Top 10 Must-see Destinations in Vietnam
By Custom Vietnam Travel | Updated 1/5/2019
Vietnam remains a developing country on its journey to extensively develop its economy; the service industry is growing dramatically and nowadays, its travel industry has a reputation for offering value and excitement for tourists. In 2018 more than 15 million tourists went to Vietnam with an annual growth rate of more than 20% for many years and it doesn’t seem to decrease.
Vietnam seems small on the map, but there are lots of beautiful places that you can’t find in other places in the world. From the jagged mountains in the north to the tropical beaches in the centre and south with amazing long golden sand bays – all linked to a huge historical and cultural history. Following our experts today, we will illustrate the top 10 must-see destinations in Vietnam where you should not miss in your Trans-Vietnam Holidays. Let’s explore this fascinating country – Vietnam – in Southeast Asia.
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In Northern Vietnam, you can’t miss the province called Ha Giang which is an absolutely spectacular, rugged and remote place. It has a reputation for its wonderful mountainous scenery, especially in the harvest season and rice planting season when you can have the most breathtaking view over the mountain and see the local people working on their farms. The people are really friendly and travellers can easily catch a picture of the children riding buffaloes or swimming in the small rivers that belong to the village. If you love motorbike rides, be sure to plan a ride to Quan Ba Pass and Ma Pi Leng Pass – the most challenging roads in Vietnam.
Sapa is not a new name with travellers in Vietnam, it is a quiet mountain town and home to a great diversity of ethnic minority peoples such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giay, Pho Lu and Lay Live. Just 6 hours by train or 4 hours by bus from Hanoi, you can travel during the day or on an overnight sleeper if you need to save time. Visitors can easily catch pictures of the ethnic minority people working on sloping terraces or making traditional handmade crafts in front of their houses. Furthermore, it is also home to a rich variety of plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects, many only found in the Hoang Lien Mountains around Sapa in north-western Vietnam. The geographical location of the area makes it a truly unique place for many interesting plants and animals, allowing it to support large numbers of species.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in the north of Vietnam and features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. It is the centre of a larger zone which includes Bai Tu Long Bay to the Northeast, and Cat Ba Island to the southwest. These larger zones share a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and cultural characters. You will have a wonderful time with your family and your friends here, and see the unique beauty and variety of views from the crystal clear water to the mysterious caves. I highly recommend that you should have a night on a boat in Halong bay, it’s amazing to see a fantastic sunrise in the early morning and a wonderful time dining in the boat at sunset. On the other hand, there are lots of other interesting activities to entertain yourself in Halong, like climbing a mountain to find the panorama pictures of Ha Long Bay, or kayaking around the Limestone karsts to see the beautiful caves and mountains. It will be the best travel experience in your life!
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam that historically, experienced wartime with both the French and later on the American forces. Even after a long time of dramatic economic development, it still retains a thick layer of history around the streets. A great example is the old quarter, famous for its dilapidated charm, and history fans can see many excellent museums here such as, the Vietnam Museum of ethnology and Vietnam Fine Art Museum, both brilliant introductions to the diverse artistry of the people and culture of the country. On the other hand, street food in Hanoi has a reputation for being cheap, healthy and easy to eat. For only $1, you can have a Pho, Bread, or several glasses of beer. Some people say Hanoi is a busy and crowded city with crazy traffic but if you take everything slower, you can discover a whole new, beautiful and dreaming Hanoi as a different beat of this diverse city.
Moving on to the center of Vietnam, I would like to tell you about the small village of Hoi An. The first time you walk out by the river in the Ancient Town is a special moment. It’s exactly as captivating as the pictures show, and it gets even more beautiful at night because of all the lanterns. This town is also home to hundreds of professional tailors, so spend a couple of days and have a nice dress or suit made just for you. Beautiful Hoi An is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, with bags of surviving historic architecture. The old town quarter is a joy to explore, packed to the brim with well-preserved merchant houses that hark back to Hoian’s trading center heyday of the 15th century. Plenty of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public so you can get a taste of these times. Hoi An’s major symbol is the delightful Japanese Bridge at the western end of Tran Phu street while nearby, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation is the old town’s most highly decorated temple. There are numerous small pagodas and museums dotted about the town, but Hoi An’s true charm is found in simply rambling the old town streets admiring the well-preserved facades
Did you know that Vietnam has over 3000 km of wonderful coastline from the north to the south and you are wondering which is the best beach with clear water, white sand and the perfect place for water sports and watching picturesque sunsets? I have been to almost all of the beaches in Vietnam, and through my eyes, I believe that Nha Trang has the perfect beach that beachgoers always want to set their feet on. It is the most fascinating beach in Vietnam, you will fall deeply in love with it. However, if you want to go there in a quieter time, I highly recommend that you shouldn’t go there between June and August, it is a crazy time when many Vietnamese parents take their children there during the summer holiday, and beaches always are very hot places in the summer
Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam, it is quite a modern developing city, you will be surprised when you get there, as it is totally different than Hanoi. There is a city of the light, city of developing, city of model skyscrapers, and the Vietnamese say it is a city that never sleeps. However, the city's core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings, the most prominent structures are the Reunification Palace, municipal Theatre, City Post Office and Notre-Dame Cathedral which was constructed between 1863 and 1880. Furthermore, the city also has various museums including the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Museum of Vietnamese History,… lots of things will attract you.
The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting tunnels situated in the Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. This place was the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, particularly during the 1960s and is legendary for facilitating Viet Cong control of a large rural area only 30km to 40km from HCMC. At its peak, the tunnel system stretched from the South Vietnamese capital to the Cambodian border; in the district of Cu Chi alone, more than 250km of tunnels honeycomb the ground. The network, parts of which were several stories deep, included countless trapdoors, constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories, field hospitals, command centers, and kitchens. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces and helped to counter the growing American military effort. Absolutely, it is one of the best day trip options from Ho Chi Minh City and makes for a great history lesson in combination with a visit to the War Remnants Museum.
Can Tho is the fourth largest city in Vietnam and the largest city in the Mekong Delta. It is noted for its floating market, rice-paper making village and picturesque rural canals, Buddhist pagodas, delicious food, and fresh fruits and the beauty of the Mekong Delta. As the political, economic, cultural and transportation center the Mekong Delta is a buzzing town with a lively waterfront lined with sculpted gardens, an appealing blend of narrow backstreets and wide boulevards, and perhaps the greatest concentration of foreigners in the delta. It is also the perfect base for floating markets, the major draw for tourists who come here to boat along the many canals and rivers leading out of town. Overall, it’s a wonderful city and gets you out the crazy traffic and pollution. It is a great place to deeply feel the real, rural Vietnamese life on the river. It is very easy to catch the local people washing, fishing and working in the river; it is a particular life that you only see in the south of Vietnam.
Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam and has the most romantic beaches in Vietnam and also in the whole of Southeast Asia. It boasts idyllic beaches, romantic sunsets, evergreen forests and a serene atmosphere making it an ideal holiday destination for travellers looking to escape bustling city life. Located 45 kilometres west of Ha Tien in the far south of Vietnam, the northern part of the island is relatively untouched due to its status as a UNESCO-listed national park but there are plenty of luxurious resorts, funky bars, and quaint cafes along the southern coastline. Aside from beachside activities, visitors can also explore traditional villages, expansive nature parks and Buddhist pagodas, all of which are easily accessible via motorcycle, taxi, bus or even day trips by reputable companies. Phu Quoc always is the best destination for a couple for their honeymoon or wedding anniversary when you want to make a big beautiful surprise for your partner, and it also is the best choice for a relaxing holiday in many luxurious places.