The major attraction for any tourist visiting Vietnam is undoubtedly the vast natural beauty on offer. As an outdoor enthusiast, this is the number one reason I am driven to a destination. Add to it some great street food, sugary white sandy beaches, exotic wild jungles and an array of beautiful places to visit in Vietnam, and you have a real crowd puller beckoning you to its shores.
As a five star destination, Vietnam may still have a long way to go, but what it lacks in infrastructure, at places, it makes up with a fair share of extra activities available to the visitor. One glance at the map shows that because of its geographical shape, getting around Vietnam is basically along two routes only-either North to South or vice versa. Which means you either start at Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi, and travel accordingly. This makes for easy travel itineraries and saving time. With the modern day advent of excessive tourism, it always is a good idea to do some basic reading before you go. You will be surprised to know that the best tourist hot spots are fast becoming dirty and polluted. Having said that, there is still a lot of beauty to be discovered in them.
Touristy yet Interesting Spots to Visit in Vietnam
Ha Long Bay
You just cannot return from your Vietnam holiday without visiting Halong Bay. This is one of the best known tourist spots of the country. A world heritage archipelago, famous for the limestone karsts and islands. Though the place tends get very crowded at times, the scenery is simply spectacular. A walk up to the view point and the cave experience are not be missed – but keep in mind that you are not likely to be alone.
Vinh Moc tunnels
Very similar to the world famous Cu Chi tunnels, the tunnels of Vinh Moh are an equally elaborate chain of tunnels built during the war. Such a success were these complex of underground passageways, that it is widely recorded that not one villager lost his life, despite staying in awful conditions. These tunnels, though less visited, are considered to offer a better view of how the locals survived the war.
A major tourist attraction no doubt, but again this place is best visited if you travel alone. The advertised tours are basically travelling from one tourist trap to the other, but exploring the markets on your own affords a greater insight on the diverse culture prevailing in Vietnam.
Who doesn’t yearns for visiting these famous rice terraces in the far north of Vietnam? With a multitude of home stays and huts fitted with just hammocks Sapa gives a vivid insight on how the locals live. Imagine having a meal with your host sitting on the floor. The best way to have a feel of the life in the country’s highlands.
The war museum in Ho Chi Minh city is one place to experience and actually feel the heart wrenching tragedies which befell the country. There are other museums too, dedicated to the war heroes, but the war remnants museum will leave you uncomfortable, shocked and gasping for breath. Must visit for an insight on the war history of the country.
Your itinerary to cover the whole of Vietnam may include more places, but the spots highlighted here are a typical to include in a two to three week period. If you have less time, you can easily consider narrowing things down. Have you traveled to Vietnam already? Tell me your fave activities and top places to visit in Vietnam.
Disclaimer – This post is written in collaboration with Asia Odyssey