Things to do in Vietnam

things to do in Vietnam

There are so many fun things to do in Vietnam! If you’re visiting, make sure to check out Hoi An Ancient Town, Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta, Saigon River for kayaking, Tra Que Vegetable Village, Vietnam Military History Museum, the Temple of Literature, Cat Ba Island for hiking, and Phong Nha Cave. These are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy in Vietnam.

One of the top attractions is Halong Bay, where you can go on a cruise. It’s a great way to have fun and relax while surrounded by beautiful nature. You can also explore different islands in the area, which is a feast for your eyes and other senses.

If you’re interested in exploring Vietnam’s countryside, cruising in the Mekong Delta is a must. You’ll get to see lush green rice fields and fruit orchards along the riverbanks.

For those who love underwater adventures, snorkeling and diving on Cham Island are fantastic options. You can discover the amazing marine world and its wonders.

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, you can go on safari rides at Cat Tien National Park or take a trek on the famous Ho Chi Minh trail. These activities are perfect for those seeking excitement and thrills.

History buffs will enjoy a day tour to Hoi An ancient town, where you can experience life from the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

And if you’re looking for a serene experience, head to Tam Coc and sail peacefully on the Ngong Dong river. The surrounding rice fields create a tranquil and picturesque setting.

These are just a few examples of the many amazing things to do in Vietnam. It’s a country that offers a wide range of adventures, delicious food, and beautiful beaches.

Here are some must things to do in Vietnam that you shouldn’t miss:

1. Visit Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An is a special place in Vietnam that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s like a living museum with old buildings that have a unique charm.

One of the best things to do in Vietnam is to explore Hoi An Ancient Town by riding a bicycle. You can cycle through the streets and visit interesting places like the Japanese Bridge and the Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation. These places will transport you back to the 17th and 18th centuries, giving you a sense of what life was like back then.

Don’t forget to take a peaceful walk along the waterfront in the evening. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Hoi An has a soulful atmosphere that will leave you with lasting memories.

2. Cruise at Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a special place in Vietnam that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the top things to do in Vietnam is to go on a cruise tour in Halong Bay. It’s very popular among visitors.

During the cruise tour, you will sail on clear, greenish-blue waters in comfortable and fancy boats. It’s an experience you will treasure. The tour allows you to explore the amazing beauty of the rocky limestone formations and small islands all around the bay.

While you’re on the cruise, you can enjoy delicious seafood cooked in the tasty Vietnamese style. There are different cruise tour packages available, ranging from one night and two days to two nights and three days. These packages come in various price ranges, so there’s something for every traveler’s budget.

3. Kayaking in Saigon River

One of the fun things to do in Vietnam is kayaking in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a great activity that travelers can enjoy. Depending on the tide, kayaking may be scheduled for the afternoon. Ho Chi Minh City takes pride in organizing kayaking tours in Saigon and the Mekong Delta. The duration of kayaking can range from one to two hours, depending on your preference.

The best place for kayaking in Ho Chi Minh City is the famous Saigon River. The weather there is usually calm and quiet, making it a perfect setting for kayaking. You don’t need any previous experience to enjoy kayaking. All you need to do is paddle, which is something anyone can easily learn.

Kayaking in the Mekong Delta, specifically in Ho Chi Minh City, is a great option for those who want to spend more time exploring this unique and watery region. It’s a special experience that allows you to discover the beauty of the Mekong Delta up close.

4. Explore Tra Que Vegetable Village

If you’re looking for a peaceful and quiet place in Vietnam, then Tra Que Vegetable Village is the perfect spot for you. It’s a great destination to relax and unwind. If you arrive early in the morning, you’re in for a treat. You can take a peaceful walk and experience the calmness of the village. As the morning progresses, you’ll see the village come alive with its bustling village life, which is quite an experience to witness.

One of the main attractions of Tra Que Vegetable Village is the cooking classes they offer. Many people, both locals and tourists from all over Vietnam, are drawn to this place for their delicious corn pancakes. You can participate in a hands-on cooking class or simply savor the tasty delicacies they prepare.

Another wonderful aspect of this village is the empty roads. It’s a great opportunity to go for a pleasant bicycle ride with your loved ones. While there is a bus service available for tourists, it is recommended to explore the village on bicycles at your own pace, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience.

5. Hike through Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island, located in Halong Bay, is the largest island in the area and is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. It is a part of the Cat Ba National Park, which offers amazing opportunities for hiking and trekking. One of the must-do things to do in Vietnam is hiking to Ngu Lam peak, although it’s quite challenging. But don’t worry, because the stunning views of the jungle from the top are absolutely worth it.

During your hike, you might come across various animals such as the Cat Ba langur and deer. It’s a fantastic chance to observe these creatures in their natural habitat. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, hiking through Cat Ba Island is an experience you shouldn’t miss while exploring Vietnam.

6. Visit the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 by Emperor Le Thanh Tong, was initially established as a university dedicated to the teachings of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. In 1076, it transformed into a prestigious academic institution. As the first national university in Vietnam, the Temple of Literature is now a place of tribute to the country’s finest scholars.

Today, the Temple of Literature is a popular attraction in Hanoi and one of the must-visit places in Vietnam. While it is no longer solely a religious landmark, it has been repurposed as a place of learning. The beautiful gardens, ponds, halls, and five courtyards provide picturesque settings, especially during student graduation ceremonies. Originally, admission to the temple was exclusively granted to those from noble families, but starting from 1442, the Temple of Literature became open to all, regardless of social status, promoting equality in education.

7. Snorkeling in Cham Island

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure in Vietnam, snorkeling in Cham Island is a fantastic option to explore the amazing underwater world. It’s one of the fun things to do in Vietnam.

Cham Island has beautiful lagoons with clear and calm blue waters, which are perfect for snorkeling. Immerse yourself in a mesmerizing world of vibrant coral reefs, where a kaleidoscope of marine life dances before your eyes. There are tour operators who organize safe snorkeling trips.

To go snorkeling in Cham Island, tourists can travel to the island and then board boats provided by the tour operators. These boats will take you to the best diving and snorkeling spots, where you can enjoy snorkeling in the midst of tropical coral reefs. It’s an opportunity to witness the thriving marine kingdom beneath the water’s surface.

8. Vietnam Local Food Tour

This is one of the most delicious food experiences in Vietnam that attracts food lovers from all over. It’s a great activity to do in Vietnam.

Food tours are organized for a day or two, allowing tourists to indulge in the best of Vietnamese cuisine at famous restaurants in the northern, central, and southern regions of the country.

Saigon Street food tours are particularly popular and take place in the evening when street vendors set up their stalls. During these tours, you get to taste some iconic Vietnamese dishes that you absolutely must try. Some of these include Pho, Cha ca, Banh xeo, and Cao lau, among many others.

Joining a food tour is a wonderful way to explore the diverse and flavorful Vietnamese cuisine, and it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Vietnam for food enthusiasts.

9. Cycle around Hue

Riding a bicycle and exploring the countryside is a fantastic way to appreciate the simple and beautiful pathways while getting a glimpse into the lives of local people.

One of the most fun things to do in Vietnam is cycling around the streets of Hue. You can pedal at your own pace and make stops at various attractions like the Imperial Citadel, Thai Hoa Palace, and the Forbidden Purple City. It’s a delightful experience that allows you to take in the sights at your leisure.

If you’re up for more adventure, there are full-day cycling tours available. These tours offer the opportunity to bike to nearby cities like Hoi An, where you can discover even more exciting places.

Cycling around Hue is a wonderful activity that immerses you in the local culture and lets you enjoy the scenic beauty of Vietnam. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in the country, especially for those who appreciate outdoor exploration.

10. Sail Through the Tam Coc rice Fields

Taking a peaceful boat ride along the Ngong Dong river, which winds through vibrant green rice fields, is truly one of the most enjoyable things to do in Vietnam. The surrounding mountains with patches of dense green forests and the clear skies provide picturesque backgrounds for landscape and portrait photography.

In May and June, the Tam Coc rice fields become even more magical. The rice is fully grown and ready for harvest, creating a surreal sight. The fields shine brightly under the sun, displaying different shades of yellow.

Experiencing a boat ride in Ngong Dong river and witnessing the stunning beauty of the rice fields is a must-do in Vietnam. It’s a serene and picturesque journey that will leave you with wonderful memories and breathtaking photographs.

Some Other Things to Do in Vietnam

1. Trekking in Ho Chi Minh trail

Considered one of the most exciting things to do in Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh trail is a journey that takes you from one part of Vietnam to another.

Along the way, you’ll come across the impressive Truong Son mountains and have the chance to visit the Co Tu and To Oi villages. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local way of life and experience their unique culture. The entire trek usually takes about 9 hours to complete.

2. Visit My Son Sanctuary in Da Nang

My Son sanctuary, located in Vietnam, is a special place that has been honored as a World Heritage Site. It is truly fascinating and filled with valuable cultural traditions. If you’re curious about the culture of Southeast Asia and looking for things to do in Vietnam, you should definitely go and see My Son sanctuary for yourself. The UNESCO organization has officially recognized this site as a World Heritage Site.

3. Explore the Marble Mountains in Da Nang

The Marble Mountains in Nang, Vietnam, is a famous place to visit and it’s one of the exciting things to do in Vietnam. It consists of a group of five hills made of a combination of marble and limestone. People often embark on a special journey to this place, as it offers tunnels, caves, tall points, and temples to explore.

Key Features: This place is located in an area that is well-known for cutting and shaping stones. The caves here have lots of hidden secrets and you can see bullet holes in them. There are many places where people worship and Buddhist sanctuaries, making it a special site for spiritual visits. The pagoda temples and the circular cave offer some of the most beautiful and wide views you can see around.

Ideal Time to Visit: It’s recommended to start your visit early in the day to avoid the hot weather. The entire tour might last around 4 hours, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes.

4. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

What would Vietnam be without its culture and history? The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the impressive places to visit in Hanoi. This big and magnificent marble building tells the story of the life of Vietnam’s founding father, Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh, who was affectionately called Uncle Ho, wanted a simple cremation, but the Vietnamese people built this mausoleum as a way to show their deep respect and admiration for him.

They built this amazing building by collecting materials from all over Vietnam. Inside the depths of the building, you will find the pale and fragile body of Uncle Ho, peacefully laid to rest in a glass box.

5. Feast on Pho, Snake, and Scorpion

Just like in any other place, one of the best things to do in Vietnam is to satisfy your taste buds. And with the delicious Pho and the hot Vietnamese coffee, the experience is simply delightful and enjoyable.

Pho is a famous and special dish in Vietnam. It consists of rice noodles, flavorful broth, herbs, vegetables, and meat. To truly enjoy the authentic and delicious taste, you should try Pho at well-known restaurants in Vietnam. Some popular options include Pho 2000, Pho Quynh, Pho 24, Pho Bo Vien Thap Cam, Pho Thin Ha Noi, and Pho Hoa, among others.

If you love coffee, you shouldn’t miss trying the local coffee at Cosmo Café, M2C café, L’usine Dong Khoi, and Thoai Vien Café. And if you enjoy trying unique and different things, you must give Snake Wine (made from Cobra) and Scorpion Rice Wine a try. These drinks, besides being safe to consume, are believed to have health benefits as well.

6. Cruising in Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a beautiful and peaceful place in Vietnam with picturesque countryside views. It’s considered one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country. One of the best and popular things to do in Vietnam (South) is to go on a cruise along the charming waterways of the Mekong Delta. It’s a wonderful experience for travelers to sail in a traditional Vietnamese boat and enjoy the beauty of this region.

Open Hours: The place is open from sunrise in the morning until sunset in the evening.

7. Saigon River Rafting

River rafting in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) is a fun and exciting activity to do in Vietnam. The rivers have gentle rapids that are easy to navigate, with different levels ranging from I to III. This extreme sport provides a thrilling and enjoyable experience as you ride along the Cai River in Ho Chi Minh City. While racing against the wind and waves in a raft, make sure to take in the beautiful scenery around you.

8. Shopping for the best of silk materials in Hoi An

The beautiful town of Hoi An is famous around the world for its talented tailors and silk weavers. When you visit this coastal town, you can go shopping for silk items like dresses, fabric, and scarves. Hoi An has narrow streets and bustling roads filled with many local shops. The shopping experience here is mainly influenced by incredibly skilled tailors who can create custom-made clothes, shirts, suits, and shoes with astonishing speed and at surprisingly affordable prices.

9. Crazy shopping till you drops.

When exploring Vietnam, one of the exciting things to do in Vietnam is shopping and experience the vibrant markets. Vietnam offers a wide range of items to discover, such as beautiful silk fabric, delightful cosmetics, unique souvenirs, exquisite pearls, intricate handicrafts, elegant terracotta and ceramic products, and flavorful spices. Engaging in shopping at various tourist attractions is considered one of the best activities to enjoy during a week-long vacation in Vietnam, allowing you to immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture and take home special mementos.

10. Explore Yaly Couture-Tran Phu Branch

When you visit a new place, it’s natural to want to buy something that represents its culture. At Yaly Couture-Tran Phu branch shop, you can not only choose traditional-style clothing but also have it custom-made just for you.

The shop gives you the option to select your own fabric and have a dress or shirt made from it in a short amount of time. The fabrics available are beautiful, and many of them feature famous Vietnamese designs. The shop staff is patient and friendly, ensuring that you find the perfect fabric by showing you various options. They will also assist you in selecting the best style for you.

The best part about this shop is their efficiency. They work quickly and will deliver your clothing within the agreed-upon timeframe.

11. Visit One Pillar Pagoda

According to a legend, the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi was built when an emperor who didn’t have a father dreamt of an enlightened being called Avalokiteshvara giving him a baby son, who was resting on a lotus flower. Inspired by this dream, Emperor Ly Thai decided to build the One Pillar Pagoda that looks like a lotus, which is an important symbol of enlightenment in Buddhism.

If you want to see this lovely pagoda, you should follow a specific dress code. Remember to bring a scarf and wear clothes that cover your legs, shoulders, and chest when you visit the Pagoda.

Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Usually, the nicest time to visit Vietnam is during spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October). The temperatures are not too hot, and the rain is not heavy during these seasons. However, Vietnam has different parts with diverse nature and environment. So, the ideal time to visit can vary depending on the specific places you want to see in Vietnam.

Now that we have learned about the great things to do in Vietnam. Let’s start planning our next vacation to this wonderful destination right away.

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