35 Amazing Things To Do In Vietnam On Your Vacation

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and looking for inspiration, our list of amazing things to do in Vietnam is here to help. 

From exploring ancient cities to cruising the Mekong Delta, this Vietnam travel guide covers the best of Vietnam’s culture, nature, and beauty.

So, start planning your Vietnam adventure today and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

Stroll the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills

Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Vietnam’s natural beauty and stunning architecture.

Walking along the bridge, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and lush greenery.

The bridge’s unique design, with two giant hands holding it up, will leave you in awe with unforgettable photos and moments.

ba na hills golden bridge

Ride a motorbike from North to South

For the ultimate adventure in Vietnam, why not hop on a motorbike and ride from North to South?

You’ll get to experience the country’s stunning natural beauty, bustling cities, and charming small towns all in one epic journey.

This is the perfect way to see the country at your own pace and make unforgettable memories you’ll treasure for years.

Tham Ma Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

As you ride along winding roads through picturesque mountain passes, you’ll feel the rush of the wind in your hair and the freedom of the open road. Along the way, stop at local markets, sample delicious street food, and experience Vietnamese culture.

Tips: Don’t forget to buy travel insurance when traveling Vietnam!

Cruise Ha Long Bay

When you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, one of the must-see destinations is Ha Long Bay. And what better way to experience this beautiful natural wonder than by taking a cruise?

Ha Long Bay cruise will take you through the breathtaking limestone karsts, where you can take in the stunning views of the emerald waters and the towering cliffs.

You can also explore the hidden caves and grottoes, learn about the local culture, and try some delicious seafood. 

Ha Long Bay vietnam.
Cruising Ha Long Bay is one of the best things to do in Vietnam.

Do Ha Giang Loop

If you’re seeking adventure on your trip to Vietnam, you cannot miss out on the Ha Giang Loop. This 300-kilometer road trip will take you through the breathtaking scenery of the northern mountains, winding through hairpin turns and steep inclines.

You’ll pass by numerous ethnic minority villages, where you can immerse yourself in their cultures and traditions. The route is also dotted with great sites like Nho Que River and Lung Cu Flag Tower. 

Tham Ma Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

Hike Cat Ba National Park

For an exhilarating adventure during your Vietnam vacation, you must add a hike in Cat Ba National Park to your itinerary.

As you trek through the park’s rugged terrain, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and diverse wildlife.

Cat Ba National Park Vietnam Guide

The park features numerous trails that cater to different hiking abilities, so whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, you’ll find a path that suits you.

Along the way, you’ll discover hidden caves, cascading waterfalls, and stunning vistas of the surrounding sea and mountains. The breathtaking views from the summit of the park’s highest peak, Ngu Lam Peak, make the hike a truly unforgettable experience. 

Visit Bac Ha Sunday ethnic market

Bac Ha Sunday Ethnic Market is a hub for ethnic minority groups to trade goods, clothing, and livestock, and it’s a unique opportunity to witness their way of life.

You’ll see a sea of colorful fabrics, handicrafts, and a wide variety of delicious local foods. The market is also an excellent place to interact with locals and learn about their customs and beliefs.

So, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the lively atmosphere and vibrant colors!

Be amazed at the Mu Cang Chai rice terrace

Mu Cang Chai Rice Terrace is a masterpiece of agriculture, showcasing the skill and ingenuity of the local people who have shaped the landscape into cascading tiers of lush green rice paddies.

Mam Xoi Hill is one of the best things to do in Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam.

As you explore the area, you’ll be captivated by the mesmerizing patterns and colors of the terraces, especially during the autumn harvest season when the golden rice is ready to be harvested.

The terraced fields are also surrounded by picturesque villages, where you can interact with locals and learn about their way of life. 

Explore the caves in Phong Nha National Park

Exploring the caves in Phong Nha National Park is an amazing experience you shouldn’t miss during your vacation in Vietnam.

With over 300 caves and grottoes, this UNESCO World Heritage site offers an incredible natural wonderland for adventurous travelers.

You can explore the largest cave system in the world with guided tours that cater to all skill levels.

Dark cave

Equipped with a headlamp, you’ll trek through a muddy path and wade through cool waters to reach Dark Cave‘s inner sanctum.

Once inside, you’ll discover a stunning underground world with unique rock formations and natural wonders. This thrilling experience is not to be missed on your Vietnam vacation.

best things to do in Dark cave Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Paradise cave

Paradise Cave is another beautiful cave to visit in Phong Nha.

Walking through the vast caverns, you’ll be mesmerized by its stunning rock formations and natural beauty.

Paradise Cave in Phong Nha Vietnam.

Phong Nha cave

Phong Nha Cave is a breathtaking natural wonder nestled deep in Phong Nha National Park.

You can join a boat tour and explore the unique rock formations, sparkling water, and stunning limestone cliffs. The cave is also steeped in history, with remnants of Cham and Nguyen Dynasty artifacts adding to the charm of the experience.

Phong Nha cave is one of the best things to do in Vietnam.

Son Doong cave

Son Doong Cave is the largest known cave in the world, located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam. The cave was discovered in 1991 by a local and was only opened to tourists in 2013.

You can explore its vast chambers, underground rivers, and unique rock formations, making it an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers.

Go trekking in Sapa

Trekking in Sapa is a must-do activity if you’re looking for an adventure in Vietnam.

You’ll have the chance to explore the stunning natural beauty of this mountainous region while exploring the local culture.

The trek will take you through lush rice terraces, remote villages, and dense forests.

You’ll be able to interact with friendly locals and learn about their way of life while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. 

Expect to spend about 3 days in Sapa to get a glimpse of this beautiful area.

Trekking Sapa is one of the best things to do in Vietnam.
With verdant mountain slopes, paddy terraces like green velvet steps, and an up-close peek into the local tribes’ lives, Sapa is nothing short of a treasure trove.

Take a boat ride in Ninh Binh

Taking a boat ride in Ninh Binh is an unforgettable experience that should be on your bucket list when visiting Vietnam.

As you relax on the traditional rowboat, you can admire the picturesque landscape and watch the locals as they go about their daily lives, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

In Ninh Binh, you can try a boat ride at either Trang An or Tam Coc. Each area offers a different type of scenery and attractions.

Trang An

Trang An is a breathtaking landscape of towering limestone mountains, winding rivers, and lush greenery.

The tranquil boat ride takes you through a series of caves and grottoes, surrounded by stunning scenery that will leave you feeling peaceful and inspired.

Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam travel guide

Tam Coc

A trip to Vietnam isn’t complete without taking a boat ride in Tam Coc, a picturesque area known as the “Halong Bay on land.” You’ll love the stunning scenery of towering limestone cliffs jutting out of the emerald-green river, surrounded by endless fields of rice paddies.

Travel guide to Tam Coc Bich Dong in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

See the water puppet show in Hanoi

If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Vietnam, you can’t miss the water puppet show in Hanoi. This traditional art form has been entertaining audiences for centuries and is a true highlight of Vietnamese culture.

You’ll be amazed by the intricate puppetry, live music, and storytelling that brings ancient legends and folk tales to life. As you watch the puppets glide across the water stage, you’ll be transported to a world of magic and wonder. 

Visit Hue Imperial City

No trip to Vietnam is complete without a visit to Hue Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true gem of Vietnamese history and culture.

It’s like stepping back in time to the 19th century and discovering the ancient royal palace and fortress of the Nguyen dynasty.

Hue Imperial City Vietnam photo

I love the ornate architecture, intricate details, and stunning gardens that surround the complex. As you wander through the imperial city, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of Vietnam and its royal past.

Make sure to hire a Vietnamese guide to help you unlock the secrets of this beautiful site and make the most of your visit.

Learn about the Vietnam War

Learning about the Vietnam War is essential to understanding Vietnam’s complex history and culture. You can visit museums and historical sites to gain insight into the war’s impact on the country and its people.

DMZ tour in Hue

Embarking on a DMZ tour in Hue is an incredible opportunity to delve deeper into the history of the Vietnam War.

You’ll visit key sites such as the Vinh Moc tunnels, Hien Luong Bridge, and Khe Sanh Combat Base, where you can learn about the conflict’s military strategies and their impact on the local community.

Ho Chi Minh War Remnants Museum

Visiting the Ho Chi Minh War Remnants Museum is a powerful and moving way to learn about the Vietnam War.

You’ll journey through the conflict’s darkest moments, from the My Lai Massacre’s brutalities to Agent Orange’s impact on the environment and the Vietnamese people. As you explore the museum’s exhibits, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for Vietnam’s resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Conquere Hai Van Pass

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an unforgettable adventure in Vietnam, you don’t want to miss Hai Van Pass. This stunning mountain pass offers breathtaking views of the coast and is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. 

You can rent a motorbike or join a tour to make the journey up the winding roads. Going to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. 

Once you reach the top, take a moment to soak in the beauty and enjoy a refreshing drink or snack at one of the roadside cafes. 

Explore Hoi An ancient town

Hoi An ancient town (historic trading port) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its well-preserved architecture, lantern-lit streets, and colorful markets.

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you wander through the narrow alleys and pastel-colored buildings.

Hoi An ancient town Vietnam.

Take time to visit the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, the centuries-old Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, and the lively Central Market.

Make sure to try some of the local delicacies, like Cao Lau or Banh Mi, and browse the shops selling handmade silk lanterns, ceramics, and textiles.

Get on the circular basket boats in Hoi An

These circular basket boats are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature.

They’re made from woven bamboo and are steered by skilled local fishermen who will take you on a tranquil ride along Thu Bon River.

As you glide through the water, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful scenery, and you’ll get a glimpse of local life along the riverbanks.

You can also try catching fish with a traditional net or simply relax and enjoy the ride. 

Marvel Champa ruins in My Son Sanctuary

Visiting the Champa ruins in My Son Sanctuary is an enriching and unforgettable experience. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the remains of the Champa Kingdom, which flourished between the 4th and 14th centuries.

As you explore the ancient temples and structures, you’ll be transported back in time to a fascinating period in Vietnamese history.

The intricate carvings and sculptures are a testament to the Champa people’s artistic and architectural skills, and the surrounding jungle landscape adds to the mystical atmosphere of the site.

Make sure to hire a knowledgeable guide to learn more about the history and significance of the ruins, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views. 

My Son Sanctuary Vietnam travel guide

Try Snorkeling on Cham Island 

Cham Island is home to diverse marine life, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and sea turtles.

As you don your snorkeling gear and dive into the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be amazed by the vibrant underwater world.

You’ll have the opportunity to swim alongside schools of fish, spot exotic sea creatures, and explore the underwater caves and rock formations.

And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a majestic manta ray.

Cham islands is one of the best day trips from Hoi An, Vietnam.

Join a food tour

One of the best ways to experience the rich and diverse culinary scene in Vietnam is by joining a food tour.

With so many unique dishes and flavors to try, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But with a local guide by your side, you’ll be able to sample various dishes and learn about the culture and history behind each one.

seafood Vietnamese food
Steamed clams with lemongrass and other dishes.

You’ll visit local markets, street food stalls, and family-run restaurants or try everything from steaming hot bowls of Pho to crispy banh mi sandwiches.

Along the way, you’ll get to meet friendly locals and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Vietnam’s food scene.

Cycle through rice paddy fields

One of my favorite things to do in Vietnam is cycling. You’ll feel the cool breeze on your face as you pedal along quiet roads and winding paths, surrounded by lush green fields and picturesque landscapes.

You’ll have the chance to stop and chat with friendly local farmers, learn about their way of life, and even try some traditional farming techniques.

Best time to visit Mai Chau, Vietnam.

Along the way, you’ll pass by quaint villages and ancient pagodas and soak up the serene atmosphere of rural Vietnam. As the sun sets over the horizon, you’ll have unforgettable memories of a truly authentic and peaceful experience.

Some amazing areas to cycle are Mai Chau, Hoi An, and the Mekong Delta area.

Sandboard sand dunes in Mui Ne

You’ll feel the rush of adrenaline as you slide down the steep slopes of Mui Ne sand dunes, surrounded by the stunning area.

With the sun shining down on you and the wind in your hair, you’ll experience a sense of freedom and excitement like never before.

Bau Trang white sand dunes Mui Ne Vietnam

The vibrant sand dune will make you feel like you’re in a different world, and the stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscape will take your breath away.

Besides sand dunes, Mui Ne also has a beautiful coastline and a unique Fairy Stream.

Mui Ne Vietnam

Enjoy a mud bath in Nha Trang

If you’re looking for a unique and relaxing experience in Nha Trang, a mud bath might be just the thing for you.

You can unwind and let go of all your worries as you soak in the therapeutic mud that is rich in minerals and said to be good for your skin. The warm mud feels great on your skin and helps to exfoliate and cleanse it.

You’ll also enjoy the natural scenery while lounging in the bath. After the bath, you can dip in the hot mineral water pool, which is said to be good for your health and circulation.

Hon Tam mud bath Vietnam

Visit coffee plantations in Daklak

You’ll witness the coffee-making process, from planting the coffee trees to picking and roasting the beans to perfection.

As you explore the lush green plantations, you’ll also learn about the various types of coffee grown in the region, including the famous Robusta coffee.

The tour usually includes a tasting session where you can sample some of the freshest and most delicious coffee you’ve ever tasted.

Remember to bring some coffee beans back as souvenirs to impress your friends and family back home.

Crawling through Cu Chi Tunnels

Viet Cong used these tunnels during the Vietnam War, so crawling through them is like stepping back in time.

Visiting Cu Chi tunnels, you’ll get to see how the Vietnamese soldiers lived and fought during the war and learn about the history of the conflict.

It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the resilience and ingenuity of the Vietnamese people.

Just be prepared to get a little dirty, as the tunnels are narrow and cramped. But trust us; it’s worth it for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Explore mighty waterfalls in Da Lat

Dalat is home to several stunning waterfalls, and visiting them will be an unforgettable experience.

The sound of water cascading down from the hills will calm your soul, and the breathtaking view of the waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery will leave you in awe.

You can dip in the natural pools or ride a thrilling zipline across the waterfall. Don’t forget to capture those picturesque moments to cherish them later. 

Datanlat waterfall dalat vietnam.

Try canyoning in Dalat

For adventure seekers, canyoning in Dalat is a must-do activity.

With this activity, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful canyons and crystal-clear waterfalls and immerse yourself in the unspoiled nature of the Central Highlands.

You’ll start by hiking through the lush jungle before reaching the canyons, where you’ll rappel down the cliffs and jump into the natural pools below.

As you make your way through the canyon, you’ll slide down the smooth rocks and swim in the refreshing waters.

You’ll also be able to challenge yourself with a few adrenaline-pumping activities like zip-lining and abseiling.

Cross the sea in Phu Quoc cable car

Are you ready for a breathtaking experience? Then hop on the Phu Quoc cable car to cross the sea and discover the beauty of this island from a different perspective.

With its 7.9 km length, it’s the longest non-stop three-wire cable car system in the world. You will be amazed by the stunning panoramic views of the blue ocean, lush mountains, and islands.

The ride takes approximately 25 minutes and is a must-try activity for every traveler visiting Phu Quoc.

Hon Thom Phu Quoc cable car Vietnam
The view from our cable car is stunning!

See Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho

On Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho, you’ll witness an incredible scene of boats filled with colorful fruits, vegetables, and local specialties like Bun Rieu (crab noodle soup) and Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich).

As you float through the market, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of boats bumping into each other and vendors calling out their goods.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices and try some fresh produce – it’s a truly unique experience you won’t want to miss. 

best time to visit Mekong Delta Vietnam

Relax on the pristine beaches

There’s nothing quite like sinking your toes into soft white sand while gazing out at the ocean’s turquoise waters.

Whether you prefer the buzzing vibe of Nha Trang, the laid-back atmosphere of Phu Quoc, or the rugged coastline of Quy Nhon, there’s a beach in Vietnam that’s perfect for you.

Take a dip in the warm waters, catch some rays on the sand, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views from one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.

Bai Xep beach Quy Nhon Vietnam

Join the night safari at Cat Tien National Park

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by joining the Cat Tien National Park night safari! You can witness the park’s wildlife in their natural habitat as they come alive after dark.

The experience begins as you board a jeep with your guide and set off into the depths of the jungle.

As you journey deeper into the park, keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal animals such as deer, civets, and wild boars. The tour’s highlight is spotting some of the park’s elusive big cats, including leopards and tigers.

Take a cooking class

If you’re a foodie looking for an authentic Vietnamese experience, taking a cooking class is a must. You’ll learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine and discover new flavors and ingredients.

During the class, you’ll get hands-on experience preparing traditional dishes such as phở, bánh mì, and spring rolls.

Relax with a massage

Vietnam has a rich tradition of massage therapy, and you can find skilled masseurs all over the country.

Whether in a big city like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or a smaller town or beach resort, you will surely find a spa or massage parlor that suits your needs.

There are many options, from traditional Vietnamese massage to modern techniques like hot stone therapy.

Sip cocktails on rooftop bars

As you sit back and enjoy your drink, you will be mesmerized by the stunning panoramic views of the cityscape below.

The vibrant atmosphere and live music will enhance your experience, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends or a romantic evening with your significant other.

Social club Saigon is one of the best rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

With a wide range of cocktail options, you can indulge in creative mixes and exotic flavors while enjoying the city lights.

Check my Vietnam rooftop bars guide for more information:

Visit the temples

One of the most famous temples is the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, symbolizing Vietnam’s ancient architecture and spirituality.

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is another popular destination known for its beautiful gardens and stunning traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Temple of Literature Hanoi Vietnam

Another fascinating temple is the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, which is the center of the unique Cao Dai religion and boasts a stunning mix of Eastern and Western architectural styles. 

Get on a train ride

Don’t miss the Reunification Express train that runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

This iconic train ride takes you through some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes, including lush green rice paddies, rolling hills, and winding rivers.

You’ll also get a chance to experience local life up close as you pass through small towns and villages.

The journey takes around 32 hours, so it’s an excellent opportunity to relax, unwind, and watch the world go by.

Wrapping up

Our list of amazing things to do in Vietnam provides just a glimpse of the possibilities.

Whether you’re interested in natural landscapes, rich cultural experiences, or exciting city life, Vietnam has something for everyone.

We hope this guide has inspired you to plan your trip and explore all that this beautiful country has to offer. Enjoy your travels in Vietnam!

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  1. Willow Wu says:

    Hi love the list! Thanks for sharing. What would you do if you only have two weeks in December and it’s your first time in Vietnam. Was thinking about arriving in Hanoi and end up in Ho Chi Minh for NYE. We have a few families include elders and kids. We love Vietnamese food. Want it to be relaxing but still try to get much in as possible. A little bit of old charm and new breathtaking views. I love all you listed and would love to do all that…ride a motorcycle… eat good food, hang with the locals.

    1. Hi Willow, you can check out my 2 weeks in Vietnam itinerary post for some inspiration. Since you travel with elders and kids, it’s best to fly and rent a car charter when moving around. Also, I recommend travel slow and don’t try to add too many activities to your trip. Safe travels!

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