10 Amazing Places to Visit in Vietnam According to Lonely Planet

    According to the renowned travel guide, Lonely Planet, Vietnam offers stunning landscapes that stretch from North to South. This presents a promising opportunity for the growth of Vietnam’s tourism industry in the near future. Lonely Planet has curated a list of 10 exceptional destinations in Vietnam, showcasing the country’s beauty and allure.

    Hanoi Launches Air Route to Vietnam’s Largest Island Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc, located in the southern part of Vietnam, offers an idyllic beach destination for travelers seeking relaxation and tranquility. Surrounded by mesmerizing jewel-blue waters and boasting pristine sandy beaches, this island paradise invites visitors to unwind and indulge in the ultimate beach experience. As the sun sets with a fiery glow, guests can savor a refreshing cocktail while taking in the breathtaking bay views.

    Despite its popularity, Phu Quoc has not lost its charm. Local tourists flock to the island for thrilling experiences at VinWonders, a vibrant theme park, and to admire the awe-inspiring vistas from the world’s longest over-sea cable car. Families often choose Phu Quoc as a favored vacation spot, drawn to its family-friendly amenities.

    For those seeking a break from the tourist scene, Phu Quoc offers dense jungles inland, allowing adventurous explorers to immerse themselves in nature’s wonders. Whether it’s lounging on the pristine beaches or venturing into the lush greenery, a visit to Phu Quoc promises a rejuvenating escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Phu Quoc is a popular island with beautiful beaches and inland jungles to explore. Photo: iStockphoto / Getty Images

    Experience the renowned fish sauce of Phu Quoc by taking a tour of a fish sauce factory to witness the fascinating process of its fermentation. To immerse yourself in the local culture, a visit to a traditional fishing village like Ham Hinh is recommended, where you can savor fresh seafood at a unique floating restaurant. Pair your meal with the locally-cultivated black pepper, a delicacy that adds another layer of flavor to the dining experience.

    Hanoi’s Public Transport Running Around the Clock

    Hanoi, Vietnam, is the perfect starting point for any traveler looking to explore the country’s rich history and natural beauty. With its convenient infrastructure, affordable accommodations, and exceptional dining options, Hanoi provides an excellent base for venturing out to other popular destinations like Halong Bay and the mountainous northwest region. Take your time to indulge in Vietnam’s diverse street food scene and immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of cozy cafes in the Old Quarter. Don’t forget to make time to visit the city’s notable landmarks and soak up the vibrant energy of this bustling metropolis.

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: TripAdvisor

    For an affordable experience of Hanoi nightlife, visit the streetside “bia hoi” (draft beer) stalls located at the lively Bia Hoi Junction along P Ta Hein, renowned for its vibrant drinking scene.

    Asian Destinations Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay Touted as Top Eco-Tourism Spots

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Find a space away from the crowds in Bai Tu Long Bay. Photo: jin chu ferrer / Getty Images

    For those seeking a quieter and more pristine experience, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay offer a captivating alternative to the bustling crowds of Halong Bay. While Halong Bay is known for its commercialized tours and crowded luxury junks, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay offer a more relaxed atmosphere and fewer cruise ships in sight. These hidden gems provide opportunities for kayaking amidst stunning outcrops, discovering the lush tropical trails of Cat Ba Island (the gateway to Lan Ha Bay), or simply unwinding on the picturesque sandy beaches of Co To Island in Bai Tu Long Bay.

    Declaration of Special Administrative-Economic Unit Status for Ho Chi Minh City

    Located in southern Vietnam, Cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is a vibrant and bustling destination. Influenced by its proximity to the Mekong Delta and neighboring Cambodia, HCMC offers a unique cultural experience. The city comes to life after dark with a wide array of street food stalls and roadside bars. Visitors can immerse themselves in the fast-paced and energetic atmosphere. Additionally, HCMC allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of its history, particularly the challenging wartime era, at sites such as the War Remnants Museum. Exploring the city’s colonial-era landmarks offers a glimpse into its French Indochina past. Take a moment to unwind at a local coffee shop, savoring a traditional drip-brewed ca phi, and reflect on Vietnam’s remarkable progress since the end of French rule.

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: Kayak

    Experience a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting Tay Ninh. Here, you will discover the awe-inspiring Cao Dai Holy See, a place that will captivate you with its unique insights into the all-encompassing Cao Dai religion.

    Explore the Beauty of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with a New Adventure Tour

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Hang En is one of the many vast caves you can visit in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Photo: James Kelley / Getty Images

    Vietnam’s largest natural attraction is Hang Son Doong cave, which holds the title for being the largest cavern in the world in terms of volume. It is a remarkable wonder that is truly awe-inspiring. The main passage of this massive cave could easily accommodate an entire block of New York City. However, visiting this magnificent cavern requires booking an expensive guided trek.

    Fortunately, in the surrounding area of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, there are numerous other caves that can be explored at a fraction of the cost. These caves offer various options for exploration, including clambering, crawling, boating, or even ziplining. Trips to caves such as Tu Lan, Phong Nha, and Paradise can be enjoyed on a shoestring budget. For those willing to spend a bit more, there is the opportunity to visit Hang En. Here, trekkers can set up tents on a subterranean beach and be mesmerized by the natural light that enters through shafts in the cave ceiling.

    Travellers Fall in Love with beautiful Hoi An, Vietnam

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: Hotels

    A stay in Hoi An offers a captivating glimpse into Vietnam’s rich historical past. Once a bustling Asian port, it attracted traders from Japan, Spain, and North America, who brought prosperity to its merchants. Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the Old Town’s enchanting atmosphere, complete with towering shophouses, tea warehouses, ornate covered bridges, and intricate Chinese guildhalls. The city also boasts vibrant Confucian and Buddhist pagodas, adding to its cultural allure. Beyond its fascinating history, Hoi An entices travelers with culinary experiences like learning to create traditional white rose dumplings and summer rolls through chef-led cooking classes. Additionally, the city is renowned for its affordable custom-made suits and gowns, allowing visitors to indulge in impeccable tailoring.

    Climate Change Causes Heatwave at Central Beaches

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: Hotels

    Vietnam’s central coastline is home to a variety of beach destinations, each offering a unique atmosphere. While popular tourist destinations like Danang and Nha Trang are known for their high-rise hotels and bustling activity, there are quieter beaches along the coast that still retain Vietnam’s old seaside charm.
    Mui Ne, located south of Nha Trang, is a vibrant kitesurfing hub nestled among a series of sandy coves. On the other hand, Doc Let Beach to the north offers 18km of pristine sand, great waves for surfing, and fresh seafood.
    For a more peaceful beach experience, consider exploring the coast between Hue and Danang. The gateway to this serene stretch of coastline is Thuan An, which leads to a collection of tranquil sandy beaches bordered by a lagoon-backed barrier island.

    Residents of Hue to Vote on Proposal to Change City Name

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: Local Vietnam

    Hue, the former capital of the Nguyen dynasty, holds a significant place in Vietnamese history. Despite suffering damage during the American War, the city still exudes the grandeur and imperial legacy of dynastic Vietnam. The Citadel and Imperial Enclosure, home to the emperor’s residence, temples, palaces, and court, stand as a testament to this rich history. In the past, unauthorized entry into these grounds carried the penalty of instant death. Just outside the city, the tombs of Vietnam’s greatest emperors peacefully rest in lush green compounds along the Perfume River. Additionally, Hue’s imperial cuisine is considered by many to be the finest in the country. Indulge in a bowl of spicy “bun bo Hue” or savor a crispy “banh khoai” pancake, and you will understand why.

    Preserving Biodiversity at Ba Be National Park

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Keep an eye out for wildlife as you explore Ba Be National Park. Photo: Ingram Publishing / Getty

    Vietnam boasts over 30 national parks, spanning from coastal swamps to mountain jungles. However, many of these parks are popular tourist destinations, making it challenging for visitors to observe wildlife. Fortunately, Ba Be National Park offers a different experience. Its well-maintained trails wind through limestone peaks and lead to traditional Hmong, Tay, and Dzao villages. The park’s serene lakes, surrounded by forested ridges, provide a picturesque setting reminiscent of medieval woodcuts. In Ba Be National Park, one can truly immerse themselves in nature and encounter a variety of animals, including macaques, langur monkeys, rare black bears, scaly pangolins, and the magnificent crested serpent eagle.

    Ha Giang Takes Action to Overcome Effects of Covid-19

    Lonely Planet: Top 10 Best Destinations To Visit In Vietnam
    Photo: Vietnam Tourism

    Trekking to the minority villages in the hills around Sapa has long been a popular activity in Vietnam. However, the once-charming trekking capital has become increasingly commercialized over the years. To truly experience the rural beauty that first captivated visitors to this region, one must venture further afield.

    Enter Ha Giang province – Vietnam’s new frontier for trekking enthusiasts. With its pristine scenery and lack of crowds, this remote province offers an untamed and authentic experience. By staying in traditional village homestays, trekkers can immerse themselves in the local culture while exploring the hidden gems of minority villages and picturesque rice terraces nestled amidst towering limestone peaks. For those seeking adventure, the option to traverse some of Vietnam’s most breathtaking passes by motorbike or bicycle is also available.

    Don’t forget your camera on the scenic mountain road that winds its way from Ha Giang town to Dong Van and Meo Vac. This winding route offers countless opportunities to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape.

    Charlotte Pho

    Latest articles

    Related articles