Vietnam Bucket List: Top 15 Things to do in Vietnam

Sunrise in Phu Quoc

Top 15 Tourist Spots and Best Things to do in Vietnam

There are so many Tourist Attractions in Vietnam that are worth including on your bucket list. These tourist spots are ranging from beautiful natural wonders, pristine islands and tourist-friendly villages to colonial structures, and war museums. Here are some of our recommended things to do in Vietnam:

Trek through the rice paddies in Sapa

Sa Pa by Hiep Nguyen via Unsplash
Sa Pa by Hiep Nguyen via Unsplash

In the Northern part of Vietnam, you find the beautiful rice paddies of Sapa. Once you arrive from your journey from Hanoi to Sapa, you will meet the local hill tribes who are eager to take you for a one or 2-day trekking through the stunning rice terraces.

Sleep on an overnight boat in Halong Bay

Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam

The enormous karst mountains of Halong Bay are one of the highlights Vietnam and you will see them on almost every cover picture of Vietnam. You can visit this bay as a day trip from Hanoi, but for the best experience, book an overnight boat to witness the sunset in this gorgeous national park.

Drive the Hai van Pass on a motorbike

The Hai van Pass from Hue to Hoi An is one of the most scenic routes in the world. The road became famous after a special episode of Top Gear in which presenter Jeremy drives along this road with his motorbike. The best way to experience this adventure is to rent a motorbike with one of the Easy rider motorbike companies and combine it with spending a few days in Hoi An.

Paddle through the Tam Coc river in Ninh Binh

Tam Coc river by Peter Livesey via Unsplash
Tam Coc river by Peter Livesey via Unsplash

Ninh Binh is often referred to as the dry Halong Bay. You can paddle with a boat through the Tam Coc river surrounded by huge karst mountains. Visiting this province around April/May will make the boat tour even more astonishing as you will paddle next to the colorful rice fields. You book a tour from Hanoi as a day trip or travel by bus or train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh so you will have more time to explore this beautiful province in Vietnam.

Wander around in the ancient town in Hoi An

Hoi An Riverside - Tourist Spots
Hoi An Riverside – Tourist Spots

Hoi An was once the trading capital of Vietnam and this is still visible in the fusion of international influences. The influence of the Japanese and French architecture is clearly visible when visiting the Old Town.

Abseil waterfalls in Da Lat

Lake in Da Lat Vietnam
Lake in Da Lat Vietnam

Go on an adventure with a canyoning trip in Da Lat. During this trip, you will abseil from several waterfalls and jump from cliffs. This full-day trip is one of the best canyoning activities offered in South East Asia.

Explore the longest dry cave in Asia

Inside Phong Nha Cave by Tycho via Wikipedia CC
Inside Phong Nha Cave By [Tycho] talk , – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Phong Nha National park is known for its tremendous cave system. In 2005, a local discovered the 31km long Paradise cave which turned out to be one of the longest dry caves in the world. And even more impressive, the ceiling reaches up to 80 meters at the highest point inside the cave!

See how local residents lived for 5 years in the Vinh Moc tunnels during the Vietnam war

Vinh Moc tunnels by Pen War via Wikipedia CC
Vinh Moc tunnels by Pen War via Wikipedia CC

The Vinh Moc tunnels are one of the best-preserved tunnels of the Vietnam War. The tunnels are located between Phong Nha and Hue, next to the DMZ border. This border divided North and South Vietnam and has been heavily bombed during the war.

Drive the Ha Giang Loop

This motorbike loop is for the adventurer who wants to go off the beaten track. Reserve at least 3 days for this loop, during which you can explore the scenic rice paddies in the North of Vietnam while avoiding the large crowds of Sa Pa.

Visit the Imperial City in Hue

Impertial City in Hue by CEPhoto Uwe Arenas
Imperial City in Hue by CEPhoto Uwe Arenas

Visit the Imperial city surrounded by a 6m high wall in the center of Hue. This historical complex was once exclusively used by the royal family and its servants in the early 19th century.

Learn how to cook authentic Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese Food
Vietnamese Food

During your Vietnam trip, you will have the chance to experience the delicious Vietnamese kitchen. But how would it be to share this experience with your loved ones back home? Hoi An is a perfect place to do a cooking course. Buy fresh ingredients from the market, learn how to cook various Vietnamese dishes, and best of all: enjoy the results of your own cooking skills!

Tailor-made suits or custom-made shoes

Ever heard people telling they bought a custom made suit in Asia? Forget about Bangkok, but get your one in Hoi An. This city is full of cloth makers who can design you the most amazing custom made suits or shoes customized to the exact size of your feet. Check out TripAdvisor to find the best tailors in town.

Learn to kite-surf in Mui Ne

Sunset in Mui Ne
Sunset in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is one of the best kite-surf spots in South East Asia. The shallow beach and good wind conditions make it the perfect place to learn kite-surfing during the North-East Monsoon. The season runs from November to April, with the best wind conditions from Jan to March are the windiest months.

Exploring beaches in Phu Quoc

Sunrise in Phu Quoc
Sunrise in Phu Quoc

If you are a real beach-loves, Phu Quoc will be the right destination for you. The beaches on this Island are the perfect place to work on your tan. Hiring a motorbike gives you the chance to explore the complete Island and find the less touristy beaches.

Experience the local culture in the beach town Quy Nhon

Most beaches in Vietnam are packed with tourists and especially Mui Ne and Nha Trang is a favorite with Russians. To avoid the crowds, take a bus from Hoi An to Quy Nhon and enjoy the laid-back beach life. Locals will greet you with a big smile and you will still be able to find a quiet spot on an almost empty beach.

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels and Resorts in Vietnam via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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