20 best things to do in Vietnam

From the best coffee to the most awe-inspiring views, these are the 20 best things to do in Vietnam.
1. Cruise in Halong Bay

Set off on a traditional junk cruise ship for a few days around this UNESCO World Heritage Site with hundreds of secluded islands and swimming spots.

Cruise in Halong Bay
2. Underwater life in Phu Quoc

Visit Vietnam’s most popular island to go snorkelling or scuba diving, and discover well-preserved coral reefs and colourful underwater life.

Underwater life in Phu Quoc
3. Dong Xuan Market

Hanoi’s largest indoor market is a melting pot of all walks of life, with locals and visitors alike perusing a multitude of stalls.

Dong Xuan Market
4. Cu Chi Tunnels

This 120km network of tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City were used during the Vietnam War – pay a visit to learn a little about history from a subterranean perspective.

Cu Chi Tunnels
5. Trek the world’s largest cave

Take a trek to the world’s largest cave – Son Doong Cave – and get to know this 5km geographical phenomenon that has its own river and jungle.

Trek the world’s largest cave
6. Bai Dinh Pagoda

Vietnam’s largest pagoda is in Ninh Binh Province and covers an area of 700 hectares. It’s a great way to gain an insight into the religious aspect of the country.

Bai Dinh Pagoda
7. Zipline in a national park

Visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park near Ho Chi Minh City and take a 400m zipline trip over the Chay River or to visit the Dark Cave, where it’s also possible to have a mud bath.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
8. Cyclo ride

Visit any city in Vietnam and be sure to hail a cyclo to get you from A to B. It’s a truly Vietnamese way to experience a new place.

Cyclo ride Vietnam
9. Ben Thanh Street Food Market

Visit the most popular street food market in Ho Chi Minh City for a range of local delicacies and a vibrant atmosphere.

Ben Thanh Street Food Market
10. Hoi An architecture

One of Vietnam’s smaller cities, Hoi An is quieter and more manageable to explore on foot than others. Take yourself on a self-guided walking tour around the city to soak up the internationally-influenced architecture.

Hoi An architecture
11. Trek in the north

Don’t leave Vietnam without getting a little off-the-beaten-track and meeting some traditional ethnic tribes. There are plenty of hikes to ethnic villages available from Sapa.

Trek in the north
12. Dragon Bridge

One true spectacle in the coastal city of Da Nang is the Dragon Bridge. Shaped like a dragon and lit up at night, the dragon’s mouth also spits fire!

Dragon Bridge Da Nang
13. Coffee culture

Wherever you are in Vietnam, be sure to experience the coffee culture the country has become known for. In particular, try the traditional coffee served with condensed milk.

Coffee culture
14. Hai Van Pass

Enjoy some of the most raved-about views in the whole of the country by visiting this mountain road along the coastline. Many people decide to do this by motorcycle to get the most out of the experience.

Hai Van Pass
15. Overnight train

Immerse yourself in a proper Vietnamese experience and maximise your time in the country by taking an overnight train between destinations. The route between Hanoi and Da Nang is especially popular.

Overnight train
16. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Water puppetry is a traditional Vietnamese art form and a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam. This puppet theatre in Hanoi is one of the most famous.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
17. Buy some silk

Vietnam is well-known for its silk production, so don’t leave the country without buying some. The Hoi An Silk Village or Silk Street in Hanoi are good places to shop.

Hoi An Silk Village
18. War Remnants Museum

You can’t visit Vietnam and ignore its relatively recent tragic history, so pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City to learn more.

War Remnants Museum
19. Ban Gioc Waterfall

When in the far north of the country, pay a visit to Vietnam’s most famous waterfall, which sits on the border with China.

Ban Gioc Waterfall
20. Cai Rang Floating Market

Visit the Mekong Delta in the far south of Vietnam to experience life in the country’s region most famous for food production. This floating market epitomises the way of life here.

Cai Rang Floating Market

Make the most of your time in the country by enjoying these 20 best things to do in Vietnam.

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