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Top 7 Things to Do in Vietnam

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Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance of Hue Imperial City in Vietnam

Ngo Mon Gate at Hue Imperial City, Vietnam

The top things to do in Vietnam reflect the spirit of the culture and the treasures of the landscape that you can explore during your trip.

With once-in-a-lifetime adventures, relaxation, and beauty, you can embrace the majesty of the country’s diverse scenery and distinctive heritage. From ethnic mountain tribes to bustling megacities, imperial palaces to hidden temples, Vietnam is a unique destination.

Whether you are interested in the country’s cuisine, enjoy hiking or history, floating markets or art, these are the essential things to do to shape your experience of the country.

  1. 1. Discover the Unparalleled Flavors of Vietnam
  2. 2. Enjoy Vietnam’s Exciting Adventures
  3. 3. Embrace the Heritage of the Past and Present
  4. 4. Actively Indulge in the Warm Waters
  5. 5. Explore the Unique Cultures of Storytelling and Art
  6. 6. Enjoy the Magnificence of Nature
  7. 7. Visit Marvelous Markets
  8. Experience the Top Things to Do in Vietnam

1. Discover the Unparalleled Flavors of Vietnam

 Vietnamese food

Vietnamese food

Vietnam is a country with incredible things to do supported by unrivaled flavors and unique cultural history.

It is not just about specific recipes or ingredients that create a typical dish. Instead, Vietnam revolves around its food culture, with each region known for its own specialties and gastronomic variations.

You can easily travel across the country sampling the same dish, only to find different flavors in each destination, revealing Vietnam’s contrasting personalities and cuisine.

Best Places for Food: Hoi An • Hanoi • Ho Chi Minh City • Da Nang • Sapa

Learn more: Vietnam Food Tours & Vacations

2. Enjoy Vietnam’s Exciting Adventures

Vietnam is a haven for active exploration, with a landscape that shifts from meandering lowland riverbanks to snowcapped mountain peaks.

The remarkable diversity between topography and cityscapes can plunge you into majestic caves, exemplary kayaking settings, or exceptional jungle panoramas.

From trekking island trails to taking part in a historic tradition, cruising through a floating market to cycling across mountain passes, Vietnam is a stunning destination for active tours.

Best Places for Active Tours: Sapa • Hanoi • Halong Bay • Mekong River • Dalat

3. Embrace the Heritage of the Past and Present

Rice field in Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa Valley, Vietnam

As you explore what to do in Vietnam, cultural heritage shines in many forms, from the landscape to cuisine, while the impact of the past supports art, architecture, and contemporary life.

Whether visiting the temples of Hanoi or wandering the antique merchant homes in Hoi An, exploring the Imperial Citadel of Hue or learning the art of pho in a private cooking class, the art and history across Vietnam create a tangible foundation at a corner of the world that has acted as a historical crossroads of Asia.

Best Places for Cultural Tours: Hanoi • Hue • Ho Chi Minh City • Sapa

4. Actively Indulge in the Warm Waters

Beach with boulders in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

The waters surrounding Vietnam touch nearly 2,000 miles of coastline, giving way to unspoiled sections for scuba diving and snorkeling.

From dazzling marine reserves to sparkling archipelagos, plunging into the sea in search of vibrant coral reefs, radiant tropical fish, and whale sharks brings to life an entirely new image of the country.

Beyond the towering karsts and picturesque rice paddies, the balmy seas demonstrate the best things to do in Vietnam by exuding charisma.

Best Places for Snorkeling or Scuba Diving: Nha Trang • Cham Islands • Phu Quoc • Con Dao

5. Explore the Unique Cultures of Storytelling and Art

Vietnamese pottery in Hanoi, Vietnam

Bat Trang Pottery Village in Hanoi, Vietnam

Art in Vietnam sustains beauty, explores truth, and makes history an experience.

Pottery, silk-weaving, and handcrafts share a part of the artistic traditions of the country, while water-puppet theater is a stunning thing to do in Hanoi, while impressive statues offer glimpses of local, national, and cultural history throughout the country.

With diverse contemporary artists exploring poignant mediums and communist propaganda taking on a form of artistry in its display, Vietnam is a haven for distinctive art history.

Best Places for Art and History: Ho Chi Minh City • Hanoi • Phu Quoc Island

6. Enjoy the Magnificence of Nature

Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

Vietnam is a majestic wonderland of diverse scenery that can take you from soaring mountains to white-sand islands, towering limestone karsts to snakelike riverbanks.

Topographical diversity weaves its wonders into the national parks across the country, from labyrinth caverns to the jungle canopy. The protected landscapes share the natural heritage of the nation, leading from wildlife to reefs.

Best National Parks to Visit: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park • Phu Quoc National Park • Nui Chua National Park • Cat Tien National Park

7. Visit Marvelous Markets

Cai Rang floating market on Mekong Delta river, Vietnam

Cai Rang floating market on Mekong Delta river, Vietnam

Vietnam’s floating markets, true cultural treasures, are an immersive and authentic experience that share a part of a region’s daily life.

In addition to mangrove trees and palm leaves, houses perched on stilts and lush riverbanks are wooden fishing boats from which locals buy, trade, and exchange goods.

The markets erupt with merchants haggling, buyers negotiating, and the aromas of delicious cuisine wafting over the water. Vietnam’s floating markets reflect an essential connection to the water.

Best Places for Floating Markets: Cai Rang • Cai Be • Chau Doc • Tra On • Nga Nam

Experience the Top Things to Do in Vietnam

Boats moored along the river in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Vietnam is a treasure of a destination, with timeless beauty and an endless number of activities, excursions, and experiences. From drifting down the Mekong River on a romantic getaway to learning the art of historic cuisine as a family, you can find the right blend of beauty and adventure for everyone when exploring our Vietnam tours and vacations.

Our Vietnam travel guide has more helpful information and travel tips to inspire you as you create your perfect trip.

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