The things to do in Vietnam reflect the spirit of the culture and the treasures of the landscape in daily local life that you can explore during your trip.
With once-in-a-lifetime adventures, enticing relaxation, and sublime 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 that can shape your entire Vietnam experience.
Vietnam is a country with unrivaled flavors, supported by a unique cultural history. It is not just about the specific culinary recipes or ingredients that create a typical dish. Instead, Vietnam revolves around its entire food culture, with each region known for its own specialties and gastronomic variations. You can easily travel across the whole country and sample the same dish, only to find different flavors in each destination, revealing Vietnam’s contrasting personalities and alluring cuisine.
Best Places to Visit for Food: Hoi An | Hanoi | Ho Chi Minh City | Da Nang | Sapa
Vietnam is a haven for active exploration, with a landscape that shifts from meandering lowland riverbanks to surprising snowcapped mountain peaks. The remarkable diversity between topography and cityscapes can plunge you into majestic caves, reveal exemplary kayaking settings, or uncover exceptional jungle panoramas. From trekking island trails to taking part in a historic tradition, cruising through a floating market to cycling across the mountain passes, Vietnam is a stunning destination for active tours.
Best Places to Visit for Active Tours: Sapa | Hanoi | Halong Bay | Mekong River | Dalat
Cultural heritage in Vietnam takes many forms, from the landscape to cuisine, but the impact of the past supports the preserved art, architecture, and contemporary life across the country. 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 to Visit for Cultural Heritage: Hanoi | Hue | Ho Chi Minh City | Sapa
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 opportunities for seeing whale sharks bring to life an entirely new image of the country. Beyond the towering karsts and the picturesque rice paddies, the balmy seas demonstrate Vietnam’s distinctive charisma.
Best Places to Visit for Snorkeling/Scuba: Nha Trang | Cham Islands | Phu Quoc | Con Dao
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 Theatre and impressive statues provide access to completely different disciplines that reveal local, national, and cultural history. 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 to Visit for Art and History: Ho Chi Minh City | Hanoi | Phu Quoc Island
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. The density of topographical diversity weaves its wonders into the national parks found across the country, from the labyrinth caverns to the jungle canopy. The protected landscapes share the natural heritage of the nation, leading from gibbons to reefs.
Best Places to Visit for National Parks: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park | Phu Quoc National Park | Nui Chua National Park | Cat Tien National Park
The cultural treasures of Vietnam’s floating markets are an immersive and authentic experience that share a part of a region’s daily life. In addition to the images of mangrove trees and palm leaves, houses perched on stilts and verdant riverbanks are the groups of wooden fishing boats where locals buy, trade, and exchange goods. The market erupts 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 to Visit for Floating Markets: Cai Rang | Cai Be | Chau Doc | Tra On | Nga Nam
Vietnam is a true treasure of a destination, with timeless beauty and an endless number of enticing 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. Our Vietnam Travel Guide has more helpful information and tips for creating your perfect trip. You can also speak to a Vietnam travel expert by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.