Top 10 things to do in Vietnam
Georgina Willcox | 09 March 2022
If you're really looking for the holiday of a lifetime and want to experience Southeast Asia, a guided Vietnam tour offers the perfect combination of culture, history, scenic backdrops and bustling cities. Check out our suggestion for the top activities to do in Vietnam.
1. Sail Ha Long Bay
Located in northeast Vietnam, Ha Long Bay which means "descending dragon" is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth a visit, sail across the breath-taking Ha Long Bay, experience thousands of limestone towering islands topped with rainforests, ancient caves, emerald green waters and innumerable junk boats floating in between.
2. Uncover The Cu Chi Tunnels
Vietnam’s Cu Chi network of underground tunnels were the location of many of the Viet Cong’s military campaigns during the Vietnam War. The tunnels were used as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and living quarters for the Vietnamese fighters. For those who don’t mind small spaces, there is an option to crawl through a small section of the tunnels.
3. Discover The Imperial City of Hue
Take a guided tour of the Imperial City of Hue, which was once the capital of Vietnam and discover its complex of palaces, temples and monuments; where the architecture was based on The Forbidden City in Beijing. Visit the 19th century Tomb of Tu Duc, who was the longest reigning monarch of the Nguyen dynasty. On our trips to Vietnam after exploring Hue, we'll also get to enjoy a cruise on the Perfume River and see the historic temple of Thiên Mụ Pagoda.
4. Take a Hanoi City Tour
Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is home to an abundance of fascinating sites, such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, a stunning building where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence and the One Pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist Temple sitting within a lake. It also hosts the world famous 11th century Temple of Literature, the former Hỏa Lò Prison and beautiful Hoàn Kiếm Lake.
5. Visit Ho Chi Minh
Despite the general assumption that the capital Hanoi is Vietnam’s biggest city, it is actually Ho Chi Minh City with a population of over 8 million. Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling city is home to a range of interesting sights - our top picks are the Central Post Office, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral; a beautiful church built by French colonists, the Reunification Palace and the Bến Thành Market.
6. Experience The Mekong Delta
One of Vietnam’s most important regions, much of the country’s fish and rice comes from here. The Mekong Delta is a vast network of tributaries and the river flows through other countries, including China, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. We recommend taking a relaxing sampan boat cruise in the idyllic Cai Be to get a taste of life on the river.
7. Haggle In the Vietnam Markets
Experiencing the colourful floating markets of Vietnam's Mekong Delta is a must for any travel bucket list. Cai Rang Market, which is the largest wholesale market on the Delta, is a fantastic introduction to the hustle and bustle of local trade. It’s best to go in the morning as early as possible to see this vibrant spectacle of traditional boats selling exotic fruits, local produce and just about anything you can think of!
8. Explore Hoi An
The coastal town of Hoi An is one of Vietnam's top spots and one of the highlights on our tours is to see the iconic Japanese dragon bridge. The delightful Old Town can easily be explored by foot and it’s even magical at night time when they light many colourful lanterns. Hoi An is also well known for its tailor shops and you can pay much less for custom-made clothes than at home.
9. See rural country life
One of the best days trips from Hoi An is to get out into the countryside and get a real insight to local farming life and see them working their fields and gardens. Vietnam is one of the biggest exporters of rice, so it’s interesting to see the paddy fields, where rice is grown, as this is deeply connected with the country’s culture and history.
10. Enjoy A Vietnamese Cooking Class
On our tours, you can take a taste of Vietnam home with you as you can enjoy a cooking class in Hoi An. Vietnamese food is world renowned and we recommend trying iconic dishes like Bánh mì, various fillings served in a baguette, which was introduced by the French. Try a hearty and inexpensive bowl of steaming pho –a fragrant soup served with chicken or beef, noodles and crunchy bean sprouts.
Experience the Highlights of Vietnam with us and enjoy a guided tour to one of one of Southeast Asia's most inspiring countries. We also offer an inspiring selection of worldwide holidays, where you can experience far off destinations, new cultures and incredible sights, and sounds.
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- Georgina Willcox
- 25 February 2022
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