With its beautiful beaches, cool culture, and delicious food, Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations for young backpackers these days. There’s no doubt that it’s a great country to travel to especially if you’re on a budget.
With that said, let’s take a look at the 7 places you need to visit in Vietnam.
Halong Bay is one of the top destinations in Vietnam. Every year thousands of tourists flock to see the famous limestone karsts jutting out of the emerald bay. It is said that a trip to Vietnam is incomplete without going on a river cruise at Halong Bay. This stunning bay is home to hundreds of limestone karst formations that jut out of the emerald sea. You can also explore the caves that can be found all around the bay. The most famous of which is the Sung Sot or Surprise Cave with its stunning stalagmites and stalactites. There are also plenty of outdoor activities you can take part in like snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
Phu Quoc is a tropical paradise off the coast of Vietnam. The stunning beaches, delicious food, unspoiled nature, and laid-back culture of this island attract tourists from all over the world. You can soak up the sun on one of its multiple sandy beaches home to crystal clear blue waters and teeming with coral reefs. Phu Quoc is a haven for water sports lovers. You can go scuba diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, kayaking, and jet skiing while surrounded by stunning beaches. The island is also easily accessible. It takes just 2 hours to reach by air from Vietnam’s major cities Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi as well as other South Asian countries like Thailand from where you can apply for a visa as well. Also, unlike the mainland, visitors to Phu Quoc do not need a visa for a maximum of 30 days.
Sapa Valley is probably one of the most famous places in all of Vietnam, yet little is known of its name. This region is what most people picture when they think of Vietnam. The stunning emerald green rice fields are set against a lush green mountain backdrop. But, the region is not just famous for its rice fields, another striking feature of Sapa are its mountains which are open to hikers year-round which include the tallest mountain in Vietnam, Mt. Fansipan. Another place in Sapa which has recently boomed is the Tram Ton Pass, the highest pass in Vietnam. This pass is known for the sweeping views it provides of the valley below. One unique aspect of Sapa Valley is that it is home to the largest collection of ethnic minorities in Vietnam like the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Red Dao, Giay, and more.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, in one word, can only be described as an “experience”. The bright neon lights, the sounds of motorbikes, cars, and hawkers at every corner can be overwhelming. It can be hard to fall in love with such an energetic city. But once you go down the rabbit hole, there is no coming out. Its narrow streets, which are best explored on a motorcycle, will lead you to beautiful colonial architecture and buildings like the Reunification Palace, the Opera house, and the War Remnants Museum. You can also explore the Ben Thanh Market, one of Vietnam’s largest and most famous markets, to get a feel of the everyday life of the people living here.
The capital of Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Mostly thanks to its historic Old Quarter which boasts some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is another popular place. Within the mausoleum lies the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary and founding father of modern Vietnam. Vietnamese from all over the country come here to pay their respects to him. Another place that is popular among tourists and locals alike is the serene Hoan Kiem Lake located in the middle of the city. If you want to get the best views of the city, you can head to the observation deck located on the 65th floor of Lotte Tower.
The charming and picturesque Hoi An is one of the best places in Vietnam. The entire town makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time with its well-preserved architecture. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, it is arguably the most photogenic town in all of Vietnam. The town is home to dozens of well-preserved French and Chinese-influenced architecture that dates back hundreds of years to the time when it was a thriving merchant town. The town is small and easily walkable with dozens of cute cafes, bars, and eateries all around. The city also offers watersport activities along the Thu Bon river.
The Mekong Delta is one of the most fascinating places in all of Vietnam. Located in the far southern reaches of Vietnam, the delta is home to canals, mangrove forests, floating markets, and diverse ethnic communities. Known as the ‘Rice bowl of Vietnam’ for its fertile rice fields, the delta is a hidden paradise on earth. Get on a traditional boat and ride along the canals for an authentic Mekong Delta experience. Meet and interact with thriving communities that have lived along the delta for generations. Try out the delicious cuisine unique to the region and shop at one of the many floating markets.
Before you hop on a plane to Vietnam, there are a few things you should know about visiting Vietnam. Especially with regards to its visa. You’ll need to apply for a visa in advance. You can apply for a visa through an embassy or consulate of Vietnam in your home country, but it’s much easier and faster to use an online service like BDATrip which is already pre-approved by the government. The application process only takes a few minutes, and you can get approved within 48 hours.