Vietnam is a beautiful country with a diverse culture and incredible natural highlights. At over 1000 miles long, the Southeast Asian country is known for its history, traditions and varying landscape. From the mountainous landscapes in Sapa in the north to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh in the south, Vietnam is a vast country that’s full of surprises.
Whether your heading to one destination or plan on travelling throughout the country, you’ll have the opportunity to experience Vietnam fully. Vietnamese food tastes great, be sure to try out popular Vietnamese dishes Pho and Banh Mi. With so many places to choose from, here are five great destinations to visit in Vietnam, listed in order from the South to the North.
1. Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh formerly known as Saigon is a buzzing and crazy economic hub. The largest city in Vietnam, the streets are packed with cars and motorbikes and the sidewalks are packed with restaurants and cafes. The popular destination is a must-visit for anyone in Vietnam, the charming French colonial architecture combined with vast green parks and friendly locals really capture the heart of any traveller.
2. Hoi An
The most atmospheric city in all of Vietnam, Hoi An really takes your breath away. Filled with historic architecture and traditions, much of the small town has been pedestrianised which is very refreshing. If you’re looking to relax and recharge, Hoi An is the place for you. During the 15th-19th century, the central Vietnamese coast was a vital trading port and is a very popular stop for backpackers and travellers. Be sure to visit on the 14th day of the lunar month, the town is lit up with the signature lanterns Hoi An is so well known for.
3. Da Lat
If you’re looking for some natural beauty, the waterfalls surrounding Da Lat are a sight to behold. Another popular reason to head to Da Lat is the climate, if you’re looking to escape the tropical heat of Vietnam, Da Lat is more spring-like featuring charming French-colonial villas. Due to the weather, Da Lat is very well known for its adventure sports such as canyoning, mountain-biking and hiking. If you’re looking for a little adventure but don’t want to overheat then this is the place for you.
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is brimming with historic architecture and rich culture. Despite being chock full of motorbike riders and people, Hanoi allows you to dive head first into Vietnamese city life. Whether you’re a history buff or prefer to hit the restaurants and bars, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Hanoi. Both charming and confusing, the city in the north is an entirely different experience to other Vietnamese cities. Filled with street vendors and shops, this is definitely the place to buy your souvenirs and trinkets.
Last but not least, the market town of Sapa offers stunning views, traditions and culture unlike any other. Sapa is the perfect oasis for a mountain getaway, whether you feel brave enough to attempt a mountain trek or prefer a rice-paddy tour, there’s plenty to do. The rice field countryside in Sapa makes for a picturesque view and there’s plenty of hiking options including visiting local ethnic minorities. Known as the top trekking destination in Vietnam, the town borders the Hoang Lien Mountains. Sapa is a bustling, popular spot with great views, markets and food.
Vietnam is such a vast and wonderful country, it’s difficult to narrow down the best places to visit. Hopefully, these top five destinations help gives you an idea of where to start and see what Vietnam has to offer.
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