With so many extraordinary places to visit, finding the best things to do in Vietnam can prove very confusing! But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered …
I strongly believe that everyone should try and visit Vietnam at some point in their lifetime.
It’s a truly fascinating country, one filled so many incredible things to see and do, as well as endless new places to discover.
And just as important, are the people of Vietnam, who helped to make our stay so unforgettable.
I found them to be amongst the nicest people I have met anywhere, and truly resilient in helping to rebuild their country after the devastating effects they experienced through the war with America.
So, do I believe that Vietnam is worth visiting? Hell yes!
To help with your trip planning, here is my ultimate list of the 50 best things to do in Vietnam, which cover most of the countries most popular locations.
So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in …
1. Learn About The Vietnam War (Ho Chi Minh)
As you’ve probably already guessed, one of the best things to do in Vietnam is to learn more about the war they had with America, which ended in 1973.
If you aren’t aware of anything that happened during the conflict, then the first thing you should learn is that the country was completely devastated as a result.
Both sides were responsible for horrible crimes, and the effects of napalm bombing left vast swathes of the country burnt to a crisp.
But don’t worry, Vietnam is still beautiful, and you can hardly tell that a war took place when driving through seemingly endless green forests on your way up the country.
However, there is one place in particular that the effects of war can still very much be seen, and that is the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city.
Here, you’ll discover leftover memorabilia from the war, including tanks and other army vehicles parked right outside the entrance.
Inside, there are rooms filled with stories and images of those affected by the war.
All in all, it tells a chilling story of events.
You’ll quickly find that the museum is very biased in the favour of the Vietnamese (which is understandable), but it is still so shocking to discover how far each side went in their desire to beat the other.
2. Visit The War Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh)
Ho Chi Minh plays host to another great location to learn more about the war, and these are the Cu Chi tunnels that lie about an hour outside of the city.
Once again, you will likely find that they come across almost propaganda-like in how they paint the horrors committed by the Americans, and forgo their own role in the war.
But at the same time, it is certainly one of the best places in Vietnam to gain insight into what life was like for the Viet Cong.
They form part of a vast underground network that existed all under the country, in order to help hide the guerilla fighters.
You don’t have to go into the tunnels, but you can if you like.
Just be warned, they are incredibly narrow and tight, meaning that if you suffer from claustrophobia, then they certainly aren’t for you!
3. Head Out For A Night On The Town (Ho Chi Minh)
Another great thing about Vietnam, if you’re young backpackers like us, is that there are plenty of chances to meet fellow travellers and let loose in the evenings.
Alcohol is relatively affordable all across the country and there a few spots that are particularly good for showing live music.
Ho Chi Minh is one such place, but more specifically, Bui Vien.
It’s hard to miss it if you’re staying in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, as it’s a long strip filled with indoor and outdoor bars.
So though drinking here is one of the best things to do in Vietnam, do be warned that it’s not a great place to stay!
The music continues late into the night, so you’ll certainly need earplugs if you hope to get any sort of sleep!
4. Ride A Moped
Without a doubt, the number one thing to do in Vietnam is to hire a moped and drive yourself around the sites.
We did this in every stop on our 3 week journey through the country and it was the most fun thing I think I’ve done in South East Asia.
The feeling of having a moped and driving yourself around through the spectacular Vietnamese countryside is out of this world.
My favourite time of the day being in the last hour or so before sunset when the weather begins to cool and the whole country seems to wind down.
You can spot locals out finishing up in the fields, and it’s just a great way to end a busy day spent exploring in the heat.
And don’t worry, learning to ride a moped is incredibly easy.
5. Partake In Some Exciting Watersports (Mui Ne)
If you’re wondering what to do in Vietnam and are keen to brush up on your watersports skills or learn a new sport, then you’ve plenty of opportunity.
Many of the most popular coastal cities, such as Mui Ne and Nha Trang, offer the chance to do a number of different sports.
This includes things like kite surfing, jet skiing and flyboarding.
Surfing isn’t a particularly popular sport in the country, however, some beaches do offer chances to catch a wave or two at certain times of the year.
This includes Mui Ne, Vung Tau and China Beach.
6. Visit The Red Sand Dunes At Sunset (Mui Ne)
Whilst we’re on the topic of Mui Ne, it’s definitely worth mentioning the sand dunes they have here.
The red sand dunes are incredibly unique and are something you probably didn’t expect to find in Vietnam.
In fact, when you’re out exploring them, you almost feel like a world away from the tropical rainforests and rolling fields of green found further inland.
Well, once sunset rolls around, there are few better spots in the country than the red sand dunes in Mui Ne.
They offer wonderful sunsets and, in the hour before the sun goes down, the street alongside the spot quickly fills up with mopeds and guided tour buses, so be sure to get there ahead of time.
7. Head Out On A Dune Buggy (Mui Ne)
One of the more adventurous things to do in Vietnam is to hire a sand buggy when out on the other sand dunes in Mui Ne.
These ones aren’t red, but do stretch out far farther, offering the chance to have a lot of fun either out on a dune buggy, or surfing down the dunes.
The latter of which we tried a number of times, but failed miserably!
It was fun, though incredibly hot and I ended up going home with underwear filled with sand!
So, thought the dune buggies are quite a bit pricier, they are a lot more fun!
8. Take A Romantic Stroll Through The Valley Of Love (Da Lat)
If you’re wondering what there is to see in Vietnam for couples, then the Valley of Love in Da Lat is a good spot to head to.
It is actually quite a famous thing to do and seems to attract hundreds of tourists every day.
This also means that it has become very overpriced in recent years which puts a lot of people off!
Still, if you can head there just before sunset, then it’s a lovely place to stroll around in the final cool hour or so prior to the sun going down.
9. No Luck Catching Those Swans Then? (Da Lat)
Da Lat is home to another one of the more romantic things to do in Vietnam, which is the large lake they have right in the centre of town.
Xuan Huong Lake is actually surprisingly big and is a wonderful spot to visit when in Vietnam.
It was created in the early 21th century by damming a river that flowed through the region.
Nowadays, it is used for all kinds of different purposes, one being swan rides.
It might sound corny but it’s actually a lot of fun, and you can pick up a swan from a few different vendors located around the lake.
We also tried dining at a fancy-looking restaurant that sits right on the lake called Bluewater Restaurant.
But it turned out the be very bad food and was about 3 or 4 times the price of anywhere else in Da lat; so I’d recommend giving that a miss and instead riding a swan or taking a nice walk around the lake.
10. Discover Breathtaking Waterfalls (Da Lat)
Visiting waterfalls is on my list of top 10 things to do in Vietnam, seeing as there are so many gorgeous falls located across the country.
Da Lat in particular seemed to be a great spot to see waterfalls, and there are two that best stick in my mind.
These were Datanla Falls and Elephant Falls.
Datanla Falls are a part of a larger complex filled with tourists and other activities to do.
Elephant Falls were a little more rugged, as there’s a broken path you can take which allows you to get right up close to the falls.
Yes, this can be a little slippery, but it’s worth the walk down and you get nicely cooled down from the heat of the midday sun.
11. Go Tobogganing High In The Mountains (Da Lat)
In the same park as Datanla Falls, you’ll find a long winding tobogganing ride.
It turned out to be a lot of fun and is very practical as well as it saves you a lot of walking through the park.
You also have full control over how fast you go, sue to a brake lever on the side of the cart.
It’s pretty cheap to do and well worth a go, just be sure to strap your belongings down when on there as I lost my glasses whilst riding it!
They’re yellow fake Ray Ban’s so, yano drop me a message below if you see them 😉
12. How About Some Waterfall Abseiling? (Da Lat)
One of the more unusual things we discovered you can do in Vietnam is to go abseiling down a waterfall!
This is also in Da Lat, in the same park as you will find Datanla Falls and the toboggan.
It is quite a bit more expensive than most other places to visit in Vietnam, but is quite a unique experience that I would like to do when we next return to the area.
As a part of the tour package, you can also carry out some other adventure activities such as having a go on the treetop assault course they have built there. 13. Head For A Day To Vinpearl Amusement Park (Nha Trang)
The Vinpearl Amusement Park in Nha Trang is perhaps one of the more touristy places to visit in Vietnam.
They don’t have a lot of theme parks in the country, but based on reviews online this one seems to be by far the best!
Sure, the rides themselves don’t match up to the sorts of epic roller coasters found in the UK and in America, but it is still a lot of fun!
In particular, I recommend visiting so you can enjoy the waterpark they have there.
It’s probably the best part of the park and they even have a floating assault course in the water.
One of the best parts of visiting Vinpearl is taking the cable car to and from the mainland, as it’s located on an island just offshore from Nha Trang.
You can see the park quite clearly from the beach in Nha Trang and at night, it’s wonderful seeing it lit up against the darkness.
14. Time For A Mud Bath! (Nha Trang)
I’ve never been on any sort of spa day/mud bath experience before, so this ended up being one of my favorite and fun things to do in Vietnam.
We chose to go to Tháp Bà Spa which is located not far from Nha Trang city centre.
It is a part of a modern spa facility and they offer plenty of other treatments if you’re interested.
The one we went for included a mud bath and then gave you unlimited access to the water baths and large hot and cold swimming pools.
All for just £6GBP!
It ended up being a lot of fun and sitting in the mud baths themselves was quite a strange feeling.
Also, I’m really not sure what sort of benefit they do give, as my skin didn’t feel much different afterwards; but it’s well worth it nonetheless!
15. Head Out For A Day To Yang Bay Falls Park (Nha Trang)
Yang Bay Falls Park is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated Vietnam attractions.
We only discovered it by chance when surfing through tonnes of articles online for the best things to do in Nha Trang.
Very few people seem to go there and none of our friends who have visited Nha Trang seemed to have been there either.
Either way, make sure you go!
The drive out there by moped is on its own so much fun, especially the drive back through the fields as the day was starting to cool down and you could wave to workers out in the fields.
When there, you’ll discover a bunch of things to do, including bathing in natural hot springs, swimming in a river with a waterfall, using the Tarzan rope swing into the water, visiting a miniature zoo and dining at a nice restaurant they have there.
There’s also a small alligator complex on the site, as well as a miniature train that takes you around the different sites.
I must admit, it seems most people visit as a part of an organised tour, and very few people there seemed to speak English.
But regardless, I highly recommend it.
16. Hire A Bike And Discover Hoi An Ancient Town (Hoi An)
Hoi An Ancient town is easily one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist spots.
It’s a quaint, old style area filled with charming stone houses and shops selling everything through from tasty Vietnamese food to souvenirs and gifts for friends back home.
To find out more, I recommend reading this post I wrote about Hoi An Ancient Town.
You can choose to slowly wander the streets, or instead hire a bike and ride around there and head further up along the canal which runs through the old town.
Also, if you’re wondering where to go in Vietnam to pick up a cheap suit or other clothes, then this is a good place to start!
17. Then, Head Back For The Lantern Show In The Evening! (Hoi An)
On certain nights each month, Hoi An Ancient town quickly turns into one of the best things to see in Vietnam.
The streets are suddenly adorned with hundreds and thousands of lanterns, all made from different colours and creating a wonderfully colourful glow against the backdrop of night.
To best enjoy the lanterns in Hoi An, I recommend finding yourself a nice open-roof restaurant near to the canal.
Here, you can grab some food and a drink and watch the whole area come to life with tourists and traders.
18. Go On An Easy Rider Tour Of Hoi Van Pass (Da Nang)
The Hai Van Pass is famous as being one of the most scenic routes in Vietnam.
It is a 21km stretch that lies on the journey from Hue to Danang.
The best way to enjoy the Hoi Van Pass is through the Easy Rider tours that take place every day.
Easy Rider operates motorbike journeys across many parts of Vietnam, but are particularly popular for this stretch.
A few times, we had riders trying to sell us a tour when passing us as we were walking down the street and it involves you riding on the back of their motorbike.
19. Be Amazed By The Beauty Of Golden Bridge (Da Nang)
One of the newest must-see places in Vietnam is the Golden Bridge in Da Nang.
It was only opened in June 2018, so, unfortunately, we have not yet been fortunate enough to see it.
But from the pictures, it really does seem incredible!
It’s a passenger foot bridge that stretches for 150 metres, offering views right down over Danang.
It’s very high up, so on many days it looks as if you are above even the clouds!
More impressive is it’s unique design, which entails two large stone hands supporting the bridge.
When we next return to Vietnam, I can’t wait to go here.
20. Uncover The Ancient City Of Hue (Hue)
Vietnam has one of the richest and most interesting histories of any country in Asia, and you can learn more about its ancient past in Hue.
This city was once the ruling capital of the country and was home to Vietnamese emperors since before the 1800s.
In the early 19th century, the Imperial City was built and then became the imperial seat of the country.
Today, you can roam endlessly around the large city and discover what life was like for the emperors who once ruled from here.
The gardens are still well maintained and the compound contains buildings and artifacts dating back hundreds of years.
There is also a museum located just next to the city, which contains many of the most treasured items in Hue.
Đăng bởi: Văn Thắng Trần
Từ khoá: 50 Incredible Things To Do In Vietnam In 2023 (Part 1)