Planning to travel to Vietnam? From the North of Vietnam with majestic mountains and beautiful bays to the floating markets in the South of Vietnam, here is our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam from North to South Vietnam.
Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, witnessed the ups and downs of this country throughout the history. Visiting Hanoi, you can observe the ancient architecture, and experience the calm and peaceful lifestyle, which is contrary to the pace of life in Saigon. People in Hanoi prefer the familiar, so you can see lots of small and long-established shops and restaurants along the streets.
There are many places to visit in Hanoi. You can wander from the narrow streets in Hanoi Old Quarter, to the famous One Pillar Pagoda, and visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum nearby. Also, you can explore The Temple of Literature, which was built almost a thousand years ago as Vietnam’s first national university.
Colorful and charming are how visitors describe this town.
Sapa is a famous trekking base in the Northern Vietnam with beautiful terraced rice paddle fields of the Muong Hoa Valley. Sapa is also home to different ethnic groups, including the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay has over 1600 limestone islands and islets with scenic ocean view. Taking a boat trip around Ha Long Bay is a memorable experience when traveling in Vietnam.
Is Ha Long Bay worth visiting? Yes and No
Because it’s a bit far away from Ha Noi and requires 4 hours on the bus, it may be tiring if you only go there for a day trip. However, if you have 2 or 3 days, you can go there by bus and stay over to catch the boat trip in the morning.
Cat Ba Island & Lan Ha Bay
Many people know about Ha Long Bay but haven’t heard of Cat Ba island – the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay.
Recognized by the UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba contains diverse natural scenery such as tropical rainforests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and especially cave systems.
Not only famous for biosphere reserve, Cat Ba also has beautiful beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Ben Beo beach,… Also, you can take a cruise ship around Lan Ha Bay, exploring rocky mountains with small hidden sandy beaches, Cai Beo floating village and Monkey Island.
In your Vietnam travel itinerary, you should spend a few days or even weeks to visit Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the North of Vietnam. Known as “Ha Long Bay on land”, Ninh Binh has mountain scenery and several caves to discover.
There are many places to visit in Ninh Binh: Tam Coc Bich Dong, Trang An, Bai Dinh Temple, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Cuc Phuong Forest, Phat Diem Cathedral, etc.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang
Phong Nha- Ke Bang is a national park in north-central Vietnam and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. Not only famous with hundreds of cave system, visitors can also explore mountains, tropical forest, and underground rivers in this area.
The last kingdom of Vietnam was located in Hue, so if you’re into Vietnamese history, Hue should be on your list of places to visit in Vietnam.
There are tons of things to do in Hue, from exploring Imperial City with several palaces and shrines to visiting different tombs. Also, visiting an abandoned Thuy Tien Lake waterpark is an interesting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.
From Hue, you can take a bus to Da Nang easily in around 4 hours.
Although many visitors skip Da Nang and just head to Hoi An instead, Da Nang is also a remarkable place to travel in Vietnam.
Not only famous for My Khe beach, Da Nang is home of marble mountains, Ba Na Hills park, and Son Tra Peninsula. Street food here is awesome and also are people in Da Nang.
And, do you know that Da Nang is recommended as the best cities to live in Vietnam?
Hoi An is probably on every list of Vietnam Travel Guide that you can find on the internet.
Designated a Unesco Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient town is famous for its well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The architecture demonstrates a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures, mainly Japanese and Chinese and later with European influences.
Wandering around Hoi An ancient town, you can spot several clothes shops with beautiful design or numerous restaurants which serve traditional Vietnamese food and other countries’ dishes.
The Cham Islands
If you visit the ancient town of Hoi An and looking for a more exciting excursion, you should take a day or two to discover The Cham Islands, which consist of a group of 8 small islands in Quảng Nam. The Cham Islands are recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve of the world beyond the sea.
There are many activities that you can do on the Cham Islands, such as visiting the local market on the main island, spending a great time on the beach or diving to see the corals.
Phan Rang – Thap Cham
Located in Ninh Thuan Province, Phan Rang – Thap Cham is famous for Po Klong Garai Temple. It is an ancient brick temple related to Cham religious.
Beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, Nha Trang is a popular destination for vacation in Vietnam. This resort city is easy to reach by flights from other cities in Vietnam such as Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh.
Mui Ne is a lovely beach resort city with beautiful red sand dunes and nice coastline. Many travelers go here for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and other water sports.
No one has ever denied the beauty and charm of Da Lat. Even the rains of Dalat during the summer days also have its own beauty. The ancient roof tiles, the rocky streets hidden behind the hills, temperate flower gardens with cool weather help visitors get out of the chaos and enjoy the relaxed feeling.
Ho Chi Minh city
Some people say that Saigon is the most lookalike European city in Vietnam. That’s true!
Wandering around Saigon, you still can see the charming vibe of French architecture and the development of infrastructure in the city.
Saigon is really busy. There are several shops and restaurants open till late at night, or people having drinks and talking at 3 am on the street even though it’s a weekday. Saigon never sleeps.
Have you heard of Vietnam’s bloating markets in Mekong Delta? Visiting the bloating market in the early morning is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. Also, you can ride buffalo and go fishing like a local here.
It is recommended to take a tour when you visit the Mekong Delta because the infrastructure and transportation in this area are not well-developed and most people cannot speak English.
Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc is a popular getaway destination in the South of Vietnam. Famous for its white sand beaches and resorts, Phu Quoc is a great vacation place to relax and chill.
Along with relaxing on the beach all days, visitors can explore mountains, dense tropical jungle, wildlife and hiking trails in Phú Quốc National Park.
If you’re interested in History, Phu Quoc island is a remarkable historical place in Vietnam. In Phu Quoc Prison, Vietnamese military soldiers were detained by the colonial regime and savagely tortured. Therefore, you can learn about the history of Vietnam, especially about the Vietnam War, while visiting Phu Quoc island.