HomeVietnamVietnam Travel GuideTop 8 Scenic Attractions in Vietnam

Top 8 Scenic Attractions in Vietnam

Vietnam’s narrow and long territory and its changeable terrain endow the country with spectacular and diverse natural beauty.

From the magic sea karst landscape in Halong Bay to the sinuous terraced fields and rich ethnic customs in Sapa, from the idyllic scenery in Mai Chau to the boisterous floating markets in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s impressive beauty will never fail to delight.

Highlights

  • Sail across picturesque sea karst scenery.
  • Visit Sapa from mid- to late September to see the golden terraces.
  • Explore one of the two largest karst terrains in the world.
  • Sail through a water-palm forest on a sampan.
  • Taste a variety of tropical fruits.
  • Join in a bonfire party and experience the hospitality of local people.
  • Breathe in the sweet countryside air.
  • Dive at the best diving base in Vietnam.
  • Escape the heat by visiting Vietnam’s premier summer resort.
  • Be amazed by the largest transnational waterfall in Asia.

Halong Bay—Sea Karst

On this 1,500 square-kilometer area of sea, karst mountains are just like jewellery scattered on a jade plate. More than 1,600 islands and islets drop quietly into the sea. From ships sailing across the sea, you can observe the extraordinary sheer karst hills jutting straight up, as if created by spirits.

In addition to the amazing scenery, boating across Halong Bay also offers an opportunity for many water sports. Canoeing, diving, kayaking and visiting the islands are all very popular activities, through which you can in turn get closer to the picturesque scenery.

Besides, visiting the fishing villages, practicing tai chi on deck in the morning, and joining a cooking class on the boat will make your trip even richer and more interesting. Cruise enthusiasts and those who prefer nature landscapes should not miss Halong Bay.

Sapa—Highland Terraced Fields

Things to see in the Sapa region are mainly a combination of ethnic customs and natural landscape. Rice terraces, lush vegetation, colonial buildings, boisterous local markets and hill tribes themselves are all deeply loved by trekking enthusiasts and those with an interest in minority groups.

The view of the terraced fields varies with the season. From mid- to late September, you will see golden rice fields, layer upon layer, just like steps from which the fairies descend from heaven. In May, however, what you see is the mirror-like irrigated terraces.

The best way to get closer to nature and the local people in Sapa is to choose a trekking route and begin your exploration of the picturesque countryside.

One must-do experience is to stay in a local home. Although the environment and facilities will not be as good as in hotels, the experience of eating and staying with locals will create a precious memory you may never have again.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang—One of the Two Largest Karst Terrains in the World

The karst terrain in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was formed about 4 billion years ago and is regarded as the oldest in Asia. Adventure enthusiasts should not miss Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Hang Son Doong (the world's biggest cave), as big as a whole city block in Manhattan, is as tall as a skyscraper.

You will be amazed by the magic of nature when you visit Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave), which is full of incredible limestone rock sculptures.

Inside the park, you’ll also encounter jungle, rivers and waterfalls.

Apart from the amazing caves, there are various activities awaiting you. You can try the zip line across the river to the cave. You can swim in a beautiful freezing river, learn kayaking, or even take a mud bath.

Eco-trekking is gaining in popularity, and creates a great chance for you to free your mind and feel the magic of nature. Though you are only allowed to hike through the park with a licensed tour operator, this expedition is really well worth a try.

Mekong Delta—A Rich Estuary

No matter whether visiting the boisterous floating market, riding through a water-palm tree forest in narrow canals on a sampan, or visiting a local orchard and tasting a variety of tropical fruits, you’ll be gathering memorable experiences.

The most interesting thing to do in the Mekong Delta is to live like a local. You can visit the factory and make your own hand-made coconut candies or rice pancakes and take some back as special and meaningful souvenirs.

You can also ride a bicycle across the lush forest and the fruitful gardens. When riding in the narrow lanes, you will imbibe the leisurely and carefree life of the countryside and have a chance to take a rest. Life in Mekong Delta is so peaceful that people who want to free their minds in a rural area should not miss it.

Mai Chau—Idyllic Scenery

Mai Chau, a town hemmed in by hills, has become a hotter and hotter tourist destination. Its idyllic scenery will surely heal your soul.

You can rent a bike and ride round the village. When you feel tired, stop and have lunch at a home-stay where you may also have a chance to watch some traditional dancing. Ride across original bamboo bridges and stop whenever you wish to take a picture of this picturesque place.

When you climb a high mountain and enjoy the panoramic view of the village, you will feel like all your fatigue has evaporated. If you visit on weekends, enthusiastic villagers will welcome you with bonfire parties, which will make you all the more reluctant to leave.

Although Mai Chau is only 160 kilometers from Hanoi, it is really a fantastic place for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Anyone who has become tired of city life can visit here to ease tight nerves.

Con Dao Island—the Best Diving Base

During the French colonial era, Con Dao Island was the main prison for detaining resistance fighters. Although the island is now open to travelers, there are some restrictions due to its strong political background.

Among all the islands in Vietnam, Con Dao is the hardest to reach. About 80% of the island is part of Con Dao National Park, which is used to protect the most important turtle-breeding ground in Vietnam. It is also the best diving site in Vietnam.

You can rent a motorbike and begin your exploration of this pristine and mysterious island. As your motorbike tour moves off, don’t fail to miss the Con Dao Museum, where you can glean a better understanding of the history of the island.

You can take a sunbath on the quiet Dam Trau Beach and enjoy a day without any tourists or noise. Or put on your diving gear and explore the underwater world in the best diving base in Vietnam. Here it is nice for diving enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to have a relaxing time on a beach near HCMC.

Da Lat—Summer Resort

Because of its favorable climate and beautiful colonial style buildings, Da Lat has become an increasingly popular travel destination. During colonial times, it was a summer resort for Frenchmen, but now its beauty has been discovered by people from all over the world.

Da Lat is not just famous for its fresh air. Its numerous lakes, waterfalls and pine forests make it even more delightful. You can try highland cycling, canyoning, abseiling or cliff jumping here, one of the best places for adventure in Vietnam. Adventure enthusiasts should not miss it.

If you are not ready for such challenging activities, you can choose a more moderate countryside tour by motorbike. You might see crickets, a silk factory, or even weasel poop coffee, and what more can you hope for?

Ban Gioc-Detian Falls—Transnational Waterfall

The Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, which straddle the international border between China and Vietnam, are the largest transnational waterfalls in Asia and the fourth largest in the world.

The best time to visit is the opposite of many other travel destinations: the rainy season from July to September, for during the rainy season, the abundance of water makes the falls much more majestic.

The falls always appear in China's ancient costume drama as a fairyland or a retreat from the world where the spirits[Guessing that this is 'spirits'. It's probably not 'skilled people'. Or should it be 'fairies'? Please check!] live. When you take a bamboo raft and approach the falls, you can imagine you are one of the spirits living in this breathtaking wonderland.

In addition to this impressive waterfall, you can also visit the nearby temples and cave complex, which will complete a nice day trip. This site is good for those who have an extra day in Sapa.

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