Vietnam is truly a land full of treasures to discover. There are many things to see and for all tastes: ancient pagodas and temples, pristine islands, picturesque villages and valleys with breathtaking views dominated by forests and verdant rice fields.
1) Ha Long Bay
With emerald waters and rocky spurs emerging from the sea like dragons from Asian mythology, atmospheric Ha Long Bay is the perfect script for a fantasy film. Here you will find more than 2,000 islands and islets, dotted with mysterious caves around which numerous legends were born, fruit of the imagination of the local population. The islands and towering limestone cliffs have taken on truly bizarre shapes following centuries of erosion. The best way to explore Ha Long Bay is a cruise aboard a luxurious junk.
Over the last century, the city of Hanoi has been the scene of bloody wars, but today it emerges as a booming capital of a reunified Vietnam. The historic center of Hanoi, called called Old Quarter, is home to beautiful examples of French colonial architecture with Asian influences, while the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a fascinating window into the country’s history between the 6th and 20th centuries. The tree-lined avenues of the city are dotted with quaint cafes, markets and some historical sites such as the Grand Opera House, the Presidential Palace and theSt. Joseph’s Cathedral. One of the most fascinating experiences in Hanoi is the show at the water puppet theater.
3) Hoi An
Hoi An is a quaint old town dating back to the Champa Kingdom overlooking the South China Sea. The historic center is a well-preserved example of a southeastern trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries. The narrow and winding streets of the historic center are home to numerous traditional wooden houses and many other buildings born from the fusion of local and foreign architectural elements.
The historic town of Hue is a real gem that stands on the banks of the Perfume River, in the central part of Vietnam. Hue was the ancient imperial capital during the Nguyen dynasty and its glorious past is reflected in its architecture, cuisine and culture. The ancient Citadel of Hue which was the seat of the Nguyen emperors, is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Vietnam, full of ancient palaces and temples. Another must see monument is the Thien Mu Pagoda.
5) Sapa Valley
The town of Sapa nestled in a picturesque valley in the far north of Vietnam is one of the most fascinating places from a landscape and cultural point of view. Surrounded by mountains shrouded in mist and cloaked in rice terraces, the Sapa Valley is the ideal place to hike and explore the most picturesque villages where you can get to know the culture and traditions of the natives up close.
6) Nha Trang
Nha Trang is a seaside resort located in one of the most suggestive bays in South East Asia overlooking the South China Sea. Renowned for its beautiful beaches of fine sand and for its islands teeming with marine life, Nha Trang is the ideal destination for relaxing on the beach, diving in incredible sites, or practicing yoga to regain inner well-being. The beautiful waterfront is dotted with budget-friendly resorts, restaurants and amusement parks for the delight of younger travelers.
7) Delta of the Mekong River
The Mekong Delta is a large area in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River flows into the South China Sea. This area is distinguished by its dense network of canals where the traditional floating markets take place every morning where the goods are sold by boats. During the boat ride in the labyrinth of canals, you can observe exotic fruit crops, rice fields, sugar cane plantations, fish farms and quaint fishing villages. Being a very fertile area, the Mekong Delta has been nicknamed “Vietnam’s Rice Basket”, as it is the largest producer of rice and fruit and vegetables in the whole country.
8) Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is a beautiful Asian megalopolis and financial heart of Vietnam that rises along the banks of the Saigon River in the south of the country. Historically known as Saigon, it was the capital of French Indochina (1887-1941) and the capital of Vietnam during the period of the bloody war against the Americans (1964-1975). Today Ho Chi Minh City is a modern and vibrant city, whose moped-congested streets are lined with historic buildings, shopping malls, flea markets, nightclubs and sophisticated Vietnamese restaurants.
9) My Son Archaeological Site
The archaeological site of My Son is located along the central-west coast of Vietnam, near the village of Duy Phú. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia which houses a complex of Hindu temples built during the reign of Champa, in honor of the deity Shiva between the 4th and 14th centuries.
10) Tam Coc
The mystical beauty of Tam Coc will captivate you immediately. It is the miniature version of Ha Long Bay, which owes its popularity to the Indochine and Kong Skull Island films that were filmed right here. The most exciting thing to do in Tam Coc is the river cruise that meanders between the mist-shrouded limestone mountains and verdant rice paddies. It is worth staying in Tam Coc at least one night, to visit the caves and beautiful temples or to cycle along the quiet country lanes.