Most travellers to Vietnam are attracted wonderful natural beauty, from the green rice fields in the north to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south.
Vietnam however is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic attractions and old temples.
Following is an overview of the most amazing tourist attractions in Vietnam by touropia.com, a travel list website that features the most amazing sights around the world divided into various “best of” lists.
1. Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is situated in north Vietnam round a 120km-long coast line and is literally translated as “Bay of Descending Dragons”. The top tourist attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay features thousands of islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, others islands include lakes and some support floating villages of fishermen.
2. Thien Mu Pagoda (Hue)
With seven stories, the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue
is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam.
The pagoda overlooks the Perfume
River and is regarded as
the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. The temple was built in
1601 during the rule of the Nguyễn Lords. The initial temple was very simply
constructed, but over time it was redeveloped and expanded with more intricate
3. Hoan Kiem Lake (Hanoi)
Located in the historical heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as the locals’ favourite leisure spot. Hoan Kiem means “returned sword”, and the name comes from a legend in which King Le Loi was given a magical sword by the gods, which he used to drive out the invading Chinese. Later he returned the sword to the Golden Turtle God in the lake.
4. Hoi An
This fishing-village-turned tourist attraction is situated on the coast of the East Sea. Hoi An has been an international port from the 16th century although the serious shipping business has long since moved to the city of Da Nang. The heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shops. It is sometimes called the “Venice of Vietnam” because of the narrow canals that cut through part of the town.
5. Phu Quoc Island
Located in front of the Cambodia coast, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is what Phuket would be if it hadn’t been overrun by development. The island features pristine tropical forests, undamaged coral reefs and great beaches. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was chosen by the ABC News as one of five beautiful and clean beaches. Phu Quoc is famous for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world.
6. Sa Pa Terraces
Sa Pa is a town in northwest Vietnam not far from the Chinese border. Rice terraces can be found in the Muong Hoa valley between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain, on a backdrop of thick bamboo woodlands. Local mountain people, the Hmong, Giay, Dao, Tay, and Giay, grow rice on these paddy terraces, along with vegetables.
7. Mui Ne
The formerly little-inhabited beach south of the fishing village of Mui Ne has seen some serious development in the last 15 years. Due to strong sea breezes it is a popular destination in Vietnam for kite and windsurfing. No trip to Mui Ne is complete without a trip to the famous sand dunes located a short distance north of the town. The vast sandy expanse provide some great panoramic views especially during sunset.
8. Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is the region in southern Vietnam where the river approaches and empties into the sea. It is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields, that produces about half of the total of Vietnam’s agricultural output. Subsequently, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river rather than by road.
9. Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located about 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City centre. The tunnels, measuring 200km in total length, were used by liberation soldiers as hiding spots during the Vietnam War, and were the base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system.
10. Nha Trang
Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town located along the second most beautiful bays in the country. It features beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water with mild temperatures. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants and is more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It’s also a major scuba diving centre of Vietnam.