It’s true that I got off to a rocky start when I first arrived in the country. But by the end of my trip, I realized that even a month wasn’t nearly enough time to explore this beautiful country. The landscapes, the people, the history, everything filled my trip with emotion and wonder. Here are my top 10 things to do in Vietnam!

This post contains affiliate links. Whenever you buy something through one of these, I get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Thank you!

1- Food

I can’t talk about Vietnam without talking about the food. I always seek out Vietnamese food when I’m abroad!.

One of them is the famous Bánh mì. I don’t know how much I ate of it when I was traveling around the country, but I can assure you there was a LOT. The bread, the spices, the toppings are a perfect combination and don’t forget that I’m French and I know a good bread when I taste one! Yes, it’s a different bread because the flour is different, which makes the crust crispier, but it’s still delicious, believe me!

Banh mi in Vietnam
Photo by Van Thanh on Unsplash

I loved touring the different towns and finding the best addresses. I recommend you try them all until you find the one that suits you!

Of course, I can’t forget another traditional Vietnamese dish: Phở. This national dish is a soup found literally on every street corner in Vietnam. It’s made with broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat (often beef). The taste differs from region to region, which is a good excuse to eat it whenever you get the chance.

Needless to say, Vietnamese gastronomy is much broader than the two dishes I’ve presented. From spring rolls to Cao lầu, I’m sure you’ll find an interesting cuisine to try and maybe fall in love with new flavors like I did.

2- The Hải Vân Pass

The “Ocean Cloud Pass” owes its name to the mists that rise from the sea, reducing visibility. What a name, and well deserved as this is probably one of the most beautiful and picturesque roads I’ve ever seen.

Hai Van Pass in Vietnam

Driving it from Huế to Đà Nẵng, I can say the experience was unique and I can see why many people include it in their Vietnam highlights. The road winds through hills and lush greenery until your eyes meet the ocean and that magnificent view.

3- Hạ Long Bay

I’m not one for really touristy places, but sometimes I can be pleasantly surprised. All the same, I’d say that Hạ Long Bay is a must-see when visiting Vietnam.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Hạ Long, which means “descending dragon”, impressed me with its thousands of limestone formations emerging from the water. Spending a night in the bay was a unique and spectacular experience too.

Although it’s a popular destination, I was happy to learn about the history and legend of this place.

4- Huế

Hue in Vietnam

I instantly fell in love with Huế and the Hương River (Perfume River), Cầu Trường Tiền Bridge, the Imperial Citadel and Phu Mong Village.

Whether you want to stroll along the river, learn more about the history or simply admire the tranquility of the city, you must include Huế in your travel itinerary.

5- Hội An

Hoi An lanterns in Vietnam

Hội An’s charm and architecture were already enough to convince me to visit the city. The ancient city is quite a spectacle, you’ll feel the fusion of Western and Eastern cultures here.

It’s also the ideal place to buy a bespoke suit or dress at a very good price.

Finally, at night, Hội An transforms into a magical place where you’ll see hundreds of lanterns on the river and in the streets/markets. You can even buy one yourself and make a wish!

6- Ky Co Beach (Nhơn Lý)

Ky Co Beach in Vietnam

Located in Quy Nhơn, the beach is accessible by motorcycle from the city. When you arrive near Ky Co beach, you can choose to continue with your vehicle or take a boat.

Once a port and farming town, it has been transformed in recent years, mainly due to tourism.

Back then, there were no gates or tickets to buy to access the beach. But even today, I’d say it’s a must-see if you’re in the vicinity of Quy Nhơn town.

7- Bãi Xếp Beach

Bai Xep beach in Vietnam

Recommended by the owner of the guesthouse where I stayed, Bãi Xếp beach remains one of the best places I saw during my stay in Vietnam.

It’s located in a fishing village and it was literally just my friend, a few kids and me when we arrived in this enchanting place. Traveling here in low season was probably one of the reasons.

Nevertheless, we were able to enjoy the place for ourselves, lounging on the beach, snorkeling, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

8- Hà Giang Loop

Ha Giang in Vietnam
Photo by Lydia Casey on Unsplash

If you’re already in the country or planning your trip, you’ve probably already read/heard about Hà Giang. When I mentioned picturesque roads, this one was also at the top of the list.

Many travelers rent a motorcycle and make the loop. And when you see the incredible panoramas for yourself, I guarantee your camera’s memory card will be full in no time.

Green rice terraces, unspoilt nature and authenticity awaits you!

9- Mỹ Sơn

My Son in Vietnam
Photo by Raissa Lara Lütolf (-Fasel) on Unsplash

Steeped in history, Mỹ Sơn sanctuary was built between the 4th and 14th century by the kings of Champa. The complex consists of Hindu Shaiva temples now in ruins after numerous incidents including American bombing during the Vietnam War.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As the burial place of the Champa royal family and one of the oldest and most beautiful archaeological sites in Vietnam, don’t hesitate to visit it if you’re in the area.

10- Phú Quốc Island

Boat in the sea in Vietnam
Photo by Eila Lifflander on Unsplash

Feel like relaxing and enjoying a cocktail by the sea? Phú Quốc Island is the place to be!

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the Cambodian coast, the island is the perfect getaway to take a break. But if you’re more on the adventurous side, forget the white sand beaches for a moment and grab your mask and flippers for some snorkeling. Or take a hike through the rainforest – whichever you choose, Phú Quốc will bewitch you!

As you may have already realized, there’s plenty to see and do in Vietnam.
From Hà Nội to Hồ Chí Minh-City (Saigon), observe the constant evolution and transformation of a country that’s much more than rice paddies and conical hats.
Whether you like serenity, adventure, history or even a sweet tooth, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here.

🎯 Would you like to go straight to my recommendations?

🗺️ Recommended Tours:
My Son Sanctuary Tour
Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay Day Tour
Hoi An Ancient Town Attractions Tour

🏮 Cultural Experience
Lantern Making Class in Hoi An

👩‍🍳 Cooking Class
Hoa Tuc Cooking Class in Ho Chi Minh City

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *