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Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Vietnam

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Vietnam is one of the most ideal Southeast Asian destinations. The long and slender terrain endows it with diverse landscapes from white sand beaches, and jade-green paddy fields, to fabulous karst limestone cliffs. Close to China and once colonized by France, Vietnam has been influenced by these two countries in culture, architecture, and cuisine. It offers countless options for your exploration, from beautiful natural attractions to fabulous architecture, and unique cultural experiences. With so many fun things to do in Vietnam, we just make a list to cover the highlights and hope you can get inspired. Let’s get stuck in…

1. Explore World’s Largest Cave in Phong Nha -- Hang Son Doong Cave

One of the most amazing things to do in Vietnam is to brave the Hang Son Doong Cave, which is the biggest cave in the world ever discovered. In north-central Vietnam, the cave had not been found in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park until 1991. Hidden in jungles, it was officially surveyed by British experts in 2009. With a volume of 38.5 million m³, the cave is mind-blowing to adventure. It keeps an entire rainforest ecosystem, with trees grown and wild animals inhabited. However, it only opens a small part to the public, and visitor numbers may be restricted. Other mysterious caves nearby are also worth a visit except for the largest one, such as Paradise Cave, and Phong Nha Caves.

Hang Son Doong Cave
Hang Son Doong Cave

2. Adventure Cu Chi Tunnels

As an iconic attraction of Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels are definitely worth visiting. About 70 km (43.5 mi) away from the main city, the tunnels were dug in the 1940s and later expanded dramatically during the Vietnam War period with a total length of 250 km (155 mi). The complex tunnels just compose a fully functional underground city, which includes 3 layers, and the deepest layer can reach 8 meters (26 ft.) from the ground. A lot of traps and counterfeit bunkers were made on the ground and wells, dormitories, kitchens, and hospitals were built underground. It’s exciting to adventure in the narrow and tight tunnels to have a glimpse of turbulent Vietnamese history.

Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City

3. Stay Overnight on Cruise in Ha Long Bay

Taking a cruise to sightsee Ha Long Bay is a quintessential experience for your Vietnam journey. And staying overnight on a cruise will be a must-do thing. It is the best way for you to indulge in the world-famous karst limestone landscapes and breathtaking vistas of islets. In addition, you will have a chance to admire the magnificent sunset view once-in-a-lifetime and glimpse the daily life of local fishermen. A seafood feast can also be enjoyed on a cruise.

Halong Bay Cruise
Halong Bay Cruise

4. Enjoy Mudbath in Nha Trang

When it comes to fun things to do in Vietnam, the mudbath spa cannot be missed out. The special spa is said to originate from Nha Trang and here you can enjoy the most authentic experience as all the mud is from natural quarries. The earthy yellow mudbath, in some way, is like a hot spring. Containing a variety of minerals that are good for health, the hot mineral mudbath can treat you to a day of relaxation and help you to restore the most perfect state. It’s hard to say if your skin can become rosier or whiter after a mudbath, but it is well worth it nonetheless!

5. Taste Authentic Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho)

Referring to Vietnam food, Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho) must be the first name that comes to your mind. You may have tasted the famous dish in other places, but that is not the case. You must try a bowl of authentic Vietnamese Noodle Soup on your Vietnam trip. The tasty dish is cheap but local, made from salty broth, chicken or beef, fresh rice noodles, and other spices. It can be easily enjoyed at any street corner in major cities, especially on Hanoi food street, where you can taste a lot of cheap and delicious street food.

Vietnamese Food - Pho
cai rang floarting market

6. Explore Vietnam on a Motorbike

Considered ‘the kingdom of motorcycles’, Vietnam may have more than 45 million motorbikes, which means there is at least one motorbike for every two Vietnamese people. Jumping on a motorbike to explore Vietnam will be a very interesting experience and a good way to travel like a local. It offers more freedom to avoid traffic congestion. No matter riding a motorcycle for a 1-2 day city sightseeing tour or a multi-week long-way journey, it is certainly an interesting thing to try. Pay attention that an international driving permit may be necessary and remember to wear a helmet while riding.

Motorbikes on Vietnamese Street
Motorbikes on Vietnamese Street

7. Trace Vietnam War History in Ho Chi Minh City

When visiting Vietnam, we cannot bypass the tragic history of the Vietnam War, which ended in 1973. Learning about the war with the USA is meaningful and educational, from informative photo exhibitions in Ho Chi Minh Museum to tanks and other army vehicles in the War Remnants Museum. The museums offer a lot of images and artifacts to tell how the war had destroyed the country and ruined local people’s lives. The leftover memorabilia from the war is shocking and educational, giving a chance to go deep into Vietnam’s painful past.

War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum

8. Experience Local Life in Cai Rang Floating Market

Another must-do fun thing is visiting a floating market on the Mekong River. Cai Rang Floating Market is the largest floating market in Vietnam, and also the best one for you to check out. Opening between 04:00-09:00 AM, this short trip is suitable for early birds. Specialized in trading fruits and agricultural products, the floating market offers unforgettable local life scenes to visitors. Locals shop and barter on the river rather than on the streets and you can purchase the freshest fruits here.

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market

9. Trek Rice Terraces near Sapa

Vietnam is a paradise for hikers and Sapa features one of the most classic trekking routes in the country. The highland town offers more than natural spectacular footpaths. The rural destination also attracts people to adventure traditional ethnic villages. Generally, two days are suggested to spend in Sapa trekking to enjoy paddy terraced fields and experience local life. If you plan to climb Fansipan Mountain nearby, then more days are needed.

10. Boat Sightseeing along the Saigon River

The last fun thing to do in Vietnam is to take a boat to appreciate the skyline of Ho Chi Minh City. The Saigon River runs from Cambodia and winds through the whole Ho Chi Minh City from east to west. It is the city’s gate and had witnessed great changes and development of the city, from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City. Taking a boat trip along the Saigon River, you can see some of the most modern parts of Vietnam. The banks are lined with skyscrapers and the night views will leave you a deep impression.

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