Many people think Vietnam is small. Just be careful as you may be caught off-guard. On their first visit to this amazing country, most tourists get surprised by what this country has to offer. In fact, everybody surely finds something of interest in Vietnam. Those who like to be surrounded by nature will be amazed by its mountains, beaches, and tropical forests, and also the desert.
On the other hand, if culture and history are your interest, you’ll find the pagodas and ruins spread over the country spellbinding! Perhaps, you are charmed by people having a simple lifestyle? If that be the case, you’ll surely love the lifestyle of the Vietnamese, be they farmers or tribes living in the hills, or the fishermen that generally live in the southern and middle areas of this country.
Let’s see some of the most interesting places to visit while in Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
Close to the Chinese border in its north, Vietnam has Ho Long Bay, a natural wonder of this world, which was awarded the distinction UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Spread over more than 1500 square Km, containing over 1500 limestone islands, it creates a dreamlike atmosphere for its visitors.
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Hanoi
During 2010, its millennial anniversary, Vietnam was credited with another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the large central part of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, at Hanoi. For thirteen successive centuries, this site continued to be that country’s political capital and served as its capital for 8 centuries.
Hoi An Ancient Town Hoi An
This fascinating seaside town was among the most significant trading ports that connected Asia to Europe all through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Though not an active trading center now, it has restored and preserved its old charm.
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum Hanoi
People addressed this political leader as ‘Uncle Ho’, and they have preserved Ho Chi Minh’s body in a glass container (contrary to his wishes though) at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi. It is designed on the lines of Lenin’s tomb in Russia.
Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City
Basically, these tunnels make a massive war museum, allowing visitors to get an idea of the kind of life that soldiers lived during the Viet Cong time. The work on these tunnels started during 1948, the year the Viet Cong started their fight against the French, and continued till the length of tunnels went beyond 120 km.
My Son Sanctuary Hoi An
This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, sited in the South of Vietnam. It is an excellent specimen of the prehistoric Champa civilization. Under the control of Vietnam, from the second to the seventeenth century, it remained an independent state.
Complex of Hue Monuments Hue
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Complex of Hue Monuments is contained in Hue City, central Vietnam. Gia Long, the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty, founded Hue as Vietnam’ capital in 1802, and it retained that status for 9 Nguyen dynasties, till 1945.
This incredible cave system is said to be the largest dry cave in the world and has only been open since 2011. The cave extends for more than 31km, although only the first 1,000m is accessible to the public. Wooden staircases take you down 500 steps past gigantic glittering crystal stalactites and stalagmites into a vast open space that needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Cat Tien National Park
This 72,000-hectare landscape of tropical lowland rain-forest is one of the country’s most precious national treasures. You can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and tours through the National Park and it’s one of the best bird-watching and wildlife-watching spots in Southern Vietnam. Visits to this national park are extremely popular, therefore advance booking is advised.
War Remnants Museum
A trip to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without at least glimpsing this country’s wartime history. There are displays of artillery, weaponry, bombs and personal accounts of war experiences. It is not for the fainthearted though; the museum does display a large amount of sensitive material including photographs documenting the UD bombing and napalming.
There are wonderful caves and grottoes that are also worth visiting. Travel agents have a list of famous natural resorts that have temperate climates. The Dalat City tourist resort has pine forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and beautiful flowers. National parks have great collections of precious flora and fauna.
You can visit Cuc Phuong, Cat Ba, and Con Dao. Famous bird sanctuaries are the Minh Hai Sanctuary and the Tam Nong Sanctuary.
Fun, energetic, and beautiful, Vietnam is a must-visit destination in Southeast Asia. With world-class cuisine, a truly breathtaking coastline, and stunning National Parks, holidays to Vietnam have it all.