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 history.
Visiting Hanoi, you can observe the ancient architecture and experience a relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, contrary to the pace of life in Saigon.
People in Hanoi prefer the familiar so that 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 visit 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.
Read more: How to explore Hanoi Old Quarter in one day.
Colorful and charming are how visitors describe this town.
Sapa is an excellent trekking base in Northern Vietnam with beautiful terraced rice paddy fields of the Muong Hoa Valley.
Read more: The best time to visit Sapa, Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
Is Ha Long Bay worth visiting?
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 a Halong cruise trip in the morning.
Read more: How to get from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay.
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 UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba contains diverse natural scenery such as tropical rainforests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and cave systems.
Not only famous for biosphere reserve, but Cat Ba also has beautiful beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Ben Beo beach, etc.
Also, you can take a cruise ship exploring 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 visiting 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.
Read more: How to get from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang
Not only famous for hundreds of cave systems, but visitors can also explore mountains, tropical forests, and underground rivers in this area.
Here is the list of some places that you should not miss on your trip to Phong Nha
Hue was the last imperial city of Vietnam. So if you’re into Vietnamese history, Hue should be on your Vietnam bucket list.
Visiting an abandoned Thuy Tien Lake waterpark is an exciting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.
Read more: The best time to visit Hue, Vietnam.
You get from Hue to Da Nang easily in 4 hours.
Although many visitors skip Da Nang and head to Hoi An instead, Da Nang is also a remarkable place to travel in Vietnam.
And, do you know that Da Nang is recommended as the best city to live in Vietnam?
Hoi An is probably on every list of Vietnam Travel Guide that you can find on the internet.
Designated as 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 European influences.
Wandering around Hoi An ancient town, you can spot several clothes shops with beautiful designs or numerous restaurants which serve traditional Vietnamese food and other countries’ dishes.
The Cham Islands
If you visit Hoi An’s ancient town and look 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.
UNESCO recognizes the Cham Islands as a world’s biosphere reserve beyond the sea.
You can do many activities on the Cham Islands, such as visiting the local market on the main island, having a great time on the beach, or diving to see the corals.
Cham island is a wonderful day trip from Hoi An, and you can book your Cham Island tour here.
Phan Rang – Thap Cham
In addition to Po Klong Garai Temple, you should visit the vineyard, Bau Truc pottery village, and explore the salt field.
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 dunes and a delightful coastline. Many travelers go here for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, and other water sports.
Read more: Easy ways to get from Saigon to Mui Ne.
Also, this resort town is a perfect place to relax and chill if you’ve been traveling in Vietnam for a while. Some great activities to do in Da Lat include:
- Explore the Crazy House
- Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda
- Wander around Da Lat Railway station
- See the sunrise at Cau Dat tea hill
Ho Chi Minh city
Some people say that Saigon is the most lookalike European city in Vietnam. That’s true.
Wandering around Ho Chi Minh city, you can still see the town’s French architecture and infrastructure development.
Saigon is busy. Several shops and restaurants open till late at night, or people have drinks and talk at 3 am on the street even though it’s a weekday. Saigon never sleeps.
Have you heard of Vietnam’s floating markets in Mekong Delta?
Visiting the Cai Rang floating market in the early morning is one of Vietnam’s best things to do. You can see people trading goods and enjoying breakfast at a floating restaurant.
I would recommend taking 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 island 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 every day, you 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. So you can learn about the history of Vietnam, especially about the Vietnam War, while visiting Phu Quoc island.
To prepare for your trip to Vietnam
- Vietnam itinerary: How to spend two weeks in Vietnam
- Useful Vietnamese phrases and words you should know