From the bustling city life of Ho Chi Minh City to the stunning landscapes of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam is a country with something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to this Southeast Asian gem, here are 18 things to do in Vietnam you won’t want to miss.
1. Eat Pho for breakfast. Pho is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup that’s traditionally eaten for breakfast. Head to a local restaurant and enjoy a steaming bowl of this tasty dish.
photo: RODNAE Productions
2. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an intricate network of tunnels used by Vietnamese soldiers during the Viet Cong war. Today, visitors can explore these tunnels and learn about their historical significance.
3. Take a stroll through Hoan Kiem Lake. Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful body of water located in the heart of Hanoi. Take a walk around the lake and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
photo: Duc Nguyen
4. See the sunset at Bai Tu Long Bay. Bai Tu Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most stunning natural wonders. Catch the sunset here and you’ll be treated to a truly breathtaking view.
5. Check out Ho Chi Minh City’s French Quarter. Ho Chi Minh City’s French Quarter is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Stroll through the streets and take in the colonial-style architecture.
6. Visit Cao Dai Temple. Cao Dai Temple is a beautiful religious site that combines elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Be sure to check out the colorful murals and unique architecture when you’re there.
7. Take an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations for good reason—it’s gorgeous! Take an overnight cruise and enjoy views of the limestone karsts as you sail through this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8. Explore the Old Town of Hoi An. The Old Town of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s well worth a visit. Stroll through the streets and take in the quaint shops and cafes.
9. Visit the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a large river delta located in southern Vietnam. Take a boat ride through the delta and see the floating markets, stilt houses, and rice paddies.
photo: Dương Nhân
10. See the temples at My Son. The temples at My Son are a must-see for any history buff. These ancient ruins are well preserved and offer a glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
11. Go hiking in Cuc Phuong National Park. Cuc Phuong National Park is a beautiful nature reserve located just outside of Hanoi. Go for a hike and see the diverse wildlife that calls this park home.
12. Visit the Vinh Nguyet Pagoda. The Vinh Nguyet Pagoda is a beautiful Buddhist temple located in Ho Chi Minh City. Be sure to check out the intricate carvings and beautiful gardens when you’re there.
13. Visit the Imperial City of Hue. The Imperial City of Hue is a must-see for any history buff. This ancient city was once the capital of Vietnam and is home to numerous historical sites.
14. Go scuba diving in Nha Trang. Nha Trang is a popular beach destination for good reason—it’s absolutely beautiful! Go scuba diving and explore the underwater world of this coastal city.
photo: Dac Duy
15. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a memorial to Vietnam’s founding father, Ho Chi Minh. Visitors can view his embalmed body and learn about his life and legacy.
16. See the Reunification Palace. The Reunification Palace is a historical site that was once the home of the president of South Vietnam. Today, it’s open to the public and offers a glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
17. Take a day trip to Hoi An. Hoi An is a beautiful town located in central Vietnam. Take a day trip from Hue and explore the Old Town, visit the temples, and stroll through the streets.
18. See the sunset at Phu Quoc Island. Phu Quoc Island is a beautiful island located off the coast of Vietnam. Catch the sunset here and you’ll be treated to a truly breathtaking view.
photo: Tony Diaz
Vietnam is an amazing country with so much to see and do. From delicious food to stunning natural wonders, there’s something for everyone in this Southeast Asian gem. Whether you’re interested in history or simply want to relax on a beautiful beach, be sure to add these 18 things to your list when planning your trip to Vietnam!