Vietnam is known for its rich culture and heritage, as well as its gorgeous natural scenery. The country’s diverse landscape consists of scenic rice fields, stunning white sand beaches, and lush jungles. Visiting the country’s most beautiful towns is the best way to experience the best that Vietnam has to offer.
While most travelers would head to the big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, there’s definitely so much more to Vietnam than these. Below is a list of five of the most beautiful towns in Vietnam that are truly worth your time.
1. Da Lat
Also known as “Le Petit Paris”, the beautiful town of Da Lat is located in the Central Highlands, a region that enjoys cool weather all year round. Set at an elevation of 1,500 meters, the mountainous town of Da Lat used to be a favorite summer destination of the French colonials to escape from the country’s summer heat. Thus, European and French influences are clearly visible in town, especially in the central area, which is lined with French-inspired buildings.
Aside from the beautiful colonial buildings, Da Lat is also home to scenic waterfalls and lush forests, making it a great destination for tourists who love outdoor adventures. Located 300 km north of Ho Chi Minh, the best way to reach Da Lat is to take a train or bus from Ho Chi Minh.
2. Hoi An
The charming town of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations. Hoi An’s romantic vibe, intriguing history, and beautiful colonial architectures have lured travelers of all kinds. The town used to be a major port during the 16th and 18th centuries. Nowadays, the charming streets of Hoi An are dotted with museums, pagodas, and colonial buildings with a combination of European, Japanese, and Chinese influences.
The best way to discover Hoi An’s real charm is by simply walking along its lantern-lit streets where you’ll come across well-preserved colonial shop houses decorated with colorful Chinese lanterns. Hoi An is romantic by night and charming by the day. The best time to visit is during the Full Moon Lantern festival where the vibe of the town transforms into a truly magical atmosphere.
3. Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a fishing village located in the Southeast region of the country. It’s known for its pristine white beaches, making it a great weekend destination for locals living in the nearby city of Ho Chi Minh. Although Mui Ne is now a popular tourist destination, it has managed to maintain its relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Aside from swimming at its gorgeous beach, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Mui Ne. You can check out the shops and restaurants that line the beach, or perhaps, take part in some water sports activities such as kite surfing and windsurfing.
Mui Ne is also known for its gorgeous red sand dunes. So after spending some time at the beach, you can explore the surrounding sand dunes and enjoy the fascinating scenery, especially during sunset. You can also go sandboarding, which is a popular activity in the town.
4. Nha Trang
Nha Trang is a popular seaside town home to the country’s premier beach resorts. It has the most beautiful bay in the world that consists of almost 7 km long crescent-shaped beaches. Aside from the gorgeous beaches, Nha Trang also offers scenic gardens, beautiful promenades, and interesting parks. Among the most popular attractions in Nha Trang is the Cham Towers of Po Nagar, an ancient old sanctuary built around the 7th to 12th century.
Nha Trang is a historic place and a popular diving destination in Vietnam. Thus, there are plenty of tour companies that offer day trips to Nha Trang, which includes a visit to the more than 20 islands along the coast of the town. Here, you can go snorkeling, hiking, or simply soak up the beautiful surroundings.
Sapa is another popular town in Vietnam known for its gorgeous scenery. Set in the western edge of a high plateau, Sapa is known for its magnificent rice terraces and lush green mountains. Most tourists would come here to trek the famous Hoang Lien Son Mountains. It’s also a great place to visit if you want to explore the rice paddies and discover the local ethnic villages.
The deep valleys of Sapa are home to a mix of ethnic minorities, such as the H’Mong, Dzay, and Red Dzao. Its terraced hills offer a magnificent view of the rice fields and overlooked by Mount Fansipan, known as the “Roof of Indochina”. Despite the increasing number of tourists that come to Sapa, it has not altered the town’s laid-back atmosphere. It’s still a great place to visit if you want to escape the busy streets of Hanoi.