Iconic Vietnamese Destinations From North To South You Should Not Miss
Vietnam is an inviting destination in Southeast Asia with the incredible tapestry of natural and cultural diversity. Traversing from North to South, people will be amazed by loads of local delights that our beautiful S-shaped country has to offer. Among a lot of interesting places to visit, we made a list of Vietnam's best destinations that you should not miss for your dream holiday here. Just check them out and along with us discover their notable highlights!
Being the heart Vietnam for over one thousand years, Hanoi, the stately capital city of Vietnam, is the country’s major cultural, social, political and economic centre. Home to Vietnam’s most iconic landmarks of Vietnamese history, Hanoi features the interesting blend of French & Asian culture, through numerous attractions & historical sites around the city. Also, Hanoi is the starting point or finishing stop of most Vietnam holidays due to its location and multiple options of international flights from its airport.
Visiting Hanoi, don’t miss the opportunities to learn about our long-lasting history, the richness of culture & traditions, and deeply immersed in the enchanting daily life. While some of the most prominent places to visit including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, Temple of Literature, Long Bien bridge, various museums, ancient temples & pagodas, etc are for history and traditional Asian culture buffs, buzzing Hanoi Old Quarter is definitely a must for any Hanoi travel bucket list as it is the place of the old amidst the new, of multi-hundred-year architectures, sedate charms and the busy nightlife as well. If you’re seeking a stay of chilling out, peaceful West Lake perhaps delivers you relaxing moments with opening skyline and greens.
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2. Halong Bay
Dubbed as one of the most famous UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites in Vietnam, Halong Bay is the world-famous tourist destination of North Vietnam particularly and Vietnam generally. Halong Bay is well-known to be the place of a magnificent seascape with countless towering karst formations over the emerald sea, stunning caves, inviting islands & beaches, etc. With its outstanding natural highlights, Halong Bay welcomes huge influxes of both locals and foreign tourists each year. Two neighbouring attractive bays including Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are also interesting natural sites for travel enthusiasts with the same geological features.
The most popular type of Halong Bay Tours is a wide range of cruise packages, especially overnight cruises, which enables you to marvel at Halong Bay’s beauty to the wholeness. As floating hotels amidst the bay, Halong Bay Cruises offer you comfort stays onboard with fine service from sightseeing, dining to wellness and outdoor activities. Depending on class, style, or itinerary, each Halong Bay Cruise attracts people by its distinct highlights. Pleasant things to do in Halong Bay such as paddling kayak, sunset & sunrise witnessing, visiting famous caves & islands, etc will be included in most cruise itineraries. In Halong Bay, you’ll be amazed by striking visual feasts of limestone mountains and a lot of remarkable travel experiences worth trying.
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3. Ninh Binh
Not too far from Hanoi to the South, Ninh Binh is a great attraction for leisure short trips escaping the bustling city life. Endowed with the picturesque landscape of limestone ranges, green paddy fields, and gentle rivers, Ninh Binh is commonly regarded as “Halong Bay on land”. Also, Ninh Binh is an inviting place of some famous spiritual sites including the great Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient capital, Bich Dong pagoda, besides authentic and idyllic countryside settings of northern Vietnam with sleepy villages nestles amidst verdant mountains.
Boasting about inherent natural treasures, Ninh Binh is most famous for its local amazing scenery. UNESCO Heritage Site of Trang An Landscape Complex, Tam Coc Tourist Area, Mua Cave Viewpoint, and Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve are prominent scenic attractions here. You can opt to add in your Ninh Binh trip some interesting outdoor activities such as: do sightseeing on rowing boats, cycling through rural paths & graceful paddy fields, hiking to Mua Cave Viewpoint, etc. Also, if you’re into local cuisine, don’t miss the chance to taste the signature delicacies of the land: goat dishes and burned rice (com chay).
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Sapa, “the city in the fog”, is the capital of northwest Vietnam where owns the lovely ambience of a temperate town, the richness of local culture, and stunning mountainscapes. Sapa is well-known to be the home to “the summit of Indochina” Mount Fansipan and also the abode of ethnic minorities with their exotic traditions and local life. Hence experiencing indigenous people’s ways of life is the sought-after activity in most Sapa tours. Visiting Sapa, especially in the harvest seasons, tourists will be well-treated by the endless golden hue of rice terrace fields sprawling along the hills & ranges, which delivers epic shots of nature photography. As a tourist attraction located in the mountainous region of Vietnam, Sapa is an inviting land of wide-ranging trek routes passing through idyllic tribal villages, picturesque paths looking over the dreamy valley and further mountain scenery. Whether you’re nature lovers, local culture enthusiasts, or adventure seekers, Sapa is an ideal destination that should be included in your Vietnam holiday.
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5. Ha Giang
More appealing to active travellers, Ha Giang, a hidden gem of Northeast Vietnam, is considered one of the wonderful places worth trying yourself with awe-inspiring experiences. Far away from the major cities, Ha Giang still remains its intact natural treasures of craggy landscapes from the extensive stone plateau, winding passes, towering mountain ranges, and steep rocky gorges. As the land full of thrills, Ha Giang attracts travel alcoholics by some exciting motorbike rides along the winding mountain paths, vigorous trek routes, scenic boat ride on the stunning emerald Nho Que river. Being the home to H’mong ethnic people, Ha Giang also features fascinating cultural highlights of exotic mountain life including colourful costumes, unique housing, agriculture works, traditional markets, etc. If you visit Ha Giang in early winter (mainly November), you will see another Ha Giang that seems to be more romantic when many regions are beautifully graced with buckwheat flowers blooming under blue skies.
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A young and livable city in Vietnam, it is the easiest ways to get to know about Danang. Playing a significant role in transiting between Northern and Southern parts, Danang is one of the major tourist hubs in Central Vietnam in particular and the entire country in general. Endowed with the richness of natural resources and strategic location, Danang proudly boasts about many interesting sites & attractions. As a fantastic coastal city, Danang is famous for My Khe beach, one of the world’s most alluring beaches, and other sandy beaches along the coastline. The city is common to tourists by the collection of unique bridges on scenic Han river, a massive complex of Ba Na Hills with the world-famous Golden Bridge, numerous sacred religious sites, a tasty treat of local gastronomy, and airy waterfront for leisure strolls. Besides these iconic attractions, Danang also hosts Danang International Firework Festival, and annual international events welcoming a lot of global visitors to come and admire spectacular firework performances on amazing Danang’s skylines. A true dynamic city offering multi-options of service for travelling from budget to luxury types!
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2. Hoi An Ancient Town
Just around 20km from the city of Danang sets another UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site that is among the sought-after attractions in Central Vietnam, beautiful Hoi An Ancient Town. To many visitors, Hoi An Ancient Town is one of the most favourite stops during their holidays in Vietnam. Graceful golden streets with ancient architecture, traditional shophouses, scenic hanging colourful lanterns, and enchanting slow-paced local life that covers every corner of the little lovely town.
People mostly spend the time in Hoi An deeply immersing in the local charms of the town through leisure strolls, biking tours, or pleasant visits to some famous tourist spots here. Lantern making classes, Hoi An iconic foods or traditional cooking classes, and stunning clothes tailor-made at notable shops are also fascinating experiences worth trying if you’re travelling in the ancient town. For those who’re more into rustic beauty of Vietnamese countryside, a day excursion to Tra Que village, which is located in the suburb of Hoi An Ancient Town, will create you a glimpse of the daily life and great opportunities to join in some farming works with friendly & smiling locals.
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As the capital of Nguyen Dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnamese feudal era, Hue encapsulates within itself the sedate beauty of numerous imperial monuments, king’s tombs, temples, pagodas and many other cultural sites & attractions around the city. Exquisite cuisine and royal music on dragon boat are two major highlights of imperial arts that define the unique Hue's identity. Featuring special romantic ambience, Hue is also famous for dreamy Perfume River, the laid-back vibe of the lush tranquil hamlets and traditional craft villages. Undoubtedly, Hue is a great destination for history, culture, and architecture enthusiasts.
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4. Quang Binh
If you’re into thrilling odysseys venturing into the wilderness and hidden world of natural caves, the province of Quang Binh surely arouses your interest of being adventurers. Famous for Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site where is the home to numerous spectacular caves and untouched tropical forests, Quang Binh hosts a wide range of active tours & packages. And the most notable ones among these tours are spelunking in Son Doong Cave, one of the biggest natural caves in the world, and other awe-inspiring caves within its systems such as En Cave, Tu Lan Cave, etc. For other common caving tours, you can opt to visit Phong Nha Cave by motorboat or pass through green paths of Phong Nha forests to reach Paradise Cave.
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5. Nha Trang
Boasting about the stunning seascape, pleasant weather, many beautiful beaches, crystal seawater & colourful marine life, Nha Trang offers almost everything for a wonderful beach holiday in Central Vietnam. As a member of “Club of the most beautiful bays of the world”, Nha Trang allures travel lovers by the charming coastline with soothing white sandy beaches. Also, while pristine off-coast islands in Nha Trang are inviting attractions for underwater expeditions as well as exciting on-land discoveries with epic scenery of the bay, the city centre is the place of bustling city life with an abundance of fresh seafood, local markets, prominent cultural sites, and a wide range of amusing activities. All in all, Nha Trang deserves to be a true dream-like place for an enjoyable vacation full of sun-sand-sea delights.
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1. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, which is more popular with its beloved name Saigon, is Vietnam’s busiest metropolis. Spanning a long history for hundreds of years, the city is the harmony of French, Asian, and modern highlights. Numerous colonial monuments, notable historical sites such as Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, Independence Palace, buzzy local markets, beautiful temples & pagodas, iconic multi-storey buildings, and a lot of fun in every street corner.
With a lively atmosphere of both daylife and nightlife, you can experience great outings in Ho Chi Minh City from dawn till dusk. If interesting city tours assist you to learn about the history of Saigon and Vietnam through sightseeing activities at notable tourist spots, taking pleasure in colourful gastronomy with exciting foodie trips surely fulfil your empty tummy after a busy day. Among numerous options, Vespa Tour is the most classic itinerary in Ho Chi Minh City, which enables the tourist to experience the city’s highlights to the wholeness.
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2. Mekong Delta
To the southernmost parts of Vietnam is the fertile land of Mekong Delta, where is the home to exotic culture, distinct floating lives, and the rustic charms of peaceful scenery & warm-hearted local people. Made up from many southern provinces, Mekong Delta is a vast region that is endowed with rich natural resources and multi-ethnic communities, which made it a dreamland for those who are into the intact local highlights.
Mekong Delta is the most common with a lively spectacle of floating markets. Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho and Cai Be Floating Market in Tien Giang Province are two most famous places where visitors can get an up-close and personal insight into the authentic way of life here. Taking a local sampan ride sneaking into small creeks and canals is also a favourite thing should not be missed in Mekong Delta. Or else, cosy stays with amiable locals, interesting visits in the lush idyllic villages, and hearty meals of local delicacies are also amazing experiences that Mekong Delta has to offer. In case you prefer multi-day excursions on the river, wide-ranging itineraries and packages of Mekong River Cruises could offer you an in-depth embrace to authentic & charming Mekong Delta.
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3. Phu Quoc Island
Being the largest island of Vietnam, Phu Quoc is regarded as the tropical paradise of Vietnam due to its inherent sun-sand-sea treasures. Travelling in Phu Quoc, just unwind yourself on the sandy palm-fringed beaches of the island and enjoy sunbathing with pleasant sunlight. Make sure that you don’t forget the chance to witness the sunset in Phu Quoc, one of the finest places in Vietnam to admire this amazing natural spectacle. For thrilling expeditions, snorkelling and island-hopping tours are inviting activities that let you uncover the colourful marine life and also pristine smaller islets around the main island of Phu Quoc. Other vigorous watersports such as kayaking, parasailing, jet-skiing, or flyboard, are also exciting experiences for active seekers. Various local delights such as bustling nightlife, available fresh seafood, multi bars & bistros, and some of prominent cultural and historic sites could make your beach vacation in Phu Quoc more enjoyable.
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With the rich tapestry of natural and cultural diversity, you can find a lot of merriment wherever you’re in Vietnam. Our beautiful S-shaped country always welcomes you to visit and experience our intriguing Vietnamese essence. Depending on your travel interest, have a look at our list of Vietnam Private tours that cover all or some of these iconic destinations above to find out which suits you best. Or else, just send your inquiry of to our Asia Tailor-made Tours Team and get ready for a dream Vietnam trip with our professional local travel experts.