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15 Best Things To Do in Vietnam - Experiences Not to Miss

With its stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and complex history, Vietnam offers countless incredible experiences for travelers. From exploring intricate cave systems to cruising the emerald waters of Halong Bay, there are so many amazing things to see and do across this diverse country.

In this post, we'll highlight the 15 best things to do in Vietnam for an unforgettable trip. From the energetic cities in the north to the tropical beaches in the south and the enchanting towns in between, Vietnam has activities to satisfy every interest. Read on for the ultimate Vietnam bucket list!

Take a Food Tour Through Hanoi's Old Quarter

The chaotic narrow lanes of Hanoi's atmospheric Old Quarter are home to some of the best street food in Vietnam. Take a guided walking tour to sample iconic dishes like pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches, strong local coffee, and more. Wandering the bustling streets tasting mouthwatering food is one of the top things to do in Hanoi and Vietnam overall. Don't miss this delicious introduction to Vietnamese cuisine.

Cruise Through Halong Bay

With its towering limestone karsts emerging from the sea, UNESCO-listed Halong Bay is one of Vietnam's most stunning natural attractions. A Halong Bay cruise lets you sail through the calm emerald waters surrounded by thousands of island peaks. Visit secluded beaches, explore mysterious caves, kayak into hidden lagoons, and soak in the unforgettable scenery on an overnight boat tour.

Descend Into Paradise Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam contains some of the world's most magnificent caves, including Paradise Cave. This colossal cavern extends over 5 km into a limestone mountain with dramatic rock formations. Descend into its massive chambers on wooden staircases and walkways to admire the otherworldly stalactites. Exploring Phong Nha's caves is an awe-inspiring experience.

Paradise Cave

Wander Through Hoi An's Old Town

The enchanting ancient port town of Hoi An boasts wonderfully preserved architecture, bustling markets, Chinese temples, and a romantic riverside setting. Walking through the peaceful lantern-lit lanes lined with colorful buildings is like taking a stroll through time. Make sure to see the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and visit the Central Market. Hoi An's atmospheric Old Town is captivating.

Relax on Phu Quoc Island's Beautiful Beaches

Off the coast of southern Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island boasts some of the country's most stunning beaches with fine white sand and azure waters. Bask in the sunshine, go swimming and snorkeling among coral reefs, feast on fresh seafood, or enjoy a sunset cocktail. Under the swaying palms of Bai Sao or Long Beach, this island paradise offers the perfect seaside escape.

Explore Hue's Imperial City

As Vietnam's imperial capital from 1802 to 1945, Hue contains fascinating historic and cultural sights. At the Imperial City, you can wander among intricate temples, palaces, and pavilions spread over a vast walled complex. Other landmarks include the vibrant Dong Ba Market and the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. Discovering Hue's history and architecture provides insight into Vietnam's imperial past.

Hue city

Trek Through Rice Terraces in Sapa

The rugged mountains around Sapa in northern Vietnam are home to vibrant hill tribe communities and stunning terraced rice fields. Go on guided treks to visit remote tribal villages and meet the H'mong people. Soaking in the epic views of cascading green rice terraces against a backdrop of towering peaks makes hiking around Sapa very rewarding.

Marvel at the Golden Bridge Near Da Nang

The remarkable Golden Bridge located in the coastal mountains near Da Nang has become one of Vietnam's most popular attractions. This 150-meter pedestrian bridge is held up by two enormous concrete hands sculpted into the mountainside. Walking above the sweeping views of the lush landscape is an amazing experience you have to see to believe!

Explore Cu Chi Tunnels

Just outside Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels provide an immersive look at the resourcefulness of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This 125-mile tunnel system housed hiding spots, hospitals, living areas, and weapon factories. Crawling through the narrow tunnels will give you an appreciation for the hardships faced during the war.

Take a Food Tour Through Ho Chi Minh City

As Vietnam's largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City boasts an intoxicating energy and diversity. Embark on a street food tour to try dishes from all over the country, like banh xeo crispy pancakes, Vietnamese coffee, and more. Don't miss the city's fine dining scene as well. Sampling your way through Saigon is a tasty adventure.

Relax at a Beach Resort in Da Nang

Da Nang is central Vietnam's trendiest destination, known for its white sand beaches and resort pampering. Spend relaxing days lounging at an oceanfront resort indulging in beachside massages, swimming, fresh seafood dinners, and stunning sunsets over the East Sea. Da Nang's beach getaways offer a nice change of pace.

Take an Overnight Junk Boat Tour of Halong Bay

A classic Halong Bay experience, unwinding on a traditional junk boat lets you fully appreciate the bay's surreal beauty. Spend two days aboard a handcrafted wooden junk sailing past stunning karst formations, swimming in emerald waters, kayaking into grottos, admiring sunset views, and eating fresh meals. End the night anchored in peaceful lagoons.

Wander Through the Ho Chi Minh City Night Market

When the sun goes down, check out the buzzing Ben Thanh night market in Ho Chi Minh City. The market transforms into a lively street food and shopping hub where you can browse handicrafts, souvenirs, clothing, and more. It's a great spot to experience Ho Chi Minh City after dark while hunting for bargains.

Take a Cooking Class in Hoi An

In addition to cultural sightseeing, Hoi An offers opportunities to learn Vietnamese cooking techniques first-hand. Sign up for a class where you'll tour local markets, prepare ingredients, and learn to cook dishes like fresh spring rolls, pho, and banh xeo pancakes. It's one of the best ways to dive into Vietnamese food culture.

Ride the Cable Car Up Mount Fansipan

For awe-inspiring views, take the cable car up Mount Fansipan near Sapa. At over 3,000 meters, Fansipan is Vietnam's highest peak. From the summit, you'll be surrounded by panoramic vistas of endless lush peaks stretching to the horizon. The scenic cable car ride up Vietnam's "Roof of Indochina" is absolutely unforgettable.

Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

Just a short drive from bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the historic Cu Chi Tunnels provide an insightful look at life during the Vietnam War. This 125-mile underground network housed hiding spots, hospitals, and living areas for the Viet Cong. Crawling through the narrow tunnels will give you a sobering appreciation of the hardships faced.

Take a Mekong Delta River Cruise

In southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta features a fascinating world of river life. Take a relaxing cruise to see the iconic waterways, stop at local workshops, try tropical fruits, wander through floating markets, and experience the Mekong's cultural wealth. With its iconic river vistas, a Mekong cruise shouldn't be missed.

From north to south, Vietnam offers endless incredible experiences. The country's diversity ensures there are exciting things to do for travelers of all interests. Use this list to plan your own Vietnam adventure full of the top sights, activities, culture, cuisine, history and natural scenery.


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