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Map of best places to visit in Vietnam
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Vietnam from North to South
Before starting the article, we would like to invite you to take a look at the panoramic video of Vietnam from North to South by drone.
1. Ha Long Bay
The first place of the best Vietnam destinations‘ list is Ha Long Bay, a gem of Vietnam!
Having been known for thousands of limestone islands that emerged from the emerald water, the Bay is surrounded by a spectacular seascape. You will want to sign up for a boat trip to cruise along the maze of channels and uniquely shaped-islets. You can also go kayaking and caving to experience the enchanting beauty of the tropical islands.
Although it can get too touristy during the high season, with what it has to offer, Ha Long Bay is totally worth your visit.
The best way to discover this bay is by boat. Depending on your budget, you can choose a cruiser or diesel-boat to explore Halong Bay. Stay at least an overnight as there are plenty of things to see and do here.
Come to the Bay once in your life, and you will agree that Ha Long Bay is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.
2. Ninh Binh
Used to be one of the hidden gems in the north of Vietnam, Ninh Binh has become more and more popular among both local and foreign visitors after being chosen as the blockbuster Kong’s filming location. But Ninh Binh is not all about that.
This is home of the biggest temple in South East Asia which is solemnly situated amid the lush paddy fields and breathtaking rock formations. The best way to explore the renowned landscape complex is by rowboat to bit-by-bit take in the majestic and poetic scenery. Ninh Binh will truly give you a sense of the spiritual calmness coming from the splashing water under your boat and distant temple bells echoing.
3. Hoi An
Noted as another World Heritage Site of the long-stretching nation, this Ancient Town of Hoi An carries not only the diversity of settings but also the history of hundreds of years of Chinese and Japanese settlement. You will need to be ready to fall in love with the mix of vibrant lifestyle and ancient architecture of this little ancient town.
Hoi An is also famous for a wide range of delightful cafes and restaurants of those overlooking peaceful views. Even for a local, the town’s delicacies are definitely one-of-a-kind and it will give you a hard time to pick between all the good food.
The must-dos when you are in town, needless to say, are to rent a bicycle and ride by the iconic yellow French colonial shop-houses situated along a beautiful canal; to find a good spot up on some rooftop café and wait for the moment of sunset; and to walk under the magical lantern-lined streets at night. And if you only have one place to spoil your shopping soul, the ancient town is that place with all the lovely handicrafts and of course the well-known tailoring. No matter what you expect, Hoi An surely could please even the most demanding visitors, worthy of being the top destination in Vietnam.
4. Da Nang
Ranked fourth on the list of the best places to visit in Vietnam is Da Nang – the most livable city in Vietnam.
Da Nang has some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches such as Non Nuoc Beach – which is almost never too busy. It would make you extend your staying here with its spectacular mountain temples, well-decorated bars and restaurants, and so much more. It is not random that many expats choose to relocate here as you can easily find a hint of a modern lifestyle of a big city blended into the tranquility of the natural surroundings.
If you are an adventurous soul, get on a motorbike and go for a road trip around Son Tra Peninsula, then set out to conquer the Hai Van Pass or simply walk the majestic Golden Bridge.
Da Nang will not fail to impress you in its own way.
In the middle of the list of best destinations in Vietnam is the land of Emperor: Hue
Hue is the former imperial capital of Vietnam under the prosper reign of the Nguyen Dynasty, which explains for a rich collection of tombs, palaces and other royal buildings. That is also the highlight of this romantic city.
Strolling along the gorgeous Perfume river, crossing Trang Tien Bridge just to later sit down and take a sip of cold Huda beer.
Hue is definitely not a tourism hub but if you are keen on an atmospheric with a breadth of history, then Hue would be your perfect choice.
In 6th place, Sapa meets all the elements to become one of the best destinations in Vietnam: the small villages like the picture painted on the majestic hills, upland markets, and the identity of ethnic minority communities.
Although the main town itself has been said to be too touristic and going through lots of constructions, it gives you a reason to go out of town and immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful highland cities of the country. Meeting up with the innocent local minority people and being amazed by terraced fields – a breathtaking scenery will be your unforgettable memories.
7. Nha Trang
The 7th place is a beautiful coastal city of Vietnam: Nha Trang. Along with Da Nang, Nha Trang is one of the two most famous coastal cities in Vietnam.
Nha Trang is a city in Khanh Hoa province; it has long been known as a tropical sea paradise, Nha Trang beach one of the best beaches in Vietnam and a must-visit city in Vietnam; especially, Nha Trang Bay is one of the beautiful bays of the world. Visit Nha Trang, immerse yourself in the freshwater, dive coral reefs, discover by canoe, and enjoy fresh seafood.
8. Ho Chi Minh City
This place is for one of Vietnam’s largest and most prosperous cities: Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the most bustle and hustle city across the country once known as the Pearl of the Far East. Although Saigon is not rich in natural resources, it has a wide range of street food and night life activities to choose from.
And if your heart is up for knowledge, there is a long list of museums and galleries scattered around the city so you can check them out and explore the city at the same time.
China Town is also the soul of the chaotic city filled with century-aged temples and shops – where you can give yourself a break after play-hard days. It is no exaggeration to say that Saigon has it all.
Saigon is the tourism center of Vietnam, one of the best places to visit in Vietnam; Whether you love quiet or the bustle, this city always has a place just for you!
It is always worth visiting the capital city of any country. In Hanoi, your mind will be blown away with the subtly busy of the Old Quarter – 36 Streets. You will live the historic moments walking along Long Bien Bridge. You will love every single second riding around Truc Bach Lake and finding yourself a good coffee spot to sit down and enjoy a hot egg coffee.
And when the sun goes down, get yourself to the Main Cathedral, sit on those red stools and join the locals for lemon tea and sunflower seeds.
The city has its own charm to draw people to it.
10. Mui Ne
The last on the list of best places to visit in Vietnam is a tropical sea paradise called Mui Ne.
Mui Ne is another coastal city to add to your list. Unlike any other beaches, Mui Ne is the paradise for those into extreme water sports. You can do from snorkeling, diving to surfing and parachuting. Riding past miles of white and red stunning sand hills on one side and feel the ocean breeze blowing from the sea from the other side, you will know why this destination keeps popping up in travel conversations. And of course, live seafood is freshly brought to restaurants from the fishing boats will fulfill your visit.
A few notes
Above are the top 10 places to visit in Vietnam in 2020, you can click on the photo of each place to see detailed travel guide.
These places are the top choices of travelers, especially foreign visitors. However, if you don’t want a place that has been “touristized”, please read the article top 10 hidden gems of Vietnam. In that article, we will introduce you to the places with few visitors, and unexplored places in Vietnam.
You should spend at least three weeks in Vietnam to visit the places, but if you want to enjoy more fully then four weeks would be ideal. Refer to where to stay in Vietnam to find deals from our partners.
We hope this information will be useful to you. Wish you have a nice trip, don’t forget to send us a message to tell us what Vietnam is in you!
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Thank you and meet in Vietnam!
Which is your favorite destination in Vietnam?