10 Interesting things to do in Vietnam
If you are confused or looking for what to do in Vietnam for your upcoming trip, you have come to the right place. Attractions in Vietnam are plentiful, ranging from stunning natural landscapes, sandy beaches, Pristine untouched islets, quaint villages to war museums, wonderful bays, colonial structures, and ancient citadels.
Here are the list of interesting things to do or see in Vietnam.
1. Feel fascinated with the rice terraces in Northern Vietnam
Vietnam is the second largest rice producer in the world, where it is said to be a paradise of rice fields extending to the horizon. If you want to hunt the charming beauty of rice terrace, Vietnam is definitely a perfect choice, while Northern Vietnam is the centre of the best terraced rice fields not only in Vietnam but also in the world.
In Vietnam, there are two rice seasons per year. Rice field changes the colour seasonally but the period when the terraced rice field is most beautiful and suitable for tourists to visit are between May and June & between September and October.
The most beautiful rice fields to visit are Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, Tam Coc, Y Ty and Hoang Su Phi, Mai Chau, Bac Son.
2. Taste Pho (Rice noodle with Chicken or Beef) - The Iconic dish of Vietnam
Pho is the soul & Iconic food of Vietnam and also considered as a National dish.
Pho is a Vietnamese soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat (usually beef), sometimes chicken. Pho is served in households, street stalls and restaurants countrywide.
Travelling in Vietnam, you can find Pho virtually in any street restaurants but I strongly recommend to try authentic Pho in in the following restaurants like a local Vietnamese.
Pho Gia Truyen - 49 Bat Dan, Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam
Price - 40,000 VND to 50,000 VND per person (approx. $1.75 USD to $2.20 USD)
Pho Ga Hang Dieu - 1 Hang Dieu, Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Price - 35,000 VND per bowl (approx. $1.55 USD)
Pho Phu Vuong - 120 Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh
Price - 50,000 VND (approx. $2.16) for one regular bowl
Pho Thanh Binh - 18B Nguyen Thị Minh Khai, Da Kao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh
Price - 50,000 VND (approx. $2.16) for one regular bowl
Hong Pho - 10 Ly Tu Trọng, Thach Thang, Hai Chau, Da Nang
Price - 45,000 VND per bowl (approx. $1.95)
Pho Bac 63 - 203 Dong Da, Da Nang
Price - 40,000 VND per bowl (approx. $1.73)
3. Cruise in Halong Bay
Halong Bay is the most popular tourist destination in Vietnam. It is one of the natural wonders of the world. A destination which cant be skipped or missed in any travellers itenary who is planning for a trip to Vietnam.
The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqkms. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie.
The best way to experience the Bay's beauty is boarding a day or overnight cruise, passing along different islands, stopping to visit the mesmerizing caves, kayaking to the hidden corners of the bay or swimming on the pristine beaches. To explore the Bay's fullest beauty, I recommend for an overnight cruise trip with mouth-watering dishes of sea food.
4. Walk around Hanoi's Old Quarter
Packed with charming colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and pagodas, the Old Quarter, located near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hoan Kiem District, is Hanoi’s major commercial district. A very attractive spot for tourists.
Hanoi Old Quarter is a maze of small valleys where you can find all things from street foods, restaurants, boutique shops, bakeries, coffee shops to art galleries, bars.. There is an endless list of interesting activities in Hanoi Old Quarter but below are some amazing things you should not miss:
Taste Street Foods
Drink Bia Hoi (Draft beer or fresh beer, a very famous drink in Hanoi)
Shopping at Dong Xuan market
Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple
Water Puppet Show
Cycling around old quarter
5. Ride a bike along the Hai Van Pass road
The Hai Van Pass, is an approximately 21 km long mountain range on National Route 1A in Vietnam. It traverses a spur of the larger Annamite mountains that extends into the East Sea of Vietnam, on the border of Da Nang and Thua Thiien–Hue Province, near Bạch Ma National Park. Its name refers to the mists that rise from the sea, reducing visibility. Historically, the pass was a physical division between the kingdoms of Champa and Dại Viet.
Doing a motorbike tour or ride a scooter from Hue to Hoi An on Hai Van Pass is the best way to enjoy the stunning view from top. Try this once to ride a motorbike through this road; you will know how it feels to go on a natural wonder with one side of the sea and other side of a high cliff.
6. Sitting on a boat watching the ancient town of Hoi An at night
If the activity of watching Hoi An old town at night is not in the list of top interesting things to do in Vietnam, it is definitely a mistake. Hoi An at night has an ancient and charming beauty.
Here, you should try once to sit on the small boats, running along the banks of Hoai River, watching the old town shimmering with many colourful lanterns at night. You will feel like being in a peaceful world, completely different from the everyday noisy urban life.
Hoi An is at its most atmospheric in the evening hours and it’s also the best time sample the city’s delicious street food. In the night, hop on the back of a Vespa for a thrilling city tour, enjoy a sunset boat cruise across the Thu Bon River to Cam Nam Island, and admire Hoi An’s beautiful illuminations.
7. Enrich your knowledge of Vietnam's Wars and History
The Vietnam war was a defining event of 20th century, and even now over 40 years later, it still haunts many. Vietnam is a peaceful country these days, but war has left deep wounds on the nation and its people. Trips to Vietnam, you will find many war sites scattered in many parts of the country, which will bring valuable lessons of the past history of Vietnam & how Vietnamese people struggled to gain their peace back.
Places related to Vietnam wars and history cant be missed on your trip to Vietnam. Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, Hoa Lo Prison, Reunification Palace, Vinh Moc Tunnels, Hanoi Military Museum, Hien Luong Bridge and Ho Chi Minh Complex are some of them.
8. Check out the authentic floating markets in Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is a network of tributaries in southwest Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia. The river itself starts in the Himalayas and passes through China, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia before reaching Vietnam, which partly explains why the waters are so murky.
Floating markets in the Mekong Delta are a way of life and trade for over a 100 years, because of the complex and extensive river system of the Mekong region. These markets are centrally located in the delta, where people sell and buy fruits and vegetables grown locally. The traders sell their goods directly from the boats and hang their products on long poles, so that people can see directly from far what is for sale. Smaller boats are uses as mobile cafes, where you can buy soda, coffee or noodle soup for breakfast.
The floating markets are among the highlights of the Mekong Delta, but since there are quite a few floating markets in the Mekong Delta, it is useful to know which ones are the best. So quickly view this list!
Cai Rang Floating market
Largest and most popular floating market in the Mekong Delta. The market starts at 5 AM and lasts until noon, but it is best to be here before 8 AM.
Cai Be Floating Market
Another popular floating market because it is closest to Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike other floating markets that only open in the morning, Cai Be Floating Market starts later in the day until late at night. So you can visit the market late in the day and still experience a buzzing atmosphere.
Long Xuyen Floating Market
Located on the Hau River, in the less touristy province of An Giang. For this reason it is also a less popular market, therefore a lot more authentic.
Phong Dien Floating Market
Unlike Cai Rang Floating Market, Phong Dien Floating Market not only sells agricultural products, but also others, such as household and utensils, canoes, boats, roof plates, knives, hoes, machete and fishing equipment such as fishing nets, baskets, and all kinds of general domestic and foreign stuff.
Tra On Floating Market
The market can start very early, sometimes even at 2:00 AM. But you can arrive between 5 AM and 6 AM, because this is the busiest moment. Like other floating markets, the main goods sold here are fruit and seasonal agricultural products. The bustle of the market can depend on the tide. The higher the tide, the busier the market.
Nga Nam Floating Market
Because it is the most central market in the region, you can find most of the Mekong specialties here. You see boats full of rice, vegetables, fresh fruit from orchards, shrimp, fish, crabs, frogs and much more. You can even come across boats with household items and electronics. The market starts around 3:00 AM and reaches its peak around 5:00 AM. If you want to visit the market, you have to spend the night in the neighbourhood.
9. Explore Da Nang Golden Bridge, the most viral place in Vietnam
Golden Bridge is located in the mountains of central Vietnam, just west of the city of Da Nang. Became a popular getaway during the French colonial occupation of Vietnam. Today it’s home to a resort and Vietnam’s most popular amusement park, Sun World Ba Na Hills. The Golden Bridge, also known as CauVang, is no less than an iconic masterpiece of Vietnam.
At the height of 1400 meters above the sea level, Golden bridge Vietnam offers unrivalled views of Da Nang city and surrounding natural landscapes. Lavenders and Chrysanthemums have also been planted on the sides of the bridge's walkway, made it even more beautiful.
Coming to Ba Na Hills, besides Golden bridge, tourists also enjoy the visit to Linh Ung Pagoda, Fantasy Park, Wax Museum, French Village area, Le Jardin D'Armour flower garden, and Cellar Debay.
You can do a trip but I suggest for a 2 day/1 night journey to enjoy the pleasant climate and complete beauty of Golden Bridge - Ba Na Hills. You can also spend your night in a luxury hotel on the top of the hill,
10. Explore Son Doong Cave
Son Doong cave is the world's largest cave, located in Quang Binh province of Vietnam. It is found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991 and was recently discovered in 2009 by British cavers. The name "Son Doong" cave means "mountain river cave", It was created 2-5 million years ago.
Son Doong cave is among the must do things among adventure lovers doing their trips to Vietnam.
The government only releases 300-500 permits yearly, so it will take time to get yours. So you need to prepare carefully and register in advance for your trekking adventures of life time in Vietnam.
The Son Doong cave tour is good from the month of February to August, which is the best time to travel Son Doong. The rest of the months are rainy, which is dangerous for the travellers.
You should spend at least 2 weeks to experience these amazing & interesting things to do in Vietnam. But if you want to explore more of Vietnam apart from the above, 3 weeks should be ideal.
Read More : Top 10 places to visit in Vietnam