Vietnam has a perfect mix of everything that you seek in your perfect vacation. One of the South-East Asian countries, Vietnam carries a blend of rice fields with city pubs. Everything that one wishes to explore on their visit to a new country, from cultural heritage to natural diversity and food- Vietnam offers you everything with open arms.
For travellers, Vietnam is cost-effective, but the number of things to explore in the country can sometimes be overpowering. There’s a lot to cover across the length and breadth of the country which might stress you a little upon visiting. But we are here to ease your trouble. Here’s a list of 15 experiences that you can have in Vietnam on your first visit. And if it’s not your first, but you have missed some, you can always cover them in your next visit.
It makes sense to explore Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon – the most important and the largest city of the country while touring the country. The city is full of modern skyscrapers, highways as well as history, culture and a lot of good food. The War Remnants Museum is a must if you are visiting the city. The museum displays how the war between America and Vietnam affected the country and its citizens. Other than that, Jade Emperor Pagoda is another timeless gem for culture enthusiasts. Also add a visit to the Iconic Cafe Apartment Block on Nguyen Hue Street and popular Colonial Landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office among others as mentioned in this list of Top Things to Do In Ho Chi Minh City.
Take a stroll in Hanoi’s Old Quarters
A quiet afternoon walk through the old quarters of Hanoi will have you lost in the twist and turns of the narrow alleys. But it’s worth it. The history of these old quarters dates back to 1000 years. The small shops with rusty windshields will make you nostalgic even though it’s your first time. The lanes are named after the crafts produced or sold there. Getting a few memorandums is not at all a bad idea while strolling around lazily.
Get clicked on the Golden Bridge on Ban Na Hills
Get surprised by the caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang
Hidden among the limestone peaks in central Vietnam, the caves reside on the border shared with Laos, Phong Nha Ke Bang. This is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. The caves are one of the largest and most beautiful, and the caverns stretch a hundred miles in that region.
Go Hiking in SaPa in North Vietnam
Northern Vietnam has some mesmerizing sites to witness. Especially in the harvesting season, the rice fields are in their complete charm. Sa Pa, Mu Cang Chai, or Ha Giang- wherever you go, trekking through this beautiful scenery will be a fine experience to have.
Visit the one of a kind Floating Market
A very touristy experience to have in Vietnam is visiting the Floating Market in Mekong. The local vendors assemble in the dawn with their boats filled with vegetables and fruits to negotiate on the best price to trade. The market is photogenic and a rare phenomenon to see.
Watch a Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
Water Puppet is an old form of Vietnamese entertainment. The farmers of the north started the puppet show Mua Roi Nuoc in the pond. However, these shows are still conducted today in the busy theatre of Hanoi.
Roam around Hue Imperial City
For all the history and cultural enthusiasts, this is your call. The Hue imperial city was the capital of Vietnam till 1945 and used to have royal palaces with a lot of bureaucrats like you would expect in any other capital city. This royal city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is now open to tourists. The classical citadels and tombs will catch your attention as you get lost in time.
Go Diving in Con Dao
Diving lovers have a perfect destination in Vietnam to show off their skills. The Con Dao Diving spot has been rated one of the best in the country by experts. The corals and marine life are quite vibrant in this spot and you might lose your sense of time underwater. Plan ahead as this isn’t something that you would want to miss.
Hog on the Yummy Vietnamese Street Food
If cuisine is what you look for when visiting a new country, then Vietnam is a literal paradise for you. It is one of those countries which have everything appealing to a range of appetites and taste palettes. Going on a food tour around the capital city of Ho Chi Minh is one ultimate experience that you will cherish all your life. People from different places all across the country have come to the economic centre, the capital, bringing in the best of their plates. Seat on those stools that you will see across the city, outside the street eateries and bite on the amazing Vietnamese food that will satisfy both your stomach and heart.
Go Boating in Ninh Binh – Ha Long Bay on Land
Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels
A different way of experiencing the intensity of the Vietnam war is to go to these Cu Chi Tunnels. The place is a natural ingenious underground tunnel and passage that were used against the American troops during the war.
Stroll aroundPhu Quoc
After the mountains, caves and city, now Vietnam has beaches for you to relax. Phu Quoc is one beautiful island where you can spend an entire day running on the sand and distance yourself from the stress and pressure.
Prepare your nerves for Dalat
Dalat is a one-stop destination for adventure. From jungle safaris to exploring waterfalls, Dalat delivers the perfect recipe for a good adrenaline rush. This place is photogenic too. The French colonial remnants and the beautiful lakes and falls set it a world apart.
A staycation in Hoi An
Staying in Hoi An is no less than a blessing. The location is what you call picturesque. There are a lot of crafts workshops as well for you to participate in. Hoi An is a perfect destination if choosing Vietnam as a honeymoon destination.
Be Charmed by Nature in Ha Giang
The rice terraces of Ha Giang add to the beauty of Vietnam. The greenery, the hills and the weather are perfect for a road trip. The people are welcoming and hospitable. Trekking or going on a road trip is the best way to experience this beautiful location.
Hop on a Cruise in Ha Long Bay
A cruise in Ha Long Bay / Lan Ha Bay is on every Travellers’ list. The clear lagoons, water level caves and beautiful scenery is straight out of a picture book. Another UNESCO World Heritage site with an invincible Instagram appeal.
So, these were the 17 Bucket List Experiences you should have on your Vietnam Travel Bucket List. Vietnam is a small country with a big bucket of culture, heritage, natural beauty, and food. Don’t overwhelm yourself and enjoy your time in the country of serenity.