Vietnam is claiming its deserved position as a top destination in Southeast Asia. Thanks to such diversity in culture and nature, Vietnam has everything it possesses to please all kinds of travelers. In this article, we compile a list of 20 top-rated attractions in Vietnam. It comprises of variable sites relating to nature, history, culture, and leisure.
1. Hanoi Old Quarter
The Hanoi Old Quarter in Vietnam’s capital leads the chart of the top-rated attractions in Vietnam on TripAdvisor. This is the city’s business hub and the liveliest tourist attraction. This small part of town is always filled with vehicles roaming around the narrow streets. You can also see the vendors chaining along the streets and people going out for a stroll. The traffic seems insane but the authentic style of Hanoi is always presentable. Sampling the street cuisine in Hanoi Old Quarter and visiting the famous landmarks are unmissable!
2. Bai Tu Long Bay
Covering three quarters of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long is a must-see seascape in Northern Vietnam. It’s home to plenty of top-of-the-world islands. The travelers consider Bai Tu Long as a lesser-known gem compared to the iconic Halong Bay. It offers numerous unique experiences apart from the pristine natural landscape.
Though attracting a great number of tourists every year, Bai Tu Long still remains as a deserted destination. The initial beauty of the bay has been perfectly preserved for tourists including a wide diversity of attractions. Some of the must-see sites in Bai Tu Long are Thien Canh Son cave, Cong Do area, Tra Gioi beach, Vung Vieng fishing village, Da Xep Park, and Cong Dam area. Other than that, this natural bay is home to a rich biological diversity. It’s truly a destination with a wide range of flora and fauna species.
3. Dong Van Geopark – Ha Giang
Another incredible sight in Northern Vietnam according to globetrotters is Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. Dong Van is the most sought-after site in Ha Giang and it’s on the list of UNESCO Geopark Network. Dong Van houses a vast area of limestone occupying all four districts of Ha Giang: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, and Meo Vac. The site is from 1200 to 1600 meters above sea level and owns massive geographical characteristics.
Visitors will be amazed at the sheer mountain cliffs covering 2356 square kilometers. Thanks to such mesmerizing features, Dong Van becomes a unique limestone terrain in Vietnam. Other than just an eye-pleasing charm, Dong Van is also an incredible collection of the prominent imprints. They reveal the development of the earth’s crust that you can barely see elsewhere.
4. Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh
The bear sanctuary in Ninh Binh is the brainchild of four Paws Viet, a wildlife welfare organization. Located in Ninh Binh, a Northeastern province of the Red River Delta, this sanctuary is a meaningful preserve to protect bears from bile farming. This bear sanctuary is where 10 Asiatic black bears reside.
The visitors can find great joy in learning about the life of bears as well as observe the rescues subjects in the semi-wild enclosures. One of the most valuable features travelers obtain after a trip there is deep knowledge about bear bile farming. A veterinary clinic is also available within the sanctuary beside two bear houses and a quarantine station.
5. Trang An – Ninh Binh
The one and only Trang An has made its way into the list of UNESCO protected world heritage. It preserves the great values of culture and nature. People have referred to Trang An as the Halong Bay on land with similar geological features. The serenity and unique ambiance have made Trang An one of the top-rated attractions in Vietnam.
A day trip to Trang An allows you to admire the towering limestone mountains nestling in between the golden rice fields. With just a tranquil boat trip around the complex of Trang An nature will provide an insightful knowledge of how special mother nature is. Don’t hesitate to escape to this beautiful quiet gem as a getaway from the hustle of Hanoi!
6. Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay is at the Southeast tip of Cat Ba National Park. Formed by 300 karst islands, Lan Ha owns a deserted appearance in an isolated location. With the scattering white sandy beaches, Lan Ha is home to plenty of interesting water sports and seaside activities. Kayaking and sailing are widely available in this very area.
Geology has seen the extension of Halong Bay that turned into the bay of Lan Ha. However, Lan Ha belongs to a different province in terms of administration, Hai Phong province. This bay is home to a wide diversity of biology. People have recorded thousands of species of fish, mollusk, arthropod, and soft corals as well as a great collection of dolphins and other marine animals.
Now travelers can discover both Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay on an interesting 2 or 3 day trip on cruise.
7. Muong Hoa Valley In Sapa
Enclosed by the range of majestic mountains, Muong Hoa is an 8-kilometer-large valley at 1000 meters above sea level. Beholding six different ethnic villages, Muong Hoa obtains a charming beauty of the untouched wilderness. In addition, the diverse culture of the ethnic minority arouses the curiosity of tourists. The valley puts on the best look when winter comes. Meanwhile, the arrival of summer and autumn brings along the breathtaking pictures of the high clear sky and lush rice terraces.
Nowadays, the valley is one of the must-visit places when you have the idea of trekking in Sapa. With just a few hours laying back in the valley, you will have a chance to admire the peaceful villages and find your inner peace. Don’t forget to enjoy the incredible bird’s eyes view from the peak of the mountain!
8. Ba Be Lake
Along with Ba Be National Park, Ba Be Lake is an absolutely stunning and serene gem of Northeast Vietnam. The large lake of Ba Be is rimmed by the vast karst mountains and lush jungles. The best experience to do at Ba Be is to sail around the lake on a wooden boat. Kayaking and exploring the mystic caves in the national park are also the best outdoor activities.
For the adventurous souls, make sure to embark on a trekking trip in Ba Be National Park and explore the ethnic minority tribes residing around the lake!
9. Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc waterfall is located in the heart of Cao Bang Geopark and known as Vietnam’s proudest and most magnificent waterfall. The fall is 30 meters high and 300 meters wide. Belonging to the remote Northeastern region, Ban Gioc marks the border between Vietnam and China. This enormous natural site sits on the stream of Quay Son River and is recorded as Vietnam’s widest waterfall. People also know about the fall as the fourth biggest border waterfall in the world.
Thanks to such a mesmerizing location, the waterfall beholds breathtaking jade-blue waters. This body of water takes root in the far-away land of China and crosses through the infinite rice fields and bamboo groves. If you have a drone, it is most ideal to capture the stunning vista of Ban Gioc from above. But because of the border restriction, you should research how to fly a drone there in a safe way.
10. Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Located in Thanh Hoa, the Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a prosperous valley where the Thai ethnic minority have resided. Visiting Pu Luong not only allows you to explore the diverse biology of Northwestern Vietnam but also gives you a chance to slow down and relax. Pu Luong houses the gigantic ranges of mountains, fertile valleys, and lush jungle. Despite such attractive value of biodiversity and ethnic tradition, Pu Luong is still a newly emerging attraction in Vietnam that not every tourist knows about.
11. Mu Cang Chai Rice Terraces
Mu Cang Chai is situated in Yen Bai province. This beloved attraction in Vietnam Northwest gains fame for the breathtaking heritage rice terraces. Visiting the golden rice fields in Mu Cang Chai will bring you the coolest experience once in a lifetime.
The best time to visit Mu Cang Chai is from the end of September to early October when the harvest season comes. Travelers can easily make a 3 to 4-day trip to Mu Cang Chai from Hanoi. Rather than just a sightseeing trip, remember to join a trekking to the remote hill tribes and spend nights at a homestay to learn about the local custom of the farmers in town!
12. Son Doong Cave
The largest cave on Earth is located in Vietnam under the name “Son Doong”. It has been existing for approximately three million years. Son Doong Cave is so gigantic and special that it has its own weather, forest, mountain, and river like another inner world.
The cave was completely hidden from the eyes of the world for so many years that its discovery took the globe by storm. This has been an attractive place that appeals to a great number of campers every year. However, the cave is ethereal and available tours are only applied to a limited number of visitors in a year.
13. Hoian Ancient Town
Once a vibrant trading port of Central Vietnam, Hoian is now an unskippable destination. It is highly recommended by globetrotters thanks to the oriental charm and romantic vibe. The old quarter is home to the ancient Chinese-styled houses and pagodas. With the dazzling Thu Bon River crossing through the city, Hoian has its own river-side beauty that you cannot find elsewhere. Make sure to try the best Banh Mi on Earth in this wonderland!
This Vietnam’s former capital beholds a rich collection of historical events. Hue features the central piece with the Citadel and Imperial City. Even though a majority of the buildings were destroyed during the Vietnam War, it still remains as an everlasting icon of the Nguyen Dynasty in 17th century. Other than the royal tombs and pagodas, Hue is also a heaven for exotic cuisine, beautiful beaches and lush garden houses.
15. Da Lat
Discovered and nurtured by the French colonists, Dalat is now the heaven of love that any couple wants to visit at least once. Dalat is the biggest icon in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. This is a greenish hilly land that fits any kind of tourist. It owns the charm of nature with plenty of flora species, and the hidden gems of adventurous spots. This “city of flowers” or “the little Paris” will not disappoint if you choose it as your upcoming trip.
16. Pongour Waterfall
The most gigantic waterfall in Dalat belongs to Pongour. This is also one of the most talked-about natural falls in Vietnam. The entire fall is formed by the wide gravel pathways and layers. Meanwhile, the surrounding lush forest makes the fall even more massive and mysterious. It is such a gift from Mother Nature dedicated to all kinds of travelers. No matter who you are, a photographer, or an adventure, Pongour is where you must visit in Dalat.
17. Mui Ne Sand Dunes
The coastal city of Mui Ne is home to the iconic silky sand dunes. They become the magnificent natural wonders that deliver a massive and Saharan-like appearance.
The best activity to try at the sand dunes is sand gliding. You can rent a plastic sled and start sliding down the sandhill. The other interesting activities worth trying are kite flying, watching the sunset, and riding a jeep or ATV to explore the site.
18. Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are the famous underground cave system on the outskirts of Saigon. It was created by the Viet Cong guerrillas during the US army’s strategic attack to the capital of South Vietnam. The tunnel hides inside a vast number of functional rooms such as a hospital, a kitchen, a command center, houses, and more.
19. Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is at the Southern tip of the country. It was formed by an immense network of rivers and canals sneaking through the lush plantation. Known as the granary of the country, the Mekong Delta is such a peaceful scene of endless rice fields that people would picture about Vietnam. With the friendliest people and authentic delta cuisine, the Mekong Delta is worth a high ranking on your list of must-see Vietnam destinations.
20. Phu Quoc Island
Facing the vast Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest island group in Vietnam. It’s home to the pristine beachside and untouched seascape. The undamaged coral reefs under the sea are just mind-blowing waiting for you to explore. The Long Beach is the most famous seaside all over Phu Quoc. ABC News has named it as one of the best beaches worldwide. Snorkeling, visiting the Phu Quoc Prison, getting lost in the pepper plantation, and enjoying seafood will bring you the coolest vacation on this island.
This ultimate compilation just reveals 20 top-rated attractions in Vietnam by globetrotters. It’s time to bookmark our article and share it to your friends to plan your next trip to Vietnam!