Updated: Jan 12, 2019
From the untouched mountains villages outside of Sapa, to the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay, to the glistening beaches of Hoi An and the history in the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has unique treasures for even the most seasoned traveller.
SOME TREASURES NOT TO MISS....
1. Lao Cai Province | This remote north western region, boarding China, is Vietnam's most mountainous region, where travelers are able to experience spectacular natural scenery including stunning landscapes and terraced rice fields and engage with the ethnic hill tribes that inhabit the traditional villages of this area. If you are into active pursuits such as trekking and mountain biking and or experience local rural culture this area for you.
2. Hoi An | This ancient riverside town was one of my favorites with its beautiful and bustling Ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This well preserved trading port dating from the 15th and 18th centuries a shopper's (a tailoring and clothes making mecca) and foodie's paradise (try the local cau lao, Hoi An noodle). Venture to the surrounding areas either by bike or scooter to experience its local beaches and local rural life and monuments. Neighboring Da Nang and its beaches and My Son, another UNESCO World Heritage site, are good combinations with Hoi An.
3. Mekong Delta | This beautiful agricultural region, located in the south west of the country is primarily known for its colorful floating markets but its tributaries feed the plentiful orchards, rice fields and sugar cane groves.
4. Hanoi | Rich in history, this French Colonial city, mixes both Asian and French influences in its architecture, culture and cuisine. The Old Quarter, is a best explored on foot, with each street specializing in something whether electronics, clothes, toys, spices and more.
5. Ha Long Bay | While becoming more touristy and busy, I still believe Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must see destination in Vietnam. While best explored by cruise to experience the over 2000 Limestone outcrops and islands amongst the blue-green waters, finding a longer cruise which can extend past the most touristy stops is recommended.
6. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) | A city that never sleeps, a buzzing center strongly tied to its past but reaching towards the future. Dining, markets, historical sights and cultural elements make this a must see. Some sights not to miss: Ben Thanh Market, Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre, Scooter Food Tour, War Remnants Museum, Saigon Sky Deck (Bitexco Financial Tower), Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and outside Ho Chi Minh the Co Chi Tunnels and the Mekong River.
7. Nha Trang | For those of you who are looking for more of beach resort, Nha Trang offers this in spades. More developed and resort oriented, this beautiful bay is Vietnam's seaside resort mecca.
8. Hue | Hue, once the capital of Vietnam and once the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors, is a must see with its plethora of historic sites, most importantly the Citadel on the northern side of the Perfume river and the gems of the Imperial City.