Oh, Vietnam. I’ll never quite get my head around you. Complex, beautiful and diverse – travelling in Vietnam, like anywhere in Asia, is always an unforgettable experience.
Take to the busy streets of Hanoi or explore the magnificent natural surroundings of destinations like Halong Bay.
Obviously, there’s a tonne of stuff to do in the country, so much so that it can be difficult to know where to start. Hint: here are my picks for the best places to see in Vietnam.
Don’t forget to try some of the country’s incredible food too (by some, I clearly mean all)… Start with a Vietnamese cooking class.
Best Places to Travel Vietnam
There is so much to do in Hanoi, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll ever have a quiet moment in Vietnam’s Capital.
The enticing smell of street food permeates the air – follow it to stalls piled high with steaming delicacies.
The air rings with a choir of revving motorbikes, zooming and weaving throughout the busy streets. All against the backdrop of old-school architecture, glitzy restaurants, boutiques, cafe, restaurants and shopping malls.
Ho Chi Minh City
Energetic and chaotic – Ho Chi Minh City has its own undeniable charm.
Teeming with vibrancy, Ho Chi Minh caters to a variety of travellers, offering luxury digs or some pretty cool hostels.
A combination of historical culture with 21st-century flair, HCM should be at the top of your Vietnam travel list.
The view that launched a thousand camera clicks – there’s a reason that Halong Bay features on pretty much any list of spectacular natural landscapes around the world. Spectacular is the word: thousands of limestone islands rise from the placid waters. Book yourself onto a boat tour – be careful to check reviews first as they vary in quality.
One of Vietnam’s ancient cities, the imperial city of Hue is one of the country’s true highlights. It was the seat of the Nguyễn Dynasty that ruled for the 19th and the first half of the 20th century and comes complete with the trappings of the splendour of days gone by.
Explore the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, replete with the luxury and decadence of Emperors past.
Architecturally, Hue is a gem – don’t miss it.
In contrast to the humming, busy street of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An is an idyllic break from the chaos. You won’t be dodging motorcycles or bumping shoulders with people, rather you’ll be strolling through the Old Town, marvelling at eye-catching architecture.
Whilst Hoi An maintains a sense of heritage, it still caters to a more modern crowd, with hotels, shops and lounge bars popping up across the city.
This atmospheric town is a great place to escape the excitement and take a moment to embrace Vietnamese culture.
Life on the Mekong Delta ebbs and flows alongside the ripples of the ever-flowing Mekong river. This is truly a memorable experience and must see destination for your trip. You’ll be encapsulated by the emerald shadows of towering trees and leaves and transported to a floating destination unlike any other.
You’ll find bird life, mangrove forests and pristine, white-sand beaches. Markets and houses gently float on the winding rivers and streams. If you get hungry, there’s a river full of fresh fish waiting to be caught (or local fisherman to do the deed for you).