive communities that form the traditional roots, the solidarity of Hanoians as well as Vietnamese people.

When traveling to Hanoi, you can find those cultures and many compelling destinations in the typical city.

The first impression is that Hanoi has a lot of lakes, which makes the life of the local people relative to them. In the morning or late afternoon, you can see a lot of people coming here to train exercise, and at night, plenty of couples have dating around them. And, the top lakes which you can see are Hoan Kiem Lake in the old quarter and the West Lake (Ho Tay).

And, Thanh Nien Street, a romantic road between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake, is a well-known destination. You can feel the beauty, a lovely typical feature of the city right on this road. Thanh Nien Street is a space to keep quiet and relaxing moments of daily busy life in Hanoi.

Besides, the architecture of Hanoi converges its own characteristics, showing the imprints of historical periods that have continued from the feudal to the present.

The ancient architectural vestiges preserved in a variety and coexistence with modern life have created a profound picture for Hanoi.

The ancient architectural vestiges, preserved in a variety and coexistence with modern life, have created a profound picture of the capital. The images of mossy gates, old villas, and dormitories in the modern urban are maintained and developed in different ways, which is also a nice thing to study.

Surely, the Hanoi Old Quarter of the French Old Quarter will be must-see places if you want to know more about the architecture and diverse life in this city.

In addition, many other famous places that you can come are Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Tran Quoc Temple, Duong Lam Ancient Village, Temple of Literature, and National University… And, do not forget to come to Ta Hien beer street to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Hanoi at night.

Outdoor activities in Hanoi

  • Visiting historical places
  • Walking around the old quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Drinking beer at Ta Hien Beer Street at night
  • Taking pictures of daily life at the Quang Ba flower market and old picture
  • Going shopping to buy lacquer picture, cool down at big malls

Day trips from Hanoi

  • Ha Noi to visit Halong Bay within a day, a little rush, but can do it.
  • Ninh Binh tour to explore Tam Coc, Trang An,…
  • Find the traditional life at Duong Lam Ancient Village
  • Try to make pottery products at Bat Trang pottery village, the activity is interesting for kids
  • Do Hanoi city tours within a day, and do not forget to add a food tour.

2. Ho Chi Minh, a great tourist destination in Vietnam

If Hanoi has the hustle and bustle of modern life, still contains the profound beauty of a thousand-year-old city, Ho Chi Minh City (HCM) is a young, vibrant city with a modern lifestyle.

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has undergone many changes, but the youthful pace of enthusiasm has not changed. It is always dynamic and integrates quickly with new things. That makes anyone who comes here cannot refuse to take away that rhythm.

Ho Chi Minh City at night
Ho Chi Minh City at night – Photo: phongct/pixabay

If you have an opportunity, visit Ho Chi Minh City to experience and explore the beauty and culture of the people here.

The first place that everyone mentions when telling about HCM is Ben Thanh Market. You should spend time at Ben Thanh market to understand the trading habits and the style of markets in Saigon. You can also enjoy a hot bowl of Pho (traditional noodle soup in Vietnam) at an affordable price.

Traveling to Saigon, do not miss the chance to visit the most famous church in the city – Notre Dame Cathedral. This work was built and completed by the French in 1880. Until now, this place has become an architectural symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. Outside the Mass during weekends, guests are free to visit inside the church.

From the Notre Dame Cathedral, walk a few steps, you will come to Saigon Central Post Office. Even if you don’t need to send letters or parcels, you should try once inside the ancient architecture. The post office was built by architect Gustave Eiffel (who designed the Eiffel tower) from 1886-1891 with European architectural style, combined with impressive Asian decor.

Another site that can make your visit to HCM more valuable is the Reunification Palace. The project, designed by Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu, is ranked as one of the first 10 special national monuments of the country. It welcomes thousands of domestic and foreign visitors every day. This is a useful attraction for those who love to explore history.

And, when the city lights up, the experience of wandering around the city on a motorbike in Vietnam will be memorable. You can drive through Thu Thiem Tunnel – the tunnel crossing the Saigon River, or go to District 7 to see the Starlight Bridge on the lights.

But, it is because of safety, we recommend you hire a rider to ride you while you are on the back to enjoy Saigon.

Nguyen Hue Square and Walking Street are where you can meet an old artist with an old violin, or a street band with enchanting acoustic tracks.

Do not forget to try the nightlife experiences in Saigon which is a vibrant night city. This is the time at Bui Vien Street, De Tham Street… becoming the busiest and the most crowded. You can choose a bar on the second-floor balcony, drink some beer bottles, sip a grilled squid, and chat with strangers sitting nearby.

The night is also the time when more food stalls are open to visitors. The habit of Saigon people is to enjoy drinking at inns, pubs, restaurants in the late afternoon or night. So, many shops open until the morning, especially the Ben Thanh night market, night street in Cho Lon area. It is said that HCM always stays up with delicious food.

Saigon cuisine is first of all the crystallization of delicious and unique dishes of the Mekong Delta. Those are the countryside dishes of the beautiful rivers.

Southern dishes often have the sweet taste of sugar, the fat of coconut milk. The hot pot dishes, especially hotpot sauce, always full of green vegetables. The grill also has many types of grilled charcoal, baked pot, and baked clay.

Ho Chi Minh is also home to many delicious dishes from different regions. Many unique dishes of Hanoi capital have also become a part of Saigon cuisine such as pho, grilled fish, vermicelli, Hanoi rolls, Thanh Tri rolls, Ho Tay shrimp cakes,…. The dishes of Central Vietnam also present in HCM such as Hue beef noodle soup, Hue spring rolls, Quang noodles, Cao Lau Hoi An …

Saigon cuisine is diverse and plentiful. If you visit Ho Chi Minh, please be patient to enjoy the cuisine here. You will find no places in Vietnam that converge so many culinary cultures. HCM is a golden land of Vietnamese cuisine.

Top activities in Ho Chi Minh:

  • Try out all the famous snacks on streets in Saigon
  • Sit at coffee shops at in the early morning and gather on the sidewalks along the river .. gossiping
  • Go shopping at Ben Thanh Market and glimpse the luxurious shopping centers
  • Visit historical and cultural sites in Cu Chi Tunnels and Duc Ba Church
  • Experience on the motorbikes to explore HCM life at night.

3. Ha Long Bay, where the sky and sea meet

Sea, islands and clouds of Ha Long Bay in the morning or the sunset create fairy beauty. This feature is one of the main reasons attracting millions of tourists visiting the land of a dragon every year.

With 165 km northeast of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh) is famous for its scenery of limestone islands casting on the sea and sky like a masterpiece of natural painting, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay – Photo: zx4354453/pixabay

The entire bay has nearly 2,000 limestone islands, including about 900 named islands, with different beautiful shapes. The rocky islands are concentrated, sometimes separated, forming a typical image for Ha Long Bay.

The most beautiful time in the bay is at the sunset and sunrise. Start a day by watching the attractive sunrise over the sea. As the sunshine comes through the small islands, you will feel the tranquil atmosphere combining between the sky and sea of the new day.

In the early morning, you may see the wholesale seafood market in Hon Gai, located on the bank of the bay. Many boats landing on the dock to the market carry the freshest seafood to supply the restaurants, the needs of the local people, and various places in Hanoi. That is one of the reasons, Halong bay is listed as a good place to taste the crabs, shrimps, and fishes in Vietnam.

Also, the islands in the bay are dim in the thick morning fog covered, which is so nice to have picturesque photos that many photographers wait for. And choosing a point at the mountains to look down from above, you can see all the beauty of Ha Long in the mist. Mist dances when the sun is not yet clearly visible and all peaks of the islands rise fancifully. All capture a lovely painting.

Moreover, Ha Long Bay at sunset becomes a “beautiful girl” that always allures the eyes of all people once staying in the area of her land. The bay is dyed the crimson color of the last rays of sunlight.

When the sunset covers all the islands, the bay’s water surface is inlaid with silver, blended with the dark color of the fading rocky islands, making Ha Long Bay a different beauty. And, when hundreds of the cruises in Halong Bay light up, the scenery becomes colorful shimmer.

It is time when tourists can enjoy watching the night stars, do squid fishing in the sea, or taste wine and seafood with friends, offering valuable activities for your journeys in Vietnam.

From a fishing market with daily activities of local people to the first sunlight of the dawn, from the majestic islands appearing in the fog of early morning to the amazing caves in the limestones of mountains in the bays, and from the peaceful fishing village hiding behind the mountains to beautiful beaches for swimming create incredible experiences when visiting Halong Bay.

Therefore, the majestic beauty that nature has bestowed on Ha Long Bay has become one of the most famous destinations in Vietnam that cannot be missed when coming to this charming country.

Activities to try doing in Halong Bay:

  • See the wonders just outside the window
  • Visit Cua Van Fishing Village – one of the beautiful villages in the world
  • Try a kayak experience
  • Watch the sunset on the Bay
  • Swim in the clear waters of Ha Long Bay

4. Hoi An, the rustic beauty in the hearts of visitors

Hoi An is one of the outstanding destinations in Vietnam for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists.

About 35 km from the international airport in Da Nang city, Hoi An is impressed by the old houses, mossy alleys, traditional villages, and friendly people, leaving an unforgettable image for millions of tourists.

Hoi An Ancient City
Hoi An Ancient City – Photo: ngmhieu2006/ pixabay

With ancient and serene architectural features, when you stroll in the old town, you seem to be lost in the scenery of a classic movie with countless colorful lanterns, and the melodious music of the speakers playing.

In the early morning, listen to the sound of chickens crowing mixed with the songs of the birds, see the rustic shops full of breakfast food, it is time everyone is cheerful to welcome a new day. Hoi An starts being more active with the daily activities of the local people.

The main transportation here is a bicycle or walking rather than a motorbike. The street is not dusty, not noisy. All activities in the ancient town of Hoi An are not rush, but colorful, helping to eliminate fatigue in modern life.

From the old men and women to the street vendors and the cyclo riders, all are very friendly with permanent smiles on their lips. The voice and greetings of the locals are soft and gentle, which contributes to the typical culture of Vietnamese people, creating a beautiful and friendly image.

Along the quiet Thu Bon River, life continues to grow but retains the traditional culture of the homeland.

Visiting Hoi An, you will encounter the burden of street vendors with many delicious local dishes. Lots of clothes shops, paintings, and silk goods are lined with elaborate and skillful signs. A classic tourist city gives travelers simplicity and friendliness.

The popular local dishes of this land such as Tao Pho, Cao Lau, rice paper, bread, chicken rice… have created the unique culinary of Hoi An.

Every time you come here is when you have different feelings. Indeed, our destination is not a land, but a new perspective.

Back in the old days, Hoi An used to be a busy trading port that was the largest commercial center in Southeast Asia. Goods here were come from and went to everywhere.

Here, during the time of a busy commercial port, the boats of traders from Japan, China, the Netherlands, … came and exchanged products busily.

In Hoi An, a special product is the swallow bird’s nests, which was ranked the first in eight rare dishes for the Kings, Empress and mandarins in the palaces. Now the bird nests are still collected from Cham Island and sold in Hoi An.

The time passed, Hoi An becomes a memory with nostalgic feelings. But it is also full of the charm of a neighborhood. It preserves traditional style combining with modern colors. At every corner of Hoi An streets, you just need to press the camera to have beautiful and sparkling frames.

Hoi An is also strangely beautiful at sunset times. The peaceful scenery in the ancient town has become more and more captivating. Visitors can sit and drink a cup of coffee and feel the tranquility that not many places have.

Indeed, Hoi An is a living museum, containing great cultural characters and tangible heritage. That value is created and preserved by the people of Hoi An themselves.

And, it seems that the night in the ancient town makes travelers understand and love it more. You can find newness, joy, bustle of modern life in a tourist city, but also enjoy peaceful, quiet, but shimmering.

Not only the ancient town of Hoi An, but plenty of attractive attractions near Hoi An are also Ba Na Hills, My Son Holy Land, Cham Island, Cam Thanh Village… These sites will enrich your holidays in Hoi An.

That is why Hoi An, despite many years of history passed, still attracts visitors from all around the world.

Popular activities in Hoian that you can choose to do:

  • Walking around Hoi An Ancient Town at night
  • Cycling to explore the old town
  • Sip a cup of coffee at the second storey of the shop to watch the ancient town of Hoi An
  • Enjoy the best bread in the world, and Cao Lau
  • Boat ride on Hoai River
  • Scuba diving to see the coral at Cu Lao Cham island
  • Spend a lazy time at the beautiful beach of An Bang
  • Enjoy sunrise at My Son holy land.

5. Ninh Binh: the amazing landscapes of nature

Ninh Binh is not only famous for its heroic history but also a place that is blessed with numerous beautiful attractions. Ninh Binh is not far from Hanoi, about 100km to the South. From Hanoi, tourists can drive a car only about 2 – 2.5 hours to this beautiful land.

The most famous tourist attraction attracts millions of visitors is Trang An scenic complex. In June 2014, Trang An was recognized by UNESCO as Vietnam’s first dual world heritage, including cultural and natural heritage.

Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh – Photo: Quangpraha/pixabay

Only about 8km from the center of Ninh Binh City, Trang An is known as “Ha Long Bay on land,” surrounded by splendid limestone mountains; and the rivers and streams weave inside the valley.

To visit Trang An, you can sit on a small boat on the Sao Khe River. Beneath the water is soft algae, swinging in the rhythm of sailing.

The landscape consists of a series of limestone mountains, from 200-300m above the water. Through dozens of caves connected with dozens of water valleys, these features create an immeasurable diagram of eight trigrams.

Each cave has a unique beauty. When visitors go through the Dark cave (Hang Toi), they will have the feeling of stifling and stoop to avoid stalactites. Or, they get the comfort and airiness when passing through the Bright cave (Hang Sang) with high arches and lighting that illuminates the stalactites more shimmering, fantasy.

As a well-known destination in Trang An eco-tourism area, Phu Khong lies on a narrow strip of land. It leans against the cave Khong, the right side is a rocky mountain range, and in front is a vast, poetic lagoon. In the area of Trang An mountain range, the temple leading to the Hanh Cung Vu Lam appears alone in the middle of the blue water, which always impresses visitors when sailing through here.

Similar to Bai Dinh – Trang An, Tam Coc – Bich Dong also has the majestic beauty of the mountains, peacefully located on the Ngo Dong river. From the Van Lam boat pier, visitors travel to enjoy the beautiful scenery around Tam Coc, admiring the small houses scattering along the rivers.

The name of Tam Coc means three caves: Ca cave, Hai cave, and Ba cave. All three caves are formed by the erosion of the river flow. Especially, Ca cave is 127m long, through a large mountain section. The cave door is over 20m wide. In the cool and humid climate cave, various stalactites are hanging down in many shapes.

The next destination not far is the ancient ruins of Hoa Lu. Hoa Lu was formerly the capital of Dai Co Viet, a place associated with much national historical destiny. The remarkable mark is the unification of the country, creating the premise for establishing Thang Long capital.

And, a must-see place in Ninh Binh is Dance Cave (Hang Mua), which is no longer strange to photographers when it owns a beautiful scene like a movie. Many people also say that just press the button of the camera in this site, you will have beautiful pictures. However, you have to overcome 500 stone steps to reach the top of Mua Mountain.

In addition, Ninh Binh also has a special place in Cuc Phuong National Park where shows the butterfly season. By the end of April to May, flocks of butterflies in the forest seem to wake up, fly out of the trees to heat the sun, creating a magical scenery like in fairy tales. This is also the time when many photographers travel to this park to hunt butterfly photos.

Travel to Ninh Binh, you have great chances to explore incredible sightseeings and memorable experiences with the beauty of nature. Ninh Binh is a must-see place in Vietnam to visit when you have holidays in this nation. Do not miss the famous places: Tam Coc Bich Dong, Bai Dinh – Trang An, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, Phat Diem Old Church, and Cuc Phuong National Park.

Popular activities in Ninh Binh:

  • Visit the caves of Tam Coc, Bai Dinh Pagoda, and historical places of Hoa Lu
  • Take a boat on the river in Trang An that is a great way to explore the landscape in Ninh Binh
  • Ride a bike to the countryside and rice fields
  • Explore the Cuc Phuong National Park
  • Taste goat meat which is the local food in Ninh Binh

6. Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the land of incredible caves

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is located in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts, Quang Binh province, about 50 km northwest of Dong Hoi city, about 500 km south of Hanoi capital of Vietnam.

Paradise Cave
Paradise Cave in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. Photo: Vietnamdrive

Phong Nha – Ke Bang has the natural beauty that nature has bestowed on people in Quang Binh. The park is a harmony of limestone mountains, primeval forests, and the Son river. With the natural cave system, this place creates a captivating painting. The national park has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage twice, according to geological values and geomorphology in 2003, and ecological and biodiversity criteria in 2015.

The ranges of mountains in Phong Nha – Ke Bang are the part of the oldest limestone region in Asia created more than 400 million years ago. They are associated with the major tectonic and development cycles of earth’s history.

The cave system here has a total length of about 80km, which are the parts that were discovered.

Currently, many caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park have been opened to visitors. Typically, Son Doong cave is the largest cave in the world.

The multicolored stalactites have been formed by nature like the artworks, making visitors unable to take their eyes off. Explorers will be immersed in nature, enjoy incredible beauty.

However, to visit Son Doong cave, visitors have to pay a lot of money and it takes a long time about 5 days to join the tour.

Therefore, there are many other attractions in this national park with a short time and a lower cost for visitors. They are Phong Nha cave (Wet and Dry caves), Thien Duong cave (Paradise cave), Mooc Spring …

Sitting on the peaceful Son River, visitors will come to Phong Nha cave (Wet cave) as the aquarium in the ground; and a beautiful Tien Son cave (Dry cave). Wet and dry caves are a twin of creation as a unified whole.

Both the Wet and Dry Caves are located in the heart of a limestone complex, surrounded by primeval forest. The magnificent and magical stalactite images in caves make visitors often think of a heavenly palace. In the cave are countless stalactites with many different shapes waiting for you.

According to the scientific report of the expedition of the Royal Geographic Society (England), only the length of the Phong Nha cave (wet cave) is determined to be 7,729m.

Phong Nha cave used to be rated with 7 most points: the most beautiful underground river, the highest and widest cave, the most beautiful sand band, the most beautiful underground lake, the widest and most beautiful dry caves, the most magical and magnificent stalactites, and the longest water cave.

Located at an altitude of about 200m on the ceiling of Phong Nha cave, Tien Son cave has a length of 980m. This dry cave does not connect to the Wet cave. Tien Son cave is known as the imperial palace in the mountain.

The next one is the Paradise Cave, the longest dry cave in Asia discovered by British explorers in 2005. It is one of the most magnificent and magical wonders in the world. With its magnificent beauty, Thien Duong Cave is also called “Royal Heaven Palace in the ground”.

To explore this cave, a long wooden bridge leads you into the cave to discover the fanciful beauty made of stalactites and stalagmites.

Nature of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is also an attractive highlight. The forest has a total area of ​​over 343,000 ha, of which more than 83% is primary forest.

In this park, scientists have recorded 2,400 species of higher plants, including many rare species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world. Besides, there are hundreds of species of birds, reptiles …such as saola, long-tail langurs…

All typical things in Phong Nha – Ke Bang are waiting for you to explore.

Activities to do in Phong Nha – Ke Bang

  • Explore the beauty of caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang that is a must-do activity
  • Ride a bicycle around the countryside in Bong Lai valley
  • Go trekking in the forest to explore the nature of the national park
  • Take a boat ride on the Son River to explore the tranquil life here
  • Try using zip-lines or riding Kayak at Mo Spring

7. Sapa, a city in the cloud

Located in the Northwest of Vietnam, Sa Pa Town (Lao Cai Province) is 1,600 m above sea level. It is 38 km from Lao Cai City, and 370 km from Hanoi to Sa Pa. This town has a subtropical climate but due to its high altitude, the air is cool all year round. The average annual temperature of Sapa is 15 ° C.

Sapa Vietnam
A village in Sapa – Photo: Quangpraha/pixabay

In the center of Sapa town is the Love Market. The market takes place on Saturday night; in the morning of Sunday, there is a trading market full of mountainous items. The participants in the market are mainly H’mong, Dao, Tay, and Giay ethnic people.

Not far from the market is the Sapa stone church (also called the Church of Duc Me Man). The church was built in the early 20th century with a total area of ​​over 6,000 m2. The shape and architecture of the Church are designed in the shape of a Roman Gotic architecture.

The remote mountain range is Ham Rong (located in the Hoang Lien Son range). Ham Rong Mountain is at an altitude of 1,850 m above sea level. Geomorphology is mainly weathered Casteur rock, this is one of the famous tourist destinations of Sapa.

The roadside station and the garden of Cymbidiums and other flowers on the way to the top of Ham Rong is also attractive to stop. The whole garden covers an area of 148 hectares, built-in 1996.

If you have more time in Sapa, take a walk around Sapa Lake is to enjoy fresh air in the morning, which is one of the interesting leisure places. This lake is considered to be the green lung of this tourist paradise. There are some hotels and guesthouses around the lake where visitors can stay.

Not far from the center of Sapa town are famous tourist destinations such as Ta Van, Ban Ho, Trung Chai, Cat Cat … These places are places where tourists often stop during trekking activities.

The best time to visit Sapa is the season of yellow rice, from the end of August to the end of September. Many travelers come to the terraced fields and valleys at the foot of the pass in Sapa, such as Y Ty, Muong Hum… to see the amazing scenery.

The terraced fields will be yellow, which is great for beautiful photos. The valleys at the foot of the mountain in Sapa is beautiful as a lyrical picture, bringing poetic features of peace and tranquility.

Along the way, the majestic scenes treat travelers. O Quy Ho pass hidden in the clouds is one of the most dangerous mountain passes in Vietnam. But its breathtaking and magnificent scenery always captivates people.

The landscapes and the culture of the local people in Sapa bring the beauty of poetry and music. The colors of golden rice fields create warm feelings and abundance, attracting a lot of tourists traveling to the mountainous city every year.

There are plenty of outdoor activities which you may to do in Sapa, including:

  • Climbing Fansipan Peak: You can enjoy the beautiful space of the ripe rice fields, the sea of clouds as lost in the fairyland during climbing,
  • Seeing the most amazing terraced fields in the world in Sapa,
  • Climbing Ham Rong to see Sapa town from above,
  • Watching the sunrise, the romantic sunset in Sapa.
  • Trekking through the mountains to ethnic villages,
  • Conquering the majestic landscape at the pass of O Quy Ho.

8. Hue City, the land of ancient imperial palaces

With the ancient imperial palaces, majestic mausoleums, deep charm, and great cuisine, Hue is always a famous place in Vietnam to visit.

Referring to Hue, it is to mention the gentle Huong River. With a length of 30 km is from Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary. The color of the Perfume River becomes greener when crossing the foot of Ngoc Tran Mountain where has the Hon Chen Temple.

Dragon Boat
Dragon boats waiting for tourists. Photo: Vietnamdrive

The ancient capital of Hue has a dreamy, quiet but also bustling and crowded beauty. One destination is not missed when traveling to Hue is Tam Giang Lagoon, where the convergence of three major rivers, namely O Lau, Huong and Bo Rivers, before flowing into the sea through Thuan An estuary.

And, Quoc Hoc Hue is also a place that will leave you impressed. Located on the poetic Huong River, Quoc Hoc Hue was built under King Thanh Thai (1896). This is the French-Vietnamese school of all Indochina and the first high school in Hue. Surrounding the school is a wall of dark red bricks. This school has a nice design and a place where many famous people in Vietnam used to study such as Ho Chi Minh, Truong Chinh, ….

Besides the French-style buildings, visitors will also be attracted by the temples in the land of the ancient capital. Their architecture bearing Vietnamese culture from hundreds of years ago will make you understand more Vietnamese culture. The most famous temple in Hue is Thien Mu Pagoda, which is the oldest one here with a nice location on the bank of the Perfume River.

A journey to explore Hue will be indispensable to Khai Dinh Tomb. Located in Huong Thuy district (12km from Hue City Center), Khai Dinh’s tomb is also known by an incredible mausoleum with typical internal decoration. Although this place has a small area, the time to complete this project is the longest to build, up to 11 years, and cost a lot of money.

The story of the luxurious lifestyle of King Khai Dinh is still curious. So when looking at his tomb, we can somewhat see the lifestyle of this king.

It will not be called to Hue if you have not visited Hue Imperial City. The ancient building is located on the north bank of the Perfume River, built in the style of the West combining skillfully with the architecture of the Eastern citadel. Once you come here, you not only feel royal style but also the calm and peaceful features that help you forget all worries in daily life.

The pace of life in Hue at night is as slow as the people here. Visitors only need about an hour wandering at the slow speed of cyclo so that they can collect all the landmarks’ beauty. Trang Tien Bridge, a famous symbol of the city, is also an attractive destination for many people at night. Wander on the walking street Nguyen Dinh Chieu along the river, travel can enjoy the poetic Perfume River and the colorful bridge Trang Tien.

And, it is time to start tasting a lot of local food in Hue, you can find the great flavor of Bun Bo Hue, Pan Cake, an interesting fishy Com Hen, colorful Banh Beo, tasty Banh Nam…. Around Hue, many restaurants and shops on the pavements at night are the good places to stop to taste the real cuisine of the local people.

Get out of the noisy streets, you can also see true farmers. If you’re lucky, you will hear numerous interesting stories about this land.

Hue is not vibrant but quietly deep, suitable for who likes nature, history, cuisine and culture.

Popular activities in Hue

  • Visiting historical places and religious temples, when Hue is the old home of the last dynasty and the central religion in Vietnam with hundreds of the old temples.
  • Taking cyclo around the city that is an interesting experience
  • Explore nature in this place including Vong Canh Hill, Tam Giang Lagoon, Bach Ma National Park

Daily trips in and from Hue

  • Hue city tour to visit royal tombs (half day), citadel, Thien Mu pagoda and Huyen Tran Temple (one full day tour)
  • One day trip to explore Bach Ma National Park
  • Half-day to taste the local food in this city to know more the culinary of the “kitchen of Vietnam”
  • Biking to visit royal tombs and countryside
  • Motorbike tour to go on the trails of the city and countryside

9. Da Lat, a romantic city in Central Highlands Vietnam

Da Lat City belongs to Lam Dong province, located on the plateau of the Central Highlands Vietnam, about 300 km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Going along Highway 20, passing Bao Loc Pass, the zigzag road will take visitors up gradually and to the beautiful destination. Dalat welcomes explorers with majestic waterfalls, with two sides of the road untouched by thousands of pine forests. Going near the city, you will admire the beautiful lakes, flower valleys and grass hills…

Da Lat City
Da Lat City – Photo: Quangpraha/pixabay

Coming to Dalat, you will immerse various emotions as the people call it the City of Thousand Flowers, Land of Love, Dream City…

Nature and people of Dalat come into poems, pictures, songs, and everyone’s heart. But no matter how you try to describe it, only when you visit it on your own, you will have the truest feelings.

With immense pine forests, lots of lakes, rivers, and streams, Dalat has a wonderful climate. The air here is fresh and cool, different from the stifling, crowded with big cities like Saigon and Hanoi.

Thus, coming to Da Lat, you can experience 1 day with 4 seasons: Early in the morning is the weather of spring, noon is summer, the afternoon is autumn, and the night is winter. Therefore, Da Lat does not need tourist seasons and months, it is always beautiful, also cool, and poetic.

What could be better than being able to escape the heat of Saigon and come to Dalat to enjoy peace? In this peaceful city, you can feel a little cool weather, but not too cold… extremely worth the place to rest.

In the chilly temperature of the plateau, the Langbiang mountain is suitable for picnic activities and sightseeing. In this site, some visitors choose to experience new games such as climbing to the summit of Langbiang, paragliding, riding a jeep to the top, or walking along the roads through the magnificent pine forests. From the top of the mountain, you can see Suoi Vang (Golden Spring), Suoi Bac (Silver Spring), and a panoramic view of Da Lat with the mist covering.

To travel to Dalat without taking pictures with the brilliant flowers in the early sunshine or sunset is a miss. Flowers are everywhere, along the road from Lien Khuong airport to the city center, along the hillsides, the gently sloping roads leading to anywhere.

Nature offers a favorable climate for Dalat, creating a paradise of different flowers. Da Quy flowers, Mimosa or Peach flowers are the most famous.

Currently, Da Lat people still retain many beautiful habits, everyone likes to grow flowers. Flowerets are on the porch, the roadside, and wild blossoms are everywhere, giving Da Lat a beautiful image in the hearts of visitors.

Thanks to the four-season good climate, Da Lat has a lot of vegetables. Going to the Dalat market early in the morning, you can choose to see the fresh goods with broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, strawberries, fresh beans… A small note that remembers to bargain the price!

You can also schedule a trip to Dalat to visit a garden of farmers. It is so great to have the interesting feeling of harvesting red strawberries.

Nature bestowed on Da Lat the dreamy beauty with peaceful Xuan Huong Lake. You can choose a corner to have to overlook the lake, then taste a great cup of Vietnamese coffee while letting your soul travel to romantic views. How wonderful it is when listening to the lyrical music about Dalat with a cup of coffee! This experience gives you poetic moments to enjoy life.

Many people travel to Da Lat, then the love of Dalat comes to them most naturally. After that, they come back or stay here for a longer time.

Activities in Da Lat to try:

  1. Picking up strawberry that is an interesting experience in the garden in Da Lat,
  2. Visit the Van Thanh flower village and Cu Lan Village to learn interesting stories,
  3. Organize a camping trip in the pine forest that helps you to enjoy nature,
  4. Taste a cup of Vietnamese coffee to see Xuan Huong lake,
  5. Explore the amazing beauty of Penn waterfall which is listed one of the most attractive waterful in Vietnam,
  6. Conquer Langbiang at an altitude of 2,167m with a motorbike or jeep.

10. Can Tho City, the typical life is both modern and idyllic

As the largest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is increasingly modern and developed, but still retains the unique living features of the rivers.

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho – Photo: nguyenthai1601/ pixabay

The city of Can Tho shines brightly on the bank of the Hau River, also known as a watery urban with interlaced river systems. This is the second-largest city in South Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City, and the fifth-largest city of the country, serving as the economic center of the Mekong Delta region.

The first destination in Can Tho is Ninh Kieu quay. It is not only the most famous tourist attraction but also the symbol of this city, having appeared many times in poetry and music.

The quay is located on the right bank of the Hau river. From the Ninh Kieu wharf, visitors can enjoy the poetic beauty of charming water. The area is invested on a large scale, built into a modern park, and developed different services to attract more tourists.

From the wharf, you can also see Can Tho Bridge, the cable-stayed bridge with the longest main span in Southeast Asia (550 m). Its total length of nearly is 16 km, including 4 lanes. The bridge crosses the Hau River, which has great importance in transport to promote growth in the Southwest region.

To enter the center of Can Tho, you have to go on Quang Trung Bridge, connecting Ninh Kieu and Cai Rang districts. On the right is Vinpearl Can Tho Hotel, the first 5-star hotel in Can Tho and also the tallest building in the Mekong Delta.

If you like walking, you will see the first traveling pedestrian bridge of Can Tho city connecting Ninh Kieu quay and Cai Khe Islet. The bridge is designed and decorated beautifully, winding in an S-shape symbolizing the country of Vietnam.

Can Tho City, the only locality in Vietnam, was honored to receive the Asian Landscape Award in 2016 for its efforts to build the city, improve the living environment for the people and meet the needs of tourists.

In addition to the modern city transforming strongly, Can Tho still keeps its style of the water life: immense orchards, vast rice fields, and bustling floating markets.

And the Phong Dien floating market is located at the junction of the Can Tho River and the Hau River, about 17 km from the city center, with extremely rich items.

Also, Cai Rang Floating Market is on a branch of the Hau River flowing through Cai Rang District. The floating market is recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage. This market is worth visiting when you come to Can Tho City.

Cai Rang Market opens in the early morning market until about 8-9:00 am. You should arrive at about 7:00-8:00 am, when the market is the busiest with about 300-400 boats including trading ships with Vietnamese fruits and agricultural products in the Mekong Delta.

Fruits are a specialty of the river region and also the most popular item in Cai Rang floating market. This market is a wholesale market, distributing fruits and agricultural products.

When visiting the market, enjoying food on the boats is also a unique culture of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Many families like to live on boats like mobile apartments.

Another famous attraction in Can Tho is Ong Pagoda in Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District. That is a Chinese-style temple recognized as a national historical monument. Ong Pagoda is almost intact in its original state, which preserves the traditional values ​​of the ancient land of Mekong Delta.

Suggested activities in Can Tho:

  • Visit Cai Rang floating market in the early morning
  • Visit an orchard to taste fresh fruits
  • Welcoming the sunset, listening to the folk music of Ben Ninh Kieu
  • Use a small boat to go on small channels to feel the life on the water
  • Taste a bowl of Hu Tieu on the boat

Conclusion

Vietnam is a beautiful country with a lot of interesting places to visit. The above destinations are well-known. However, many other attractions left along this s-shape land are waiting for you to explore them.

Plan an itinerary to visit Vietnam, you should take the places mentioned as the main destinations to come.

It is because, at those sites, you can find enough conditions to eat, visit, and stay overnight.

Then, you can travel to other cities from those famous places. That is one way to travel safely, healthy, and smartly when you do not know much about the culture, lifestyle, and living conditions in Vietnam.

Which places will you choose to visit when you travel to Vietnam?

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.