Discover 2022’s Most Remarkable Vietnamese Historical Sites: Booking.com’s Top Picks

Stepping foot to these sites is in the bucket list of all history lover.

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The travel site Booking.com has compiled a list of the top 5 historical destinations in Vietnam, based on real reviews from Vietnamese tourists. If you’re planning your next adventure in Vietnam, take a look at these recommendations.

1. Hue Ancient Capital

Photo: The Culture Trip
Photo: The Culture Trip

Hue was once the cradle of many Vietnamese cultural traditions. It is a recognized World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and it is home to valuable historical treasures such as mausoleums, the imperial citadel, and elaborate temples and pagodas.

Some recommended destinations in Hue include the Citadel, unique Emperor tombs like Khai Dinh Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, and Minh Mang Tomb. These sites are not only symbolic relics of the Nguyen Dynasty but also hold significant architectural value.

Hue also offers many religious sites for those seeking peace of mind, such as the Temple of Princess Huyen Tran, Thien Mu Pagoda, Tiger Street, and Elephant Re Temple.

Visitors to Hue can enjoy unique experiences like taking a boat trip on the Perfume River, visiting the Hue Royal Theater, participating in the Hue Festival, and indulging in a Hue royal banquet. Spa and resort facilities are also one of the top criteria for Vietnamese tourists when choosing a place to stay in Hue.

2. Hanoi City

Hoan Kiem Lake. Photo: tapchitaichinh.vn
Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi City. Photo: tapchitaichinh.vn

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a perfect blend of ancient beauty and modern development. It is home to numerous historical landmarks such as the Temple of Literature – Quoc Tu Giam, Hoa Lo Prison, President Ho’s Mausoleum, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and many pagodas and temples scattered throughout the city.

Just a two-hour drive north of Hanoi, you can visit Phu Tho province, where the Hung Temple Festival takes place. It’s the perfect distance for a short one- or two-day trip outside the capital.

Hanoi also offers the iconic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, which boasts a rich history dating back to the twentieth century. Guests can experience the luxury of a bygone era with the hotel’s old French architecture and world-class service.

3. Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest and busiest city in Vietnam, offering endless opportunities for exploration and entertainment.

Foreign tourists in front of the Central Post Office in downtown HCMC, February 2020. Photo: VnExpress
Foreign tourists in front of the Central Post Office in downtown HCMC, February 2020. Photo: VnExpress

Ho Chi Minh City is a fascinating mix of history and modernity. It boasts impressive historical sites such as the Reunification Palace, which takes you back to 1960s Saigon, and the Remnants Museum War, which documents the sufferings of the past. The city is also home to architectural heritage from the French colonial period, including the Notre Dame Cathedral.

4. Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An ancient town is a beloved heritage destination known for its historical significance as a former seaport.

Tourists take cyclo rides in Hoi An ancient town, 2019. Photo: VnExpress
Tourists take cyclo rides in Hoi An ancient town, 2019. Photo: VnExpress

Hoi An was once an important trading port in the 15th and 16th centuries. It offers more than a thousand ancient wooden houses, traditional temples, ancient clan houses, and centuries-old shops that transport you back to the golden age of the past.

The best way to experience Hoi An’s heritage sites is by walking around the town, stopping occasionally at shops and handicraft villages to soak in the tranquility of the place. Don’t forget to visit the My Son temple ruins to discover one of Vietnam’s ancient Cham relics with significant historical value.

5. Con Dao Island

Best Vietnamese Historical Sites to Explore 2022: Booking.com
Photo: Con Dao

Con Dao is a unique destination where pristine green mountains merge with crystal clear waters, but the natural beauty is tinged with a painful history.

Once a political prison until 1975, Con Dao attracts Vietnamese tourists who want to pay their respects to patriotic prisoners and revolutionaries, such as martyr Vo Thi Sau. The island is home to the Con Dao Museum and prisons, where visitors can witness the remnants of an important period in Vietnamese history and learn the stories of brave and selfless prisoners.

With its remote location, limited commercialization, rich historical values, and untouched natural beauty, Con Dao is a must-visit destination for history lovers.

Data from Booking.com is based on recommendations from Vietnamese tourists regarding historical sites. The study surveyed people who plan to travel for business or pleasure within the next 24 months. A total of 24,055 responses across 31 countries and territories, including Vietnam, were collected. The online survey was completed in August 2021.

Zoey Nguyễn