Wanderlust lists out 12 must-do things in Vietnam

Prestigious UK travel website Wanderlust has suggested 12 amazing must-do things to experience in Vietnam, including lighting lanterns, finding romance at love market, enjoying the iconic Pho.


Visit Sapa love market

The culture-rich love market of Sapa locals has long been an alluringly mysterious practice of the ethnic people in Northern Vietnam. Young men and young women would flock to the market each Saturday night to go on a date, confess their love through dances, or love songs, etc.

Love market is truly a good choice for those wanting to mingle with local people and enjoy a sense of authentic cultural experience.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Love market is the opportunity for youngsters to find some romance (Photo: Lao Cai)

Lightening a lantern in Hoi An

For many guests, lighting a lantern and letting it drift down the river that flows through the historic city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam serves as the highlight of their trip.

“Every Tết (Vietnamese New Year), Hoi An is transformed into a kaleidoscope of color and light for its Lantern Festival. The celebration lasts for seven days, with the road from Hoi An Bridge to the Hoai River Square adorned with thousands of colorful lanterns”, Wanderlust says.

Besides, locals also hold smaller lantern festivals every full moon.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
People light lanterns and flow them down the river in Hoi An (Photo: DH Goldman Group)

Spot rare primates in Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park is the right place for travelers who love wildlife. The 720 km2 wide biosphere reserve preserves many rare and precious species of plants and animals.

“Golden-cheeked gibbons, silvered langurs and native pygmy lorsies are among the rare primates to be spotted in Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre. Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary homes tens of sun bears.

Asian elephants and clouded leopards are also among the rare sightings wildlife watchers have recorded in Cat Tien. Birders will have their hands full, too, with Asian barred owlet, blue-rumped and bar-bellied pittas, and orange-necked partridge sightings – just to name a few – very possible”, Wanderlust said.

Some animals in Cat Tien only appear at night like deer and wild boars, so you can stay in the inns and hotels here and start a late-night trip.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Primates hanging out in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam (Photo: Shutterstock)

Enjoy a bowl of Pho (Vietnamese noodle)

The iconic Pho is ubiquitous across the country, which could easily be found from small street corners to high-end restaurants. The dish is high in nutritional values, rich in flavors, and sophisticatedly made. Pho Thin in No.13, Lo Duc, Ha Noi is one of the must-try ones.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
A bowl of Pho (Photo: Shutterstock)

Embark on a river cruise along Mekong Delta

Cruising along the Mekong River, listening to local artists singing traditional music is a great get-away from crowded city. Besides, one can visit the floating market, enjoy tropical fruits and local street food.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Floating market in Mekong Delta (Photo: Shutterstock)

Visit Ha Long Bay and its equally spectacular neighbor

“With 1,600 limestone towers rising from its turquoise waters, Halong Bay is rightly considered one of Vietnam’s most beautiful spots. As a result, it’s on every visitor’s list – and hundreds of boats offer cruise trips every day. The bay is huge, but it can still feel crowded”, Wanderlust describes the celebrated UNESCO heritage site.

Besides, Bai Tu Long Bay which is just a few miles away is also recommended. Bai Tu Long Bay offers the same jaw-dropping scenery but is way more secluded and quiet, suitable for those want to get off the beaten track.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Ha Long Bay (Photo: Shutterstock)

Hike through Cat Ba Island

Lan Ha Bay, which is in close proximity with Ha Long, is a brilliant alternative for breathtakingly beautiful scenes without the tourist masses. Especially, the nearby national park with pristine forests offers adventurous walking and climbing time.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Cat Ba island offers lush green to hike through (Photo: Shutterstock)

Visit Son Doong, the world’s largest cave

Son Doong, which was determined to be the most spacious cave worldwide in 2010, shocked the world and was opened to the public three years later. The sheer size of Son Doong cave enables it to have its own ecosystem and climate. It is estimated that one can build a skyscraper or an airport inside.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Inside Son Doong Cave (Photo: Shutterstock)

Wander around the dreamy Hue

Hue marks the divide between the north and the south of Vietnam and used to be the capital of the country (1802-1945), hence a tour around the ancient capital of Hue is a culturally-enriching experience.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
One corner of Hue under summer sky (Photo: VOV)

Visit the Golden Bridge in Danang

Along with stunning beaches and famous bridges in the inner city, the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hill, around 30km from the center city, is also a worth-visiting experience. Here, visitors can walk on a 150 m long bridge, located on a high hill, held by two giant stone hands.

There are more than 100,000 photos taken and checked in at the Golden Bridge tagged on the Internet.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
The Golden Bridge is “held” by a giant hand (Photo: Shutterstock)

Visit the coffee-making heartland, Buon Ma Thuot

According to Wanderlust, Buon Me Thuot, the regional capital of the central highlands of Vietnam, is considered the heart of Vietnam’s thriving coffee industry. Trung Nguyen coffee company is listed as the biggest coffee player.

The World Coffee Museum in the city opens year-round, offering a chance to learn about world’s coffee industries.

“You’ll probably come across ‘weasel’ coffee during your visit, also known as kopi luwak or civet coffee, which aficionados claim is the best in the world. While many believe its unique taste is excellent, it’s worth knowing that recent investigations have found unethical animal welfare practices on coffee farms across the region”, the online magazine suggests.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Visit Ho Chi Minh museums

Gia Long museum in Ho Chi Minh city in Gia Long Palace houses numerous exhibiting pictures and artifacts, as a reminder of the atrocities of war. Visitors can find remnants from bombs, guillotine and real photos of burns caused by bombs and bullets.

wanderlust lists out 12 must do things in vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City Museum, located in the Gia Long Palace (Shutterstock)