There is no denying that Vietnam is an amazing country. Now that you’ve learned about the culture and history of the area, it’s time to look at the must-do activities at each destination.
We’ll begin at the top of the country and work our way down. Each city lists the top activities that you just can’t miss.
Your Vietnam bucket lists to visit
Sapa is a picturesque northern town that cannot be missed.
l. Hike through Muong Hoa Valley. This amazing day trip will take you along a river and through rice paddies and small towns.
2. Swim in the Love Waterfall. Just outside of Sapa is a beautiful waterfall where you can swim. Take the time to hike up the cliff to see the pagoda, too.
3. People watch in Quang Truong Square. The center of Sapa is a fascinating piece of local culture.
The capital city of Vietnam is quieter than Ho Chi Minh City, but it is packed with things to see and do.
1. Walk through the Old Quarter. Enjoy shopping or eating in this warm section of the city. Don’t forget to try the pho!
2. Visit Mr. Ho Chi Minh. The founder of modern Vietnam is on view under glass in his marble mausoleum.
3. Tour Hoa Lo Prison. See where American Prisoners during the war were kept and Vietnamese prisoners before that.
4. Take in a water theater puppet show at Thang Long Theater. This ancient art form is definitely a must- see.
5. Shop at Dong Xuan Market. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the best market in the city.
Ha Long Bay
Just three hours from Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is a great day trip and there is plenty to do here.
1. Rent a kayak and explore. There are plenty of interesting sites to visit on the bay.
2. Explore on bicycle. The beautiful islands in the bay are ideal for cycling.
3. Visit the floating villages. Take a boat tour or kayak over to these floating shacks over freshwater pearl farms.
Hue was once the capital of Vietnam and is home to a number of historical sites.
l. See the royal tombs. There are plenty of tombs around Hue in varying conditions, all of which are interesting to check out.
2. Check out the tiger-fighting arena. Ho Quyen was once used to host fights between elephants and tigers. Today it is inactive, but fascinating.
3. Soak in the hot springs at Thanh Tan. This water park includes both hot and cold springs, as well as a wave pool.
Hoi An is a pleasant little town that is friendly and interesting.
1. Listen to live music. There is live music to be found every night of the week in this town, so check it out.
2. Sleep by the rice paddies. A homestay overlooking rice paddies is an experience you wall never forget.
3. Celebrate the full moon. On the 14th day of each lunar month, there is a full moon party in Hoi An. It’s an exhilarating experience that you can’t miss.
This coastal city is the perfect place to visit when you want a little rest and relaxation.
1. Chill on the beach. Nha Trang is well known for its beautiful beaches, so take advantage.
Go snorkeling while you’re there.
2. Learn to cook traditional meals. Take a cooking class with a friend or on your own to learn local dishes.
3. Cruise the islands. Take a boat tour to get a close up look at the 71 islands just off the coast of Nha Trang.
Tucked away near Phan Thiet, this town is a relaxing place to stay for a few days.
1. Take a quad to the dunes. Enjoy riding an quad over the sand and stop to watch the sun set over the sea.
2. Visit the Red Dunes. These unique sand dunes are not that far from the white dunes where sand boarding is popular.
3. Walk the Fairy Stream. Not far from Mui Ne, this stream winds through green trees and limestone formations and ends in a waterfall.
Phan Thiet is a popular tourist destination, but don’t let this deter you from visiting.
l. Go kite surfing. You haven’t lived until you’ve been pulled through the water on a board by a giant kite!
2. Visit Po Sah Inu Cham Tower. This 7th-century tower is worth checking out, along with the other ruins in the area.
3. Stuff yourself with fresh seafood. You can even pick the food you want while it’s still alive and watch it being cooked.
Ho Chi Minh City
This bustling city is a destination for nearly everyone passing through Vietnam and has a lot to offer.
1. Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels. See where Vietnamese soldiers hid from the enemy.
2. Negotiate prices in Ben Thanh Market. This is the best market in the city and well worth a visit.
3. Enjoy banh xeo on on Dinh Cong Trang street. Taste a few different variations of this local dish.
4. Cruise the Saigon River. Take a dinner cruise and enjoy the sights as you eat delicious food.
5. Tour the museums.
Ho Chi Mirth City is packed with museums that cover every period of history. Make a day trip or two of it.
There is plenty more to explore in these towns, as well as others in Vietnam, but this bucket list will get you off to a good start. You really don’t want to miss anything on this list.