With a rich culture and world-renowned landscape, Vietnam is a country which offers constant forward motion. Here we have exclusively selected the 13 unique and best places to visit in Vietnam for your next vacation.
It’s not an easy job to determine which places is the very best places to visit in Vietnam. Everywhere has its own charms and cultural diversity. With many types of geographic landscapes, Vietnam can easily please your eyes.
If you’re a traveler who has a limited time budget for your Vietnam journey, here are our exclusive list of 13 very best places to visit in Vietnam. We include nature wonders, cultural in-depth and UNESCO protected heritages.
Best Places to visit in Vietnam in Each Month:
1. Halong Bay – Two-time UNESCO Natural World Heritage
Halong Bay is number one, or the best place to visit in Vietnam. No one could deny the otherworldly beauties of the place. Recognized a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and in 2012 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the Natural World, Halong Bay Vietnam is a place where you can leave all the stress behind and enjoy full relaxation among nature.
Halong Bay has over 2,000 small islands on the background of the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. With the vision of breathtaking beauty, Halong Bay is pure art created by the hand of Mother Earth.
Halong Bay @Instagram viajaentusofa
Come to Halong, you’ll visit the magical bay, cruise through the islands and islets in many shapes and sizes. You’ll also get to visit the primitive islands with secluded beaches, the local fishing villages and gorgeous caves.
Natural beauty with fresh air and open view in Halong Bay
Other activities can be done are kayaking with group, learn to cook Vietnamese food on board or squid fishing. All options are fun-guaranteed.
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2. Hanoi – Capital of Vietnam
No one should skip Hanoi on their trip to Vietnam. The capital of Vietnam has everything a traveler are looking for in a cultural experience. People love architecture, travel hub, nightlife, street food scene and historical landmarks here. Hanoi is also a base for many journeys thanks to its development in transportation, infrastructure and public services.
West lake area in Hanoi
Hanoi is developing its fastest speed yet it doesn’t abandon the roots of its culture and history which is dated back to thousands of years ago.
So when you visit Hanoi, you will find a peculiar blend of the old and the new, modernity and tradition.
Hanoi @Instagram Hanoi Captital
Here you’ll see the pure Vietnamese culture, there is a relics of French colonialism and many other places – the cultures intertwined. We, as locals, often find this connection amazing and worth reserving.
Hanoi the city is a center of attention – it pulls you in with its gentle yet irresistible charms. But it’s not the only thing Hanoi is proud of.
Hanoi @Instagram: magnworld
Just outside of the city, you’ll see a whole other world, which is more intimate, of the old timed values of Vietnamese people. This is a natural fountain of culture and way of life you almost can’t see in the city anymore. It’s the ancient villages that always have been there from hundreds of years ago. These places are preserving Vietnamese traditional arts and crafts in the most authentic way.
Bat Trang ceramic village @Instagram: petitedanson
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3. Sapa – Best Place to visit in Vietnam for Trekkers
To get a closer look on ethnology diversity, Sapa is the first destination to visit. Located on a highland of Lao Cai province, Sapa retains the beauties of natural landscapes. Among them are the golden rice terraced fields and of cultural diversity of ethnic minorities.
Sapa is worthy of your visit for whatever you’re seeking in Vietnam. Here we have the colorful of ethnic costumes, the practicing of the locals’ traditions and customs, the grandeur of nature….
Once a French hill station, Sapa nowadays is capital of northwest Vietnam. This city own its original and indigenous culture traits of the people of H’mong, Dao, Pho Lu and Dzay tribal groups. Authenticity is celebrated in Sapa in the most brilliant and beautiful way.
Sapa is known for the ethnic villages like Cat Cat, Ta Van, Lao Chai, for the beautiful valley Muong Hoa and the ‘Roof of Indochina’ Fansipan.
4. Ha Giang – Lands of Rocks
Often off the radar of most travelers to Vietnam, Ha Giang is too underrated for its beauties. Often called the final frontier of Vietnam, Ha Giang is a real immersive travel experience in the land of rocks.
Located close to Vietnam and China border, Ha Giang is not an easy destination to get to but the rewards are sweet. Dong Van Karst Geopark is known for its dramatic and breathtaking sceneries and many mysteries.
Following the Happiness Road, you’ll be taken to the most overwhelming landscapes in Ha Giang – Ma Pi Leng Pass, the Rock Garden, the golden rice terraced fields, the fields of buckwheat flowers in pink, the pine trees and the green valleys.
Dong Van Town boasts the unique culture of Black H’mong with a fair market on every Sunday, H’mong old houses and H’mong’s way of life. You just can’t get enough of this land and its people.
5. Ninh Binh – Halong Bay on Land
As one of the most popular Hanoi Day Trip as well as the first double UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam, Ninh Binh is seriously a wonderful destination to enjoy both natural and cultural values in Northern Vietnam.
Located only 90 kilometers from Hanoi, you can easily get to Ninh Binh by bus, train or by driving motorbike on your own.
Once you arrived, Ninh Binh will engulf you in an atmosphere of peace and tranquil. Known as the ‘Halong Bay on Land’, to truly find wonders, you’ll have to come to Trang An – the UNESCO heritage. To visit so vast of a complex, you can’t visit all of it in one go. Indeed, you can only choose one of the three Trang An boat routes to visit.
On a Trang An boat trip, the local rower will take you through the gentle flowing river. We will pass by the beautiful limestone pillars, to the grottoes with ancient temples inside.
Tam Coc nearby is known for the gorgeous three-system cave and a waterway full of golden rice fields on the sides. Don’t forget to swing by Hang Mua Viewpoint during May – June to capture this scene from above.
Other things to do in Ninh Binh are Bai Dinh Pagoda – one of the largest pagodas on earth, Van Long Nature Reserve and Thung Nham Bird Garden. Or the Mua Cave which is on rising trend.
Mua Cave – Ninh Binh @Instagram
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6. Hue – The Imperial city and mysterious Ghost Park
Wander southward a bit, Hue is one of the best places to visit in Central Vietnam. As known as the ancient capital of Vietnam during Nguyen dynasty, Hue still holds so much cultural and historical values to behold.
The thing you’d enjoy the most in Hue is its slow-paced life style and peaceful atmosphere everywhere. Hue people is well-known as the most pleasant and polite people in Vietnam with elegant style and demeanor.
Come to Hue, it’s a miss if you skip Hue Imperial City – a UNESCO cultural heritage, the realm of the past and the most impressive royal construction in Vietnam. Once you set foot inside this special city, you’ll be taken back to a time of feudal Vietnam with palaces, monuments, royal quarters and lake….
For someone who loves to see other than just the Imperial City, the Ghost Park should be added as a place to get top trending photos ever. This large park was abandoned for unknown reason and long attached to the rumors of crocodiles who once lived there. Main attraction of the park was a terrifying dragon with its big head in the middle of an old lake. Overall, it looks like you step straight from the reality into a forgotten horror world.
Thuy Tien Ghost Park @Instagram: John_tran.long
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7. Danang – City of Bridges
Danang is just singular, undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. The capital of Central Vietnam is commonly known for the beautiful, impressive bridge.
Golden Bridge with its giant stone hands might bring Danang a wave of attention in recent years. The image of grey hands perched out of the mountains has appeared on many prestigious TV channels. It creates the scene which looks like God is holding a soft and delicate piece of golden silk. Walking across the bridge hanging high above, you will feel as if stepping across a heaven threshold.
Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills @Instagram
Beside Bana Hills, My Khe beach, Marble Mountain and the suburban handicraft village is what make you stay longer in this one-of-a-kind city.
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8. Hoi An – Ancient Trading Port
Only 30 minutes driving from Danang, Hoi An is as one of the best places to visit in Vietnam which it rightfully deserves. What about Hoi An makes it so different from other destinations in Vietnam?
Hoi An was once the most bustling trading port in Southeast Asia during many centuries. The traits of all major Asian cultures can be found here, more glorious than any other place in Vietnam.
As a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, Hoi An is known for its well-preserved old quarter, assembly halls and pagodas and temples. The construction that has made the fame for Hoi An is the beautiful Japanese Bridge.
Hoi An at night shines with colorful lanterns, reflecting on the ever gentle Thu Bon River crossing the town. Hoi An is also the best place in Vietnam to enjoy local specialties at a cheaper prices. But this isn’t all – the villages in Hoi An has the adventure going on with real local experiences! If you only can visit one destination in Vietnam, then Hoi An should be the answer!
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9. Nha Trang – Ideal for deep-sea exploration
It great to visit famous tropical beach and fresh seafood served directly from the ocean to table in Nha Trang. And boat tour to island and scuba diving are another must-do activities if you’re looking to get up close personal contact colorful sea creatures and thriving coral reefs. With a maximum depth from 18 meters to 35 meters and great clear visibility, the area of seabed is ideal for divers of any certification level.
After some diving session, treat yourself with spicy grilled prawns or squids sold along the seaside boulevard. A great way to enjoy healthy and relax holiday under the sun.
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10. Mui Ne –Best place to catch sunrise on the top of sand dunes
If you’re looking for a place to take photos on the background of red and white sand dunes, which amaze friends and family, Mui Ne is the place to go.
No longer have to reach as far as the Sahara or Namib desert, Mui Ne in Vietnam offers the full scene of imposing dunes under the sun. For the whole experience, visit these dunes at the moment of the sunrise. The early morning rays cover a golden tone all over the photos, creating an awe-inspiring and extremely photogenic view. Beside jump up and down to get picture in which you are floating in the air, you can also hire a quad bike. Playing sand-sledding is also a common (and fun) activity here.
Mui Ne @ Instagram slovak_german_couple
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11. Ho Chi Minh City – Most dynamic city in Vietnam
If Hanoi the capital is the center of Northen Vietnam, Danang the Central then Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the central city of the south. The city, named after the beloved leader, has both historical and cultural significance.
The city saw the Khmer people were the first ones to settle down in the area, then the control past to Vietnamese people, then the French, then the US during Vietnam War and back to Vietnamese again. Come to Ho Chi Minh City, you’d see the relics of the war like in War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels.
This is also the city you’d find the most influential cultural traits which are from the west. The French architecture, the US-style of naming streets can be seen everywhere…. But in the most unexpected corners of the city, Vietnamese heritage is maintained as a sight of everyday life.
12. Mekong Delta – Life on Water
Mekong Delta has always been one of the most unique and special destinations in Vietnam. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can visit this vast area quite easily. Called ‘Vietnam’s Rice Bowl’, Mekong has so much things to see and do.
Thanks to the mighty Mekong River (or in Vietnam – ‘Nine Dragons’), the land is rich. Across the 13 provinces and city in the area are the floating marketing, fields of coconut palms, sugarcane, fruit orchards, bird gardens….
Come to Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho, you’ll have the chance to witness the life of the local first-hand.
Mekong River Boat @Instagram riekehnrs
The many handicraft villages, workshops and factories are just unique to visit. My Tho, Ben Tre, Soc Trang, An Giang, the culture of Khmer prevails and is celebrated.
☛ See more of our Mekong Delta tour to see why this land is favourite option of many travelers.
13. Phu Quoc Island – Offshore Paradise
No one can deny Phu Quoc is the most beautiful island in Vietnam. Open for tourism, you can visit Phu Quoc for 30 days without a visa.
Once you come to Phu Quoc Island, you’ll never get enough of it. The island has some of the best beaches in Vietnam – Sao Beach, Khem Beach, Ganh Dau Beach, Long Beach…. Phu Quoc is the best destination for both relaxing activities and trekking and active activities. Phu Quoc National Park is so large it covers more than half of the island. The sunset scene in Phu Quoc is something you definitely should not miss.
With mountains, streams, thick forests and beautiful trekking trails, Phu Quoc National Park might as well be your most favorite place on the island.
☛ See out best choice of Phu Quoc itinerary
There is no way we can elaborate adequately on the best places to visit in Vietnam in just a single post. And the ‘best’ word is a term from a subjective perspective as it could get. A hidden gem, off-the-the-beaten-track, often off the radar, would be your ‘best place’. It all depends on what is suitable for you. And we have the answers for that, too.
Contact us for send your request to Indochina Trends Travel experts today to know which best places to visit in Vietnam that suit you the most.