An up and coming South East Asia travel destination, Vietnam is a truly beautiful country with its own unique and welcoming charm. Boasting old colonial cities, stunning beaches, world heritage sites and a cuisine to die for, it’s easy to see why Vietnam is on the hit list for many travellers. For a journey through the country’s best, take a look at my top ten list of places to visit while travelling in Vietnam.
1. Halong Bay
A highlight for anyone travelling in Vietnam, the magical archipelago of Halong Bay lies off the north east coast of Vietnam and comprises around 3000 limestone islands. Taking a Halong Bay Cruise around this magical bay on board a traditional junk boat is a fairy-tale experience that no trip to Vietnam should be without.
2. Cu Chi Tunnels
An underground maze covering an incredible 250km, the Cu Chi tunnels were dug during the Vietnam War to act as living quarters, command centres and ammunition stores. Crawling through the tunnels is an eerie yet thrilling experience and something that should not be missed whilst you’re travelling in Vietnam.
3. Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta produces one of Vietnam’s most important exports – rice, and thus acts as the backbone of Southern Vietnam’s economy. You can take a boat trip down the Mekong, where you will pass the colourful floating markets of Cai Rang and Cai Be among others. Whilst travelling in Vietnam, you could also take a trip on the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia.
If you’re after a real dose of history whilst travelling in Vietnam, you’ll find that Hue, the ancient royal capital of Vietnam, is rich in culture. Take a cruise down the Perfume River and visit historic sights and monuments such as the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and the Palace of Supreme Peace.
5. Hoi An
Located on the coast in Central Vietnam, Hoi An is well known for its excellent tailors, its art galleries, and its narrow streets crammed with tiny wooden cafes serving steaming coffee. There is a noticeable Chinese influence in Hoi An. Centuries ago Chinese traders came to offer their goods here and the charm of the town is still completely undeniable. Hoi An is a great place to stop off whilst travelling in Vietnam. With a variety of things to keep you entertained, during your Hoi An Trip you could visit the historic temple complex of My Son, relax on the beach, or you could even try your hand at some traditional Vietnamese cooking.
Tucked away in Northern Vietnam, this stunning area is home to hill tribes such as the Black H’mong and the Red Dzao and is a great place to discover if you’re after something a little different whilst travelling in Vietnam. With hikes through the lush green valleys departing every day, and the opportunity to visit the famous Love Market, a Sapa trip will give you a taste of rural Vietnam.
7. Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is a beautiful tropical beach gateway and a great place to wind down after travelling in Vietnam. However, if you’re looking for more than just a lazy beach getaway, you’ll find plenty more to do here on a Phu Quoc trip. The interior of the island is a protected area where you can go for walks, hiking trips and discover pristine natural springs.
8. Ho Chi Minh City
Most people begin travelling in Vietnam in Hanoi but you can also kick-start your trip from Ho Chi Minh City if your wish. HCMC has plenty to keep visitors occupied whilst travelling in Vietnam. Visits to the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace and the Revolution Museum will offer greater insight into the country’s history, whilst trips to the numerous temples and pagodas will offer a far more spiritual experience.
The beautiful city of Hanoi is crammed full of local eateries, markets and shops. If you fancy a weird experience whilst travelling in Vietnam, you could visit the mausoleum of former president, Ho Chi Minh. You could then finish a busy day with a trip to the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre, on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake.
10. Cookery School
The Vietnamese cuisine is considered to be among one of the healthiest in the world. It is also widely regarded as one of the most fragrant of cuisines, making use of an assortment of herbs, including Thai basil, lemongrass and Vietnamese mint. Why not take the opportunity to create some mouth-watering Vietnamese dishes of your own during your time travelling in Vietnam?
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