Vietnam is a beautiful Asian destination with plenty of attractions ranging from breathtaking landscapes and untouched islands to the much talked-about street food. Once you find yourself in this awe-inspiring country, you’ll soon discover all that this resilient destination has to offer. You might be wondering what to add to your Vietnam bucket list. Well, wonder no more as we let you in on some of the incredible and fun things to do in Vietnam.
1. Light lanterns in Hoi An
The Lantern Festival is the best time to visit Hoi An to witness the spectacle of lanterns in the sky and river. The city is a hypnotic kaleidoscope of colour and light. The Lantern Festival celebrates Tết (Vietnamese New Year) over 7 days with the road from Hoi An Bridge to the Hoai River Square adorned with thousands of lanterns. If you can’t make it to this particular Lantern Festival, you can still catch smaller events held every full moon. If you’d like to join in the fun, buy a lantern, light it and set it afloat on the river.
2. Take a cruise along the Mekong Delta
Located in the south of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is one of the most exciting things to do in Vietnam. Take a cruise along this rewarding and picturesque Vietnamese attraction. During your cruise, on a cargo boat or commercial cruise, you’ll get to take in the region’s unique ecosystems, diverse communities, floating markets and pagodas (tiered towers). The river itself starts in the Himalayas, passing through China, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.
3. Walk through the streets of Hoi An
Hoi An was once a major Southeast Asian trading post in the 16th and 17th centuries. Japanese and Chinese merchants considered it to be the best port city. The old town is an amalgamation of Chinese, French and Japanese buildings, from French-colonial houses, Chinese temples and Japanese-designed pagodas. Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. Hoi An’s Ancient Town is a must-visit with most of its old shops transformed into modern businesses, including art galleries, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafés.
4. Go back in time with Vietnam’s museums
Truly one of the best ways of soaking up Vietnam’s culture and connecting to this fascinating country is to get immersed in the country’s history. As you may know and see, Vietnam is still in the midst of recovering from a war-torn past. There are many museums dedicated to remembering the sacrifices made by the Vietnamese people.
- The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City sheds light on the brutal Vietnam-American war. Here you’ll see graphic photographs and American military equipment on display.
- Head to the Vinh Moc Tunnels near Dong Ha and see how people lived underground during the Vietnam-American war.
- The Women’s Museum in Hanoi is a must-visit. Learn about the women at the forefront of fighting for Vietnam!
5. Explore the Phong Nha Caves
Phong Nha-Ke National Park is great for adventure travellers. It is home to limestone caves and grottoes, including the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong. The enormity of the cave has resulted in the cave having its very own jungle, beach, river, and ecosystem. Formed over approximately 400 million years ago, the karst mountains are believed to have over a hundred cave systems and underground rivers. You can hire a guide and gear for the cave adventures in the small town of Phong Nha. Get ready for an enchanting adventure!
6. Trek through Sapa
Sapa is home to Vietnam’s highest peak, Fan Si Pan which overlooks the stunning terraced rice fields and valley walls. This scenic region is famous for its ancient yellow and green rice terraces. For those looking for a fun adventure with epic landscapes and ethnic minorities, Sapa is a life-changing trek waiting to be experienced. Sapa is relatively easy to reach from Hanoi and there are hostels, mid-range hotels, and luxury resorts available. Find your perfect trekking company and explore this otherworldly Vietnamese destination!
7. Sandboard down the epic sand dunes in Mui Ne
Sandboarding is definitely one of the ultimate things to do in Vietnam! The fun awaits near the resort town of Mui Ne in Southeast Vietnam. Visitors can choose between Red Sand Dunes or White Sand Dunes which has been listed in the “Top 11 Most Ideal Sandboarding Destinations in the World”. The sand dunes’ shape changes every hour and that makes the experience more exhilarating. You can rent a plastic sheet for sandboarding from the many Vietnamese women with cone hats at the sandboarding location. Get ready for epic photos and surreal landscapes!
8. Stand in awe of the waterfalls in Da Lat
Take a break from the heat and retreat to Da Lat where you’ll encounter mountainous fresh air and breathtaking waterfalls. The stunning scenery here will be worth the journey it takes to get to Da Lat. There are approximately 12 waterfalls but Pongour Waterfall, Elephant Waterfall and Tiger Waterfall are the standout ones worth visiting.
9. Do a Vietnamese cooking class
Learn the secrets of Vietnamese local food and recipes. You can find cooking classes all over Vietnam and its quite popular in Ho An and Hoi Chi Minh City. Discover the differences between the northern and southern Vietnamese dishes. The fresh and intense flavours will ignite your deep love for Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll get first-hand knowledge on the best ways to make delicious dishes such as claypot fish and dill, paper spring rolls and rice pancakes.
10. Go on a street food tour
Dare to treat your palate to dishes you’ve never seen or heard of before. Most street food in Vietnam is definitely out of most tourists’ comfort zone but that’s part of the excitement of touring a new destination. Taste the heart and soul of Vietnam through its food. You’ll find a diverse range of Vietnamese dishes at local markets, rustic food restaurants and food carts. Some Vietnamese food worth tasting include pho (rice noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), goi cuon (spring rolls) and bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli).
All of these fun things to do in Vietnam sure does make you want to pack your bags and jet off to this destination. With Travelstart it’s easy; simply compare and book your cheap flights to Vietnam.
Featured image courtesy of @marrpall via Instagram