So, you’ve made the exciting decision to set off on your last adventure of 2023, and Vietnam is your chosen destination. You’ve successfully navigated the visa and document maze, but have you fine-tuned your travel plans yet? What’s on your must-see list once you touch down in Hanoi? And have you considered the captivating side trips you can take before jetting off to explore the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City?
When Vietnam comes to mind, it’s often banh mi and pho that steal the spotlight. However, this enchanting country has so much more to offer. Vietnam is a land of diverse experiences, ranging from the lively urban hubs to the calm countryside. With a plethora of options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fret not; we’ve got your back.
We’ve carefully selected the top 9 experiences that epitomize Vietnam. This ensures an exceptional journey that takes you from the bustling streets of Hanoi up to the magnificent Fansipan and down to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels in the country’s southern reaches.
Sip Egg Coffee at Cafe Giang: A Unique Vietnamese Delight
- What: Try Vietnamese egg coffee at Café Giang in Hanoi, a decadent treat with a frothy egg yolk topping.
- Where: Café Giang in the heart of Hanoi is renowned for this specialty.
- Why: It’s not just a coffee; it’s a sweet, creamy indulgence you can’t miss.
Dive into Ha Long Bay: Paradise on Earth
- What: Set sail amidst the emerald waters and limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay.
- Where: Book a cruise from Ha Long City to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Why: Ha Long Bay’s otherworldly beauty and hidden caves make it a true bucket list destination.
Conquer Fansipan: Reach the Rooftop of Indochina
- What: Scale Mount Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina, for epic views and bragging rights.
- Where: Head to Sapa to start your challenging but rewarding trek.
- Why: Standing at 3,147 meters, this adventure promises breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment.
Hike the Terraced Fields of Sapa: Picture-Perfect Landscapes
- What: Embark on a trek through the mesmerizing terraced rice fields of Sapa.
- Where: While you’re in Sapa, don’t miss some of Vietnam’s most stunning scenery.
- Why: The captivating beauty of Sapa’s landscapes will leave you spellbound.
Explore My Son Sanctuary: Mystical Ruins in the Jungle
- What: Visit the ancient Hindu temples of My Son, hidden within the lush Vietnamese jungle.
- Where: My Son Sanctuary is a short trip from Hoi An.
- Why: Discover the spiritual significance and intricate architecture of these captivating ruins.
Witness the Lantern Festival in Hoi An: A Night of Magic
- What: Experience the enchanting lantern festival, where Hoi An’s streets glow with thousands of colorful lanterns.
- When: Plan your visit during the full moon to witness this magical event.
- Why: The festival’s ambiance, with lantern-lit canals and riverside dining, is pure Vietnamese charm.
Cruise the Mekong Delta: Discover Hidden Worlds
- What: Explore the intricate waterways of the Mekong Delta by boat, a region teeming with life.
- Where: Begin your journey in Can Tho and let the river lead the way.
- Why: From vibrant floating markets to lush orchards, the Mekong Delta offers a glimpse into authentic Vietnamese culture.
Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels: Walk in History’s Footsteps
- What: Explore the intricate tunnels used during the Vietnam War, a testament to Vietnamese resilience.
- Where: Venture to the Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City.
- Why: This historical journey offers a deep dive into Vietnam’s past and the courage of its people.
Share Bia with Locals: Toast to New Friendships
- What: Enjoy Bia, Vietnam’s beer, at lively sidewalk stalls.
- Where: Wherever you are in the country, join the locals in for a bottle or two of this refreshing brew.
- Why: It’s not just about the beer; it’s about the camaraderie and cultural immersion you’ll find at these spots.