9 Must-See Locations in Vietnam

Canada's Travel website has put together a list of the top 9 most stunning natural attractions to visit in Vietnam.

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Vietnam is a captivating destination for travelers looking to explore Southeast Asia. With breathtaking landscapes ranging from jagged mountain peaks to lush green paddy fields, and a multitude of ethnic minorities with a long and diverse history, it’s no wonder that this stunning country is one of the most popular destinations in the region. From indulging in the delicious local cuisine to discovering the many cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone in Vietnam. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure or a relaxing beach getaway, there’s something to suit all tastes. So why not start planning your next trip and discover the beauty and culture that Vietnam has to offer?

Top 9 Must-visit Destinations In Vietnam

My Son Sanctuary

Photo: Local Vietnam
Photo: Local Vietnam

Located in a lush, rainforest-like setting, the magnificent complex of the My Son Sanctuary is an absolute must-see when visiting Hoi An in Vietnam. This captivating archaeological site will transport you from the bustling city life of Vietnam to an ancient, Jurassic park-like atmosphere full of history and culture.

The complex includes seventy temples, spread out over an area of 4km². The main tower, the Sanctuary, is surrounded by walls and is the largest structure in the complex. The architecture of the complex is a combination of Hindu and Cham styles. The walls of the temples are decorated with intricate carvings and bas-reliefs of gods and goddesses.
My Son is a complex of Hindu temples that served as the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom between the 4th and 14th centuries AD. Built by King Bhadravarman, the temples are renowned for their fired brick, sandstone bas-reliefs, and stone pillars. The complex is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and it covers an area of 4km² with seventy temples. The main tower of the Sanctuary is the largest structure within the complex, and its walls are adorned with intricate carvings and bas-reliefs of Hindu and Cham gods and goddesses. My Son is considered one of the most important Cham sites in South East Asia.

Trang An

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

The site is located in the Ninh Binh province, in the east of the Red River Delta and covers an area of 30,000 hectares.

Considered a land-based counterpart to Halong Bay, the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in the Ninh Binh province of the east Red River Delta attracts visitors with its stunning system of limestone mountains and natural caves. Spanning an area of 30,000 hectares, the complex is a sight to behold.

It is also home to more than 25 species of rare and endangered plants and animals.

In June 2014, the spectacular Trang An Landscape Complex in Vietnam was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning over 2,000 hectares, Trang An is an awe-inspiring landscape of limestone ridges, mysterious caves, lush valleys, and winding rivers. But it’s not just the stunning scenery that makes this complex so special; it’s also home to more than 25 species of rare and endangered plants and animals. This unique ecosystem is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the beauty and diversity of Vietnam.

Among the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, you can find Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in the north, the Trang An Eco-tourism Site in the center, and Tam Coc – Bich Dong in the south.

Hoi An

Photo: Riderly
Photo: Riderly

Merchants from China, Japan, and later Europe settled in Hoi An from the 15th to 19th centuries, resulting in a unique architectural fusion. Pack your camera and explore the Japanese Bridge, Tan Ky ancestral house, and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall for a memorable experience.

Dining in Hoi An is an absolute delight. Fresh produce from local farms and fishing boats is delivered to the markets every day, providing ingredients for the city’s renowned dishes. The three traditional Hoi An dishes you should try are Cao Lau, Hoanh Thanh, and white rose dumplings. You won’t be disappointed!

Ho Chi Minh City

Vibrant and full of energy, Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling hub of innovation and traffic. Once known as Saigon, the city is now the economic heart of Vietnam and the main center of the south. Spanning old and new, HCMC is a compact metropolis that pulls together the past and the future of Vietnam, allowing visitors to experience the best of both worlds. From traditional markets and ancient temples to modern restaurants and chic shops, the city is alive with an array of attractions. With its bustling streets, endless entertainment options and endless opportunities for exploration, Ho Chi Minh City promises to be an exciting and unforgettable destination.

Locals in Ho Chi Minh City love to congregate around the city’s dented metal tables for some truly amazing street-side meals. Don’t miss out on the delicious delights, such as bánh mì, mouthwatering savory pancakes, and the popular broken rice dish.

Cu Chi tunnels

Photo: Viator
Photo: Viator

Built by local fighters during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi tunnels served as a base of operations for the Viet Cong, the National Liberation Front. Not only did it provide shelter and protection from enemy fire, but it also contained almost everything needed to sustain life for the Viet Cong, including areas for eating, sleeping, working, cooking, and even schooling.

Have an unforgettable experience as you explore the 200km of underground tunnels from 1948, and get to know what life was like for the Viet Cong soldiers during the French air attacks of 1965! Immerse yourself in history as you discover a fascinating part of Vietnam’s past.

Ba Be National Park

Photo: Babenationalpark
Photo: Babenationalpark

Ba Be National Park sits peacefully in the northeastern province of Bac Kan, offering a stunning landscape, remarkable biodiversity, and a vibrant culture. Its tranquil atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to relax and explore the beauty of nature. The park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the Grey-shanked Douc Langur, the Asian Black Bear, and the Giant Muntjac. There is also a rich variety of flora and fauna, including over 1,000 species of trees and more than 300 species of birds. Visitors can enjoy activities such as trekking, fishing, and birdwatching, and there are several trails available to explore the park. Cultural attractions include the Dau Dang Waterfall, Puong Cave, and the local ethnic villages, where visitors can learn about the unique culture and customs of the locals. Ba Be National Park is a must-see for any nature lover and provides a unique and unforgettable experience.

The ethnic minority communities scattered across the national park live a simple life, deriving sustenance from the land and waterways. As you explore the region, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn about their history and culture. Many areas of the park are shrouded in myth and legend, passed down through generations. Here, you can immerse yourself in the ancient traditions and uncover the secrets of the past.

Mekong River Delta

Photo: Vietnam
Photo: Vietnam

The dry season is from December to April while the rainy season is from May to November.

The Mekong River Delta is formed from the mighty Mekong River, which originates from the Tibetan Highland plateau. The delta is constantly replenished each year by sediment, and the climate is pleasant nearly all year round. Typically, there are two distinct seasons here: the dry and wet seasons. The dry season usually lasts from December to April, while the wet season is from May to November.

This destination is the most fertile land in Vietnam; it is ideal for farming, fishing, gardening, and raising poultry. Additionally, tourism plays a pivotal role in the region’s development due to its captivating landscapes and cultural value.

Hue

Photo: Local Vietnam
Photo: Local Vietnam

Hue is a city bursting with stories. The Nguyen Dynasty selected this fertile riverbank and forested hillside to build their powerful feudal capital, leaving behind a spectacular imperial legacy. But Hue is much more than just a historical monument. From its vibrant street markets to its stunning architecture, the city offers a wealth of attractions to explore. Whether you’re visiting the UNESCO-listed Citadel or taking a boat ride on the Perfume River, Hue will leave a lasting impression.

Hue’s delectable cuisine is a legend, and its streets are adorned with lush pagodas, art déco mansions, and vibrant markets. The Perfume River meanders through the city, setting a tranquil atmosphere for the rest of Hue to bask in.

Hanoi

Photo: Vietnamnomad
Photo: Vietnamnomad

Founded over 1,000 years ago, Vietnam’s capital city is rich in history, with the streets of its rambling Old Quarter dating back to the 14th century. Wandering these tree-lined lanes past crumbling colonial facades will transport you back in time.

Today, Hanoi is no longer simply a relic of the past; it is a vibrant and modern city with something for everyone. From traditional markets and ancient temples to modern cafes, world-class restaurants, and cool art galleries, the city has undergone an invigorating transformation. There is something for everyone in this diverse city, which offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors.

Charlotte Pho