10 most popular places to visit in Vietnam

From cruising along the beautiful Halong Bay to exploring the spectacular caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (all guided by experts lest this brings to mind the story of the Thai cave boys), Vietnam offers some really cool activities to make your vacation a memorable one. Explore the beach resort Phu Quoc, Hoan Kiem Lake, sand dunes of Mui-ne, Cu Chi Tunnels, world cultural heritage site My Son, Cat Ba Islands, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and more.

Vietnam is a potpourri of scenic landscapes, traditional customs, ethnic culture and flavoursome cuisine. Her natural wonders, exotic temples, ancient citadels, mountainous villages and shared history will fascinate you. With such attractions and heartwarming culture to explore, no wonder, Vietnam often features the wishlist of travel enthusiasts.

10 most popular places to visit in Vietnam

  1. Halong Bay

For the nature lovers and adventure aficionados, the Halong Bay is an ideal place to explore.

Dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets, this world heritage site is Vietnam’s most iconic attractions. You can opt for a Halong Bay day cruise, a two-day adventure cruise or take the seaplane tour along with a night cruise.

There’s plenty of activities that can be planned on your Halong Bay visit. Adventure enthusiasts can go fishing, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking, trekking.

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  • Cruises to choose from:

 

  • Signature Halong Cruise
  • Doris Cruise
  • Hera Cruises
  • Scarlet Pearl Cruises
  • Paradise Peak Cruise
  • The Au Co Cruises
  • Hotel recommendations:

 

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

 

  • Novotel Ha Long Bay – starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Saigon Halong Hotel – starting from INR 3,000 per night
  • Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh Hotel – starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Royal Lotus Hotel Halong – starting from INR 4,000 per night
  • Paradise Suites Hotel – starting from INR 4,000 per night
  • Starcity Halong Bay Hotel – starting from INR 4,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can reach Halong Bay via flights, drive down or board a bus from nearby regions. Cruises are the best way to explore Halong Bay. There are overnight as well as day cruises.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • Floating Restaurant Several- Cat Ba Island – enjoy delicious preparations of freshly caught seafood
  • Huu Dung Restaurant – Cat Ba Island – explore the heavenly flavours of fried cuttlefish, battered shrimp, spring rolls, whole steamed fish served with garlic and soy sauce
  • Noble House Bar & Restaurant – Cat Ba Island – a cosy restaurant serving amazing Vietnamese delicacies

 

  1. Ho Chi Minh City

History and culture enthusiasts will find great pleasure in exploring Ho Chi Minh City.

It is a curious melting pot of modernization and tradition. Preserving much of its historic past, Ho Chi Minh City flaunts classic French architecture, scenic natural beauty, ornate temples and pagodas and a warm ambience for travellers to enjoy at its posh roof-top bars.

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  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Binh Tay & Ben Thanh Market
  • War Remnants Museum
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Cao Dai Temple
  • Jade Emperor Pagoda
  • Reunification Palace
  • Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office

 

  • Hotel recommendations

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • The Reverie Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City – starting from INR 20,000 per night
  • An Lam Retreats Saigon River – Thuan An – starting from INR 15,000 per night
  • InterContinental Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City – starting from INR 15,000 per night
  • Park Hyatt Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City – starting from INR 27,000 per night
  • Sofitel Saigon Plaza – Ho Chi Minh City – starting from INR 7,000 per night

 

  • Where to shop from?

 

  • Ben Thanh Market – A vibrant market with food stalls and merchandise from clothing to local artifacts on display. Spend some time to enjoy local Vietnamese culture.
  • Bin Tay Market – Shop for handicrafts, lacquerware, textiles and fresh produce
  • An Dong Market (Craft Market) – Shop for lacquer and woodwork handicrafts by skilled artisans

 

  • How to commute locally?

Xe Om (the local name for a motorbike taxi) is one of the most efficient modes of transport within the city. Alternatively, there are cars to hire, public buses and taxis.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • Quan An Ngon – Try Vietnamese delicacies such as fresh spring rolls, black pepper crab and Hue noodles
  • The Deck Saigon – Try specialities such as shell crab tempura, rib eye steak and char grilled shrimp
  • La Cuisine – French culture has influenced Vietnamese lifestyle over the years and you would find quite a few French themed restaurants and bars in Vietnam. One such place is La Cuisine. Try out the steak tartare, pan seared duck with Béarnaise sauce and foie gras with Provence figs.

 

  1. Hanoi

Hanoi is a fantastic location for nature lovers and people keen to explore Vietnam.

Hanoi resembles an open-air museum of historic French and Asian colonial architecture that has retained much of its charm over the years. From quaint cafes to the Grand Opera House; scenic boulevards to busy markets; from the Presidential Palace to Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi is picture perfect. Enjoy a relaxed tour to this scenic location.

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  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Water Puppet Theatre
  • Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son
  • The Perfume Pagoda
  • Ba Vi National Park
  • Temple of Literature
  • Dong Xuan Market
  • Hanoi Opera House
  • Hanoi Old Quarter

 

  • Hotel Recommendations

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • Hanoi Royal Palace Hotel 2 – starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Hanoi Marvellous Hotel & Spa – starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Oriental Suite Hotel & Spa – starting from INR 4,000 per night
  • Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa– starting from INR 10,000 per night
  • Somerset Grand Hanoi – starting from INR 10,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

Hanoi’s eco friendly Electric Bus tour is actually a pretty good way to get around. There are motor taxis and cyclos (a three-wheel bicycle taxi) as well.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • La Terrasse Du Metropole – Hoan Kiem District: Taste delicacies such as French cheese, oysters, steak-frites and coq au vin
  • Sen 60 Ly Thai – Hoan Kiem District: Noted for their seafood delicacies, try out oysters, crab, sashimi, escargot and Vietnamese spring rolls
  • Green Tangerine – Hoan Kiem District : Popular for their exotic French delicacies prepared with a twist in recipes. Try out king prawns cooked with mango and rum liquor served with carrot cake; marinated pigeon with coffee and cocoa served with beetroot, strawberries and mashed eggplant.

 

  1. Hoi An

Hoi An is an ideal destination for history buffs.

UNESCO-listed and a popular town for expats, Hoi An is a charming historical old town dating back to the 15th century. Offering a glimpse into the old world way of Vietnamese lifestyle, Hoi An translates to a ‘peaceful meeting place’. This enigmatic town houses a variety of historical buildings, pagodas and the 18th century Japanese Bridge.

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  • Hotel Recommendations

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai – Starting from INR 60,000 per night
  • Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery by Sofitel – Starting from INR 7,000 per night
  • Palm Garden Resort – Starting from INR 6,000 per night
  • Anantara Hoi An Resort Hoi An– Starting from INR 20,000 per night

 

  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Ancient Town
  • The Riverside
  • Cua Dai Beach
  • Japanese Covered Bridge
  • Van Duc Pagoda
  • Chuc Thanh Pagoda
  • Hoi An Museum of History & Culture
  • Hoi An Museum of Trade Ceramics
  • Fujian Assembly Hall

 

  • How to commute locally?

The ancient town can be explored on foot, cyclo and bicycles.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • Aubergine49 Restaurant – Try pistachio-crusted goat cheese, roasted rack of lamb, duck liver parfait, miso-glazed sea bass and stuffed squid
  • Ms Ly Café – Explore specialities such as banh bao vac (white rose dumplings), cao lau (thick rice noodles with barbecued pork, greens and croutons) and thit nuong (grilled pork)
  • Quan Dau Bac – Order its signature Vietnamese dish prepared with deep-fried tofu, rice noodles, fresh herbs, cucumber, served with shrimp sauce
  1. Hue

Those of you who are looking for a place that blends natural beauty with ancient history, Hue will be a pleasant discovery.

For history enthusiasts, this is a great find. The town is packed to the brim with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors. A riverboat cruise on the Perfume River offers insight into ancient pagodas and tombs.

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  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Hue Imperial City
  • Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Minh Mang Tomb
  • Tu Duc Tomb
  • Perfume River
  • Thanh Toan Bridge
  • The To Mieu Temple
  • Bach Ma National Park
  • Huyen Tran Princess Temple
  • Hon Chen Temple

 

  • Hotel recommendations

 

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • Azerai La Residence – Starting from INR 20,000 per night
  • Indochine Palace – Starting from INR 7,000 per night
  • Eldora Hotel – Starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Banyan Tree Lang Co – Starting from INR 25,000 per night
  • Vedana Lagoon Resort and Spa – Phu Loc- Starting from INR 7,000 per night
  • Ana Mandara Hue Beach Resort – Phu Vang- Starting from INR 5,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can commute via cyclos, taxis, and motorcycle taxis.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • Le Parfum Restaurant at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa- Signature delicacies includes roasted lamb rack, lemongrass-marinated chicken with smoked eggplant and sesame-crusted seared tuna.
  • Ancient Hue Restaurant – Try authentic Vietnamese delicacies such as banana blossom salad and banh beo (steamed rice flour cakes)
  • Les Jardins De La Carambole – Taste their specialities such as beef bourguignon, grilled sea bass fish with Mediterranean sauce and grilled chicken with chilli and lemongrass

 

  1. Da Nang

Da Nang is the place to be for beach lovers. Painted with mountains and serene beaches, Da Nang portrays exquisite scenic natural beauty. Soak up the sun on its beaches, enjoy splendid sunsets and sunrises, visit beautiful pagodas or simply relax with your loved ones.

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  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • My Khe Beach
  • Marble Mountains
  • Dragon Bridge
  • Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain
  • Hai Van Pass
  • Cham Museum
  • Phap Lam Pagoda
  • Non Nuoc Beach
  • Da Nang Cathedral
  • Fifth Military Division Museum of Da Nang

 

  • Hotel recommendations:

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort – Starting from INR 33,000 per night
  • Vinpearl Danang Resort & Villas– Starting from INR 20,000 per night
  • Premier Village Danang Resort Managed By AccorHotels – Starting from INR 35,000 per night
  • Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa – Starting from INR 15,000 per night
  • Pullman Danang Beach Resort – Starting from INR 10,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can commute via motorcycle taxis, buses, and private cars.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • La Maison 1888 – Serves French recipes paired with aged whiskies, infused vodkas, and fine wines. Try roasted veal tenderloin, sea bass carpaccio, suckling pig with bigarade sauce, salted mackerel, roasted oysters and poached octopus
  • Quan Com Hue Ngon – You may wish to order the barbecued octopus or/and pork and squid in stone
  • Pool House at Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa- Serves authentic Vietnamese dishes such as fresh spring rolls, cao lau (noodles with pork and greens), mi quang (turmeric rice noodles) and Hoi An chicken rice.

 

  1. Nha Trang

Nha Trang is the ideal place to relax with its mountains, scenic beaches and verdant islands. There is a lull in the pace of life here that makes you want to put your feet up and just watch life go by. The city is a heaven for scuba divers and beach lovers.

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  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Ba Ho Waterfalls
  • Hon Khoi Salt Fields
  • Po Nagar Cham Towers
  • Vinpearl Amusement Park
  • National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum
  • Long Son Pagoda & White Buddha
  • Nha Trang Cathedral
  • Suoi Do Pagoda
  • Thap Ba Hot Springs Centre

 

  • Hotel Recommendations

Here are some of the best 5 star hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

  • Amiana Resort and Villas Nha Trang– Starting from INR 15,000 per night
  • InterContinental Nha Trang Nha Trang– Starting from INR 12,000 per night
  • Sheraton Nha Trang Nha Trang– Starting from INR 8,000 per night
  • Novotel Nha Trang Nha Trang– Starting from INR 6,000 per night
  • Tuyet Mai Hotel Nha Trang– Starting from INR 4,000 per night
  • Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang Nha Trang– Starting from INR 20,000 per night
  • How to commute locally?

You can commute by buses, motorcycle taxis, and cyclo taxis locally. Nha Trang is connected to other regions in Vietnam through a number of domestic flights and railway network.

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • Cookbook Cafe Restaurant at InterContinental – Standout dishes include Vietnamese-style sweet and sour pork ribs, prawns and pork rolls with homemade peanut sauce, seafood spring rolls, and Piri-Piri roasted chicken served with vegetable couscous. Catering to health-conscious travellers, Cookbook Cafe Restaurant serves fruit-infused water, imported cheeses, homemade dim sum, and gluten-free options for breakfast.

 

  • Sandals Restaurant – must-try the seafood platter comprising of lobster, calamari, fish, garlic butter prawns and mussels.

 

  • Sen Vietnamese Restaurant- try goi cuon (translucent spring rolls with minced pork, shrimp, crabs coriander and greens), Vietnamese pho noodles and banh xeo (crispy crepe filled with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts).

 

  1. Da Lat

Da Lat leaves its travellers enthralled by its exquisite natural beauty.

Surrounded by scenic mountains, rice terraces, Da Lat is a beautiful town welcoming travellers with a refreshing ambiance. Popularly known as ‘Le Petit Paris’ featuring a mini-replica Eiffel Tower in its centre, Da Lat is famous for its farmlands of flowers, vegetables and fruits.

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  • Hotel recommendations

 

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

 

  • Terracotta Hotel & Resort Dalat Da Lat– Starting from INR 4,000 per night
  • White Pearl Hotel Da Lat– Starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Da Lat– Starting from INR 7,000 per night
  • Du Parc Hotel Dalat Da Lat– Starting from INR 3,000 per night
  • Swiss-BelResort Tuyen Lam Dalat Da Lat– Starting from INR 4,000 per night

 

  • Attractions at a glance:

 

  • Elephant Falls
  • Valley of Love
  • Linh Phuoc Pagoda
  • Pongour Falls
  • Flower Gardens
  • Bao Dai Summer Palace
  • Crazy House (Hang Nga Guest House and Art Gallery)
  • Dalat Railway Station
  • Domaine de Marie Church
  • Datanla Waterfalls

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can commute via buses, motorcycle taxis, and cyclo taxis.

  • Where to dine at?
  • Artist Alley Restaurant – must-try delicacies include their signature dish chicken curry with steamed rice, beef steak and the avocado salad

 

  • Trong Dong Restaurant – try the Vietnamese spring roll, stir-fried beef with vegetables and venison topped with peanut and fresh herbs

 

  • Le Rabelais at Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel – try oyster chowder with artichoke, grilled shrimp with creamy fresh leek and vanilla sauce and steamed lobster in chilli orange sauce.

 

  1. Phu Quoc

 Phu Quoc attracts beach lovers to its scenic locations.

Dotted with idyllic beaches  and evergreen forests, Phu Quoc Islands are a traveller’s paradise. Watch romantic sunsets or relax in its tranquil serene ambiance. The Phu Quoc Islands offer amazing watersports for travellers keen experience an adrenaline rush.

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  • Attractions at a glance

 

  • Dinh Cau Rock (Cau Temple)
  • National Park
  • Suoi Tranh Waterfall
  • Duong Dong Market
  • Sung Hung Pagoda
  • Vinpearl Land Amusement Park
  • Cao Dai Temple
  • Ham Ninh Fishing Village
  • Su Muon Pagoda
  • Phu Quoc Prison

 

  • Hotel recommendations

 

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

 

  • La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc – MGallery by Sofitel – Starting from INR 20,000 per night
  • Chen Sea Resort & Spa – Starting from INR 18,000 per night
  • Mango Bay Resort – Starting from INR 10,000 per night
  • Cassia Cottage – Starting from INR 15,000 per night
  • Sea Sense Resort – Starting from INR 10,000 per night
  • Novotel Phu Quoc Resort – Starting from INR 7,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can commute via buses, motorcycle taxis, and cyclo taxis.

 

  • Where to dine at?

 

  • The Pepper Tree at La Veranda Resort – enjoy premium wines and fine-dining cuisine by award-winning chefs. Try out the pumpkin soup and tuna tartare, lobster ravioli, slow-cooked lamb shank and duck breast.
  • Gop Gio Restaurant- enjoy authentic Vietnamese dishes and grilled seafood such as fish hotpot, deep-fried shrimp and squid, shrimp sautéed with onion and fried pork with the quintessential Vietnamese coffee
  • On the Rocks Restaurant at Mango Bay Resort – must-try dishes are Phu Quoc Mackerel and Ying-Yang Basket.

 

  1. Mui Ne and Phan Thiet

 If you want a closer look at the Vietnamese regional life and culture, Mui Ne and Phan Thiet are the places to be.

 Pristine fishing villages of Vietnam, Mui Ne and Phan Thiet are exotic leisure destinations in Vietnam to spend a day or two on your holiday. Enjoy an array of water sports, visit beautiful pagodas, and explore spectacular red and white sand dunes and so on.

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  • Attractions at a glance

 

  • Red Sand Dunes
  • White Sand Dunes
  • Ta Cu Mountain
  • Mui Ne Beach
  • Mui Ne Fishing Village
  • Po Shanu Cham Towers
  • The Prince’s Castle
  • Fairy Stream
  • Van Thuy Tu Temple
  • Phan Thiet Central Market

 

  • Hotel recommendations

 

Here are some of the best hotels to stay in the region, check out the list:

 

  • Anantara Muine Resort & Spa Phan Thiet– Starting from INR 12,000 per night
  • Aroma Beach Resort & Spa Phan Thiet– Starting from INR 5,000 per night
  • Princess d’An Nam Resort & Spa Ham Thuan Nam– Starting from INR 30,000 per night
  • Sea Links Beach Hotel Phan Thiet– Starting from INR 12,000 per night
  • Villa Del Sol Beach resort & Spa Phan Thiet– Starting from INR 4,000 per night

 

  • How to commute locally?

You can commute via buses, motorcycle taxis, and cyclo taxis.

  • Where to dine at?

 

Sandals at Mia Resort Mui Ne -standout dishes includes lamb shank and the cheese platter

Jibe’s Suoi Nuoc – ideal for a hearty breakfast. You can enjoy barbecued seafood, western cuisine, and local desserts as well.

Sukhothai at Sunsea Resort – enjoy stir-fried fish fillet with five spices, seafood green curry and fried noodles topped with pork and shrimp, garlic, eggs and peanuts

Handy information for Indians traveling to Vietnam:

  • Visa

Indian passport holders can avail visa on arrival in Vietnam for US$25 per person.

  • Flight Details

Travellers from Kolkata can board the direct Indigo flight for Hanoi. However, there are other flights operated by Air Asia, Thai Airways and more for Vietnam with stopovers from all major cities of India.

  • Weather

The best time to visit Vietnam is from February to April and August to October. The temperatures are more moderate and rainfall is lighter. In spring and autumn temperatures are pleasant, though still cool in the far north.

 

  • FAQ
  1. How safe is Vietnam?

Vietnam is an extremely safe destination to spend a holiday.

  1. What is Vietnam’s time difference with India?

Vietnam is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of India.

  1. Is it advised to get travel insurance?

Yes, it is suggested to get your Vietnam holiday secured with travel insurance.

  1. Are credit cards widely accepted?

Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express) payments are accepted in high-end restaurants and hotels in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Festivals in Vietnam

Take a look at the 10 best celebrations in Vietnam:

  • Hoi An Lantern Festival – 14th day of every month
  • Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year) – January/February
  • Lim Festival – Mid-February
  • Perfume Festival – Mid-February/March
  • Phu Giay Festival- Late March to Early April
  • Hung King Temple Festival – Early April
  • Buddha’s Birthday – Early May
  • Hue Festival – April/May/June every two years
  • Mid-Autumn Festival – Mid-September
  • Wandering Souls Day – Early September

 

An itinerary to Vietnam

 

Vietnam can be explored in various ways depending on your travel interests. Whether you are fascinated by scenic natural beauty, exotic cuisine, shared history, adventures and so on, you can customize your Vietnam holidays accordingly. A customized holiday itinerary will feature experiences based on individual experiences. You can get in touch with our holiday experts to discuss how you wish to explore Vietnam and plan your personalized holiday accordingly.