Vietnam has some amazing sites to see. It is one of our favorite countries that we have ever visited. We spent 30 days in Vietnam and it was barely enough time to see everything that this diverse nation has to offer. From great natural wonders to fantastic shopping, mountain adventures and chilling beach life, Vietnam has something to offer for everyone.
Once you get passed aggressive nature of the touts on the street, it can be a wonderful and fulfilling travel. The people will soon win over your hearts and it will become one of your top travel destinations like it is ours.
Here are a few of our favorite things that we did while visiting Vietnam.
View Incredible Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is definitely the number one attraction on any one's list of sites to see in Vietnam. Located about 165 km East of Hanoi on the Gulf of Tonkin. It is a spectacular destination. You can book a two night, 3 day cruise from Hanoi at any hotel or hostel. Tours range in price but start at $80 per person and rise drastically for more luxurious cruises.
Halong bay consists of almost two thousand islands. Giant limestone karst formations just out of the sea for as far as the eye can see. You will witness this natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Sight up close and personal from your wooden cruise liner.
Relax on the top deck of your beautiful Junk Boat. A classic Chinese sailboat made of teak, as the crew prepares your dinner. You won’t go hungry out on the water, a feast of seafood, fresh vegetables and traditionally Vietnamese dishes awaits you. You will be served breakfast, lunch and dinner while enjoying local beer and wine.
See Spetacular Sapa
Located in the North West Corner of Vietnam, Sapa is a must for anyone wanting to add a little adventure into their travels while in Vietnam. Book a tour from Hanoi, or catch a train north to Lao Cai and find a guide to take you deep into the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. Sapa has become a little overcrowded with tourists, but if you book a multi-day trek to stay in a home stay with one of the ethnic minority peoples, you will get a feel for traditional life and will be far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Sapa for an authentic experience.
The giant rice terraces cascade down the mountains as the sun reflects in their pools of water. You will trek right on the ledge of these terraces following your guide through every corner where it feels as if you are in the middle of a National Geographic issue. The days are physical as the climbs are steep, but you will be rewarded with a feast of rice and vegetables, meats and stews at the end of the day as your hosts prepare dinner over an open fire.
Buy a New Wardrobe in Hoi An
Ever wanted an Armani suite or designer dress? Or are your tastes more practical and you are looking for trekking pants or a new shirt? Hoi An is a town in Central Vietnam that attracts tourists for its tailor made clothing. Even if you think that you don’t need a new wardrobe, once you arrive at this picturesque town on the South China Sea, you will be drawn into the excitement of shopping for quality clothing at extremely discounted prices.
You can’t help but buy an item or two. The talented seamstresses will have you measured and sized up in an instant. Just be sure to ask for double stitching. Otherwise your clothes won't last to the next city.
The best thing about Hoi An is that even if you are backpacking through Asia, you can send your clothes home from the post office in town and they will keep your measurements on file for when you are ready to order more!
Cu Chi Tunnels
Agent Orange, napalm and constant bombing wiped out the jungle during the Vietnam War but it is now lush and green and Vietnam is capitalizing on tourism. The Cu Chi Tunnels are the most fascinating historical site of Vietnam. Over 250km of tunnels weave their way underground and they were the key component in winning the war.
Most Guides are former soldiers that fought on these very grounds and they will tell you in intimate details of how the Vietnamese outwitted the Americans while living right under their noses. Entrances were camouflaged by termite hills, cayenne pepper was sprinkled around to confuse the scent dogs and breakfast was cooked in the morning mist so that the smoke from their fires could not be detected.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can go into the original entrance and crawl through 150 metres of a tiny, dark and damp tunnel. If you are in the Saigon Area, make sure you go to see the Cu Chi Tunnels,
Trips to the Mekong Delta can be booked from Ho Chi Minh City and it is definitely worth the trip. This is the part of Vietnam that everyone envisions when they picture the country. Hundreds of tributaries make their way through thick jungle.
You will explore the Mekong area by tour boat, traditional rowboat and minibus. The highlight of the trip is a visit to the famous Cai Ba floating market. Hundreds of boats line the harbor filled with fruits and vegetable waiting to be sold. You will also walk through villages and markets, cross canals on traditional bamboo bridges and visit rice paper mills and sample coconut candy and rice wine.
The Mekong Delta tours can be a little touristy, but it is worth the visit to explore the backwaters of this famous area of Vietnam.
It isn't as popular as Na Trang, but Mui Ne is a beautiful beach area perfect for relaxing after the Chaos of Ho Chi Minh city. Located North East of Saigon on the South China Sea, Mui Ne has everything for beach lovers and adventurers alike. Perfect conditions allow for great kite surfing. Be sure to take a lesson however as this adventure sport can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
There are some amazing sites around the area such as the incredible sand dunes and red rock. You can take a tour that includes a visit to the fishing village and walk on the dunes and a stop at the famous red rock and fairy stream.
If adventure is not what you are into, relax on the white sandy beach and enjoy a massage by ladies with bionic hands.
All of these sites are stops on the Vietnam tourist bus that travelers can buy open tickets from Saigon to Hanoi or vice-versa. Tourist can buy a one month ticket with hop on hop off privileges to take their time exploring the country from North to South. Price is approximately $32 US dollars giving you the freedom to enjoy the countries top attractions at your leisure.
With so many amazing sites to see in Vietnam, you will need at least 30 days to explore the country properly.