Vietnam has something for literally everyone. Whether you love dirt cheap tasty cuisine, embracing new cultures, all-night parties, mother nature at its best, or the bustling vibe of cities that never sleep – you will find it all in Vietnam.
Here are the best 8 destinations to add to your Vietnam bucket-list in 2021;
Lying in the Northwest of Vietnam and made famous by its lush green paddy fields, Sapa is an absolute treat to visit! The bucket-list destination is nestled between mountains and lush green terraced rice fields. And while the scenery is stunning, the culture and tradition of the several ethnic groups that call Sapa home are even more impressive. A trek through Sapa will have you stumbling across small villages like Ma Tra where you can meet the local Black H’mong people. Greeted by their smiley faces, be sure to have some small change at the ready to trade for handcrafted textiles and bracelets. The cheeky children might even try their best English on you!
2. Hanoi Old Quarter
Vietnam’s capital is oozing with culture and history, making it one of the country’s top tourists spots. It’s not uncommon to find streets packed with food vendors, scooters and bicycles down every side alleyway across Hanoi. Put simply, this city accurately resembles organised chaos! But, for a truly authentic look into old Hanoi – take a short walk to the very city centre where you’ll find the Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake. On top of charming colonial architecture and temples, expect to find plenty of hip cafés, bars, a variety of restaurants and boutique shops in old district. While you are here, be sure to try a Vietnamese Ice Coffee!
3. Halong Bay
There’s no wonder that Halong Bay is up there with Vietnam’s best. No one can deny the unique beauty of a region that literally translates to ‘The Bay of Descending Dragons’. Halong Bay is home to over 1,600 jungled limestone Islets, eerie caves, and local fishing villages – best explored onboard an overnight Junk Boat Cruise! We’re talking sunset cruising, kayaking, night fishing, and waking to a mist of fog across the UNESCO World-heritage listed region. Halong Bay is one of those enchanting destinations unlike anywhere else
Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue
The hidden gem of Vietnam! Hue was once the capital of Imperial Vietnam and while much of its rich history was destroyed by American bombers during the war, there’s still plenty of remains from the last emperors! A day in Hue is plenty of time to check out the Citadel and enclosed Imperial City before taking a relaxing stroll along the Perfume River. Keep an eye out for the Thien Mu Pagoda – a beautiful seven-story pagoda sitting on a small hill overlooking the river.
Golden Hang Bridge, Ba Na Hill
5. Golden Hand Bridge
Located high in the mountains of central Vietnam, the Golden Hand Bridge has been described as the giant hands of God pulling a strip of gold out of the land. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s likely you have at least scrolled past a picture of it on your Instagram feed. The bridge offers breathtaking and uninterrupted views of the surrounding scenery and is worth a visit even just for a quick picture!
6. Hoi An Old Quarter
If you only have time to visit a few destinations in Vietnam, make Hoi An one of them. The charming Old Quarter is basically a living museum – home to Chinese temples, Japanese bridges, wooden shop-house, and French-colonial houses. But nightfall is when this UNESCO World Heritage-listed town truly comes to life! The area is lit by quaint and old-fashioned lanterns. Take a walk through the Old Quarter to get a suit, dress, or jacket custom-made by local tailors at unbeatable prices or join a Vietnamese cooking class to learn a few local recipes.
7. An Bang Beach
If you’re looking for a beach town that’s unspoiled by development and tourists, this is the spot! Just a short bicycle ride from Hoi An Old Quarter is An Bang Beach. The beachfront is dotted with seafood restaurants and hipster bars showing off stunning views of the neighbouring Marble Mountains. Hire a stand-up paddleboard, join a surf class or park up on a beach chair and have fresh seafood delivered straight to you for dirt cheap! An Bang Beach is the perfect place for a slower day to balance out the chaos of Vietnam.
Street food vendors, Bui Vien
8. Ho Chi Minh
There’s nothing quite like the madness of Vietnam’s biggest city! Hustling Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, is considered the Pearl of the Far West and is a true boiling pot of delicious cuisine, French-colonial architecture and memories of the Vietnam War. From museums to world-class restaurants, rooftop bars, street food vendors, and nightlife scenes – you’ll find it all in Ho Chi Minh. After a big day exploring the sights most appealing to you, we recommend heading to the Bui Vien street. Find a free table and plastic stool by the sidewalk, order a Saigon red beer and simply point to something delicious on the menu – It’s the place to be for bar hopping, people watching, and an authentic taste of Vietnamese city-life!
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