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10 Best Things to Do in Vietnam

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Vietnam reopened to international travelers on March 15, 2022. Here’s how to make the most of Vietnam with our ultimate bucket list of must-have Vietnam travel experiences.

Cruising down Halong Bay, sampling numerous street food, feeling the charm of timeless Hoi An ancient town, enjoying a fun time at the amazing beaches, taking a Mekong river cruise to discover the authentic culture of Mekong, etc. Vietnam is a treasure trove offering great cultural delights, distinctive natural sights, and amazing history discoveries.

The following list of best things to do in Vietnam is collected to inspire your trip to Vietnam and help you narrow down what to do on your Vietnam adventure.

1. Explore Halong Bay on an Overnight Cruise

The impressive Halong Bay with thousands of plush green limestone peaks towering over the sea is one of the most scenic areas in Vietnam. 

Taking an overnight cruise down Halong Bay is the highlight of every Vietnam trip, enabling you to immerse yourself in the fantastic karst formations, floating villages, many natural grottoes, and French-style architecture along the bank.

For a more thrilling experience, you can kayak on the waters to get to the different shaped and sized islands, visit the fishing village to learn about local fishermen’s life, morning and join a Tai Chi class or cooking class.

2. Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Explore the soul of Hanoi at Old Quarter, aka “Hanoi 36 streets”. Located in the city center of Hanoi, the Old Quart is the busiest trading center of Hanoi and a gathering place of the best Hanoi attractions and highlights, including Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi Tube Houses and the elegant Bach Ma Temple. You may like Top 9 Vietnam Temples

These bustling and thousands of years old streets here are teemed with food stalls, various vendors, and excellent restaurants, offering many interesting things to do and opportunities to experience the real Hanoi.

The recommended way to travel this area is to sit back in the seat of a cyclo and zigzag through the ancient streets.

Hanoi Old Quarter Locals
Hanoi Old Quarter

3. Embark on a Local Street-Food Adventure

Street food is very popular in Vietnam. Travelers on a Vietnam trip will find themselves frequently passing by many streets lined up with street food stands and vendors. Baguette sandwiches, spring rolls, fresh fruit, sugar cane juice, grilled meats, rice cakes, grilled meat wrapped in banana leaves, fresh coconut milk, and even snails, Vietnam boasts so many food options that can cater to all kinds of taste preferences.

It is said that each food stall has its own recipes and memorable delicious taste. And one of the best things is that most street food in Vietnam is pretty cheap.

Foodies and gourmets are highly recommended to take a half-day to wander around the streets in Hanoi, Hoi An, or Ho Chi Min to indulge your stomach.

Hoi An Town Street Food
A Street Food Stall

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4. Immerse Yourself in the Enchanting Hoi An Ancient Town

With golden streets, peaceful daily life, and various cultural heritages on every corner, Hoi An Ancient Town is a can’t-miss for people of all ages, especially for those who come to Vietnam for their honeymoon.

Dating from the 15th to 19th century, Hoi An Ancient Town is a beautiful old trading port in Central Vietnam. As a well-known tourist destination, Hoi An Ancient Town still retains the timeless charm, romantic laid-back vibe, and interesting settings of the former thriving port.

Scattered all over the ancient town are numerous cultural heritages, traditional shophouses, ancient architecture, and religious spots, presenting its brilliant and diverse cultural highlights.

Hoi An Thu Bon River
Hoi An Thu Bon River

5. Visit the World-renowned Golden Bridge in Danang City

Danang Golden Bridge might be the most recognizable bridge in Vietnam, and has been listed as one of the coolest bridges in the world due to its unique design. The Danang Golden Bridge is a suspended bridge that is designed like being lifted by two giant hands.

With a golden yellow hue, the uniquely designed Golden Bridge with opening space in the background is a trendy attraction in Vietnam after it opened to the public in 2018, offering great opportunities for epic photos and sightseeing.

Golden Bridge in Da Nang
Golden Bridge in Da Nang

6. Relax and Enjoy Thrilling Activities at Amazing Beaches in Danang, Cat Ba & Phu Quoc Island

With coasts on three sides, Vietnam has a coastline of over 3000 kilometers, being blessed with countless beautiful beaches. Many of the quality sandy beaches are favored by international travelers thanks to their tropical weather, thrilling activities, pleasant environment, and various fresh seafood.

Danang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Cat Ba, and Phu Quoc Island are all the ideal destinations in Vietnam for a cozy retreat, sun-sand-sea delights, and an amazing beach holiday.

Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island

7. Explore Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels, Museums & Modern City Center

Ho Chi Minh City, once named Saigon, is the largest and busiest city in Vietnam. It’s a city with a lot of amazing things happening at once: many historical sites, lively modern and international trends, fantastic nightlife, bustling streets with wonderful shops and delicious food, etc.

The iconic historical sites like War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels will offer visitors a look into Vietnam’s wartime history in the last century. The city center enables visitors to experience the fast-paced and bustling city life of Vietnam. Chaotic streets that packed with motorbikes, bicycles, cars, tuk-tuks, food stalls and shops always welcome visitors join in on the fun.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh

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8. Visit Mekong Delta - Floating Markets, Riverine Culture & Tropical Scenery

Encompassing a vast region in Southwestern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is the place to encounter various authentic and unique cultural highlights. With a diverse collection of communities scattered along the banks of the Mekong River, this region is blessed with charming floating lives, distinctive riverine culture, beautiful tropical scenery, endless lush orchards, peaceful countryside life, and nice ethnic people who build their homes on the water.

Visitors can go to some iconic floating markets like Cai Rang and Cai Be to experience local traditional business methods, or take a sampan through the narrow canals to visit off-coast islands offering white-sand beaches. It is also possible to ride a bike around the fruit orchards and see more of the countryside.

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market

9. Trace the Grand Imperial Past of Hue

Hue in central Vietnam is for a time the imperial capital of the entire country, a can’t-miss for history buffs. Here the imperial citadel, ancient palaces, temples, tombs, and pagodas – many have been listed as UNESCO World Heritages – will bring visitors back to hundreds of years ago to trace the city’s imperial history and former glory.

Top highlights in Hue include the Imperial Hue Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Thanh Toan Bridge, the tomb of Minh Mang, etc.

Hue Imperial City
Hue Imperial City

10. Admire Imposing Sunset on Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island is known as one of the best places to admire the imposing sunset in Vietnam. Besides the crystal-clear water, and unspoiled beaches, Phu Quoc Island is also famous for its breathtaking landscape, stunning natural spectacle, and many excellent beachside coffee shops, bars, and restaurants offering great cuisine.

Tourists can simply stay on a lovely sand beach, sipping a cup of drink, and witnessing the sinking sun illuminate the horizon. What an awesome experience!

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