2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South (Inforgraphic included)

Lê Ngọc Minh Châu - Updated April 26, 2019

 

THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM, +100 inspirative things

Getting a glimpse at all-over Vietnam. This is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful countries. What did you expect whenever you visited somewhere? The bustling cities, high mountains with interesting structure or long golden sand beaches with blue water?

Lots of things to do in the following provinces and places in Vietnam you are recommended because they are the assorted cultures and landscapes that define one of the best values of this country. Hopefully, you’ll have an amazing trip filled with full of pleasant surprises, memorable exploration, new discoveries and see Vietnam through the prism of all its diverse angles.

WHY VIETNAM?

There are numerous ancient landmarks and colonial structures, symbolising time-honoured traditions that remain unimpaired throughout the bumps and scrapes of history still surviving amongst the locals. The towering skyscrapers grow through the sky symbolise the rapid modernisation of Vietnam’s urban centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh showing the high development of the economy and the mixture of different cultures. You might be found an Indian Bistro nearly a Vietnamese Cuisine Street. It seems back home inside a strange country.

The number of luxurious resorts and high rated hotel situated close to the long, sandy beaches with almost the most stunning sea view each room, so you needn’t concern about “How to choose a room with the best sea view?”

Delicious craft beer, trendy cafes and hidden old streets selling special dishes. Without spending too much money, you will be paid back with guaranteed valuable experiences. Vietnam is indexed as safer than 140 countries for terrorism. The stability of the political situation and the low of crime makes you less worry and more believe in your choice for the holiday. Vietnam is the perfect Asian weekend away. 

The currency is the Vietnamese Dong, and the exchange rate is $1USD = VND 22,000. It’s pretty inflated. When you go to the ATM machine, you will be pulling out a ton of Dong and it will boggle your mind.  You are a millionaire!!

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

KEY FACTS

  • Population: 96.9 million (Jan 2019)
  • Capital: Ha Noi
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Currency: Dong (VND)

BEST TIME TO GO

  • There are 4 seasons in northern Vietnam and 2 season ( dry and rainy seasons) in the central and south regions.

North: The best time to visit the northern is from April to Dec. The weather is usually hottest from June to Oct, in the winter the degree is from 10- 20°C in Hanoi and it can get down to 0°C in Sapa (Lao Cai province) even appearing snow

Central: This region is influenced by typhoon which causes rain and food from July to even December (if the winter comes late). To visit the central you should watch the weather forecast carefully

South: The best time to visit is from Nov to Feb to avoid rainy season (from May to October) and hot time during March and April. 

Most of tourists visit the following famous cities and sites in 3 regions of Vietnam!

I.  NORTHERN VIETNAM AND BEST THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM FOR NORTHERN REGION

1. Hanoi - The elegance of people falling in line with both of the past and modern landscape

 

Hanoi is the capital of the socialist republic of Viet Nam. There is an abundance of enchanting things to do in Hanoi that you shouldn’t miss on your holiday. There is a ton of things to explore just around Hanoi centre. If you have time, take a tour to move out of the city and try to do something different at the suburb.

The heart of Vietnam is decorated by French buildings, luxury commercial centre, old streets with the crowd, motorbike, cyclo. The observation is overwhelmed by well-preserved colonial buildings built for over 100 years standing next to the towering skyscrapers and the old pagoda. Hoan Kiem lake is the most meaningful thing to Hanoi people, famous delicious and super-cheap street food everywhere… Why Hanoi give you more things to do like this? Whatever the reasons, discovering all of them and you will find out. They are all listed on the top things to do in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Check the below!

Spending 1-2 days to explore Hanoi is our suggestion then you should go out to see other famous attractions in northern Vietnam.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.1. Thang Long water puppet show - traditional art form in Vietnam

Originated in the 11th century, Vietnam water puppet show is the most unique art form in the world. The shows often perform the living in the villages in northern Vietnam, they are something referring to buffalo, fish-catching, festival, husband and wife...which combines with traditional music. In front of audiences, main actors are the puppets made of wood which is controlled by a string apparatus concealed under the pond water. It said that this uniqueness of Vietnamese culture is demonstrated strongly through special water puppet shows and proudly bring to foreigners valuable cultural experiences.

Highlights:

  • Feeling the traditional music, watch the colorful and strange-looking puppets, the show just lasts 1 hour
  • Thang Long water puppet show is opposite to Hoan Kiem lake, this is a place of tourist attractions
  • Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city

Dragon puppet shooting fire

1.2. Learn more about the first president Ho Chi Minh in Mausoleum or Museum

Ho Chi Minh - the great father of Vietnamese people, the world cultural celebrity.

Ba Dinh square is the first site if you visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum because we must queue up to see his embalmed body inside an architectural project built simply but very solemnly. Morning time is a good idea to visit the well-ventilated and spacious places

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

What to see in Ho Chi Minh complex:

  • See the embalmed body of the first president in Vietnam
  • Learn more about Vietnamese war in Ho Chi Minh museum
  • Visit the house on stilts to understand an irreducible way of living of Ho Chi Minh. A fish pond is next to the house.
  • One pillar pagoda, the most unique architecture in Asia
  • There are a lots of souvenirs for shopping

>>> Looking for Hanoi Tours? Find out in Hanoi Tours from AZ Local Trip

1.3. Temple of Literature is mostly recommended

The Temple of Literature was named after the construction of Van Mieu built in 1070 and Quoc Tu Giam- the first National University of Vietnam founded in 1076. They are near each other, both of them are historical and cultural relics.

Hanoi definitely counts as captivating …but also chaotic, bustling, and boisterous, so if you desire for yourself needing a break from the fast-paced city streets, highly recommend you spend a few hours at one of Hanoi’s most charming and tranquil spots – the Temple of Literature.

What to see in Temple of Literature?

  • Stone tortoises which recorded the names, places of birth and achievements of successful talents in the examinations between 1442 and 1778.
  • A big drum at the temple of Literature
  • Statue of the Kings on the upper floor in the fifth courtyard
  • Thien Quang well, the well of heavenly clarity
  • Unique architecture from the gate to the courtyards inside
  • Spending only 30.000 VND to buy a ticket, this is one of the must-see places in Hanoi city.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.4. Thang Long imperial citadel in Hanoi- Cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO

Another best things to do in Vietnam in Hanoi is visiting the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Thang Long imperial citadel is famous for its grandiose works of architecture which were constructed through many dynasties. Now it has become an important relic not only for Hanoi capital but also for Vietnam country as a whole.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, many artefacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004, including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells.

Situated in Ba Dinh District, entrance fee to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is at VND30,000 and opening time is from 08:00 to 17:00 every day except Monday. This prominent site is also within a 15-minute walk from attractions such as Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum and Cua Bac Church.

The appeal:

  • Ancient constructions, spacious landscape, mysterious relics, long history
  • Watching the flag tower in the citadel at night
  • Address: 19C Hoang Dieu street, Ba Dinh district

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.5. Tet holiday in Hanoi

Tết is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, this is considered as the most important occasion in Vietnam. Traditionally everyone expects to welcome Tet holiday at the end of a year because it’s an opportunity for members of each family to reunite after a year of hard working.

Before Tet a few days, people have to prepare for their home with Bánh Chưng (boiled sticky rice rolled with pork and green bean), peach blossom, kumquat tree, abundance of things for ancestors’ spirit...

Highlights:

  • So if you travel during Vietnam Tet holiday, it’s a good chance of observing local people are busy to go shopping and do the Tet activities
  • At the last day of the old year, together with us you can see fireworks showed in Hoan Kiem lake which is a main gathering site in Hanoi capital.
  • However most of restaurants and services are closed at this time but a fews still open. The Tet 2019 runs from 4th to 8th Feb in solar calendar. Connecting your trip with visiting Halong is a good idea, you should book your tour 1 or 2 month in advance.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

A Vietnamese meal during Tet Holiday usually in 10-14 days

1.6. Vietnam Military History Museum

Vietnam’s military history extends two millenniums, and this museum covers it on four buildings with interesting pieces. Item descriptions on museum exhibits are in Vietnamese, French and English.

Highlights:

  • On display outside are the ubiquitous MiG-21 jet fighter, T-54 tank and many bombs and articles captured on Indochina and Vietnam wars.
  • Military history of Vietnam from 1930- 1954 ( end of the anti-French colonialism war)
  • The model of Dien Bien Phu campaign 1954
  • Military history of Vietnam in the anti-American imperialism war
  • Hand-made weapons in the liberation wars
  • The exhibition of Vietnamese heroic mothers...

Address:  28A Dien Bien Phu Street, Ba Dinh district

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

You can also come here to visit the iconic Hanoi Flag Tower

1.7 Hoan Kiem lake - Ngoc Son temple, a symbol of Hanoi centre

In the centre of the Old Quarter lies Hoan Kiem Lake, a wonderful and charming lake with amazing views. Go here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, especially on weekends, when they block off the streets for cars and it’s pedestrians only. Hoan Kiem lake is famous for its legendary in history. The legend tells about Le Loi King received a sword, suddenly it came from heaven. Thanks for lending the sword which helps him beat the enemy during the war. At the beginning of 1428, when the country was undisturbed, on his trip to the Thuy Quan (now Hoan Kiem) Lake, there was a tortoise approaching and shouting: “Please return the sword to the Dragon King”. The King threw the sword to the lake and the tortoise took it then dove down the water. From then on, Thuy Quan became Hoan Kiem lake.

Highlights in Hoan Kiem lake - best things to do in Vietnam

  • Take pretty photos with Ngoc Son temple, The Huc bridge around. The scenery is very attractive
  • Witness the pace of life from morning till evening activities
  • Admire the lake on a cyclo tour
  • Sit on a stone bench, have a talk with some local friends, many young enthusiastic students practising English
  • Walking street is opened at the weekend

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.8. St. Joseph's Cathedral

Today the Cathedral is one of the most important churches in Hanoi. It is either a religious site or a long history architecture which attracts tourists.

This is the first and the biggest Catholic church built in Hanoi. St Joseph Cathedral following the neo-Gothic must be considered the Mother of all Catholic Churches in Vietnam. It was inaugurated in 1886 and is a wonder to behold. You definitely get the feeling of medieval Europe.

Address: 40 Nha Chung street

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.9. Long Bien bridge and the Red River

Long Bien bridge was said to be a witness of Vietnamese history because of ups and downs it saw in the war. The bridge was built by French from 1898 to 1902.

Hanoi centre proximity nearby Long Bien Bridge_a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River built in 1899-1902 that connects two districts, Hoan Kiem and Long Bien of the city of Hanoi, Vietnam; so you can walk the bridge observing the structure of the ancient French bridge nearly the age of 120 and take a large view a part of the Red River and the riverside town. An interesting fact that the bridge forced driving on the left-hand side while Vietnam is a right-hand side traffic country.

The country river under is named “ Red River” this is a symbol of Vietnam offering immense space, peaceful feeling, gentle beauty. From Hanoi centre, you can walk to Long Bien bridge.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.10 Get lost in 36 old streets of Hanoi old quarter

The 36 old streets in the old quarter of Hanoi mostly start with the name “ Hàng” which means shop and the next word after Hàng would be the name of some products for sale. For examples, “Hàng Đường” - sugar products, “ Hàng bông” - Cotton products, “Hàng Cá” - fish, “ Hàng Trống” - drums…

The first thing on your agenda after dropping your bags at your hotel should be to explore the historic Old Quarter, preferably on foot. Granted, this is easier said than done since the sidewalks in Hanoi are nothing more than parking lots for motorbikes, but it’s essential if you want to get comfortable with the chaos sooner rather than later. Most hotels in Hanoi are located in the Old Quarter and many of the city’s sights are, too, so this is likely where you’ll be spending a good portion of your trip. Best to get your bearings early on.

Nowadays many hotels and tourist offices are growing rapidly within their location in Hanoi old quarter, it is a place where people come and purchase for food, souvenirs, tour services,.. in a bustle.

Highlights:

  • Around Hanoi Old quarter, don’t miss your chance to visit Mã Mây ancient house on 87 Mã Mây street
  • Night market at every weekend along Hàng Đào street to Đồng Xuân market
  • “Ô Quan Chưởng gate- an old citadel built in 1744 and located in Hàng Chiếu street.

In general this area still retains the urban spatial structure of Hanoi’s old quarter with its functions such as a commercial center, traditional trades, works of relics, architecture value, elegant lifestyle of Hanoians.

>>> Book Hanoi Free Walking Tours through Hanoi Old Quarter and many other places

1.11 Tran Quoc pagoda, one of the oldest pagoda in Hanoi located in the West lake

Tran Quoc Pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda with more than 1500 years. This sacred sanctuary of Buddhism has stunning landscape becoming a famous attraction in Hanoi. It's a fair walk from the city centre but is also a stop on the hop-on-hop-off tour bus. It is very scenic with the situation on the lake. But the place is quite crowded outside with people trying to sell food, water, birds and even terrapins taken from the lake.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

1.12  Eating around Hanoi, famous Vietnamese coffee and fresh beer

Hanoi street food paradise invites you with a warmth to try:

  • Phở (noodle soup with chicken or beef): The first and best street food in Hanoi
  • Bún Chả (noodles with pork barbecue): In 2016 the president from US Obama tried Vietnamese Bun Cha on his trip to Vietnam at Huong Lien restaurant ( 24 Le Van Huu street, Hoan Kiem district). This event has attracted more and more tourists coming to this restaurant and they really fall in love with the dish like Obama used to be.
  • Bánh gối (pillow shaped cakes) 52 Lý Quốc Sư street, next to St Joseph's Cathedral.
  • Bánh tôm Hồ Tây (prawn pancake):  Restaurant is on Thanh Niên street, near the West Lake.

Ta Hien, street for drinking fresh beer inspires you

While you're here in Hanoi, try grabbing some famous fresh beer, this is among the best things to do in Vietnam. In Hanoi, there is a famous "Bia Hơi corner" at the crossing of Tạ Hiền and Lương Ngọc Quyến streets. For the western backpackers, it is an ideal place to entertain at night. Sitting on a tiny plastic chair in a narrow pavement watching the people going by and enjoy loudish music coming from bars, pubs are all exciting activities there.

Coffee in Hanoi

Try to order yourself a cup of warm or ice coffee in Hanoi is a fresh activity if you want to experience various spaces of each coffee shop. This is also a habit of Vietnamese people, most of them like drinking coffee everyday.

https://media.giphy.com/media/IRFQYGCokErS0/giphy.gif

Don't forget to try egg coffee, the ultimate delicious creamy drink in Hanoi

1.13. Hanoi Train Street

Everyday the image of a bustling railway becomes familiar with Hanoi people. However, it is extremely strange to most of the foreigners especially if you want find a perfect check-in point you shouldn’t miss it.

2. SAPA - Discover a different life away from a busy city

Sa Pa, a pristine place with villages of ethnic minorities such as H'Mong, Dao, Tay, ...and Thac Bac, Heaven-gate, May bridge, Wind cave, Ham Rong mountain are the most attractive destinations. Sapa is suited for those who love nature, want to learn the customs and habits of mountainous people.

What to see:

  • Bac Ha market: Bac Ha is the most colourful market of the hill tribes in the North of Vietnam. On every Sunday there are at least 8 ethnic groups attending in the market from 9:00 until 14:00
  • Cat Cat village of the Black H’mong
  • Fansipan mountain, the roof of Vietnam and Indochina. From here you can enjoy huge stunning landscape.
  • Ham Rong mountain: Trekking to Ham Rong mountain to see lovely botanical gardens, spectacular views from the top
  • Muong Hoa Valley
  • Terraced rice fields
  • Minority people living in their local house with full of daily lifestyles and exclusive customs.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Sapa is a place for you to explore the minority ethnic daily life

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

"Chung cake" in black - a signature cake of "Black Thai" ethnic in Sapa, with sticky rice, mung bean and fat pork combine make you just can stop eating

3. Halong Bay in Quang Ninh - UNESCO World Heritage 

Halong bay located in Halong city, Quang Ninh province was recognized as one of the most magnificent places in the world. The sceneries are spectacular with amazing rock formations rising from the emerald waters, truly beautiful limestones, unspoilt nature,...Coming to Halong, it’s a great time for kayaking or exploring the bay within a tour.

What attracts you in Halong Bay: Sung Sot cave, Trong cave, Titop island, Dau Go cave, Cong Dam area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Trong Mai islets,...

From Hanoi you can book a cruise with some companies easily supplies you with full services. If you don’t want to see many tourist boats around now take a tour in Lan Ha Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay is Halong bay’s neighbour which are off-the-beaten tracks in Vietnam

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

If you miss Halong Bay in your itinerary, it's will be a regrets

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Of course, you have to taste the fresh seafood here

4. Cat Ba Island, near Halong Bay

Cat Ba island is located in Hai Phong province, away from the Hai Phongcentrer 30 km and Halong 25 km by sea way. The beautiful island has a town with people living there. Tourists can book a tour including 2 days 1 night in Halong and 1 night in Cat Ba because besides the most popular Halong bay Cat Ba island is also a wonderful gift from nature

Highlights in Cat Ba:

  • Cat Co 1, 2, 3 are one of the best beaches to relax
  • Visit monkey island
  • Do kayaking on Lan Ha bay
  • Visit the famous fishing village “ Cai Beo” is one of the oldest fishing village in Vietnam
  • Explore Cat Ba international park
  • Trung Trang cave...

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Come to Cat Ba island to find the island of the friendly monkeys

5. Ninh Binh province, 90 km away from Hanoi- Boat tours, cycling, motorbike, caves, mountains, temples, rice fields, ecotourism...

If the paradise “ Halong bay” is mysterious origination from our majestic nature, here Ninh Binh land will inspire you with either enchanting landscapes or historically cultural journeys of discovering such as learning about Vietnamese old architecture, ancient capital, the first festival, the biggest pagoda, the unique national park…Ninh Binh is also the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster “Kong:Skull island”.

It’s near Hanoi and the weather is not so different so your planned-trip is hardly be canceled in case of bad weather. Otherwise, taking a short motorbike trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh doesn’t make difficulties for you because of easy route and short distance. Moreover you can go head to Ninh Binh from Halong bay or Cat Ba island, it takes about 4- 5 hours.

  • Look at the pictures you will understand why people say that Ninh Binh is “ Halong Bay in land” that is extremely impressive and meaningful

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Mesmerising view from the top of Mua Cave in Ninh Binh province

Best things to do in Ninh Binh province

5.1 Admire Trang An Scenic landscape Complex - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE

Trang An is known as a world heritage listed site also a well-known place for a diverse ecosystem. It consists of Hoa Lu, Bai Dinh, Tam Coc...are the best places to visit in Northern Viet Nam.

Highlights: Trang An boat tour is a must-do thing for any tourists. A big number of Vietnamese tourists visit Trang An and take the Trang An boat trip in the beginning of a year after Tet holiday ( in Feb ). Foreigners are recommended to come here during this time if they are interested in festivals however it seems to be not suitable for those who don’t like crowded places.2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

5.2 Tam Coc, Ninh Binh and the best things to do

Tam Coc boat ride and cycling tour are almost deemed as the best things to experience here. Starting from Van Lam pier, you can buy a ticket to take part in a boat tour with local people on the Ngô Đồng river. The tour lasts about 1,5-hour offering you a visit of 3 grottos Hang Ca ( the first cave), Hang Hai ( the second cave) and Hang Ba (the third cave). There are also small floating shops which sell food like snacks and drinks. Especially, you will see the most attractive scenery of golden rice fields if travelling in harvest season from June to July each year.

Highlights:

  • With a Tam Coc boat ride just imagine how deliberate you are if you sit on a small boat while admiring the quietly majestic karst sceneries around.
  • The area around the river is ideally suited for cycling or walking because of impressive roads through villages with beautiful landscapes. Taking a bike to discover them appeals to you more

5.3 Hoa Lu ancient capital (Hoa Lư), the first capital of Viet Nam

If you are interested in the history of Ninh Binh lowlands where hid the many interesting stories I recommend you a visit to Hoa Lu ancient capital to discover the mystery of the mountains and pagodas, to understand more about old architecture of King’s temples, to relive the ancient atmosphere there.

In Hoa Lu, there are festivals on 6th, 7th, 8th March lunar year it is an opportunity to commemorate the King and national hero Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

5.4 Mua cave where allows you to take a panoramic view

Located far from Ninh Binh centre just 5 km and about 2 km from Tam Coc, Mua cave is easily visited by bicycle or motorbike. Mua cave is understood as “Dancing cave” since King Tran often stopped at the cave to enjoy dancing and singing performances.

Highlights:

  • To see panorama of Tam Coc and Trang An, the Mua mountain challenges you about 500 steps to climb up
  • The way to the top of Mua cave is imitated as “Miniature Great Wall of China”.
  • Below the top of Mua cave, you can stay in Mua Cave Ecolodge with nearby some restaurants and car parks

There were 4 places of interests in Ninh Binh Vietnam for you to visit. You can easily find them in tour itineraries organized by various travel agencies. Many other attractions are recommended as below:

  • Bai Dinh Buddhist Complex-the biggest one in Vietnam, Am Tiên cave- a beautiful drawing from nature, Bich Dong pagoda, Thung Nham- ecotourism site, Van Long nature reserve, pure-water (Like Tam Coc area, in Van Long you can take a boat ride in a beautiful hilly area. However this place is less visited than Tam Coc ), Phat Diem church, Cuc Phuong national park, Kenh ga hot spring.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Of course, you will want to take Ninh Binh taste, fresh roll of Goat meat and pineapple will give you the tropical feeling

6. Mai Chau valley in Hoa Binh province, immerse yourself in mountain villages and peaceful nature

Away from Hanoi about 150 km, it takes about 3,5 hours from Hanoi to Mai Chau by bus or tourist bus. Mai Chau idyllic valley has attracted many tourists because of its poetic beauty, cool fresh air, diverse culture, rich and typical cuisine.

Activities:

  • Trek around the village of Thai people
  • Sleep on the floor of the house on stilts in Ban Lac, a famous village there. Enjoy the music and song performances, organize campfire in the evening
  • Explore “Hang Chiều”, a cave having beautiful stalactites
  • Drink “Rượu Cần”, the fermented rice wine drunk through a small and long tube. Eat sticky rice cooked in a bamboo tube by Thai ethnic people

7. Ban Gioc waterfall - Off the beaten path in Cao Bang province

Ban Gioc waterfall is about 400 km in the north of Hanoi, the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam which lies on border with China. The beauty of Ban Gioc is majestic with amazing streamline which looks like a fairyland.

II. CENTRAL VIETNAM - THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM IN THE CENTRAL REGION 

Now what to do in Vietnam in the central region? The central region is mainly known for its beautiful beaches, long coastline and ancient towns and citadels. Figure out what are the Vietnam activities you can enjoy here.

8. Phong Nha cave - Ke Bang international park in Dong Hoi city Quang Binh province - Unesco World Heritage

Designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003, the remarkable Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia.

Highlights: Forest trekking, exploring caves, passing through rural mountain areas, boat trips

Other magnificent caves in Quang Binh

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Son Doong - the largest cave in the world

  • Son Doong is the largest cave in the world, Tu Lan cave, dark cave, Hang En, paradise cave, Hang Va…are the most highlight things to do

From Hanoi to Quang Binh, it can be accessed by bus, train or plane

9. Hue imperial city Cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO

Hue consists of rich cultures and histories through ancient architecture structures or beautiful and poetic landscapes.

Although you can miss a long story about Vietnamese dynasties, this is still being loved by most of tourist due to its charming beauty.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Hue is a humble gem, a peaceful and charming city

What to see in Hue? Visit royal Tu Duc tomb, Minh Mang tomb, Thien Mu pagoda, Perfume pagoda, Hue imperial city, Hue festival, Bach Ma national park

  • Spending 1 day in Hue city to discover the places is the best itinerary for you.

10. Hoi An Ancient Town - 30km south of Da Nang city-Cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO

Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Nowadays Hoi An was voted as one of the best 20 "Nightlife" places on the planet, the second most attractive destination in Asia and one of 50 destinations must visit at least once in your life.

The appeal: Old-fashioned lanterns lighten, lovely beaches 5 km away from the town centre, picturesque town with great food, fun shopping, skilled tailors, friendly people and cosy atmosphere.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

The ancient town sparkle in the night with thousand of lanterns

Things to do:

  • Walk around Hoi An’s old town with many old buildings constructed over a century ago
  • Chill out in many cafes and bars offer happy hours and some even start as early as 16:00- this is called “Nightlife” in Hoi An
  • Join in a cooking class or a cyclo riding tour around the old town
  • Do many impressive things in Hoi An Riverside, which is the main landmark of Hoi An and one of the prettiest destination in Vietnam
  • An Bang beach - one of the 50 most beautiful beaches on the planet, about 3km from the centre of Hoi An ancient town.
  • Watch the coral in Cu Lao Cham- a beautiful and rustic island

11. My Son Sanctuary - 69 km southwest of Da Nang city-Cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO

My Son is a holy land with old bricks temple of the Champa kingdom. It comprises of more than 70 architectural works. They include temples and towers that connect to each other with complicated red brick designs. Book a tour in Hoi An or hire a taxi or driver from Da Nang or Hoi An to visit the site, it opens from 06:30 to 17:30 everyday.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

Highlights in My Son sanctuary

  • The architectural art of the Cham towers in different styles
  • Learn about the rich cultural tradition within the Cham community from the late 4th to the 15th centuries

12. Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa province offers beaches, islands and scuba diving, a precious gem from the sea

Nha Trang is a seaside town, the capital city of Khanh Hoa Province – on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. Nha Trang is becoming more popular due to its pristine beaches, best scuba diving centre of Vietnam, as well as lots of interesting places and delicious food to enjoy. To reach Nha Trang you can book a flight from Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh city to land at Cam Ranh airport.

Highlights in Nha Trang

  • Experience one of the best spots for scuba diving and snorkelling
  • Taste variety of seafood in Nha Trang
  • Visit other great sites are Ponagar tower (ancient cultural complex of Cham ethnic minority people)
  • Hon Chong loved by many tourists because of the natural beauty formed from different layers of stones
  • Discover a world of entertainment in “ Vinpearl land”,
  • Romantic and quiet time in Hòn Tằm and Hòn Mun islets...

13. Mui Ne in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province- beaches, sand dunes, fishing villages

No words can describe how beautiful the Mui Ne is, “blue sea, white sandy, bright sunshine” make it wonderful in everyone’s eyes. This place must be on top of sea lovers. Its nature diverse from stone reefs, yellow sand dunes like a real desert, Suoi Tien stream, fishing village

Mui Ne is a proof for the endless beauty of Vietnam. To visit Mui Ne you can take a flight to the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, from the city catch a bus or train to get to Phan Thiet

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

The sandhill in Mui Ne

14. Da Lat, a romantic city in Lam Dong province

If you have 2- 3 weeks in Vietnam, you should take an impressive short trip to Da Lat to enjoy many picturesque sceneries covered by green tree, full of colourful flowers, friendly people, cool weather, pretty French villas, cosy homestays...

You will enjoy Valley of love, Linh Phuoc Pagoda, Bao Dai summer palace, flower gardens, Pongour falls, Xuan Huong lake, Da Lat railway station…

The people here are so lovely, gentle, elegant and hospitable.

III. SOUTH VIETNAM - THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM IN SOUTHERN REGION

15. Ho Chi Minh city

While Hanoi city is known as the capital of thousand-year-civilization with peaceful and serene beauties. Dubbed as the "Pearl of the Far East", Ho Chi Minh City is the city of faster movement, exciting and bustling atmosphere but a bit of ancient. Ho Chi Minh has long been a cultural, economic and political centre of Vietnam. Travelling to Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City which is more than 300 years old now, you can meet the high-rise buildings located close to the sanctuary, amusement park, crowded shopping centre and also ancient villas, traditional markets that have existed for hundreds of years.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

The appeals:

  • Sai Gon city: Ben Thanh market, Reunification Palace, Sai Gon Cathedral, Cao Dai temple, Ho Chi Minh centre post office,...
  • Food tour at night: The temperature at night in Ho Chi Minh City is really cool to wear any clothes you like. You will have a chance to discover some bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. This busy city is incredibly colourful and exciting. You will visit the most vibrant Chinatown, see Luong Nhu Hoc which is a beautiful street with a lot of lanterns, explore many decorative items on Hai Thuong Lan Ong street: fireworks, lanterns, some cute items,…Local residents here are very friendly. They can invite you to come to their shop and try anything. A night food tour is deserved being tried when visiting Ho Chi Minh city.

16. Mekong Delta- Floating villages and markets

Highlights:

  • Cai Rang floating market: See the biggest floating market in Vietnam with rural livings along the waterways, listen to the South Vietnamese folk songs and enjoy tasting coconut candy
  • Classic Mekong delta: Discover the vast network of canals and channels that comprise the Mekong Delta, travel by minivan from Ho Chi Minh City to the market town of My Tho where you’ll board a traditional sampan for a 3-hour-ride, get a glimpse of the distinct agricultural life of the vibrant southern Delta region while you float past verdant fields, stop at a village to taste local specialities, hear Vietnamese folk music and savour a delicious meal.
  • Unique Cai Be adventure: Unique Cai Be Floating Market offers you a chance to experience the trading culture of Mekong Delta, see local production activities and the busy Cai Be floating market, enjoy a tasty local cuisine.

2019 BEST Things To Do in Vietnam - Complete Guide from North to South

This unique floating market in Mekong Delta is absolutely worth your time

17. Cu Chi Tunnels

Entering Cu Chi tunnels to see the elaborate network of tunnels created by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters during the Vietnam War. Stretching all the way to the

Cambodian border, the Cu Chi Tunnels includes living quarters, meeting rooms, kitchens, weapons and supplies. Here you will Learn about the poor conditions underground, see handmade booby traps and consider the tunnel's place in Vietnam’s history. A tour for visiting Cu Chi includes round-trip transport from Ho Chi Minh City.

You can try firing with the price around VND 50.000 (USD 2) for a bullet

18. Phu Quoc island (beaches, fishing villages)-in Kien Giang province

Phu Quoc island boasts idyllic beaches, romantic sunsets, evergreen forests, and a serene atmosphere, making it an ideal holiday destination for travellers looking to escape bustling city life.

Aside from beachside activities, visitors can also explore traditional villages, expansive nature parks and Buddhist pagodas, all of which are easily accessible via motorcycle, taxi, bus or even day trips by reputable companies.

Above is the complete list of Best things to do in Vietnam from the Northern region to the Southern region. For more information and planning your trip to Vietnam, please contact AZ Local trip to know more. 

  • Stefany Fern Jan 17, 2019

    Can you guy send me an itinerary for 5 days in Vietnam?

  • Brad Cooper Jan 17, 2019

    I'm afraid it was that intangible mix of the group which happened by luck which made holiday, It could have been good without the right people, everything was perfectly timetabled, but the enjoyment was from the singing on the overnight train, the complete bonding we had as a group. Oh and the food was fab, the countryside was fab, the towns... fab... actually all was fab

AZ top-rated tours

Based on choices of travellers earlier this year