Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

  • Blue hour in Hoi An
  • The impressive Ha Long Bay
  • Hanoi’s Train Street has become a tourist attraction

Also known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, this country in southeastern Asia has five municipalities and 59 provinces with a population of more than 96 million residents. According to archaeological evidence, the area was first inhabited by humans in the Palaeolithic age, or the Stone Age, over 3 million years ago.

Vietnam is a great place to visit some of the local attractions. The Imperial City of Hue, Ba Be National Park and My Son are popular attractions. Some of the best attractions in Vietnam are in Hanoi, which is the capital. So, why not drop off your luggage at a nearby Hanoi luggage storage site and go explore?

The impressive Ha Long Bay

Imperial City of Hue

The walled city of Hue is an enclosure in the citadel of Hue, which was once the capital of Vietnam. In 1789, Nguyen Anh proclaimed himself Emperor Gia Long and had a walled city built for him beginning in 1804. Another set of walls and moat was built outside the original for palaces, pavilions, and gardens.

The moat is still filled with water from the Perfume River, and you can still see the Purple Forbidden City. There are many other attractions in Hue to visit while you are in Vietnam including the Buddhist temples, the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts, and the Tomb of Khai Dinh, who was the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Ba Be National Park

With more than 56,000 acres of green space, Ba Be National Park was founded to protect the lake as well as the limestone and forests. The lake is a large natural freshwater lake with an average maximum depth of about 75 feet. The name means Three Lakes because there are three sections of the lake.

The Pe Leng, Pe Lu and Pe Lam are all connected but the ancient locals considered them three separate lakes. Inside the park, you can see a variety of flora and fauna. Some of the wildlife includes the rhesus macaque, the Asian black bear, and the Asian golden cat. Be sure to bring your camera to this beautiful spot.

Na Trang

For some beach fun, head to Na Trang where you can find almost four miles of waterfront space. Many of the locals as well as the tourists spend much of their time scuba diving, snorkelling, and surfing. Other exciting water sports at Na Trang include sailing, rafting, and of course, swimming.

But you should also see other natural beauties like the Ba Ho Waterfalls, Thap Ba Hot Springs, and the Chong Rock. Don’t miss the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam and Alexandre Yersin Museum while you are there. And visit the Long Son Pagoda where you can see an 80-foot-tall white Buddha.

Hanoi

Hanoi’s Train Street has become a tourist attraction

Also known as the Paris of the East, Hanoi is the most visited city in Vietnam, the capital of Vietnam, and the site of the most popular tourist attractions. Visit the Temple of Literature from 1070 AD, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where President Ho Chi Minh has rested since his death in 1969.

The Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is another fantastic sight to see. And if you want to learn more about the culture, the city boasts nine museums featuring everything from art to Vietnamese history. Hanoi Old Quarter is another famous spot, which has 36 streets of crafts and historical architecture.

My Son

In the middle of the mountains of jungle, My Son is a temple city from the Cham era dating back to the fourth century. These abandoned and partly ruined temples built by the Kings of Champa are still a fantastic sight to see. The temples are to worship the God of Bhadreshwara, or Shiva. About 20 temples are still standing and you can get some fantastic selfies to share on your social media pages. In fact, all the buildings left at My Son are religious buildings like the Kosagra firehouse, Gopura gate tower, Kalan sanctuaries, and the Mandapa hallways. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

Hoi An

The ancient town of Hoi An is full of beautiful architecture from the 1400s to the 1800s. Located near the mouth of Thu Bon River, the city was a small trading port that was very active back in the 1400s and still has many of the original buildings and monuments, both commercial and domestic.

One of the most visited and photographed places in Hoi An is the covered Japanese bridge from the 1500s. This little city is also a fantastic spot to get some souvenirs with all the local vendors peddling their wares. They also have four museums like the Folklore Museum and the Museum of Trade Ceramics.

Mui Ne

With more than 100 resorts and shops, Mui Ne is a tourist town that attracts thousands of people every year. Like Nha Trang, this city has a lot of beachfront space popular with the locals and travellers alike. The small streets are lined with coconut palms and the whole place looks like a postcard.

The sand dunes are popular in Mui Ne as well. The White Sand Dunes are famous for the dune buggies and ostriches. Yes, they have ostriches you can ride there. Kitesurfing is also another popular sport. And you can take a hot air balloon flight to see the sights from hundreds of feet in the air.

While you are in Vietnam, make sure you try some of the local eats. One of the most common street foods is Pho, which is rice noodles and broth. Or try the Cao Lau pork noodle dish in Hoi An. Goi Cuon spring rolls are also very popular. But don’t miss the banh mi sandwich that is famous worldwide.

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About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more then fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on www.asianitinerary.com

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