Travelling Vietnam – what you must see and do

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Are you thinking about going to Vietnam? If you are or you aren’t, you should definitely go! I have explored a lot of South East Asia and it was the best country out of the ones I have explored so far.

From the food and history to the culture and the most amazing people, Vietnam will not disappoint.

Vietnam - Hanoi
Hanoi, crazy city!

But do you know what I love most about the country? You can travel from own province to the next and feel like you are in a completely different place, it is truly amazing.

So what to see and what do to? Well, let me give you the top things to do in the amazing cities I visited whilst on my journey.

Vietnam - Hue

If you are looking for a great experience of Vietnam and don’t want the stress of organising it yourself, I highly highly recommend taking an Intrepid tour. The Southbound Tour gives you the most incredible highlights of the beautiful country.

Vietnam - Visa

So let’s check out the highlights!

Hanoi

A city like no other! Hanoi is chaotic, the streets are narrow, the building stand tall and the motorbikes will make crossing the road difficult – but that is Hanoi and you wouldn’t want it another way!

Fun fact – there are around 7 million motorbikes in the city alone! Can you actually believe that?!

Vietnam - Hanoi
Busy, small streets

Okay, so what to do in Hanoi? Explore the Old Quarter to really harness the busy city. Walk around the beautiful West Lake and check out the temple sitting in the middle.

But a must do in Hanoi is the Street Food Tour with Urban Adventures. This is where you will experience the most amazing foods of Hanoi and Vietnam. From the delicious Bun Cha to my favourite, the egg coffee!

Vietnam - Visa

Shop around Hanoi and pick yourself up a cheap Northface jacket or head down to the railway line and witness how incredibly close the houses are to the tracks!

Vietnam - Hanoi
The lake in the Old Quarter

If you want to experience the true market experience in Hanoi, head to Dong Xuan Market. You will see food you have never ever seen before.

Hanoi is a city with a lot of history, a lot of culture and loads of amazing food! Stay for a few days to get the experience, you don’t need a lot of time.

Travelling Vietnam – Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay 

Now, this should have already been at the top of your list when it comes to Vietnam! To get the full experience of Ha Long Bay, stay on the junk boat overnight, or even for two nights if you have the time.

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay
Getting the Junk Boat into the bay

What an amazing wonder of the world!

Fun fact – the myth of Ha Long Bay is that the Dragons who protect the coastline of Ha Long Bay dropped rocks in a bid to attack the enemy who was trying the attack Vietnam by boat. The dropping of these rocks formed the limestone island that makes up Ha Long Bay.

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay
That iconic photo!

Make the most of these amazing sights, soak in the sun, explore Ti Top Island – yes where all the amazing photos are taken – and the Surprise Cave or join the kayak tour to explore the bay on your own!

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay
Explore the limestone islands

You will not regret taking the trek from Hanoi to see the beautiful Ha Long Bay.

Travelling Vietnam – Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

Hue

The central of Vietnam, Hue is known for its royal history, being home to the kings who lead Vietnam – well for most of the time as you will find out.

Fun fact – the youngest king came into power when he was 7 years old!!

Vietnam - Hue
The Citadel is beautiful

Spending time at the Citadel is a must, you will see the ruins from the Vietnam War as well as the beautiful architecture that resides on the grounds of this 10km area. Learn about the history of the kings as well as the city of Hue.

Vietnam - Visa

Explore the city of Hue from the Big C Market market to the backpacker’s area, the city is full of excitement, especially at night.

Vietnam - Hue
Amazing designs

During the day, take a motorbike tour with TMT and the different sites of the city from the perfume river to the countryside.

The Thien Mu Pagoda is also a sight to see, so beautiful and so much history. Then head down to the river for a boat ride right down the middle of Hue!

Vietnam - Hue
Pagoda

Hue was an amazing city, the food is incredible (as they are known for vegetarian dishes), the nightclubs are amazing and the city although small, had loads to see and lots to learn.

Travelling Vietnam – Hue and the overnight train

Hoi An 

A must see place, my favourite city in Vietnam, hands down! The beautiful street in Ancient City will actually inspire you!

Vietnam - Hoi An
Lantern town

In Hoi An, you must stay in Ancient City! That way you are streets away from the main city centre and you can walk around Ancient City as you please.

Fun fact – all the two-story building in Hoi An were made by the Europeans where the one story are Vietnamese built.

Vietnam - Hoi An
Ancient Town is so amazing

Whilst in Hoi An, you have to try Banh Mi. My favourite place was Phi Banh Mi, get the traditional, you won’t be disappointed.

You definitely should do a cooking class! There is nothing more satisfying than cooking your own food and getting to eat it. There are loads to do, the best are Morning Glory, Green Mango and Travelling Spoon, so so worth it!

Vietnam - Visa

Try exploring the islands that surround Hoi An, like Cam Kim. With Urban Adventures you can do a biking tour of the island, meet the locals and try the famous Quang Noodles – which they let you try to make. Or head to the beach, either An Bang or Cua Dai.

Vietnam - Hoi An
Ancient City can get busy!

Hoi An is famous for their tailors, so if you are looking to get anything made, do it here. Yaly Couture is the most popular, their quality and efficiency is amazing. If you are only there for a few days, you will have time to get something made!

From the Japanese Bridge to the European and old Vietnamese buildings, Hoi An is a beautiful city, you will never get bored walking around the streets, trying all the amazing restaurants and looking in all the beautiful shops.

Travelling Vietnam – Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh 

The biggest city in Vietnam with a lot to see and do! In Ho Chi Minh you will learn a lot about the Vietnam War from the museum to the Chu Chi tunnels. The history of Vietnam is so important, so definitely find some time to see those two.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh
The Post Office

Fun fact – Before the French came, Ho Chi Minh was only 2km squared in size….now is a whole different story.

When in Ho Chi Minh you want to see all the iconic sites from the Post Office to Notre Dame and the Opera House, they are all within the same district as each other.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh
Notre Dame – Vietnam style

Then there is the Ben Thanh Market, where you will find everything and anything you want to buy.

Pho is the dish to try in Vietnam, which you can find the most delish one at Pho 2000, where President George Bush went with his daughter in 2000.

Vietnam - Visa

If you’re looking for a day trip in Ho Chi Minh, head towards the Mekong Delta, the community down there are so laid back, so lovely and it is amazing to see how those in the countryside live!

Vietnam - Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta tour

Back to Ho Chi Minh and the nightlife is great! Head to some of the most amazing rooftop bars with Air 360 and Chill Bar to see Ho Chi Minh from above or go down to the Backpackers area to see the busy party streets.

Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is a massive city, you could stay for a week and still not see everything, so if you are only there for a short stay, you want to see the highlights!

Travelling Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh

Nha Trang

Honestly, I went to Nha Trang, but if I went next time I would pick somewhere else, like Da Nang. But if you want to go, see below!

A beach city in the South of Vietnam. It is a good place to wind down after a huge trip, but there are still things to do.

Vietnam - Nha Trang
The city of Nha Trang

Fun fact – the Russian population love Nha Trang, some even live in the city and run local shops.

If you want to experience the food of Nha Trang, head of a street food tour with Urban Adventures. You will experience the food and the culture of Nha Trang whilst learning about the city. Or head down to the beach where you will find loads of bars and restaurants.

Vietnam - Nha Trang
Beach getaway

Vin Pearl Land is a big day out exploring the theme park from the waterslides to the rides, there will be something for everyone. Or if you are brave enough, have a go at parasailing!

Vietnam - Nha Trang
Give it a go!

Book a tour whilst in Nha Trang to explore the bay. You will get to see the different islands that sit around Nha Trang and see what’s below as you snorkel.

You can also go on tours outside of Nha Trang to explore the areas around the city or you can book a nice resort and relax.

Vietnam - Nha Trang
Relax by the water

Travelling Vietnam – Nha Trang and VinPearl

If you want to know the must eat foods of these cities, you can find them here: Touring Vietnam – Food. Vietnam is definitely one to put on your list, like right now!

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