Bordering the countries of China, Laos, and Cambodia, Vietnam is one of the underrated travel gems of Asia. This narrow country offers a plethora of stunning landscapes for every type of visitor. From tropical beaches to jungle-clad highlands Vietnam is the place to be.
The country is spoiled with choices between idyllic villages, lush greenery, and buzzing city life. One can not talk about Vietnam without mentioning its lip-smacking cuisines and cultural heritage. If you are not packing your bag already, can we interest you in a few of its attractions?
But before that, let us know more about the country, shall we?
Know Your Vietnam
Telephone Code: +84
Currency: Dong (VND)
Visa: e-visa available for most countries
Weather: Tropical / Monsoon Weather patterns depend on the onset of the monsoon.Average high temperature - 28 degrees Celsius; average low temperature - 10 degrees Celsius
Best time to visit: August to October and February to April
Places to visit in Vietnam
Pù Luông Nature Reserve
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is one of Vietnam’s lesser-known spots for ecotourism and nature treks. It is also home to minor ethnic tribes like Thai, Muong, etc, who are responsible for the quintessential southeastern rice terraces and water wheels made of bamboo.
This rustic and very remote reserve is a perfect getaway from the buzz of city life and other tourists themselves.
Ha Long Bay
As one of the most popular tourist spots in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is known for its limestone karsts and waterside caves. Cruising through the emerald-hued waters, midst the mist will be a dream come true for many.
As you travel between the hundreds of sandstone mountains and forest-covered islands, you might get to see some wildlife like monkeys, antelope, etc.
Ho Chi Minh City
Not only does this former capital of Vietnam have a significant place in the world’s history, but it also is a must-visit place for any tourist. The colorful visuals of the chaotic city would leave you mesmerized and let you quickly fall in love with it. Also, take a gander at the 360-degree view of the city from the Saigon Skydeck as a treat to your eyes.
History buffs should definitely explore the famous networks of the Cu Chi tunnels, remnants from the Vietnam War.
Old Quarter, HanoiOften considered the heartbeat of the capital city, Hanoi, the Old Quarter is a place you can’t miss. With a history of more than 1000 years, the place offers numerous shopping choices, Insta-worthy shots, and unique food delicacies. It is walkable or a short drive away from many other tourist spots in Hanoi.
One of the most remarkable places to visit in Vietnam is the archaeological site of My Son, near Duy Phú. Surrounded by lush green forest, mountains, and a lake, My Son is said to have had 70 temples from the 4th century, worshiping Lord Shiva, a Hindu God.
You can join a guided tour or rent a motorbike to explore the area.
Beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, and delicious food make Vietnam a perfect holiday getaway for all globetrotters. Got your passport ready?
Must-Do Things In Vietnam
1. Cave exploring
If you are an adventurer looking for a quintessential Vietnam experience, you should take an off-beat trip to the famous Son Doong cave, located in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The site is about a 400 million-year-old site and was discovered only 20 years ago. And for good reasons, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list in 2003.
Son Doong cave is one of the largest caves in the world and is surrounded by dramatic karsts and sandstone mountains. The cave is so large that it has its own ecosystem and weather system.
If that sounds a bit intimidating and expensive try exploring smaller caves that are as spectacular, like the Paradise Cave and Dark cave, in Phong Nha.
2. Hiking in Sapa
One of the best things to do in Vietnam is to take a trekking trip in Sa pa (or Sapa). These affordable tours usually involve a trip around ethnic minor villages, along the famous rice terraces. There will also be opportunities to engage with the local villagers and learn more about their culture and lifestyle.
The next item on a guided trekking trip involves hiking over the hills, with varying levels of difficulty to choose from. You can also do a trek without a guide following the well-maintained paths and a map.
Check the weather before you start your trek because the fog and mist might make or break your experience. You should also watch out for mud puddles and wet terrain in general, especially if you were traveling during winter.
3. Chilling in a mud bath
A mud bath might sound weird to many but it is absolutely a fun thing to do when in Vietnam. Bathing in mineral soil is said to have many benefits for the skin and body. The heat from the mud and the geothermal water is said to relieve the body from joint aches and muscle pains.
The minerals in the mud also remove toxins from the body and impurities from the skin. It also exfoliates the skin and balances the pH.
Many places specialize in mud baths and mineral baths but Nha Trang has a special place on the list. Usually, there are several options for mud baths, starting from communal hot mud tubs to full-blown hydrotherapy amenities.
4. Homestay in Vietnam
Try taking the off-beaten tracks and visiting some of the destinations that are hidden from the tourist traffic by staying in rural homestays. Staying in a rural homestay in Vietnam means you get to enjoy all the basic amenities as they have to meet the requirements to get the license to run the homestay, while it doesn’t cost your star hotel luxury.
Many homestays offer a bouquet of local activities to choose from including trekking, trips to nearby attractions like waterfalls, etc. You also get an insight into the lives of the locals and their culture. Let us not forget the simple and flavorful home cooked meals. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should not miss.