Vietnam is filled with famous sites spread out across the country, which attracts millions of visitors every year, both internationals and locals. Vietnam’s tourism has indeed boomed in the last years and the number of expats and digital nomads are growing too. If you are looking for a country where you can go hiking one day and then lay on the beach the other, Vietnam can offer this and much more. But remember to come prepared to Vietnam – don’t forget to apply for a Vietnam visa so you can enter the country. You can either get a Visa on Arrival, E-Visa (only eligible for certain countries) or go to your local or nearest Vietnam Embassy or Consulate and apply for one there.
Even if you prefer places that are a bit more “off the beaten track”, you should at least visit some of Vietnam’s most visited tourism destinations. They are popular for a reason and some are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well. Take a look at 7 of the most visited tourism spots in Vietnam and start preparing your trip to Southeast Asia.
1. Halong Bay
Halong Bay might be Vietnam’s most popular spots for both internationals and locals alike. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site will take your breath away once you see it. The bay was formed millions and millions of years ago, thanks to erosion, climate and tectonic movements. The result is thousands of limestone islands and islets, spread out over the bay. Most of them are uninhabited, but there are also islands you can visit, such as Cat Ba Island. You can easily stay in Halong Bay for a few nights because there’s simply so much to do. Go on a cave tour, visit the floating villages, rent a kayak, spend a night or two on a junk (traditional Vietnamese boat) and see the sunrise and sunset. No wonder Halong Bay is such a popular place to visit.
2. Sapa Rice Terraces
Sapa lies in the north of Vietnam and is famous for its rice terraces, ethnic minority and for the fantastic landscapes surrounding this unique place. This is the perfect place to go to if you love nature, want to learn more about Vietnam’s ethnic minority and go hiking. You should, of course, not miss the incredible rice terraces as well, which is big reason why tourists come here.
3. Mekong Delta
In the south lies the Mekong Delta, about 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City. You can see rice paddies here, floating markets, pagodas, national parks, snake farms and go on a boat tour and paddle along the small canals in Mekong. Many tourists who visit Vietnam make sure they make a pit stop in the famous Mekong Delta, because it simply is such a fascinating place to be in.
4. Mui Ne
Combine laying on a beach with kitesurfing here in gorgeous Mui Ne. This beach town lies in the south of Vietnam and is mostly famous because of its red and white sand dunes. Of course, there are many other things you can do in this area, but tourists visit this quaint little town mostly because they either want to go kitesurfing or do a sand dunes tour.
5. Cu Chi Tunnels
No trip to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn about Vietnam’s tumultuous history outside of a museum. The underground tunnels were dug by the Vietnamese during the war and was used as a sanctuary for Vietcong forces. Tourists will get a chance to climb down and have a look inside the tunnels – beware though, they’re extremely small and a bit claustrophobic as well.
6. The Old Quarter in Hanoi
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and also one of the popular cities to visit in Vietnam. The Old Quarter is where you will meet most expats and travellers, hopping from café to café or going souvenir shopping. The Old Quarter has both charms and beauty, making it one of the most popular tourist spots in Vietnam. During day time you can stroll around and look inside the many traditional Vietnamese shops, and at night it becomes livelier, when bars starts to open.
7. Hoi An
This quaint little town in mid Vietnam has not gone unnoticed amongst travellers. If you want to visit a town with much character and beauty, you must visit Hoi An. Although it does get crowded here no matter the season, you will understand why so many people travel to Hoi An once you step foot in the town. At night, hundreds of lanterns light up the town, creating a cozy atmosphere where you can wander around, sit down for a drink, go to the night market and just soak in every moment of this breathtaking place.