Vietnam is an astonishing mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity. The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down to verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette, while the nation’s long history and amazing number of ethnic minorities mean that culture-vultures will find plenty to admire. Hikers, bikers, and outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, while the spectacular karst seascape of Halong Bay is one natural sight that even the more slothful can experience up close on a cruise. While the rural areas brim with fantastic panoramas, the big cities breathe with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to get stuck into Vietnam’s tasty culinary highlights. This fascinating country is full of surprises and is one of Southeast Asia’s most underrated destinations.
Below is top 10 destination should visit in Vietnam:
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known as a top tourist destination through its 1000 years of history, its rich cultural heritage, and its picturesque blend of French and Chinese influences. Hanoi is the cultural capital of Viet Nam and its heart and soul. A great place to explore on foot, there is a lot to see and do here. Hanoi lies on the bank of the Red River, human settlements here date back as far as the 3rd century BC. Previously known as Thang Long, it were renamed Hanoi in 1831 at. Large areas of present-day Hanoi were built during the French occupation, reflected in its broad boulevards and French-inspired architecture, which give the city the definite charm and make Hanoi distinct from other Asian capitals.
2. Ninh Binh
Giải Pond in Ninh Bình
Located on the Southern end of the Red River Delta, about 93 km from Hanoi, Ninh Binh is bestowed with diverse topography comprising both coastal and mountainous areas. Ninh Binh represents typical rural villages of Northern region with green paddy field, expanding mountains and Poetic River that flows to the horizon. Ninh Binh‘s history is also worth mentioning: This land used to be the capital of Dai Co Viet (old name of Vietnam) from 968 to 1010, so there are many cultural and historical relics.
The topography of Ninh Binh is favored by the Nature with karst topography formed through million years that make the province as a Ha Long Bay in land with primitive valleys, caves, and submerged mountains which all offer breathtaking landscapes .The most famous tourist attraction of Ninh Binh is Trang An eco-tourism center (world cultural and natural heritage) which has just been expanded in recent years and soon become famous for a system of caves, valleys and historical relics.
3. Ha Long Bay
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ha long bay is a beautiful natural wonder in the northern Viet Nam, a part of Tonkin Gulf, covering a total area of 1,553km², including 1,969 limestone islands of various sizes, nearly 1000 of which have been given names. The average geological age of the islands is between 250 and 280 million years old.
The unique beauty of Ha Long is like something right out of a movie. While discovering the bay, visitors will feel lost in a legendary world of stone islands which shapes change depending on the angle and the light.
Ha Long Bay is situated in north Vietnam round a 120 kilometer long coast line and is literally translated as “Bay of Descending Dragons”. The top tourist attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay features thousands of islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, others islands include lakes and some support floating villages of fishermen.
H’mong people in Sapa
Sapa is an incredibly picturesque town in the mountainous region close to Chinese border Home to Vietnam’s most colorful ethnic communities and its most rugged mountain scenery, Sapa is a favorite among both adventure travelers and those seeking unique cultural experiences. Whether you’re trekking among rice fields or mingling with the friendly minority locals in scenic villages, Sapa is one of Southeast Asia’s most unique and stunning destinations.
Hue owns many world heritage properties recognized by UNESCO, including Royal Literature on Hue Royal Architecture – World Documentary Heritage, the Complex of Hue Monument – World Cultural Heritage Site, Vietnamese Court Music (Nha nhac) – World Intangible Cultural and Imperial records of Nguyen Dynasty – World Documentary Heritage.
6. Hội An
Hoi An is an ancient town on the bank of Thu Bon River and on the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, about 30 km south of Da Nang City. Hoi An used to be known as one of the most important and busiest trading port of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. The charm of Hoi An lies in the distinct Japanese and Chinese atmosphere as well as its traditional houses built along narrow street. Hoi An ancient town is in an incredible state of preservation. It offers some of the most densely-concentrated sights in Viet Nam with its old streets bordered with ancient houses and assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs. After many centuries, Hoi An is still respectful of its traditions, folk festivals, beliefs and of its sophisticated culinary art. Set in a quiet environment, Hoi An is surrounded by peaceful villages that have crafts such as carpentry, bronze making, ceramic…
7. Nha Trang
Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town located along the second most beautiful bays in the country. It features beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water with mild temperatures. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants and is more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It’s also the scuba diving center of Vietnam.
8. Ho Chi Minh City
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City, also common known as Saigon, is Vietnam’s commercial headquarters brash and busy with a keen sense of its own importance as Vietnam emerges from years of austerity to claim a place in the “Asian Tiger” economic slugfest. Located on the bank of Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam’s biggest port and largest city, with an estimated population of over 8 million, most of whom cruise the town’s clogged arteries on an estimated three million motorbikes. True to its reputation, the city is noisy, crowded, and dirty, but the central business district is rapidly developing in steel-and-glass precision to rival any city in the world. The old Saigon still survives in wide downtown avenues flanked by pristine colonials. Hectic and eclectic, Ho Chi Minh City has an attitude all its own.
Saigon is a relatively young Asian city, founded in the 18th century, but its history tells the story of Vietnam’s recent struggles. Settled mainly by civil war refugees from North Vietnam along with Chinese merchants, Saigon quickly became a major commercial center in the late 1800s. With a very convenient protected port along the Saigon River, the city became a confluence in Indochina for goods passing from China and India to Europe. Places like today popular tourist stop Ben Thanh Market were abuzz with activity. When the French took over the region about that time in the 1880s they called the south “Cochin China,” Annam being central Vietnam and Tonkin the north. Saigon became the capital. We owe the wide boulevards and grand colonial facades of central District 1 to years of French control and influence. After the French left in 1954, Saigon remained the capital of South Vietnam until reunification in 1975.
There are two distinct seasons in Ho Chi Minh City : The always hot (average 82°F/28°C) and rainy season lasts from May to November, the dry season from December to April.
Some of Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism spots include the Vietnam History Museum; the grisly War Remnants Museum; and Cholon, the Chinese District, with its pagodas and exotic stores. Dong Khoi Street formerly fashionable Rue Catinat during the French era and Tu Do, or Freedom Street, during the Vietnam War is once again a strip of grand hotels, some dating from the colonial era, new chic shops and boutiques, and lots of fine dining and cafes. Saigon’s food is some of the best Vietnam has to offer, its nightlife sparkles, and the shopping here is fast and furious. Ho Chi Minh is also a logical jumping off point for excursions to southern destinations, including the Mekong Delta, the Cu Chi Tunnels, Phan Thiet beach and Phu Quoc Island.
9. Mekong Delta
Mekong River Delta is located at the end of Indochina Peninsula, including 13 provinces(An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Can Tho City, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long) with the area of 40,576.0 sq. km. It is adjacent to key economic zones in Southern Viet Nam (including Ho Chi Minh City). With its strategic location and as a particularly important economic – cultural region the Mekong River Delta plays an important role in cooperation and exchanges with other regions in Viet Nam and other countries in the peninsula.
The Mekong River Delta has a great advantage in rice farming, fruit tree planting and tourism development. It is known as the largest granary of Viet Nam. The region boasts several significant national tourist destinations, creating favorable condition to develop various types of ecotourism, cultural tourism, cruise tourism, sea and island tourism…
10. Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc Island’s pristine green forests and alluring white sand beaches mesmerize tourists who go there for much-needed relaxation and fresh air. Some 65,000 people call the 600sq.km-island home. Located 115km from Rach Gia, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc is noted for many beautiful tourist sites, including Hon Thom Isle, Dinh Cau (the Master’s Palace) and countless idyllic beaches. Phu Quoc Island is one of well-known tourist’s destinations in Vietnam attracting many international travelers. In 2014, Phu Quoc Island was honored by the world’s famous travel magazines because of its attractive beauty and affordable tourism services.
Recently, National Geographic suggested its readers Best Winter Trips 2014, in which, Phu Quoc hold the third positions in top 15 world-wide destinations. In the list of Best Winter Trips 2014, Phu Quoc ranks behind Paris (France) and Whitefish (Montana). According to the introduction of National Geographic, heart-shaped Phu Quoc Island owns one of the best beaches in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is quite pristine with “it’s warm, turquoise waters; secluded, deep sand beaches; and lush, mountainous interior (protected as a national park)”. Under the influence of the monsoon tropical climate, Phu Quoc Island has a plenty of tropical forest resources and diverse flora and fauna, which are quite favorable for Eco-tourism. Visiting Phu Quoc, tourists can discover ordinary life of locals through visiting traditional villages and observing local’s daily activities such as fish sauce making, pepper growing, and cultured pearls. Phu Quoc fish sauce is very famous in Vietnam for its delicious taste. Besides, pepper growing here has the special spicy flavors that cannot find in other places. Cay Lao Nha Dua, which can be translated into Coconut Tree Prison is a great place to learn more about Vietnamese history for those who interested in this field.
National Geographic made a note for readers that the most suitable time to travel Phu Quoc is from November to March. At that time, the average daytime temperature fluctuates between 25° and 28°C, therefore, tourists can avoid cold winter in their countries. National Geographic also gave advice where to eat in Phu Quoc. Accordingly, travelers should “pull up a plastic chair and sit under the stars at the bustling Dinh Cau Night Market to try whatever local fishermen hauled in that day (sea urchin, prawns, clams, squid, scallops, sardines)”.