Vietnam is an astonishing phối of natural highlights and cultural diversity. The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down khổng lồ verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette, while the nation"s long history và amazing number of ethnic minorities mean that culture vultures will find plenty lớn admire.
Hikers, bikers, and outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, while the spectacular karst seascape of Halong Bay is one natural sight that even the more slothful can experience up cthua on a cruise.
While the rural areas brim with fantastic panoramas, the big cities breathe with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to lớn get stuông chồng into lớn Vietnam"s tasty culinary highlights.
This fascinating country is full of surprises & is one of Southeast Asia"s most underrated destinations. Plan your sightseeing with our các mục of the best places khổng lồ visit in Vietphái nam.
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1. Halong Bay
The karst seascape of Halong Bay is one of the world"s most spellbinding sea views and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thousands of limestone islands sit within this cất cánh in the Gulf of Tonkin, eroded inkhổng lồ jagged pinnacles by wind & water action over millennia.
With the bay"s scenery best seen by boat, this is prime cruising territory. Opt for at least an overnight tour to see Halong Bay"s iconic views as a day trip doesn"t bởi vì it justice.
There are plenty of caves in the cất cánh that can be entered including the Hang Sung Sot, with three mammoth caverns, & the Hang Dao Go, with superbly weird stalagmites & stalactites. For most people though, the highlight is simply cruising amid the karsts and soaking up the changing scenery of pinnacles as you pass by.
Accommodation: Where lớn Stay in Halong Bay
2. Ho Chi Minc City
For big đô thị fans, no visit to Vietphái nam is really complete without a visit khổng lồ Ho Chi Minch City, the buzzing và crazy commercial hub of the country. The streets are an insane clog of motorbikes & cars, the restaurant & café scene is incredibly cosmopolitan, and the shopping is the best in the country.
At its center is Dong Khoi, a relatively small & easily navigable central district, which holds most of the city"s sights. Here, you"ll find the HCMC Museum, with a brilliant collection of artifacts that weaves together the story of the thành phố, và the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 19th century.
Chechồng out the old district of Da Kao nearby for some of the best surviving examples of the city"s French colonial architecture and also lớn visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its dazzling array of Buddhist and Taoist religious iconography. Afterwards, the History Museum is a must-vì for history fans with stacks of relics on display from various archaeological sites.
For many visitors, the two big-hitter attractions not to miss are just a little out of the center, along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. The Reunification Palace, then known as Independence Palace, was the residence for South Vietnam"s president. It"s chiefly famous as the spot where North Vietnam"s tanks stopped on 30 April 1975, officially ending the war. It"s a completely fascinating place lớn visit complete with 1960s furnishings still in situ.
Nearby is the War Remnants Museum, which although very obviously biased, paints a disturbing picture of the brutality of war và the many atrocities committed by US Forces during their Vietnam giới campaign.
Accommodation: Where lớn Stay in Ho Chi Minch City: Best Areas và HotelsRead More:
One of Vietnam"s most historic towns, Hue is packed lớn the bryên ổn with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors. Sitting along the banks of the gorgeous Perfume River, the Imperial Enclosure is a huge site set within walls that sprawl for 2.5 kilometers.
While touring the grounds kiểm tra out the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its finely lacquered interior detailing, the Dien Tho Residence where the Queen Mothers would live, và the Halls of Mandarins with its preserved ceiling murals. A dazzling number of historic sites lie outside the Imperial Enclosure walls as well.
One of the nicest ways of visiting a collection of outlying sites is by taking a riverboat cruise on the Perfume River. A day cruise can take you lớn visit several royal tombs along with some pagodas. If you"re short on time, the best tomb khổng lồ visit is the Tomb of Tu Doc & the most important pagoda in the area is the Thien Mu Pagodomain authority, with its tower that soars for 21 meters high.
Accommodation: Where to lớn Stay in Hue
4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
One of the best places to visit in Vietnam giới for caving, World Heritage-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a dramatic karst mountain formation honeycombed with huge caverns, which are home to superb stalactite và stalagmite displays. The most popular destination within the park is the Paradise Cave sầu, which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground.
The yawning caverns here are truly spectacular. Tu Lan Cave sầu is a "wet cave," và a visit here includes swimming through the cave-systems river. The other most popular excursion is to lớn the Phong Nha Caves, where the interior is accessed by boat. You can access Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park from Son Trach.
Accommodation: Where khổng lồ Stay in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
5. My Son
Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is a ruined Cđắm say era temple thành phố that dates from the 4th century. This old Hindu religious center was still very much in use during the 7th to 10th centuries & only fell inkhổng lồ complete decline and abandonment during the 13th century.
There are around 20 temple structures still standing here, all built of briông xã or sandstone blocks and showing interesting influences from various Asian empires, including Indian & Malay. lưu ý that the temples of Group B are the oldest, while Group A once contained the site"s most important monument but was destroyed deliberately by US forces during the Vietnam War.
A good museum on-site houses plenty of information on the Cđam mê. Access khổng lồ My Son is from Hoi An.
Accommodation: Where lớn Stay in Hoi An
6. Hoi An
Beautiful Hoi An is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam giới, with bags of surviving historic architecture. The old town quarter is a joy lớn explore, packed lớn the brlặng with well-preserved merchant houses that hark baông xã khổng lồ Hoi An"s trading center heyday of the 15th century, when the town was a major meeting point for Japanese và Chinese merchants who flocked here for the local silks.
Plenty of the old merchant houses have sầu been opened khổng lồ the public, so you can get a taste of these times. The best is 17th-century Tan Ky House, with fascinating architectural and decorative sầu elements.
Hoi An"s major symbol is the delightful Japanese Bridge at the western kết thúc 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 town, but Hoi An"s true charm is found in simply rambling the old town streets admiring the well-preserved facades.
Accommodation: Where to lớn Stay in Hoi An
7. Sapa Countryside
The verdant rice field countryside surrounding Sapa, bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still known by their French colonial era name of the Tonkinese Alps), are trang chủ lớn Vietnam"s most beautiful rural vistas.
The deep valleys here are trang chủ to lớn a diverse mix of the country"s ethnic minorities, including the Hý muốn, Giay, & Red Dzao people, while the rippling hills are terraced with rice fields và overlooked by the country"s tallest peak, Fansipan Mountain.
This is the top trekking destination in Vietnam, with oodles of options khổng lồ trek or day hike between tiny villages và experience the staggering mountain views. Sapage authority itself is the main base here - an old French hill station và now a bustling and forever growing tourist center that is a stark contrast to lớn the sumptuous tranquil countryside right on its doorstep.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sapa
Vietnam"s capital is the frenetic heartbeat of the nation và a place that befuddles travelers as much as it charms them. The motorxe đạp frenzy, pollution, & constant clamor of street vendors can get too much for some travelers, but if you want lớn dive inlớn Vietnamese city life, Hanoi is the place lớn bởi vì it.
The old town quarter has plenty of dilapidated charm on offer, while history fans should make a beeline here simply lớn see the bundle of excellent museums.
The Vietphái nam Museum of Ethnology & Vietnam giới Fine Art Museum are both brilliant introductions to the diverse artistry of the country, while the Ho Chi Minc Mausoleum is an important tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam giới.
Accommodation: Where khổng lồ Stay in Hanoi: Best Areas và HotelsRead More:
9. Nha Trang
For sandy fun in Vietnam giới, Nha Trang is king. The well-maintained beach trundles for six kilometers along the shoreline of central Nha Trang thành phố & during summer is jam-packed with local families on vacation, as well as foreign visitors.
There is excellent swimming here with designated swimming areas và manicured lounging areas that make this a great option for relaxing days soaking up the sun và svà.
If you bởi vì get bored of sunbathing, the ancient Po Nagar Cđắm say Towers are just lớn the north across the Xom Bong Bridge và have sầu been used as a place of worship here since at least the 7th century (with some historians saying the site itself has been a place of active worship since much earlier).
There is also an excellent museum dedicated lớn the work of Alexandre Yersin who discovered the cause of the bubonic plague and founded Nha Trang"s Pasteur Institute (which still carries out vaccination programs in Vietphái nam today).
Accommodation: Where khổng lồ Stay in Nha Trang
10. Cu Chi Tunnels
An absolutely fascinating experience for all travelers, not just those interested in Vietnam"s modern military history, the Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive tunnel network that during the war, stretched for more than 250 kilometers, allowing VC troops to lớn operate and communicate in the area surrounding Ho Chi Minch City.
Two short sections of the network can be visited with a guide who"ll take you down into the narrow unlit confines, which definitely are not for claustrophobia sufferers. You will literally be crawling on your hands and knees & some points. You can access the tunnels at either Ben Dinc village (the more popular choice) or Ben Duoc village.
11. Ba Be National Park
Tranquil Ba Be National Park is absolutely stunning with the three interlinked Ba Be Lakes at its heart, rimmed by jagged karst peaks và thickly forested slopes.
Most visitors come here khổng lồ take peaceful boat trips or kayak on the lake and explore the caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity, but for the more active sầu, there"s also excellent hiking & trekking in the hills here between ethnic minority villages.
This is one of the most peaceful spots in Vietphái nam, & travelers who spover the night here sleep in traditional stilt-house homestay accommodation along the lakeshore, allowing an experience of simple rural life.
12. Mekong Delta
The far south of Vietphái nam is where the mighty Mekong River finally finds its way lớn the sea in a maze of waterways that crisscross the floodplain. Incredibly lush, with paddy field vistas & mangroves, & full of local life, with chaotic floating markets to lớn explore by boat, the delta is one of the most interesting regions for travelers to lớn discover.
Can Tho is the most popular town khổng lồ use as a base as it"s cthảm bại khổng lồ the floating markets of Phong Dien & Cai Rang, while boat trips from Ca Mau allow you to explore the U Minch Mangrove Forest và Cau Mau Nature Reserve sầu.
13. Mui Né
Once a sleepy coastal fishing town, Mui Né has developed into a beautiful beach resort town và a prime destination for windsurfing, sailing, & kitesurfing. Compared to other beach destinations in Vietphái mạnh, however, Mui Né remains relatively unknown - và this means pristine beaches và a quiet retreat for most of the year.
One of Mui Né"s most quality attractions is the natural Red Svà Dunes just outside town, where visitors can practice sand-sledding or rent dune buggies for a more adrenaline-charged experience.
Tucked away between nearby fishing villages & towering orange limestone formations, there"s the Fairy Stream, a slow-moving warm stream that almost feels lượt thích a walkway because it"s so shallow - follow it to lớn the end lớn reach a waterfall.
For those wishing lớn explore beyond the coastline, there"s also the ruins of the Po Shanu Csay đắm Towers - remnants of the Cmê man Empire that dominated the area many centuries ago.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vietnam giới experiences strong monsoon seasons, where heavy rains hit the cities and the countryside, often causing floods và mudslides. If you"re planning lớn travel around, the best time to visit Vietnam is during the dry season, which lasts from December to lớn February - but there are some exceptions.
The south of Vietphái mạnh - where Ho Chi Minch thành phố is located - experiences a more tropical climate, with high temperatures & high humidity year-round. Visiting these areas in the cooler months means less humidity và temperatures in the high 20s rather than the high 30s and 40s, which makes it more comfortable to lớn walk around.
In the north, however, many areas experience an actual winter. Hanoi sees temperatures in the mid- khổng lồ high teens in December & January - và in the mountains of Sapa in the north, you"ll even get khổng lồ see some snow during these months.
If you"re visiting Danang for some beach time or lớn travel through the ancient town of Hoi An, it"s best to lớn arrive between February và May, when water và air temperature are in the 20s - perfect beach weather for enjoying the s& or a dip in the water. The rainy season, và especially the months of September & October, see very heavy rains and often very svào wind storms on the coast, so it"s better to stay away from Danang during this time.